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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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The secret to building up a targetted following on twitter…


I was asked a question this morning by @phrankleen:

“do u know of any tweeting product that helps u get targeted followers? In terms of marketing.”

“and that can send automated tweet whilst am away from d p.c”

There are many ways to get targeted followers, and whilst there are some 3rd party applications which may help, you have to be prepared to spend the time to build up the relationships within your followers.

My first tip is to make sure that you have your house in order first. So what do I mean by this? I mean making sure you have a photo of you (not a logo) and a filled out bio, with a link to where people can find out more about you.  Make sure you have been using twitter a couple of times a day, and are posting an equal mixture of stuff about you, RTs, stuff about your business, and conversations with other people. In your bio, make sure you have keywords in of the followers you wish to attract. For example, I work with accountants, consultants and lawyers, and want to attract these types of followers. Therefore, within my bio I have the words accountants, lawyers etc. You get the picture.

If any of these are missing, people are unlikely to follow you back and may believe that you are spam. Why? Well, many people will look at your twitter stream and your profile before making a decision on whether to follow you. I can’t be the only person who looks to see whether a new follower is interesting enough to follow back.

My second tip is to use tweetdeck. Find a list of people who you would like to build up relationships with. For example, if you want to build up relationships with uk accountants on twitter, then take a look at @bookmarklee ‘s pretty comprehensive list of uk accountants. Then on tweetdeck, set up one of these columns as the list you want to keep an eye on. Your objective is to build up a relationship with the people on the list. So, follow them and remember to introduce yourself to everyone individually. Take the time to RT their tweets, comment on what they are saying, but most importantly of all start and maintain conversations.

There are several directory applications, e.g. wefollow, twellow, which will give you ready made lists of peeps organised by profession or location.

The next challenge is how to keep your followers. Visibility, interaction and interesting content is the key to keeping followers. A 3rd party application which will let you schedule your tweets in advance, is a great tool to allow you to maintain your visibility while you are away from your PC. For example, I use the paid for solution, tweetspinner, to allow me to do this. Other people use socialoomph, or you may like to try hootsuite or futuretweets. An application such as twitterfeed will allow you to automatically post up new blog posts of bloggers who write content of interest to your followers. Aim to schedule your tweets when the majority of your followers are on twitter. Between 16:00 & 17:00 is normally a good time to pick up UK people.

You also may like to use a keyword follow to pick up the right type of followers. I personally have not found this to work well for me, as I found it too hard to isolate the right type of keyword. But, you may find it useful to set up a keyword search column on tweetdeck to highlight the people you need to start a relationship with.

What’s your tips for building up a targeted follower list?

If you have found this post useful, you may like to discover how to get the results you want from on-line and face-to-face networking, click into Heather Townsend’s blog on joined up business networking which accompanies her forth-coming book, ‘The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking’, which is due to be published in summer 2011.

Heather is the chief coach and founder at The Efficiency Coach, which helps professionals achieve better business results for less effort.

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Heather Townsend


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