Beginners Guide to Using Twitter to Gain Followers for Business

Some may argue that Twitter is on its way out and will soon be replaced by newer social media sites like Google Plus, but I would argue that Twitter definitely isn’t going anywhere for a while.

The statistics in the chart below prove that Twitter is still very relevant. New users are signing up every day, and old users remain very active. People are tweeting, and they show no signs of slowing down in the near future. With this many users and site views per day, it goes without saying that Twitter is an incredibly powerful resource.

Twitter Company Statistics

Data

Total number of active registered Twitter users

645,750,000

Number of new Twitter users signing up everyday

135,000

Number of unique Twitter site visitors every month

190 million

Average number of tweets per day

58 million

Number of Twitter search engine queries every day

2.1 billion

Percent of Twitter users who use their phone to tweet

43 %

Percent of tweets that come from third party applicants

60%

Number of people that are employed by Twitter

2,500

Number of active Twitter users every month

115 million

Percent of Twitters who don’t tweet but watch other people tweet

40%

Number of days it takes for 1 billion tweets

5 days

Number of tweets that happen every second

9,100

These statistics can be found at: http://www.statisticbrain.com/twitter-statistics/

Whether you’re an actor or a scientist, a professor or a student, one thing is for sure: Twitter can be useful to you. It can be a place to share your thoughts and build a strong identity online. It can be a place to learn about the world, and share what you know. It can be used for fun, for learning, for business, and for just about everything in between. But much like the classic question of whether or not a tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it actually makes a sound, we must ask ourselves this question: How much do our tweets matter if there is no one following us to read them?

Without followers, it’s hard to live up to your true potential on Twitter. It’s tough to have any kind of conversation if no one is reading your thoughts, and if you’re looking to use Twitter as a business venture or as a way to increase traffic to an outside website, it’s damn near impossible without followers.

There are plenty of reasons that gaining followers on Twitter might be difficult. Maybe you’re unsure of exactly how to use all of Twitter’s functions, or maybe you’re just not sure how you can best use these functions. Either way, I’m here to help. Below is a list of Twitter’s basic functions: what they are, how to use them, and some tips for how to best use these functions to increase your follower count.

Tweets:

What they are: Ok, you basically have to know this one just to be on Twitter. Tweets are the fun, 140-character-long thoughts you share with the world.

How to use them: Seriously. I believe in you people. At least a little bit. You know how to tweet. Type your thoughts. Click, “tweet.” You’ve got it.

Retweets:

What they are: Any time you share someone else’s tweet, you’re retweeting that person. The shared tweet is the “retweet.” Whether you quote the tweet and add your own thoughts to it, or you simply click the retweet button, it counts. When you retweet someone, that person’s tweet will show up on the timeline of everyone who’s following you, whether they’re following the person you retweeted or not.

How to use them: Again, most people have this one figured out. But the simplest way to retweet is just to click the retweet button below the tweet you like, and bam… Retweet complete. If you want to add your own thoughts, use the “quote tweet” button available on the mobile app, or just type quotations around the tweet you like and add your thoughts after the quotations.

Mentions:

What they are: Mentions are tweets that are meant for specific people. Often called “@replies,” this is the Twitter form of texting a friend.

How to use them: If you want a tweet to send directly to someone and show up in their alerts, start your tweet with his or her screen name, and it will.

However, it’s important to note that if the first thing in your tweet is @, the tweet will only be sent to that account. Your entire timeline won’t be able to see it while they’re browsing. This is a common mistake, but it has a simple solution. If you include nothing at all before the @ symbol, the tweet would just send to that account. But a tweet that starts with anything at all before the @ symbol, such as a period (.@SkyyTweet), would be sent to your entire timeline.

Favorites:

What they are: Favorites are the tweets you want to see later or like more than others and want to save.
How to use them: Favoriting a tweet is incredibly easy. Click the small star that appears next to the retweet option below each tweet, and the tweet will be saved in your favorites, which can be viewed on your profile. You can also see what others favorite by checking out their profiles.

