I had wasted hours of my time and effort before I realized something:
Not all Twitter followers are equal.
If you’re new to Twitter, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game and set random “growth” goals (e.g. increase X amount of followers by X days). Well, that’s what everyone else seems to be doing, right?
If you’re more in tune with Twitter, you might ask a different question: Why doesn’t anyone following my Twitter account — which has more than 6k followers — ever convert? Did I waste my time trying to grow followers?
The problem is that beginners in Social Media Marketing often get distracted from the real goal. Stop and ask yourself – what is your ultimate goal? The whole point of being on Twitter is to, yes, increase awareness and ultimately increase conversions. Is having a big follower base of irrelevant people going to help you? What if you have lots of relevant followers, but your Twitter account plateaued at 400 followers? BOTH scenarios are not going to do much for your business. To increase conversions, you need lots of traffic from qualified leads.
Don’t fret, because we’re about to share with you a Twitter Growth Hacking strategy that will help you grow in both size and significance. This process is used by the brightest minds in Social Media Marketing, like Tim Felmingham, Susanna Gebauer, and many others. We developed this particular method through trial and error (i.e. using 30+ tools that claimed to help with Twitter, then canceling most of our sign-ups), so hopefully this will help you save time. LOTS of it.
The Significance of your followers is evaluated based on how many followers you have who fall into your Target Audience. In other words, will they convert? Are they interested in what your product, service or blog has to offer? Magnitude is the sheer size of your account – the total number of followers.
As the picture below illustrates, your goal is to increase the overlapping sweet spot. You want to grow in both Magnitude and Significance. Ideally, the two circles overlap completely.
Okay, so what are the actual steps?
We made a simple infographic (bottom of the post) that gives you a run down of the strategy and exact tools you need in each step. We’ll assume that you already have a winning Twitter profile to begin with. If not, read our blog post on How to optimize your Twitter for visibility before you continue.
1. Look in the Mirror
First and foremost, you want to evaluate yourself and your industry. A few questions to ask yourself:
- What do you want to be known for?
- What are some key differentiators you have that make you stand out?
- What industry are you in and what are some few keywords that immediately pop up in your mind? Write them down. You need this for the next step.
For example, if we were to do one for Audi, they would be:
Thought: We want to be known as the pioneering brand in luxury cars. We’re in the luxury car industry that overlaps a lot with lifestyle. (List out some keywords, Audi brands.)
- luxury cars
- Audi A3
- Audi A4
- Audi A6
- luxury Sedan
- luxury crossover, etc
2. Identify Your Idols
You know how you have mentors and idols in life you try to learn from? Same theory works on Twitter. Now, the trick is to identify them.
We used our native tool for this step — just search for the keywords we listed in Step 1 in the search box. Once results are returned, save this tracker and go to the Influencers tab. This table will give you a list of Influencers related to the search terms you brainstormed in Step 1.
Try it yourself here:
We searched for Social Media Marketing. The Influencers tab gave us a list of the recent 1000 top influencers.
Sort by clicking on the Exposure tab to get the list of Influencers ranked based on their total impact.
What is Exposure?
Exposure measures the total potential Impressions that a user has generated, including the impressions generated by their Retweeters.
For example, say @UserX has 500 followers and tweets twice. In this case, Reach = 500 and Impressions = 1,000. Now suppose that one of this user’s posts was Retweeted by @UserY, who has 1M followers, so one of her posts was also seen by @UserY’s followers.
Then, the total Exposure that @UserX generated was 1,001,000 (1,000 Impressions from her followers, and 1,000,000 from @UserY’s followers).
In essence, Exposure measures the total potential impact that a user has generated, beyond just their followers.
By identifying Idols who generate high exposure, you are guaranteed that they have a good, active group of followers – which is what you need for step 3.
3. Become a Copycat
Now that you have 1-3 idols whom you want to model yourself after, go to their followers list on Twitter. For my influencer list, Social Media Today was one of the top influencers. If you go to their Twitter account’s “Followers” tab, it will give you a list of all of their followers. The key is to go through them and follow 20-30 of their followers a day. Twitter caps you at 120.
