Viral marketing involves getting the word out. In a big way. But every monster ad campaign started small. The proverbial every oak started as an acorn. The first step to any campaign is to start seeding your content. This means getting the word out. But how to do it? Well you start with your own followers of course.
But I don’t have any followers, is the usual reply. Well this post will explain how to get followers when you’re just starting out. Some of the techniques will also work even if you have followers.
Getting your first followers
When you start with a brand new account its often you have very few followers. You might have your brother, sister, aunt. A few friends. Not really a good base to start with. Well there’s an easy way to get followers. Follow someone else! Huh? Does that work? Well yes and no.
If you have an account with a specific persona, for example Health and Wellness, then you can start out by following other users with similar interests. Many times these people will follow you back. Hence your first followers. Sounds easy? Well yes and no. First of all, most people will NOT follow you back. So out of a 100 adds, you may only garner a handful of followers. Be prepared to spend significant time adding people.
How to find users to follow
Simply adding random users will be less successful then adding users with similar interests. How do you find these people?
One way is to search for hashtags and add people who are following that hashtag. That means those people posted something related to the same topic. The simplest way is to enter hashtag into the Twitter search. It will show you a list of tweets with that hashtag. The key is to click on “Accounts” as you can see in this screenshot.
This will then display a list of accounts that have posted on that hashtag along with an easy “Follow” button.
Another technique is to find users with a large following. These “influencers” have already found a number of people with similar interests. You can attempt to add all their followers in hopes they would be interested in your material. It helps if you have a few relevant tweets and a good Twitter bio.
The final technique to finding relevant users is to search for Lists. Twitter allows users to create lists of people. These are curated lists of members with similar interests. Simply click on a users profile, and then click on Lists as shown here:
Clicking on any list will show you all members of that list. You can subscribe to the list if you wish and more importantly, can add everyone on that list.
Continuing the momentum
Once you get a few followers (or more) things get easier. This is because now you have an audience. If you post or tweet interesting material you’ll find your followers may retweet your tweets. This expands the audience that can see your message. Hence the virality of social media.
Of course many people are retweeting articles and such. The best bet is to write something original and tweet it. Adding photos greatly increases tweet engagement as are keeping tweets short and to the point. A lot of times you may write a longer blog post somewhere and then send out a tweet directing users to that post.
The key is to tweet interesting material and link to interesting material.
Besides simply tweeting out to your followers it’s important to use the proper hashtags. Hashtags are text preceded by #. For example, #helloWorld. This is a very important feature of Twitter that has spread to other services such as Facebook and Instagram and others. So important that we’re going to cover it in separate blog post.
How often should you tweet?
The general consensus is to tweet often but not too often. Confusing? Maybe. Tweeting gets your message out there. But you don’t want to flood someone’s feed with a lot of similar posts. A good rule of thumb is to tweet two to three times a day at specific intervals.
When should you tweet?
Research has shown there times when people are most active and available to notice your tweet. Using the US timezones as examples, tweets should try to encompass the waking hours of most people in the US. This means if you are tweeting three times a day you should consider something like 9am, 12pm, 3pm (PST). This corresponds to 12pm, 3pm, 6pm (EST). You can see those hours correspond best to when people are active during the day. Tweeting something at midnight when no one is up won’t help your visibility.
Twitter can be confusing to new users but can be very powerful when use properly. Start out with a base set of users, start tweeting with the proper hashtags and tweet often. Happy tweeting!