Hashtags:

What they are: Hashtags are words or phrases identified by a hash or pound sign (#) before them. They are used to identify specific topics.

How to use them: Hashtags can be used in a number of ways. They can be used for humor, such as tweeting “#blessed” or “#yolo” after a tweet. Or they can be used to tell others what you’re tweeting about. For example, if you’re tweeting thoughts while watching a television show, you can let followers know show you’re talking about by using a hashtag at the end of the tweet.

Lists:

What they are: Lists are one of Twitter’s most underused resources. They allow you to sort accounts into groups and then see only tweets from those accounts in one click.

How to use them: Many people don’t take advantage of lists, because they don’t understand them, but they’re easier than you might expect. When you go to someone’s profile and click the dropdown button of options next to the “following” button, you’ll see “add or remove from lists,” three options down. Clicking this option is all it takes to start using lists. Once you choose to add someone to a list, you will be prompted to name the list. You can create as many lists as you like, and add as many people as you like. To view your lists, go to your profile and click the last option on the left, labeled, “lists.” You can also follow other people’s lists, and they can follow yours.

Lists can also be a sneaky way to see tweets from accounts that you don’t actually want to follow, because as long as the account is public, you can view its tweets in a list without following.

Quick Tips for Gaining Followers:

How to use your tweets to gain followers: Watch your tweet length. According to a study by Track Social, 70 to 110 characters is the best tweet length, because retweeters have room to add their own commentary if they want to. It’s important to note that tweet engagement is lowest with short tweets, so if you’re looking to gain followers, look for a little more to say!

Track Social’s study: http://tracksocial.com/blog/2012/10/optimizing-twitter-engagement-part-3-tweet-length/

How to use retweets to gain followers: Retweets are a great way to find new, interesting accounts and to share accounts that you like with the world. If you want people to share one of your tweets, sometimes all it takes is asking. Track Social found that asking for a retweet makes your tweet 555% more likely to be shared. That number sounds huge, but in my own experience, most people will help you out on Twitter if you ask.

Track Social’s Study: http://tracksocial.com/blog/2012/10/optimizing-twitter-engagement-part-1-content/

How to use photos to gain followers: In a similar study regarding Twitter, Track Social found that tweets with photos are 91% more likely than text only tweets to be shared. If you want more followers, this one’s pretty simple. Make sure they’re relevant, but add pictures to your tweets whenever you can.

How to use hashtags to gain followers: Hashtags can be the quickest and easiest way to gain followers. By checking the trending tags and joining those conversations, you open yourself up to a much wider audience, thereby increasing your chance of gaining followers. Twitter users can also search according to specific hashtags, so by talking about things you enjoy and always tagging them, people who enjoy similar things will be able to find your account and follow you.

How to use favorites to gain followers: This is a trick that I use constantly. People get alerts when their tweets are favorited, so don’t be shy about favoriting, especially when you’re trying to gain followers. Often favoriting a few tweets from an account you admire is the perfect way to be noticed and followed.

How to use your followers to gain more followers: This may sound odd, but you can learn a lot about gaining followers just by paying attention to the ones you already have. Pay attention to when your followers are most engaged with your tweets. See when people are tweeting and talking the most. Post at those times. Take note of which of your tweets garner the most attention. What topics do your followers enjoy talking about? If you pay attention and use this information in your future tweets, your level of engagement will not only increase, but you’ll also be more likely to gain followers.

I know that I haven’t covered even close to everything here, but hopefully these quick and easy strategies can help you start to increase your follower account.

You’re learning, and I’m learning; so don’t hesitate to let me know your ideas for gaining followers on Twitter. This list is ongoing, and new tactics will be added as they’re discovered.

Thanks for reading! To keep the discussion going, comment below or feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @SkyyTweet or by email at schylermartin@gmail.com.

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