The Holy Grail: Getting more Followers on #Twitter

Like most folks who are new to new Twitter ask the common question : How do I get more followers?

While this question seems easy, getting more followers is a daunting task for folks who are unfamiliar with Twitter and its quirks. I decided to write this quick post after helping one of my team members the other day outline some keys to success.

1) What are you goals?

This should be the first step in any social media experiment. In my previous role of leading my organization’s social media efforts, I followed a simple formula for success: P.O.S.T (People, Objective, Strategy, and Technology). Too many folks focus on the “T” and not enough on “O” or “S.” Sound familiar? This is one of the central themes in Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s book, Groundswell

If you join Twitter, what are you plans? What will you share with others? Why should other people care? By defining what you want to get out of participating in social media, you will be successful. This is not a shocking secret, however, many people fail to outline their goals. Social media is not about throwing things on the wall to see if it will stick, it is about having a plan and what you expect to get out of it. Plan and simple.

2)  Do you have a bio? No bio= no reason to follow you

One of the first things I look for when following someone is the person’s profile. Why? I want to know what can I expect from following them. S she going to send me information on education? Maybe #socialmedia? If you don’t have a profile set up with what your interest are, what you plan to share, you are making it harder for people to want to follow you.

Secondly, are your putting hashtags in your profile? The reason for the hashtag is so anyone who is interested in let’s say #PR, can perform a search and potentially find you. Hashtags are an easy way to let folks find your profile and want information you will share with them.

3)  Are you posting your handle on other social networks?

In every industry there are several groups that you can join to promote your personal brand. For example, in higher education, I follow and participate in several chats to learn about the trends in the industry. Here is one example of a directory or chat to follow:

Example of industry group

EDUtweetups is a great example of an industry group that hosts tweet chats to participate in.

Looking for your groups is fairly simple by just typing into Google. 

Additional you should be promoting your handle on LinkedIn, Google +,etc.  Don’t assume the people who are connected with you on LinkedIn are the same folks who follow you on Twitter. The whole premise behind Twitter is to share, in real time, your ideas, thoughts, and comments about current events, trends in your industry, and perhaps your opinion or position on hot topics. Sending tweets is not like status updates.


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