As a photographer – or any business owner – it is important that you understand how Twitter followers work. You want to find a way to add quantity, while still maintaining quality. Otherwise, you are just spinning your wheels. A strong Twitter following will be a great way to promote your brand, while meeting interesting people in your industry. It is truly a win-win proposition if you do it correctly.
Why Even Use Twitter?
I used to ask the same question. Twitter is probably the most misunderstood piece of the social media puzzle. Most people think of Twitter as a bunch of people texting about what they are buying at the grocery store or how they are caught in traffic. Sure- it CAN be that – but it can also be a whole lot more.
The Problem With Followers
For Twitter to work properly, you need to have people following you. Otherwise, you are just talking to yourself. When I first started out, I made the mistake of trying to get as many followers as possible. My trials and tribulations are well-documented on my infamous Twitip post from a few years back. If you have people following you who don’t share your interests – or are only trying to promote themselves – then you are once again wasting your time. Trust me on this one.
How To Find Quality Twitter Followers
There is only one good method for adding followers: slowly. If you are friendly and a good Twitter citizen, you will slowly build a following of people interested in the things you like to talk about. There are ways to maximize this, however. By following these simple rules, you will ensure the fastest growth possible and more importantly- the best quality possible. Sound good? Here goes…
1. Fill Out Your Bio – So many people have not filled out their bio screen. Take some time to craft something interesting and be sure to include keywords that interest you. If you are a photographer, you obviously want “photographer” and/or “photography” in there somewhere.
2. Don’t Be An EggHead – I’m always shocked at how many photographers (including photo enthusiasts) who still have the Twitter “egg” as their profile picture. Find a picture of you and upload it. I’m not a big fan of using a picture of your kids or a celebrity – but either of those are better than the egg. Twitter is all about personal relationships and the egg just isn’t personal. Please don’t do this – I’m begging you.
3. Add Twitter Info To Your Email Signature – I started doing this a while back and it really has helped me find more people. We don’t realize how many emails we send in a typical day- why not stay in contact with those people via Twitter? If you don’t know how to setup an email signature, ask one of your computer friends or just look for a YouTube tutorial. Its pretty easy to do.
4. Keep Your Tweets to “RT Length” – Everyone loves to get re-tweeted, but if you use all 140 characters, it makes it difficult for people to RT you. You need to leave enough room for “RT @username”. In my case, it would be as follows: RT @larryphoto – 14 characters. 140-14 = 126. Therefore, I should try to keep my tweets under 126 characters. I know, I know…. 140 is tough enough.
5. ReTweet Others – While we are on the subject of retweeting – make sure you retweet other people. If YOU love getting things retweeted, it is safe to assume others like it as well. When you see something funny or interesting, pass it along to your own followers. If it is good stuff, your followers will be happy and the original poster will be happy. Its win-win.
6. Don’t Flood People – Its important to keep a balance on Twitter. You need to be active, but nobody likes getting flooded with messages. I don’t have any limit or formula for you here – there is no right or wrong. Just be aware of it. Don’t be the guy with no filter…
7. Curate Content – Always be on the lookout for interesting things on the web. When you find them, pass them along to your followers. The easiest way to do this is with a Twitter utility like Buffer. Honestly, I would never survive without Buffer. Basically it adds a little icon to your browser and when you find something you like, you just add it to the buffer. The software schedules your tweets and sends them out at optimal times and intervals. You just find the info and let Buffer decide how to distribute it. I can’t stress how much time this saves. Get signed up now while it is still FREE!
8. Don’t Use Auto-DM – Basically, you can set up your account to automatically send a DM to anyone who follows you. I certainly understand the theory, but it is just so impersonal. Everyone knows that it is an automatically generated message, so many view it as spam. This isn’t a make-or-break rule- just giving you my 2 cents…
9. Don’t Use TrueTwit Validation – or any other validation service. The concept is to keep your Twitter stream clean by forcing people to jump through a hoop if they want to follow you. Validation services don’t stop spammers-just people too busy to bother, which are normally the ones you want to know. Personally, I’m always really insulted when I try to follow someone, then get a message saying that I have to go through a validation process first. Its just an unneeded step. I can tell you this for sure… if you use TrueTwit, I won’t be following you.
10. Leave A Comment Here – Yep- that’s an easy one. Leave your Twitter handle in a comment below – along with a Hello and a few words about how much you love my blog – and I will follow you. Hopefully others will too! How easy is that?