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social media how toAre you struggling to grow your Twitter following?

Do you want more people to see your updates?

If you’re a small business, it can take a while to build up your Twitter followers and that can be frustrating. You may wonder how other companies grow quickly and how you can replicate their success.

In this article you’ll discover five ways to jumpstart visibility for your Twitter profile and tweets.

#1: Follow Twitter Basics

Before you do anything else, be sure you understand a few Twitter fundamentals. You can increase your tweet exposure with just a few tweaks:

  • Don’t start tweets with @username. Starting a tweet with @username restricts its visibility to only you, the person you’re tweeting and any mutual followers. Your reach is automatically cut short!
    tweet with twitter username first

    Starting a tweet with @username limits your reach.

    tweet example

    Here’s an example of a tweet crafted to put text before the first @username to give this tweet a wider reach.

  • Don’t use more than three hashtags in any one tweet. Too many hashtags in a tweet makes it look spammy and reduces your tweet’s shareability.
  • Don’t over-tweet about yourself or your products. The 80/20 rule applies on all social platforms. The 80/20 rule means you spend 80% of the time interacting with and promoting others and 20% of the time promoting yourself and your products.
  • Provide as much value as you can. Listen to your followers and the people you follow. What are their pain points? How can you solve those? When you share relevant, interesting tweets (without over-promoting), people see you as an expert and may recommend you to others as an important resource.

#2: Promote Your Twitter Profile Everywhere

Use your other social profiles to tell people about your Twitter handle. Add your Twitter username to the About or Contact sections of Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and any other social profiles you use.

On your website or blog, be sure you have social sharing buttons to make it easy for readers to tell others about your content.

autopopulated tweet with username

Configure your social sharing button to auto-populate your Twitter username when someone shares an article.

Plugins make it simple to install and customize sharing options and expand your reach by adding via @yourusername every time someone tweets content from your site. This simple customization gets your Twitter handle in front of hundreds of users you may not have reached otherwise.

#3: Cross-Promote Your Giveaways

Giveaways always drive more traffic, visibility and engagement. Take advantage of that by creating a Q&A giveaway that requires entrants to give their answers by tagging you on Twitter and using a specific hashtag.

cross promoted twitter campaign on Facebook

Extend visibility of your Twitter profile by cross-promoting campaigns using hashtags.

The hashtag is easy to track and ensures you don’t miss part of the conversation. Requiring users to tag your @username ensures a wider audience sees your handle. Be sure to engage with any users who respond or use the hashtag—it’s just good etiquette and you’ll reach even more people.

When you’re ready to promote your giveaway, post the question to all of your social accounts. Start with the platform that has the most engagement, then share across your other social profiles. Don’t forget to share on Twitter!

#4: Interact With Niche Influencers

Whether you’re offline or online, networking is a tried-and-true method for extending your reach. If you haven’t started networking on Twitter, now’s the time.

If you’re truly listening on Twitter, you’ll be able to tell who the influencers are in your niche—those are the people with whom you want to establish a relationship. Remember, the influencers don’t have to be national in scope, they can be important locals as well (e.g., the newspaper editor or local newscasters).

Start a Twitter conversation with a few of the influencers in your niche and add as much value to the conversation as you can. The more interesting you are, the more likely it is that an influencer will respond to or spread your message.

The Fort Collins, CO band @FierceBad has a modest 683 followers, but has established a relationship with the amazingly popular @newbelgium (New Belgium Brewing, also in Fort Collins). When Fierce Bad released a new video, New Belgium Brewing tweeted it out to their 187,500 fans—quite a bit bigger audience.

influencer tweet

Influencers can attract huge attention for you on Twitter.

#5: Find Allies in an Online Community

If you think you’re alone in trying to build Twitter exposure, think again! There are lots of communities for people just like you who want to network.

These communities are generally built around niches, so it’s easy to find one where members share your interests. Shared interests mean it’s easier to find good content to send out to your followers (remember the 80/20 rule!). Since sharing is usually (but not always) reciprocal, you’re benefitting too.

Most online communities are free to join and welcome new members with open arms. Here are 10 communities you can join to increase your exposure on Twitter:

bizsugar post

BizSugar posts have a Tweet button and the tweets from this community can add up.

You’ll find that many serious marketers have a strong presence in multiple online communities like these because they realize the overall value. Joining the same communities allows you to connect with those influencers (and expand your Twitter reach) on a larger scale.

Conclusion

Whether you’re starting a brand-new Twitter profile or you have an established profile that’s struggling to develop a larger following, you can increase Twitter exposure.

Make sure you’ve got the basics down, then move on to connecting with influencers, sharing interesting updates and joining relevant communities.

What do you think? What’s been your biggest challenge with getting exposure on Twitter? Do you have advice for others? Let us know in the comments.

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