Let's face it, no matter what stage you're at with your business, you will always be looking for a way to increase the number of followers and fans on your page. Let's not be under any illusions, getting more followers is only a small part of the battle, but this and keeping your current followers aren't mutually exclusive. By following these tips, you'll be able to grow your audience organically while keeping things interesting for your current followers.
Give People Chances To Discover You
One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is to provide links to your account through your own site. Twitter itself has a wide number of widgets that you can place on your site. That alone will give you significant exposure for your account. While your own site is a great place to start, either by adding follow widgets or follow buttons to your site. On top of that, provide links on your other social media accounts like a Facebook tab to raise awareness.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it's worth noting that you can place as many URLs as you can fit in your profile bio. They will automatically be converted as clickable links so if you have more than one site, or you want to publicise your other social profiles, include them.
Use Of Imagery
We've spoken before many times about how powerful imagery is and this is no exception on Twitter. Twitter has designed itself so that it encourages you to open up a card and view the image without leaving the site.
If you're taking images, it's a good idea to load them up onto Twitter directly as the fewer barriers there are in viewing them, the more likely people are to retweet it. In the case of services like Instagram, if it's your own image, it's better to load the filtered image up through Twitter's official channels instead as not everyone will want to click on a link and be taken away from the news feed, especially on mobile.
Also, in the case where you're sharing an image that isn't yours, make sure you link to where you found it, or the original source if it was found through a third-party site.
Know Your Audience
Chances are you already have a Twitter account so you would have developed a following of sorts. That's great but do you know who you're actually talking to? The conveniently named Know Your Followers will give you a rather comprehensive breakdown of your follower demographics by using the information available to them. The free version will give you enough to work with as you'll be more interested about who forms the bulk of your follower count.
Once you have a decent idea of who you're talking to, then you can start thinking about the ways your content relates to them. Does it stick to the topics your business is familiar with? Are people more likely to respond to images than video?
Follow And Interact
A practise that some accounts do is that they will follow numerous profiles in the hope that the majority of them will follow back. In the very short-term, this may help boost numbers, but it's one that will fall apart for a number of reasons if you make it a medium or long-term strategy.
If you're going to follow someone, make sure they tie into your service or industry in some way so that there is potential for you, not them, to interact with. Have a look at their tweets and if anything interesting stands out immediately, talk to them. If not, see what else they tweet and respond to that instead. So long as you're not forcing it, they'll reply back and interact.
Post Content People Will Enjoy
Of course, you will be posting content that you will find interesting and letting people know of the latest trends and news, but don't limit yourself to just that. If you do, all you end up becoming is the social equivalent of an RSS feed.
Not everything you post has to be business or industry related so add some personality and colour to your tweets. Comment on a trend, reply to people, or even post some interesting images or videos you've come across. Anything that will show that there's a person behind the account will work to your advantage in the long-term.
Hashtags are great for discussion, but they're not as useful when you want to grow followers. The reason is because hashtag trends - the most popular ones at least - tend to be based on ideas that will disappear after a few hours, the people seeing it probably aren't the type of audience you're hoping to attract.
Instead, their use will be for events that you're attending where you'll gain followers. Pretty much every digital event in existence, regardless of size, will have a hashtag for the event. By using it and interacting with the people on it, you can end up making new connections by meeting face-to-face. You might gain a few followers from your activities from the event (tweeting stats and facts from said events is a great way of doing this), but unless you tweet something amazing or significant, the follower increase will be small.
A more expensive method of increasing your followers, but worth it if you have the prize to back it up. So long as you know what you can and can't do, it's a great way of building up your follower count. However, one thing worth bearing in mind is the type of prize you're offering people. If you're offering a new iPad, then you will get all kinds of followers. If you offer a free three month subscription to your service, you're more likely to attract a smaller, but more focused audience.