Almost two years have passed since Nexternal first released our Twitter Product Sharing feature, which enables customers to tweet product information to all their followers right from Nexternal online stores. As big as Twitter was then, it’s even more popular today and has evolved from a social networking messaging service, into a mainstream marketing resource that virtually no online retailer should do without. After all, the whole concept of Twitter is that people actively follow what others have to share. If there is even the slightest potential that consumers are interested in what a business has to say/offer, there’s no reason not to reach out to them, especially when you consider that there’s no cost involved. We blogged a little about this just over 3 years ago here.
As competition grows on Twitter, the more prevailing question becomes “How can I increase the number of followers I have?” One of the best ways to become more effective at anything is to learn from the pros. Try following some other credible companies and take note of how they interact with their customers. This will not only increase your likelihood to gain followers, but also to learn some successful techniques used on Twitter between businesses and their customers. Likewise, it’s always a good idea to keep a watchful eye on your competitors’ activity too.
Get creative! With over 3 million Twitter followers, pro skateboarder, Tony Hawk now has the annual THTH (Tony Hawk Twitter Hunt), which is like a treasure hunt for his Twitter followers.
What seems like an obvious tactic, along with adding a link to your Twitter account on your homepage, is to also include it on your email signatures, especially your Order Confirmation and Shipping emails, and places like blogs or newsletters you may be running. The more places that are driving visitors to your Twitter feed, the better.
Be engaging. This might seem easier said than done, but keep in mind that you’re limited to 140 characters, so make them count. Have clear, concise messages to maximize the effectiveness of each Tweet you send. It’s about quality as much as quantity.
Lastly, do your homework; monitor your progress. There’s no surefire blueprint to increase your number of Twitter followers, but look for trends after trying something new. Only you know if it’s working for you. If you don’t mind spending a little, a good way to determine if the above practices are paying off is to checkout services like Twitter Counter which can provide metrics on your growth.