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HOW TO: 20 Ways To Get People To Follow Your Business On Twitter

Build A Business Following On Twitter

Now that you have a Twitter account for your business, it’s time to promote it and build your following. When you created your account, you should have spent a few minutes inviting your email contacts to join you on Twitter. If you haven’t, go back and do this first.  As you can see from the picture above, Twitter is growing fast and can be a useful tool for growing your online presence.

Once you have a few followers, let’s get started on growing your Twitter community for business purposes.

20 Ways To Build Your Business Presence

1.  Promote Your Twitter Profile on Your Website – When you created your account, you gave it a name (probably your company name). It should look something like this: http://twitter.com/prevailpr. Add this link to your business website and promote it from within.

TIP: Place your Twitter link in a prominent location.  The more people that see it on your business site, the faster your following will grow.

2.  Follow Others – When you find other Twitter users you find interesting, click the little follow button under their name to become one of their followers.  In the spirit of reciprocity, most people you follow will in turn follow you.

TIP: Use the search box to look for targeted prospects for your business and follow them.  They may choose to follow you back and in time decide for themselves that they need your products or services.

3.  Promote Your Twitter Profile in Your Store – If you have a store, promote your Twitter profile at the point of sale.  Ask them to send you a message on Twitter once they have followed you for a special promotion you have created specifically for this purpose.

TIP: If you can customize your receipts, add something like “Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/prevailpr for exclusive discounts”.

4.  Promote Your Twitter Profile on Your Business Cards – Twitter is just as good at communicating with your customers as the phone and email, and in certain aspects, even better.  Include your Twitter link on your business cards with your other communication details

TIP: Be creative with your Twitter marketing by including fun or value. When you give your card to people, let them know why they should follow you and they probably will.

5.  Promote Your Twitter Profile in Your Advertisements – Your current advertisements are a great way to get your Twitter link in front of loads of people for free. It shouldn’t cost you anything to change your ad and you’ll get lots of followers just for including this little piece of information.

TIP: Remember value! If you have the space, let people know what they will get for following you on Twitter and you’ll see your conversion rates skyrocket.

6.  Promote Your Twitter Profile in Your Network – In today’s economy, it’s imperative to spend time networking with other business people in your market or industry.  Tell those you already know in these networks about Twitter and ask them to follow you.

TIP: Be sure to follow everyone else in your network and search for them if you have to.  Even if they haven’t started following you, they will when they realize you are following them.  You can use a # sign to narrow your searches.  For instance, #sanluisobispo will find Tweets with this tag.

7.  Promote Your Twitter Profile on Other Sites – Do you already have a MySpace, Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn account?  If so, promote your Twitter profile within these networks, as well.

TIP: Just like on your company website, promote your Twitter link in a prominent location to get the most attention.  Better yet, write a blog post or status update.

8.  Promote Your Twitter Profile in Your Email Signature – Email signatures are a great way to add some excitement to the end of your emails and one of the easiest ways to promote your Twitter link.  If you don’t already use a signature, typically all you have to do is add it in your settings.

TIP: Depending on your business, your email signature may be seen by a lot of people.  To increase these numbers, ask people to tell others about your Twitter link within your email signature.

9.  Use Twitter Packs – This community-generated directory of Twitter profiles is organized by topics and geographic areas.  Search for your targeted followers and follow them.

TIP: Add your profile to the directory.  Be sure to submit your profile to the most relevant categories.

10. Promote Your Twitter Profile in Guest Posts/Columns – One of the best ways to brand yourself as an expert is to write a guest post on other industry blogs or to write a column for an industry publication.  If you have these opportunities, be sure to mention your Twitter link.

TIP: A good way to leverage these opportunities is to invite people to get exclusive add-on material of the topic you just covered by following you on Twitter and then sending this information out in a Tweet at a scheduled time.

11. Tweet Often – If you haven’t figured it out by now, a Tweet is the 140 character message your followers will see in the Twitterstreams, the list of chronological messages found on your Twitter profile.  A great way to get more followers is to Tweet about interesting things on a consistent basis.

