Let’s face it, a significant share of Twitter’s total number of users are simply not real. This fact has a direct impact on Twitter as a stock buy. It also has a direct impact on people trying to use Twitter to build credibility with their target audience. Even though Twitter has its share of fake account problems, the truth remains that Twitter is a powerful platform for building influence with your target audience.
While it is tempting to simply use a bot to look influential on Twitter or simply buy followers using Fiverr, you can still build a real following with targeted users without cheating. Here’s how.
Step 1: Make Sure your Profile, Bio, and your Url are Niche Specific
Before you start following accounts on Twitter, make sure your profile is very specific to your niche. This means your avatar must be niche specific. Same goes with your biography and your url. Use keywords that are specific to your niche. Make it easy for people to find you based on niche. You might want to invest a whopping $5 getting a custom-made Twitter page that highlights your niche and your interest in your niche.
Step 2: Find the Right People to Follow
Regardless of what niche you are targeting, there are people who are already influential in that niche. You only need to find them on Twitter. You can do random searches using Twitter’s Search function. This can take a long time and the false-positive results can be frustrating. Instead, you should use FollowerWonk from search engine online intelligence tool, Moz.Com FollowerWonk allows you to find Twitter members based on their interests. You can then rank these people based on their social influence. FollowerWonk ranks social influence based on: retweets, ratio of followers to people they follow, and other key factors. Get about twenty of these ‘seed’ people to follow on Twitter.
Step 3: Retweet your Seed Group’s Best Tweets
Once you have identified your seed base of authority Twitter accounts, go to their feeds and pick out their best tweets. These tweets must be really helpful and link to a useful resource. Take the time to read these resources closely. You have to be happy that they are actually quality resources. Don’t just retweet any link they post. If you don’t care about what you retweet, you’ll look like a spammer. You won’t look like an authority. You have to be very careful about what you share since your level of expertise is displayed by the links you choose to share. Don’t retweet using Twitter. Go to the actual pages and tweet the source links using the Twitter button on the actual pages or blog posts. Before you click the buttons, however, read Step 4.
Step 4: Space out your Tweets using HootSuite
Don’t retweet a huge number of posts in one sitting. You might not make the right impression that way. You might retweet when everyone is sleeping. Use Hootsuite’s free version to schedule your posts. You can only schedule 10 posts per day using the free version. Use Hootsuite to space out your tweets. Load only the urls of the very best niche-specific content you can find. Schedule these and spread them out.
Step 5: Once you have 20 Posts Under your Belt, Start Networking
Once Hootsuite has published 20 posts under your account, you should start networking in your niche. There are three ways to do this. First, you can use FollowerWonk to find more authoritative people in your niche. Simply load these people’s updates and click ‘favorite’ (the star icon) next to their best shared content.
Next, you can click the ‘following’ link of the people you’re following and look for accounts that have the following characteristics: they have way more followers than accounts they are following, they have the keywords of your niche in their bios or descriptions, and they get retweeted a lot (you can see this information on their twitter feed-their updates will list the number of retweets). Click these people’s updates and favorite their best post. The final way you can network is to search Twitter’s search box using your niche’s most common hashtags. Find tweets based on your hash tag target. Favorite these.
Why favorite? When you favorite someone’s tweet, you show up on their notifications list. You get their attention. They get a chance to click on your account name and see your posts. If they like your tweets, they can follow you. Expect to get around 50 to 60 follows for every 500 to 1000 favorites you send out. The key here is to be very targeted so you can attract the right people. These people must be directly in your niche. Otherwise, your list of followers would be worthless since they aren’t really interested in the niche you are targeting. The more targeted your list, the better.
Why favorite instead of just following people to get followed back? One of the most common ways to get lots of followers is to simply follow people. Many people will simply follow you back. The problem with this is that it lowers your follower to following ratio. The higher the ratio, the more of an authority you are. Why? People are naturally following you because of the quality of the content you share. In other words, people are following you because you are credible regarding a particular topic. When you favorite and people follow you, they follow you based on the strength of the content you’re sharing. In short, they are following you because you are credible regarding a certain type of information.
Step 6: Reach out to Influential People
Don’t be afraid to use the @ to reach out to influential people. Send them the links of good stuff you’ve found that is related to the stuff they are posting. Chances are they would include your @ user name when they retweet or they share with their followers. This increases the chance of people following them following you. The more people follow you, the more of an authority you are. Don’t tweet garbage @ updates though. Every @ you send must add value to your account.
Step 7: Find Original High Value Content that your Authorities aren’t Sharing
Write or find high-quality original high value content that your authority list isn’t sharing. This increases the chance that you’ll get retweeted.
While becoming a social media niche authority using the steps above takes time, it is time well-spent. The more targeted your twitter list, the more authoritative you are. This will pay off later when you start sending out paid tweets or tweets to affiliate programs or landing pages you are promoting. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Give yourself a few weeks to rack up an impressive sizable list of people who are truly interested in your niche.