Understand the Blue Bird Twitter and Get More Followers
Just about two weeks ago, President Obama sent out this tweet himself:
It was my favorite tweet of the month for a number of reasons. First of all, it was the day before the season 2 of the most talked about Netflix original series House of Cards got released – President Obama rode the trending waves at their highest point. Second of all, in less than 10 simple words, there it was, a brilliant combination of a sense of humor and the perfect expression of the Twitter spirit – he listened to the trend, to the people’s voices. Lastly, House of Cards is the best drama series right now.
If you were to research for articles on how to get more Twitter followers, you would be able to find thousands; in this post, I would like to contribute my two cents to the bottomless pool of ideas. Whether you are a politician, a lawyer, you work for a credit card company, or you own a nonprofit organization, understanding one of the most empowering social media tools alive, playing by the rules (or not), and ultimately getting more followers are pivotal to our success. And let us not kid ourselves, we all care about the number too.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is usually perceived as a proxy of public opinion, any media outlet’s best sidekick, a friend we cannot live without. Its definition has been upgraded and renewed several times since its launch back in 2006. Twitter has taken on an even more climactic role in news and information transmission. During last night’s 86th Academy Award live broadcast, the host Ellen DeGeneres took the TV-second screen integration to a whole new level by inviting all the front row movie stars to join her in a selfie that broke Twitter’s retweet record (that was previously held by President Obama) and paralyzed its system for a second.
Nielsen has launched Social Guide, a social TV tool to measure and analyze TV engagement and activity based on Twitter trends, topics, and mentions. Research companies have made Oscars predictions according to a movie’s trendiness and ranking on Twitter. All of these examples substantiate the concrete fact that Twitter has the undying dynamic that is epoch-making.
Despite your profession, we all know we need to get on Twitter without delaying for another minute because it transcends distance and space. But first, let’s look at the latest Twitter’s demographic breakdown from Pew Research Center that was published on December 31, 2013 to decode the language.
The largest body of Twitter is still the 18-29 years old demographic. However, one notable change is the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 50–64 year age group – it has grown 79% since 2012. What does this mean for us? Twitter is no long just for the tech-savvy, information-thirsty younger generation. Rethink your strategy so the demographic with the buying power will not feel left out.
Given my status as an immigration lawyer, if my firm’s Twitter handle were only sending tweets everyday about what’s happening with the current process of H1B visas and the wait time, there would be no reason for people to follow me. Don’t get me wrong. Twitter is the ultimate gateway to news and information, especially breaking news. According to Pew Research Center, Reddit and Twitter outrank any other site and are the nonnegotiable king and queen that reign in the news realm. So it means Twitter is where you should be stationed at if you would like to be the leading information center for your audiences. However, it’s not the preview of the content that gets you clicks, it’s the style and personality of the conveyance. Today, viewers are more intrigued and enticed by the hilarity of the information, meaning I have to be more than just a curator who moves headlines from one source to another. Where’s the value in that? We have to come to terms with the fact that we are not Justin Bieber, who has easily made 49 million people “Believers”. We, as brands and services, have to work for it. For example, like I mentioned above, you have to listen to the people on Twitter. I did a quick research and helped out a lady who was on an attorney-quest:
Twitter is less like a closed-circuit containing mostly what’s happening in the lives of your friends and family like Facebook, and more like an all-voices-are-welcomed open environment, where marketers can click into anyone’s profile to get a grasp on his or her favored topics.
Plenty of marketers use Twitter primarily to promote the materials they have posted somewhere else. The dead giveaways are: 1. The tweets are obviously too long for Twitter; 2. No hashtag is included (which happened more often before Facebook introduced hashtags). This point also leads me to my second point.
2. Time and Effort
When I used to spend hours brainstorming, tossing around adjectives, and orchestrating a tweet with my social media person, other departments would laugh at us. Ostensibly, it is foolish to invest one third of your day in drafting a tweet in the most extreme cases; but people who have received outstanding retweets and favorites understand the necessity of meticulously choosing not only the appropriate words but the superb, refined, and polished words. A great example would be Southwest Airlines. It takes a team of experts whose full-time job is just tweet.
3. Replies and Retweets
When I am on someone’s page, contemplating on whether or not this person is worth following, the biggest turnoff is 5 replies to an irrelevant follower. These inconsequential replies simply consist of a “yes” or a “thank you”. Unless you are a brand’s customer service account, which is your job to answer inquiries on Twitter, you may not want to conduct length, private conversations that have absolutely no business to do with your other followers. And more importantly, the rule of thumb for retweets is 1:10 – out of 10 of your tweets, no more than one should be a retweet.
When I first began using Twitter, I tried out an online service that promised to get me 500 followers with only $30. I did gain almost 600 followers right away but as many of you may have guessed, not only were they users with names like “2fnds8”, without a bio or a profile picture, they all disappeared within one month after I stopped paying for the service. So do not fall for the hype.
The Twitter directory I recommend is WeFollow, a free and simple Yellow Page for Twitter users. On average, I gained about two legitimate followers a day. It’s like a dating service that allows you to find the most prominent people around the world who share your interests.
ManageFlitter is the tool I use to manage my followers, find new people with similar interests to follow, schedule tweets, and track the people who unfollowed me. If you are interested in knowing more, you can also go back to my previous blog post Are You #Listening? Tweets That Grow Your Bottom Line, where I pointed out some other Twitter monitoring tools like hashtags.org, twellow.com, monitter.com, TwitterFall.com, trendistic.com.
As you can see, Twitter users are the ones that are the most fond of accessing the social networking platform with their mobile phones. What does this mean for content creators? Always factor in the the mobile and the smaller devices users’ viewing experience. For instance, make sure the content you share is straightforward; check to see if your link is accessible on a smart phone or if it’s mobile-friendly; if your attached image is visually appealing in high quality; and if the text on your image is large enough for mobile users to read.
Thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk, from his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself before sending out your tweet:
- Is it to the point?
- Is the hashtag unique and memorable?
- Is the image attached high quality?
- Does the voice sound authentic?
- Will it resonate with the Twitter audience?
Don’t forget that the best time to tweet is between the hours of 1pm to 3pm.
Thank you for reading and have fun tweeting! Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.