By Lindsay Dicks
Twitter is the 12th most popular site in the world, and adds hundreds of thousands of new users each day. To say the least, it’s important to have a presence on the site. However, many people still think Twitter isn’t right for them. They may think they can’t make a dent amongst the millions of users, when really, they’re only aiming to reach a select subset of those on the social networking site.
Or, they may think Twitter is only for Millennials who aren’t quite ready to buy their products. In reality, the site has a large number of users across every age demographic. In fact, a GlobalWebIndex study from earlier this year shows that Twitter is showing the fastest growth among those 55- to 64-years-old!
Many are also concerned that people are only looking to talk to their friends, or follow celebrities, and not read the advice they’re giving. Instead, finding the news and doing research are two of the top five ways people use Twitter (men are actually more likely to use Twitter to find news than they are to post a status update, and it’s pretty close for women).
So, now that we’ve cleared up a few misconceptions, let’s go over a few tips and tricks to help you get started:
- Make sure you completely fill out your profile. This may seem like common sense, but so many small business profiles only provide half of the information needed. The most common omissions are a cover photo and a link back to their website. Having an incomplete profile makes it look like the person isn’t committed to participating in the site, like the business doesn’t understand the site, or like they just don’t really care. None of these look good to a potential client.
- Don’t follow people randomly, buy followers, or use some other program to gain followers quickly. While it may give you thousands of followers in a short period of time, these followers will not be high quality. In fact, many purchased “followers” are just spam accounts. It’s a much better idea to send an email to your email subscribers, Facebook fans, and other already interested parties to build up your follower count naturally. It will take longer to gain a solid following, but quality is much more important than quantity here.
- Add variety, and add value. If you want to attract followers, you need to generate interest. Posting the same things all the time won’t generate interest. Only self-promoting for the sake of self-promoting won’t generate interest. You need to be offering something useful to people. This is why it’s a great idea to tweet out your blogs and articles, because those contain valuable information. You can also tweet news articles related to what you do, and add your expert commentary. A tip of the week is also a way to add value. The goal is to make people see why they need to follow you in order to get the best advice and information.
- Interact with your followers. Once people feel like they’ve gotten to know you through your tweets, they’ll start to respond and retweet. If someone responds with a great thought on your post, retweet it. If they ask a question, give a thoughtful response in a timely manner. And don’t be afraid to reply to people you follow either. Interacting is a great way to create a loyal audience.
- Use hashtags wisely. When people first get started on Twitter, they sometimes think they need to hashtag every keyword in order for people to find their content. However, you don’t need to hashtag a general term like retirement, since people can search for that would all on it’s own. Hashtags work better for phrases, such as #retirementplanning. Keep an eye on the trending topics, and that will help you get a feel for what needs a hashtag and what doesn’t.
You should also search for hashtags you’re interested in to find high-quality people to follow yourself. This is also a good way to find Twitter chats related to your industry.
While Twitter is definitely a platform where slow and steady wins the race, it is a great site to use! Just focus on building genuine relationships instead of attracting thousands of followers overnight, and it will be a great experience for you!
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