Grow Your Twitter Following In 12 Easy Steps

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Twitter has been one of the best tools for us to grow our business. It's an outstanding way to connect with a wider audience and expand your brand online. I've had many conversations with authors who have resisted using Twitter for one reason or another, but have humored me and said, "OK, I'll give it a shot." Much to their delight (and mine as well!) their number of followers, the quality of their engagement, and overall reach broadened their online presence like crazy.  So, how do you grow your Twitter following?  

Let me say that my approach to Twitter is to find quality followers that will help you grow your brand, expand your reach, and ultimately, help you sell more books. I'm not going to show you how to get 100,000 followers in 10 days, or any of the "get followers quick" tricks. Yes, you want as many followers as you possibly can but that number by your name shouldn't be the focus. Your focus should be on finding quality followers that will turn into true fans

What do I mean by quality followers? I mean your target audience, the people who want to hear what you have to say and share. These are potential fans and readers of your books. These are people who, after getting to know you ,will buy your book, attend your writing workshop, attend your seminar, and so on. It's people who want to hear what you have to say and interact with you. 

There are people out there who want to connect with you…now you just have to find them! Here's how: 

1) MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A STRONG PROFILE: You want your profile page to represent you, your book, and your brand in the best way possible. Most people will check out your profile before following you, so make sure that you have an image uploaded (a clear, easy to see headshot) and a well thought out bio. You have 160 characters for your bio so make the most of it!  

2) FOLLOW RELEVANT PEOPLE: To get the ball rolling, start by following relevant people within the book industry and your specific genre. Find other authors that you respect, book review blogs, publishing companies, genre specific topics, etc., and follow them. Take a look at who they are following and follow them as well. There are also free resources that help you find quality people in your industry to follow. Two of my favorites are WeFollow and Twellow

3) USE HASHTAGS: Join in on conversations by using #hashtags. Searching for specific topics (like #books or #bookreviews, for example) will show threads of conversations surrounding those topics. If you can contribute, join in the conversation or even see who else is taking part in the conversation and follow them. Taking part in the conversation is a great way to find new people to follow AND get your profile out there so others can discover you as well. 

4) PROVIDE & SHARE QUALITY CONTENT: This is the Queen Mother of all Twitter advice - content is king. When you share quality content that is of high value people will come in droves. This content can be what you create (via your blog, your book, articles, etc.) or that you share that was created by others (links, reviews, etc.). Think about who you are talking to and provide links to blog articles that you find that are relevant to them. Write blog posts that speak directly to your audience and tweet about them. Share influential or inspiring quotes. Share your insight, expertise, and know how to help others. Be generous! 

5) BE CONSISTENT: Consistency is key in all social media. If you only post every once in a while Twitter will not be as effective for you.  Thankfully there are tools out there to help you stay consistent without eating up your entire day being on Twitter. My two favorite tools are Buffer and HootSuite. Both allow you to schedule tweets to be posted at a specific time (that you assign) throughout the day. Another tool I recently discovered is called Tweriod. It analyzes your Twitter account to find peek engagement times so your posts will be most visible. Another handy feature is that it will sync right to your Buffer account so your ideal times to post will be seamless. 

6) ALLOW SPACE FOR A RT: RT stands for "retweet" and it's important to keep in mind when creating Twitter posts. Although you are allowed 140 characters in your Twitter posts, try to keep it between 120-130 to allow space for fans to retweet your post and include some comments. Remember, when others retweet your posts your audience is widening! Give them something to retweet and the space to share it. 

7) RT AND THANK OTHERS: One of the best ways to get your name in front of a new audience is to retweet what others post. If you find a tweet that someone has written that speaks to your audience or that they will find interesting, retweet it! If you find an article or blog post that someone posted on Twitter that you found helpful or inspiring, be sure to thank them. The same goes if someone retweets your post, be sure to thank them publicly and not through direct message (DM).  

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8) KEEP YOUR POSTS TO 8-10 TIMES A DAY: This might seem overwhelming to some and very limiting to others. Twitter posts show up in a reverse chronological order so new posts in a Twitter feed will be on top. By tweeting at least 8 times a day you will be more likely to be seen in your followers feeds. Doing more than 10 will be a bit annoying and overwhelming. If you overwhelm your followers with too many posts you run the great risk of them unfollowing you. 

9) CREATE STRONG HEADLINES: When you walk past a magazine rack in the grocery store, do certain headlines jump out at you that make you want to purchase the magazine? Look at Twitter as being a virtual magazine rack and you are trying to catch the eye of new readers. The copy that you write for your tweets needs to catch the eye of your fans to draw them in to read it and share it. Fans sharing what you post will get you in front of an even broader audience. 

10) FOLLOW THE 80/10 RULE REGARDING PROMOTION: Twitter is a great way to promote your books, blog, website, speaking engagements, etc., but don't go overboard. That's why I always advise to have your posts be 10% promotional, 80% engaging & relational. It's a fine line to ride, but one that is very important to follow. 

11) BE ACTIVE: You will be amazed at how many quality Twitter followers you will get when you are simply active on Twitter. I'm not saying spend countless hours on the site but investing 10-15 minutes a day going through the feeds, responding to posts, and engaging in conversations. 

12) INCLUDE LINKS ON YOUR WEBSITE & OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS: This might seem like a no-brainer but it's one that is overlooked more often than not. Be sure to include links to your Twitter page (and all of your social media accounts) on your website, blog, and other social media outlets. It's very important that you make these links as easy to find as possible on your website. I always suggest putting them at the very top of your website and on every page. If you have a new fan that discovered your website you want to make sure you stay in touch with them through social media. Making that as easy as possible is another great way to grow your Twitter following. 

QUESTION: What have you found most effective in growing your Twitter following? What tools have you used? Leave a comment below & share! 

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