It’s the question that every brand and person on social media wants to know. Truth is, I’m still trying to figure it out myself– and rightfully so. With current statistics revealing that organic status updates reach less than 5% of the a brand’s total follower base, it’s now more important than ever to continuously to acquire new followers over time, while also taking into consideration the quality of these new followers.
While there are a definitely more than a few strategies brands can employ to grow their followers, be them paid, automated, or strategic engagement tactics, something to consider when beginning this quest is the value of these users that the brand is collecting. Maybe instead of “How do I get more followers?” the question should be “Who do I want following me?” Working backwards, the next question would be, “How do I find these people and make them aware that I exist?”
One strategy for finding prospects for a valuable follower base is to utilize Twitter Lists. A Twitter list is a curated group of Twitter users. Hat tip to my friend and colleague Greg Matthews who is the king of Twitter lists; you can trust him on this because he has way more Twitter followers than I do. Anyway, recently, Twitter has re-vamped its Lists to be more accessible and searchable. Just follow these simple steps to find the right users, follow them, and more easily connect with target audiences:
1) Log-in to Twitter using brand page credentials
2) Using Twitter’s search function, input keywords relevant to the brand and audience. Using Austin Young Women’s Alliance (@austinywa) as an example, whose target is young professional women in Austin, the search string used is “Austin Women”
3) Click “Timelines” to see the Twitter Lists relevant to the keywords. “Who to follow” is also a good resource for… who to follow.
5) Browse the results and click on the lists most relevant to the brand or target audience – in this case, “Austin Leading Ladies”
6) Then, click “Members” and the results will show the Twitter users that are included in the list
7) From here, the results will show who the page is already following and who it is not following. The users included this list are considered terrific suggestions of who to follow on Twitter. Click “Follow” on the users that match the target audience
8) Search additional lists and keywords. Repeat on a weekly or monthly cadence
One final thought on Twitter followings, or social media followings in general– there are more than a few differing schools of thought on the subject of audience-building , i.e. inflated followings for numbers sake vs. the cultivation of smaller, more engaged followings. That being said, when advising brands or clients on engaging with influencers, be sure to look past the sheer volume of followers. In fact, W2O Group has de-duped this process of identifying influencers with the Influencer Meme and Muse, evaluating influence not only by followers or subscribers, but by reach, resonance, and relevance.