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How to Get More Twitter Followers From Your Existing Channels

13 February 2012 BY

As a brand you finally decided to start with Twitter, you formulated a good strategy but now you have to wait to get your target audience to start following you. On State of Search we already reported on 10 ways to increase your Twitter followers. But one point I’d like to explain a little deeper. How to get more Twitter followers from your existing marketing channels.

Research shows the most important reasons to start following a brand are an invitation or ad from the brand itself or an invitation or mention from a friend. So why not start with reaching out to the people who already know your brand. Those are the people you can reach directly and those are the people who can reach the other members of your target audience.

Strategy

Reaching your audience starts with a proper strategy. If you can’t explain why someone should follow you, you have to reconsider your strategy. You strategy shouldn’t be focused on your brand but on your followers. What’s in it for them? To get you started, the most important reasons to follow a brand are:

  • Keeping up with new products: so inform about your products
  • To connect with the brand: involve people in your brand
  • Save money: create special offers and give aways just for followers
  • Entertainment: Create interactive content, experiment
  • Show loyalty: Show your appreciation for your costumers and followers

When you’ve formulated a good strategy, you can start with communicating this through your existing marketing channels.

Email

You probably already communicate a lot with your costumers. These mails you probably end with a signature containing your contact information. Why not add your brands social profiles? These are also ways to get in contact with your brand. It’s probably the best to use the recognizable icons that users from a social network will recognize easily.

My email footer

Besides the regular email correspondence you might also be sending out email newsletter. Instead of just adding the social media icons here it’s more effective to announce in your mail that you are starting with Twitter. The most important art is that you try to explain what the benefits for the user are to follow your brand.

Your website

Your website is the perfect place to reach the people who already know your brand. Here it also begins with a good strategy. Simply adding the link to your Twitter account on your website isn’t  enough. Only people who want to follow you will use such a link.

You need to make sure your users get to know what your Twitter strategy is. You can do this by telling what users can expect from your Twitter account. On top of this you could also show the latest tweets from your account on your website. This way the can form their own opinion of whether it’s interesting for them to follow your account. It’s also import not to add a link to your account, but a follow button with which people can directly follow you. Remove as many barriers as people.

Don’t just show these buttons on your homepage. A large part of the visitors, possibly 50%, doesn’t enter your website through the homepage. By only showing these buttons on your homepage, you’re missing out on a large part of your audience. You could even show a more notable message in which you tell you’re now active on Twitter. As long as it’s not too pushy, it can’t really hurt, but you can make sure people notice it. Just once showing an easy-to-close overlay, is okay.

Share buttons

Share buttons can also add to extending your audience. By giving users the possibility to share information on your site you can create more awareness for your account. Just make sure your account is automatically appended to the tweet. You can do this by adding your account to the ‘via’ field when getting the code for the share button. You can also add your own account as recommended account which people see after sending the tweet.

Make sure you only show your share buttons on the pages with information people actually want to share. So not on every product page, but with news items, blog posts, special deals etc. In place where people would want to share the buttons can be outstanding.

It's okay to ask for shares

Offline

The biggest challenge is to get more followers from your off line channels. This channel takes the most effort for users to follow you when they intent to. That’s you have to make I t as easy as possible to reach your Twitter account. Don’t just put a Twitter logo in your print ad, but write your full username or add a QR code which leads directly to your account. Here also try tell why people should follow you, not just that you’re active.

Other social media

You’re probably already reaching a part of your audience through other social media. Even then it might be interesting to point out your Twitter account on these channels. Twitter is a whole different medium than Facebook or LinkedIn. On these you can mention that you’re also on Twitter and tell your audience how your message Twitter is an addition to the messages they already read. Of course, make sure your Twitter message deviates enough from your other social channels. Use Twitter for faster, shorter and more messages.

Online ads

You could even use online ads to promote your Twitter account. Be creative. For example, when some is searching for ‘laptop discount’, you could lead them to your page with current promotions. But when there’s not the right promotion for them at the moment you’ve lost them. You could also send them to your Twitter account where they can keep up with all of your promotions.

Conclusion

Reaching a large audience on Twitter can be really valuable, but it all starts with a good strategy. Once you can make clear why people should follow you, you’ve made the first important step. From here on you can only grow. If you have good strategy you should promote that. Not every has to go to your website all the time.

AUTHORED BY:
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Jeroen van Eck is a consultant search engine marketing at the online marketing company E-Focus in the Netherlands.

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