Twitter is the wonderland of microblogging and instant connections. It allows us to join conversations, find shiny content gems and follow or be followed by others with the same interests.
Many Twitter users find value by following famous people or niche market leaders that fill their timelines with interesting content. But for companies and entrepreneurs wanting to focus on social, it’s not about who you follow but about who follows you.
Your followers are the ones who are consuming the content you tweet out, in other words, they are your audience and you should care for them. Many of us often wonder: How can we leverage our Twitter followers? How can we let them know we care?
After pondering for a while, I put together some key rules I think everyone should follow to make sure we’re giving back to our Twitter audience, let’s go through them:
Just like in “real life”, being someone you’re not will not take you anywhere on Twitter. Make sure you have a clear idea of who your brand is and establish a tone and personality. You should really stick to the truth. Promote your strengths and never be afraid to show your weaknesses.
Get to know your followers
It’s impossible to really get to know your followers just by glancing through their names and profiles, however, this is one of the most important rules when you want to return their kindness. Georgina Laidlaw asked an important question on GigaOM’s blog “How Well Do You Know Your Followers?”. Knowing your followers is the first step to making sure you’re speaking their language and providing them with the best of the best. Some of the questions Georgina asked herself and we should also are:
- How many followers do I have?
- Where are they located?
- What’s their Gender?
- What kind of tweets do they like or dislike?
- What are they into?
No matter how big or small your follower count is, you need to remain humble. Humility is one of the most valued traits in a leader and if you want to become a trusted source for your audience, you will need to leave the ego behind. Start by helping your audience. It’s as easy as retweeting their tweets or just responding to their questions.
A great practice to help you with staying humble is to resort to content curation. Instead of focusing on sharing your content all the time, you can manually choose the type of topics and content you’re going to tweet for your audience. Giving them the best not only shows you care but it establishes you as a trusted source, brand or leader.
Make them feel welcomed
An awesome way to nurture your audience is by making them feel part of your community. Don’t forget to include them in your strategy and make them feel at home. Remember, this is not about growing your follower base. What’s the use of having a large number on your Twitter homepage if you’re not able to communicate with them?
Lauren Dugan at Social Times has this down. On this post, she gives us 10 tips for building community on Twitter. Some of the tips I would focus on are:
- Being helpful
- Responding to all @replies
- Promoting others
Listen to the Data
There’s no doubt that data and analytics are buzz words right now, but also, they are important aspects for leveraging your Twitter audience. There are various services that provide you with an overview of stats about how you’re engaging with your followers.
It’s as easy as hopping on your Twitter Analytics or any other free or paid option on the web. Some of my favorite free options are Topsy and Twitonomy.You’ll see how this simple step can take you a long way when catering to your Twitter audience.
It is with this in mind that at Paper.li, we’re currently working with our analytics to be able to give back to our users and help you give back to your Twitter audience. Recently, our co-founders Edouard Lambelet and Iskander Pols both talked about the importance of making data work for our users and the steps we were taking to achieve that. If you haven’t read them, then you should! Find them here: Taming Big Data with Smart Contexts and Opportunities in Big Data.
Sign up to Paper.li Backstage and get a sneak preview of our upcoming app that will provide you with data about the content your followers dig.
Did I miss something? What do you do to make your followers feel nurtured? Tell me below!