What tweets stop you in your tracks and call out for your attention?
How can you replicate that interaction for your own benefit?
Back to the point at hand - why did you decide to follow a Gerbil Christmas feed? Was it an engaging and thought provoking statement or famous quote? Was it based on one post, or perhaps hanging singularly on the hope the originator might follow you back? For independent authors, this falls into the camaraderie concept of helping each other out. You follow them, they follow you. You buy their book, and hopefully they will buy and promote yours... but did you do your part and buy their book like you hinted you would?
This is where the Twitter model fails for those unsure of how to utilize their media stream.
In a nutshell, the Twitter platform allows users to post messages to groups and followers for free, using 140 or fewer characters. Many entrepreneurs use the platform to get the word out about their projects, letting subscribers/followers know of an upcoming event, a reaction to current events, and to provide links to more detailed information such as websites and online reviews. In theory, Twitter reaches interested parties in a streamlined, direct marketing manner. In practice, however, this often is not the case. A reasonable Twitter feed is spam followed by spam followed by 'What the hell was that?"
It is estimated that over 350 million subscribers interact with Twitter each month. It is a salivating number for a self-promoter to tap into, and if utilized properly, can be a boon to a current project getting off the ground. However, few users take the time to understand the system, relying only on the ease of creating/buying a massive follower base that, at the end of the day, hasn't garnered a single penny. Without a viable strategy on how to disseminate a message, it simply becomes more static on an internet that doesn't ever reach the targeted audience.
Organic Versus Artificial Followers
Though it is important to understand how your Twitter programming algorithms work, it's not the 'end all, be all' in our case. What is more important is the management of followers on your account.
This is truly where the follower count comes into play. Knowing who your audience is and focusing on that, rather than how many you have, is how to gain interaction and impacting growth with your project.
Twitter for business can be a convoluted concept, with countless home-based cottage entrepreneurs relying on numbers to boost their message. Unfortunately, this creates an unrealistic economy online where the presumption that high following numbers translates to an equally high percentage of sales. It simply doesn't work that way. Upon close inspection, the majority of followers are artificial - meaning they are accounts that follow to boost their own ability to increase their own follower status. Hence the Twitter contingency of the more accounts you follow, the more accounts that can follow you. It's a vicious cycle, and left to it's own devices, will simply gum up your message to a point where it falls upon deaf ears.
This approach is best done on a laptop, though it can be accomplished rather clumsily using a handheld device. Log in to your Twitter account and review who you are following, and the value they bring. If it's a Tweeter who sends daily updates on the industry you're in, you can presume this is a valuable addition to your feed. On the other hand, if the user you follow Tweets erratically or decays into repetitive sales calls, it's time to trim the fat and un-follow.
By continually updating your Twitter account for usable connections, once a week is recommended, you will be fine-tuning what feeds cross over yours, and increase the value of the re-tweets you provide to your followers.
For original content, tag only those few Twitter feeds that you believe will truly benefit or enjoy your post. Don't throw a @tag on just because - it gets you nowhere and constitutes spamming. By trimming your message and sharing it with specific feeds, you will be placing your message only with those who wish to interact with it, thereby impressing Twitter users with what you are selling, and gaining usable followers at the same time.
Cross Platform Social Media Blitz
Twitter can certainly act in conjunction with other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, but many small businesses and entrepreneurs see different audiences on these very different venues. One message that speaks to Twitter followers might not necessarily speak to an Instagram crowd, and may actually fall on deaf ears on Facebook. Focusing on Twitter's 140 characters allows you to micro-target to a specific audience, controlling exactly how they receive your message.
Managing Your Message
In order to best utilize Twitter, each update should be considered a well-crafted elevator pitch. Get straight to the point with the relevance and a call to action. Making the mistake of tweeting something off the top of your head is simply presuming your followers want to know everything about you - this certainly is not the case. Organic followers want information about your project and teasers on upcoming events and sequels.