tweeterHaving high follower numbers on social media sites can seem to give a business some bragging rights over their peers, but can this be judged as pure vanity in some cases?

For a new business just setting out on their social media journey, there is value in building up your follower count, this cannot be denied, and your follower number will have an influence on how far and wide your message spreads, but how well are your tweets converting?

Quantity can be impressive, but Quality is always the key.

We all keep a close eye on our follower numbers, and alarm bells will start ringing if we see that number sharply decreasing. Checking out your Twitter metrics will often be a good indicator about how well your tweets are performing.

Our main aim when establishing ourselves on Twitter is to retain our existing followers, minimise un-following, and encourage new people to follow us. Some ways to achieve these goals would be to encourage engagement by sharing our tweets at the right time, not tweeting too often or too sparingly, and to make every tweet count.

Schedule Tweets for busy times of day when you are likely to pick up a good amount of traffic back to your site. HootSuite or Buffer are good management tools for scheduling your feeds.

Each tweet you send must be good quality. If people see no value in many of your tweets, then they will quickly disengage and unfollow you as a result.

Make every effort to engage with your followers, but be careful not to become too over-friendly. Tweeting about interesting news or event from your niche is fine when done in a relaxed and chatty manner, but try to keep focussed on discussing your niche rather than going off topic and tweeting about what you had for lunch, or what colour shoes you are wearing today.

Present a professional bio that will help to establish your status as a professional in your field. There is no harm in giving a bit of personal information away so you come over as a real human, such as mentioning your family or a favourite hobby, but you will want to create a trustworthy persona who knows what they are talking about. Oh, and try to refrain from posting a profile photo of yourself cuddling your pet dog or cat. A smiling head and shoulders shot would create a much better impression.

Don’t be selfish!

Social media is about being social. Conversation should flow both ways. Make sure your follow other people and re-share their content to your network. Reach out and talk with other influential voices from within your niche. If you can win over your peers, then they will be more than happy to share your content with their own followers.

Ultimately, you will want your content to be shared far and wide, so ensure you make your post easily shareable by others. You can do this by placing a social media widget on your blog so that readers can share to their network with a simple click of a button.

Attract more Followers

You will know by now that there is no magic bullet for getting new followers, but there are tried and tested steps you can take to attract more people.

Take a good long look at your past Tweets to see if you are an informer or a meformer. Researchers at Rutgers University came up with the term ‘meformer’ to describe people who mostly share information about themselves on social media, where an informer will post tweets that are mostly information sharing.

The research conducted at Rutgers discovered that only around 20% of social media users were informers while the remaining 80% were actually meformers. This makes sense when you are referring to celebrities, film stars, and famous people who rely on self-promotion as their job, and for those who use social media to keep up with family and friends.

Strangely enough, despite the 80/20 split, it is actually informers who tend to have twice as many the followers of meformers! So it would appear that being an informer will be better for growing your follower number than only ever sharing information about yourself.

Our aim as successful Twitter ‘informers’ should be to boost our information sharing activities to become an authority within our niche. This way we will be seen as experts or gurus in our particular field, and it will be far easier to attract new followers who will be looking for trusted experts to follow.