TIP: Think of yourself as a filter for your market and Tweet about insightful topics in your industry.  The more useful you can be to others, the more likely they will follow you.  Asking questions is a good way to get people to reply to your Tweets.

12. Converse With Others – On the flip side, it’s also important to respond to other Tweets and build conversations with others in your market.  It’s never good to be perceived as a “taker”, so take part instead.

TIP: The best replies are those that help solve someone’s specific problem.  Keep an eye out for problems you can solve that directly relate to your business.

13. Tweet at Peak Times – The majority of Twitter users are U.S. based and use the service during U.S. business hours.  Even if you have to take a five minute break during your workday, it’s better to Tweet during business hours than after them.

TIP: Tweet about limited-time offers in your store.  Say something like “15% off product X for the next 2 hours only!” and then promote your sale through other avenues so that your customers understand they have to follow you on Twitter at certain times to take advantage of these offers.

14. Organize a Contest through Your Twitter Profile – Contests are always a good way to build excitement in your brand.  Promote a contest through your store, website and Twitter profile and name the winner in a Tweet.

TIP: Think about the type of prizes your prospects would find most beneficial and then offer them to the winners.  those that don’t win are a great pool of prospects for you to market to in the future.

15. Ask Specific Users to Recommend You – The more time you spend on Twitter, the more users you’ll find that share similar markets with you.  Follow these people for awhile and then once they are following you, send them a message and ask them if they’ll recommend you to their followers.

TIP: If your business is strictly local, join up with other local businesses or those individuals who have some influence in your area.

16. Use Twitter as a Customer Service Tool – Customer service should be one of your top priorities and giving your customers a way to contact you is a a good start.  Let your customers know they can send their inquiries through Twitter.

TIP: Use Twitter to build a better FAQ section for your website.  Ask your followers to send you their questions and see which ones get the most attention.  Then add the answers to these questions to your company website.

17. Send Valuable Content to Influential Members – Most influential members of any network are starving for more valuable content to recommend to their followers.  Find those who are influential on your target market and send them articles and information their followers might find useful and allow them to share it with them.

TIP: Be sure to include your contact information in any content you send them.  The point of sharing this content is to get more traffic for your Twitter profile, which won’t happen if they don’t know how to find it.  For best results, create an additional report exclusively for their followers that they can access after following you.

18. Use Twellow Twellow is basically the Yellow Pages for Twitter users and the largest directory of Twitter users on the web.  Search by topic and geographic region and follow users in your target market.

TIP: Make a schedule for following people.  You don’t want to follow too many people at once.  Let some of them follow you back before following more so that these numbers are in close relation.

19. Use Twubble – Twubble is another fun tool to help grow your business following on Twitter.  Instead of searching for similar users, Twubble searches your current followers for followers they have in common.  The idea is that the more they have in common, the more likely they are to have in common with you, as well.

TIP: It’s important to keep your Twitter following focused and in alignment with your business purposes. Spend time pruning your follower list to get the most out of this great tool.

20. Promote Your Twitter RSS Feed – Just like your blog and social networking profiles, Twitter includes an RSS feed that allows people to include it in their newsfeeds.  Don’t forget to promote this feature in your other Twitter efforts. To add Prevail PR’s Twitter timeline to your RSS feed, click here.

TIP: Many people don’t want to have to sign in to multiple services and newsfeeds let them get all kinds of content in one place.  To keep track of multiple Twitter feeds start your own newsfeed at Netvibes or iGoogle.

Whether your business is online, offline or both, Twitter can help you grow a community around your brand and build sales.  Like most Internet marketing, though, it takes time.  With effort, you’ll be able to build a legitimate following in very little time, but in order to convert this following into increased sales, you’ll have to put your best foot forward.

Be yourself, be helpful and be accessible.  These are the keys to making Twitter work for you and your business.