Twitter for business – how do I get people to follow me?

FollowersYou will remember that in Tuesday’s post I gave suggestions for finding people to follow. By now you should have a steady stream of tweets appearing in your twitter feed. If you’ve chosen wisely, you will have noticed that the people you are following don’t generally tweet about the weather, their latest meal or the big night they had on the weekend. They have probably tweeted interesting things, like links to good articles on the web or newsworthy items or their thoughts on a topical issue.

Before you start encouraging people to follow your twitter feed first ask yourself ‘What kind of value can I provide to my followers?’. While there are people out there who will follow anyone who follows them, for the most part, people will only follow you if you are interesting. How can you be interesting to your followers? The answer is “information”.

Provide your followers with good information – information they don’t have time to go looking for but would be grateful to you for bringing to them.

Take note of what you find interesting in the tweets of those you are following. Look at how they structure their tweets … you only have 140 characters to work with after all. And then, take a deep breath and throw something out there. Post a link to an industry related article you think will interest others. Make a comment about something topical. For instance, last week’s floods in Queensland prompted their own flood on twitter. Lots of people commenting on or sending their best wishes to those affected. Some amazing fundraising campaigns were also run using twitter as the major platform.

One thing to note – if you’re going to post a link on twitter, you will need to use a link shortening service like or tinyurl to bring the length of your url right down – otherwise you could use your whole 140 characters up just with the link!

Invite people to follow you

Once you have some tweets of your own happening, you can then invite people to follow you. Do this by simply letting people know you’re on twitter and telling them your twitter handle. For instance my twitter handle is @kellyexeter. I have a link to my twitter feed on my blogs and in my email signature.

The goal with followers isn’t necessarily to get 100,000 people following you. I consider twitter for business to be a relationship building tool. I don’t see how it is possible to build meaningful relationships with 100,000 people. If you’ve got that many people following you then you’re probably using twitter as a “selling” tool.

Speaking of relationship building, that’s what we’re going to talk about next week – how you can use twitter to connect with people you wouldn’t be able to under ordinary circumstances.

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