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Twitter addict

Yesterday I hit my milestone (5 months early!) of 5000 twitter followers for @mum_business.  Since then I have received a number of tweets asking me how I did it.  I thought I would post today with a brief summary of how I got to 5,000 as well as some links to other blogs which give detailed advice on improving your twitter following

1)      Pick a username that sums up what you are about.  When I follow people I do so based primarily on their name.  If you are tweeting for personal reasons then it is fine to use your real name but if you want to appeal to a specific audience (i.e. mums in my case) then get the right words into your username to appeal to them (this has worked well for me as mum_business appeals to other Mums as someone who may be of interest)

2)      Put up a profile picture – I never follow people who don’t have a picture as to me it says they aren’t serious twitter users – again make your photo relevant to the audience you wish to gain (be it food / fitness / mums etc)

3)      Follow people – this one is the key one for me and there are a few tips.

  1. I aim to follow 200 / 300 new people a week.  I pick brands who I know appeal to the audience I am trying to gain (for example I might go for a high-end children’s boutiques eg Trotters) and I look at who follows them.  I then go through and follow their followers until I hit the limits imposed by twitter
  2. I try and do my ‘mass follow’ on a day and time I think a lot of your desired audience will be on twitter i.e. just after the kids are in bed.  The key to getting this right for your following is that if lots of people follow you straight back you will start to show on twitters lists as a key person to follow at that moment and this can lead to extra followers
  3. A week later I go through and unfollow (there are lots of aps to help you do this quickly and easily – I use ‘unfollow’) all of those who haven’t followed me back to make room for the next weeks mass following

4)      Tweet regularly throughout the day, but not too often.  I aim for between 5 and 10 tweets a day as spaced out as I can

5)      Try and tweet only 20% promoting yourself and 80% with other relevant content (a great ap for this is called Klout) which feeds you relevant stories (based on your criteria) that you can share with your audience.  Re-tweeting is also good for this.

6)      Ensure you always respond to people (especially negative comments)

7)      Always follow back those who follow you (again I use the unfollow ap to do this every day as it makes it quick and easy)

8)      Try and re-tweet others as part of your tweeting, this is a double positive as you become an interesting and engaging person to know, but you also show yourself to their followers

9)      Once a week try and engage people by asking questions.  One of my most popular ones was asking for recommendations of books for 2 year olds boys – I had heaps of re-tweets and responses – people like to give an opinion and it can stimulate engagement with you as a brand

I think that is pretty much it from my perspective.  My final point is (if you have bandwidth) to consider having an account which isn’t about your brand but which can help promote it.  In my case both @YumboxUK and @cheekyelephant have their own brands but @mum_business isn’t plugging any one thing (though she often mentions both of these brands!)

It is time consuming and from what I have seen there is no quick fix (all the sites promising followers may well be able to get you numbers but they are unlikely to be the right people in the right geographies and therefore are largely useless), that said with a couple of hours work a week I have got to 5,000 in just over 6 months so it is definably doable

Here are some more comprehensive blogs which I thought were useful on this topic:

1)      http://www.tintup.com/blog/9-dead-simple-tips-to-get-more-twitter-followers/

2)      http://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-to-earn-genuine-twitter-followers.html

PS – cheeky elephant’s stock lands at port on Friday!  Not long now to my first launch!