Things legit Twitter accounts usually have:
- Great profile photo
- Nice Twitter banner
- Full name/brand name as their handle, instead of random names like“Kizmet_93_ya”
Followerwonk or Tweepi is another way to do this. We love Follwerwonk because you can compare followers of multiple accounts to see overlapping followers. We love Tweepi because you can do bulk following and unfollowing. Tweepi is more suitable if you already have a Twitter account with respectable size (5k+ followers) and want to save time following manually.
4. Be Social & Create a Sense of Community
Following people is like going up to someone and introducing yourself. Now you have to TALK. Imagine saying ‘Hi’ to someone and just staring at them. Blankly. They will think you’re weird and walk away. Opening an account on Twitter, following a bunch of people, and then not tweeting is the equivalent.
Now think about this from the other person’s perspective: what kind of person would you like to talk to? Someone who is fun, easy-going, and insightful, right? Someone who shares, cares, and is genuine. You don’t want to be the self-centered one who spends 40 minutes talking about himself, and himself ONLY. Use the same common sense while socializing on Twitter. There are technical tweaks that will get you more engagement (such as using visuals), but the premise of the strategy lies in socializing; and it turns out that socializing online isn’t much different from socializing offline.
- Be yourself, talk like a human.
- Use Twitter Lingo where relevant (see below for list).
- Provide value by sharing content that your followers would like (both native and 3rd party content).
- Engage and reach out. It’s like asking follow-up questions during offline conversations.
You have to do these in parallel while growing your “Sweet Spot” followers on Twitter.
Aside from the super basic Twitter lingo, like RT (Retweet), DM (Direct Message) and MT (Modified Tweet), here are few that will get you going on Twitter:
Buffer is great for scheduling and repurposing your past tweets, so you don’t have to create new tweets all the time. Composing tweets with links on Buffer also saves tons of time because they shorten your URL automatically. Since Twitter tweets are capped at 140 characters, shortening URLs is key.
TweetDeck makes it easier to Retweet, Mention and engage with your followers & people you follow. It also gives you an excellent panoramic view of activities around your Twitter account, such as notification, messages, and followers.
Markethub is great because you can add a customized Call-To-Action bar with every content you share, which means you can merge Step 4 with Step 5 – saving time! For instance, let’s say you share an article from New York Times. At the bottom of this article, you can embed a call-to-action bar for your product or service.
5. Promote Your Site
Now that you have the fundamentals set, you’re ready to promote yourself. The typical ratio for community building tweets vs. self-promotion is 8:2 — 2 out of every 10 posts should be promotional, with links to your website.
Always double-check your URL after publishing to ensure they are clickable. Some companies build custom URLs to track how many people are coming to their main website via Twitter profiles. Common parameters are: Source = Twitter, Medium = Profile, Campaign = Social. You’re free to change this depending on your tracking methodology. Create these easily with Google’s URL Builder.
Pro Tip: Using UTM parameters can make your links look long and unsightly. Use a URL shortener like Bitly or Google’s URL shortener. The parameter data will still pass, and your links will look cleaner. If you use Buffer, they will automatically shorten it for you.
The last step is to use Google Analytics to measure how effective your Twitter content is at generating leads for your business. You do this simply by checking the Social Analytics report that is automatically generated by Google Analytics.
To see the Social Analytics reports:
- Sign into your Google Analytics account.
- Navigate to a reporting view.
- Select the Reporting tab.
- Select Acquisition > Social.
For more information, visit: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1683971?hl=en#UsingReports
Here is the full infographic that recaps what we just went through.
That’s it, folks! We hope that saves you tons of time. Follow these steps and you will have a healthy Twitter account that generates conversions in no time.
The Marketing Thought-Leader
- Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing Founder
The Social Media Professor
- Aurora Meyer, University of Missouri Adjunct Professor
Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free and search your brand below:
Our goal is to accurately measure real-time and historical social media data, illustrating metrics in easy-to-read graphs and layouts to simplify reporting and strategizing.
Use us to track URLs, hashtags, keywords and @usernames on Twitter and Instagram. We also do competitive account reporting.
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