5 Free Ways To Grow Your Twitter Social Media Presence15 min read
So, you’ve been on Twitter for a while. You’ve got great content. And a lot to say. But you just can’t seem to make people stick around.
Twitter followers are fickle. It’s the same on all social media platforms. But if you’re trying to build a social media presence, you need them.
Success is a really simple strategy. And it doesn’t have to cost you anything. You just have to stick to it. That’s where most people fail.
Here are 5 free ways to grow your presence on Twitter:
- Choose your niche wisely
- Figure out who your audience is and what they want
- Build relationships with influencers and other creators
- Post often and engage multiple times a day
- Don’t be self-promotional (+ 2 useful tips)
1. Choose your niche wisely
If you’ve got a business, you’ll already have a niche. But maybe it’s too broad. And you need to target a more specific group of people. Or you could be new to social media marketing and trying to build a personal brand.
Either way, progression depends on your niche. It’s how you’ll find and grow your audience. And your social media presence. Because the 2 are connected.
Let’s say you’re in the surfing industry. And you make surfboards and wetsuits for all demographics. You’re in a popular industry. Especially in eCommerce. Up against big dogs like Rip Curl, O’Neill, and Quiksilver.
So, how can you niche down? Well, dive into a specific part of your product or service. Maybe you make surfboard wax. Or recycle old wetsuits from your local area. Or you make fins for surfboards that make turning easier.
Source: Sticky Bumps
You want to choose a specific part of your business. Then focus all your efforts on it. That becomes your niche. Then you build your Twitter profile around it. And all the content you’ll be sharing. And people you follow.
How to find your niche from scratch
But what if you’re starting from scratch? You want a social media presence for a new business. But you’re not entirely sure what for. Well, try these 6 steps:
- Write down your passions/interests
- Research alternatives
- Identify problems you can solve
- Figure out your target audience (I’ll get to that in a sec)
- Check out your competition
- Test your ideas out
Some examples include:
- Nerd Fitness – health and wellness programs for self-proclaimed nerds
- Minimalist Baker – simple recipes with 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl, or <30 minutes to prepare
- In-N-Out Burger – a fast-food chain with only 3 burger combos on their menu
Source: Nerd Fitness
If you’ve got a flatlining business, don’t be afraid to narrow down. It can be way more effective than stretching yourself too thin. And competing against big businesses with more money and resources.
2. Figure out who your audience is and where they hang out
Trying to build a Twitter community is tough in a crowded market. But blindly posting content with no target won’t help your social media presence either. That ain’t smart.
Let’s assume you’ve got a well-researched product or service. And you’re in a solid niche. Those parts are covered.
Now, you need to know 2 things:
- Who makes up your target audience
- Where they hang out online
Your target audience will have different traits:
- Where they’re from
- How old they are
- Which gender they identify as
- What they do for a living
- How much they make
All this determines their purchasing decisions. And it also dictates who they follow on Twitter. You’re unlikely to have a 75-year-old following a skate brand. But you never know.
You know your targeted demographics use Twitter. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. But you need to know where else they hang out. So, you can direct them all to the one place. Your Twitter profile.
Check out how Harry Dry does it:
Source: Marketing Examples
Are they on other social networks like TikTok or Snapchat? How about community sites like Quora?
There are lots of ways to find and target your audience:
- Create buyer personas
- Look at social media analytics
- Use Google Analytics to see which content is performing best
- Ask questions in social media posts
- Research your competitors’ followers
Once you have this data, you can tailor your content to fit them. Twitter is ranked on Google too. So, you can use SEO (search engine optimization) by using keywords in your bio and Tweets.
Your content strategy will be based on this data. So, don’t skip over it. Give yourself a lot to work with.
3. Build relationships with influencers and other creators
Twitter is basically a giant networking event. People don’t want to be talked “at”. They want genuine connection. Even with brands.
Influencer marketing can be awesome. But it isn’t always a golden ticket. One viral post can be quickly forgotten. And bigger metrics aren’t always better.
Influencers with smaller followings tend to have more engaged audiences. Like nano or micro-influencers.
On Twitter, an “influencer” can mean any account with a substantial audience. It could be another brand. Or a person (otherwise known as a “thought leader”.) So, you want to start by finding these relevant accounts in your niche.
Try finding communities to join. These groups know who the big names are. You can also use Google or Twitter search to find options. Once you have a few, check their “Tweets & replies” section to make sure they’re responsive. If there’s not much there, move on.
How to connect with influencers and thought leaders
Once you’ve got a few good picks, it’s time to get on their radar. The easiest way to get started is to engage with their content. Yes, you need to be consistent with this. But don’t be spammy or annoying.
Ask interesting questions. Provide positive feedback. Give genuine compliments. Be authentic.
If you send them some samples, this could spark conversation. Or they might find your product by themselves:
Keep your strategy varied. And don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Try with several accounts.
