An analogy I often use about building a social media community is to look at it like a radio station. Even if you find the perfect radio station with all of your target prospects listening to it, but you only have 60 listeners you’ll never get to ROI (return on investment) on your radio advertising, even if it everybody buys your stuff. Likewise with your social media marketing efforts, it requires that you have a big enough audience to get ROI.
1) You’re a new marketer and you’re just starting your social media accounts. You currently have little or no listeners, or worse the majority of your listeners/followers are most likely not your actual target audience.
2) Maybe you are a social media agency that has just brought on a new client and you’re setting up their social media accounts or taking over existing social media accounts. The client has some followers on Twitter and likes on Facebook but the numbers are fairly low and not targeted.
These are very common situations that I see frequently. In either case you have a problem that begs the question; How do I get more targeted followers on Twitter? Am I right?
Ok, we will get to that in a moment. First lets put some perspective in place for your community target size. We already know we have to have a big enough audience, but what is big enough?
Local: If you are a hyper local business (aka a local restaurant, Real Estate Agent, etc.) you need a minimum of 2000 targeted followers. That is followers that are your target audience on Twitter.
Regional: If you are a regional brand or marketer your minimum target should be at least 5000 targeted followers in order to be able to be effective.
National/International: Lastly if you’re a national or international brand you need to have a minimum of 7500 targeted followers if you want to achieve results.
So the question is probably obvious in most people’s minds right now – How do you grow your targeted followers on Twitter? The fact is it is easy if you know how.
Unfortunately the only place that “If you build it they will come” works is in Hollywood. In social media you must proactively build a social media community made up of your target audience. A following that you can deliver value to and are likely to be interested in the product or service you sell.
So assuming that you’ve already properly defined your target audience very clearly, including geographically, demographically as well as psychographically, it’s pretty easy to find and connect with your target audience on Twitter.
*Tip: Find the Twitter accounts that have already built a following of the target audience you are looking for and follow the people they follow. The ManageFlitter app can help you do that as well.
A percentage of the targeted people you follow will follow you back. That percentage will vary greatly, depending on whether you have the following items in place first.
1) Value – Your social media stream needs to provide value to your audience. This needs to be done a couple ways.
a) You need to have enough content in your steam everyday. (20+ posts per day on Twitter)
b) The content you share needs to be interesting, relevant and valuable to your audience.
c) 80% of what you post should NOT be about you, but instead be what your audience is interested in.
When you follow someone on Twitter, many will immediately check your timeline to see what you are posting as part of their determination of whether to follow back. If you aren’t consistent with your content strategy, few will follow back.
2) Bio – Your Twitter Bio is so important. Be sure that it is not ordinary, “pitchy” or overly corporate.
Here is a great post on optimizing your Twitter Bio.
3) Engagement – Are you having conversations in your stream, or are you using social media marketing like a bullhorn? If someone you follow looks at your timeline and sees that you are simply pushing information and not responding, engaging and having conversations, few will follow back.
Your social media management and strategy must include a community growth strategy as a substantial part of your overall social media management. There are many parts that work together to make your efforts successful. Missing any of those components will dramatically reduce the results.