I’ve been reading www.makingsenseofcents.com recently and started wondering how Michelle, the author, had initially started her blogging journey from 0 followers in August 2011.
I jumped onto Michelle’s twitter account and quickly realised that i couldn’t just scroll to the bottom of 31,000 tweets to see how she started out. That lead me to this post from wordstream which explained that I could filter any user’s tweet by date range – sweet!
I typed in the following string but with Michelle’s username and the date range I wanted to look at:
from:username since:yyyy-mm-dd until:yyyy-mm-dd
So given that I wanted to see all of Michelle’s tweets from her first month on Twitter, I inserted:
from:senseofcents since:2011-08-01 until:211-09-01
…nothing. Ok, she’s just getting started…so I keep checking… until, January the following year:
Just made a twitter, bear with me!
— Michelle Schroeder (@SenseofCents) January 26, 2012
From the get-go, Michelle was posting around 5 times a day. She seemed to have already built a bit of a network from the previous months of blogging, by the time she got onto twitter.
Here are a few very simple ways to grow your following (along with the process of what I do on Twitter) that you could also implement on your other social channels:
Return favors. Follow people that retweet or favorite your tweets, especially when they take the time to read articles you’ve written and share a comment with you. Also take the opportunity to engage when possible. The more you reach out, the more folks will return and reciprocate — by following or making comments. You can apply this across all your social networks.
Remain active. Follow new people every day even if you can only afford a few minutes on each network. I usually do this on my phone while I am waiting on someone.
Widen your net. People say quality over quantity? True, however, I would rather have both to maximize your reach. You must continue to build your community — whether online or offline. I’ve met many of my community contacts from my tweets or share.
Make retweeting a habit. Although I have many followers to focus and respond to, I make my rounds every day to retweet at least one new person a day. This sometimes will give you a fan for life. You can apply this same exact method to grow your following and community on any of your networks. I love Instagram, I spent a month focusing on following, in no time my social media presence grew there very quickly. That said, you must be consistent in harvesting your following and engaging with others on a daily basis.
Pay attention. Keep your eyes open for those who retweet you often or share your blog. Favorite a tweet to let the individual know you see them. At a later point in time, perhaps return the favor as time permits. How does this help with your following? The more people see that you appreciate their efforts, they will more likely retweet you whenever online. The more visible your brand or Twitter handle lands on other pages, the more likely you will generate more organic following.
Stay focused. Tweet relevant and high quality content. People will regularly visit your page to share your tweets. When people are excited to pass along your message, additional branding and visibility to your account.
Keep networking and engaging. Take it offline. These days, people share their love of food, nature and other passions. For instance, if you are passionate about photography, organize a photo walk. When you take social media offline, people will share photos of you along with your Twitter handle to their audience, in turn you will get more followers. This is a great way to start a conversation online and offline.
Showcase your skills. Twitter is a great place to show off your talents, especially writing and photography. If you are a writer with informative, pertinent content, put it on Twitter. Same goes for amazing photos. People will share your articles or images and this will give you visibility to more admirers.
Find influencers. Reach out to other thought leaders and feature 10 people on your blog. They will be happy to share your content to their readers and this will also grow your readers as well as followers.
Diversify. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. With this last point, apply these ten tips in other social channels where the methods may fit to grow your network. Technology changes very rapidly, it’s smart to keep a pulse on the current social world.
It’s about networking, people and just getting yourself out there. You have to talk to people and follow them and the more you do this the more successful you’ll be with growing your network of followers.
It’s like wondering why you don’t know anyone when you spend all day in a room not talking to anyone, compared to the effect of going out every day and making conversations with people – the more you do the latter, the more people you’ll end up knowing.
Michelle tweeted around 14 times on the 15th June – I don’t know whether I could do the same – could you?
How often do you tweet or post on social media? Is it just a numbers game?
Tell you what, give me a follow and I’ll follow you back ;o)
Hazel is an Online Marketing Consultant & ServiceM8 expert. She's been building websites since 1998 and most recently worked for Royal Caribbean International as an Online Development Exec and previously for Snow + Rock as Ecommerce Manager.