Write these down. Here are some free ways to connect with Twitter influencers:
- Create a Twitter List of your favorite influencers (they’ll be notified)
- Mention them in social media posts
- Send them free products or service trials
- Retweet, reply, and share their posts
- Ask for introductions via others
- Publish a blog post featuring them and use it to start conversation
- Invite them to anything you host
- Ask them to take part in your podcast/webinar etc.
Twitter is great because privacy settings aren’t as widespread as other social sites. Unless someone chooses to protect their Tweets, they’re visible. And you can contact them.
Influencers and other creators are trying to build audiences of their own. So, this should give you plenty of opportunities to engage with them. And to start creating relationships based on shared value.
4. Post often and engage multiple times a day
Social media management is tough. Especially for small businesses. You might think you should have a social media presence on all platforms. But this isn’t the case.
You should only have social media accounts where you can be consistent. Twitter is perfect for brand awareness. So, it’s a top choice for a lot of people.
Consistent posting is so important for a strong social media presence. Especially on Twitter. And it’s such a simple formula. But it’s key to organic growth:
- Create and curate a ton of content
- Share it on Twitter
- Engage with lots of different people daily
As you can see, Tweeting (often) leads to a higher number of followers over time.
Everything you post on Twitter counts as social media content too. Even if it’s just a one-line thought. So, use your brand voice whenever you get the chance.
Social media engagement is a two-way street
And remember, social media engagement is all about give and take. If you want more engagement on your social media profiles, you’ve got to engage first. And back. But keep it real, folks.
Here are some opportunities to genuinely engage on Twitter:
- Reply to all comments and replies to your Tweets
- Answer questions from your followers
- Post visual content to attract attention (Canva can help you out there)
- Curate different types of content (try Quuu)
- Get involved in random conversations
- Follow people in your niche
- Join and create relevant Twitter Lists
A scheduler or content calendar can be really useful. Because it’ll keep you organized. And you’ll be able to see at a glance where any gaps are. Depending on your marketing strategy goals, you can fill your posting schedule with the kind of content you’re missing.
There are paid options, like Buffer or Hootsuite. Or you can try the free version of SocialChief.
But don’t rely on automation. You need to be present on your social media channels when your audience is. Especially when you’re trying to grow your Twitter presence.
There are lots of graphs out there with the “best times to post”. But you’ll only really learn from experience. Every audience is different. Especially if they’re all in different timezones.
Timing is the biggest thing that’ll affect how each Tweet performs. And your reach is directly linked to your level of social media presence. So, trial a bunch and see which works best.
5. Don’t have a self-promotional social media strategy
It doesn’t matter what apps you’re on. No one wants to see anyone constantly sharing content about themselves. If you want to grow your social media presence, you need to make it about others.
Algorithms always change. But the power of value doesn’t. And digital marketing should show how you can help potential customers.
Let’s assume you’re nailing content creation and curation. After that, what can you do?
Start by getting involved in trending topics. Hashtags are your best friends here. They’re used on lots of social platforms, like Instagram and LinkedIn. But they’re most popular on Twitter.
Find trending hashtags in the ‘Explore’ section. Choose conversations that you can add value to. Or unique insight.
Then, stick to these 2 easy social media goals:
- Share 1 useful tip every day
- Write 1 thread per week
Share one useful tip every day
Posting often doesn’t mean writing any old garbage. You want quality and quantity. (This applies to your engagement style too.)
A useful tip can come in many forms. It could be a single line:
Or a bullet point list:
Maybe it’s an eye-catching infographic:
You can schedule these in your social media calendar. Like I said. Or do it in real-time. Either way, just remember to do it. A cheeky link to a blog post won’t hurt now and again. But the less promotional you can be, the better.
Write one thread per week
Threads are HUGE on Twitter. They’re a series of connected Tweets by the same person. And they’re everywhere nowadays. Used by anyone serious about growing their social media presence.
They’re perfect for so many formats:
- Telling stories
- Product lists
- Numbered tips
- Breaking news
- Simplifying data
You can use a colon to introduce them:
Or use the “thread” or “pointing down” emoji:
They let you condense big chunks of information. Which is helpful with Twitter’s character limit. But they also keep people engaged with quite bites:
This one company used Twitter threads to increase impressions by 2417%. So, however you choose to use them, don’t bother with templates. Be unique. Take inspiration from others. But do your own thing.
Entrepreneur Justin Welsh added 93k followers in the space of 217 days with this formula:
All because he did these 5 things:
- Stuck to his niche
- Knew what his audience wanted to see
- Commented under large accounts
- Posted and engaged every day
- Brought a ton of value
This was where the inspiration for this post came from. So, kudos Justin.
You can do the same. It doesn’t mean spending any money. But you will need to spend a lot of time. So, be prepared to play the long game.
Are there any other free ways you’ve been successful? Is it harder or easier to build a social media presence on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.