Lots of people have heard how effective Twitter is for business networking and marketing.
Unfortunately, a lot of people who try Twitter find it frustrating.
They tweet up a storm, follow lots of people, but not many follow them back. After a couple weeks, they start to realize that the followers are not coming. They begin to question if Twitter can provide them with a return on their investment of time.
The first step to get followers is to not focus on cranking out a large number of tweets. Instead, spend that time on your Twitter profile. Make sure it is compelling enough that lots of potential customers will follow you.
Take a minute to gain perspective:
- Take an objective look at your Twitter account. If you didn’t already know your business and brand would you follow yourself?
- Do you clearly communicate your value to followers? Do they understand the value of following in the first 2-3 seconds of viewing your profile?
- When someone receives a notice that you followed them does your username, bio and photo compel them to follow you back?
Highly Targeted Value Proposition
Make sure your Twitter bio is concise, compelling and to the point. With only 16 characters for your bio this can be a challenging task. Instead of sharing information about yourself, focus on a compelling value proposition.
A well crafted, targeted value proposition should have the following characteristics:
- Tailored to the target market and potential customers
- Address an important problem(s)
- Communicate how you help solve those problem(s)
A highly targeted value proposition will help attract more followers in your target market and demographic, but what about the people who don’t identify with your targeted value proposition? To ensure the highest visitor to follower conversion rate possible, include a universal value proposition at the end of the bio.
Universal Value Proposition
A universal value proposition should highlight a couple compelling reason for a person in your market and industry to follow you. This helps set expectations, and lets them know the topics you tweet about.
A universal value proposition should have the following characteristics:
- The topics you cover
- Big picture benefits
- Include some type of incentive
It is important to focus on information that will be seen as interesting and valuable to your market and industry.
By including an incentive in your universal value proposition, such as a giveaway or prize, potential followers will have additional motivation to follow you on Twitter. Incentives have been shown to be a great way to improve visitor to follower conversion rates on Twitter.
Engaging Profile Picture
Humans are very visual. Choose a profile picture that is engaging and inline with your branding. One of the greatest benefits of having an engaging profile picture is that it helps people discover you on Twitter.
When people browse Twitter, they quickly scan lots of tweets. By having an engaging picture, your tweets will stick out from the rest. This helps improve visibility and leads to more people visiting your profile on Twitter.
We use a chimpanzee head surrounded by a bright blue circle. This image stands out from other profile pictures. It is a little ambiguous, motivating people to visit our profile to find out who we are.
An engaging profile photo should have the following characteristics:
- Visually engaging
- A bit ambiguous in nature
- Different than the competition
- Warm and friendly
When you see something that is visually engaging, but a little out of place, it is human nature to want to learn more. By using an engaging picture for your Twitter profile you can stand out, even in a sea of hundreds to thousands of tweets.
This is really helpful when incorporating popular industry hashtags in your tweets. If you have done a good job on your targeted value proposition and universal value proposition chances are good that lots of visitor intrigued by your profile picture will become followers because they identify with your overall value propositions.
Having a photo of yourself as a profile picture on Twitter can be a great way to personalize your account, but it is very common practice at this point. Unless you’re really attractive, it is probably best to spice up your photo by including something a little quirky and unique.
A great example of this concept is Brian Solis’s Twitter account, he has a photo of himself in a nice suite with a monocle and a bit of a smirk. The monocle, something you would expect in the 192s-193s, makes this recent photo look a little out of place. This helps to improve Brian’s visibility when people browse tweets, while also giving you a feel for his personality.
A background image can make a big difference in your visitor to follower conversion rate. It can quickly and clearly communicate the value of following your Twitter account. By incorporating a compelling background image, visitors will take a few seconds to analyze the image. This helps increase the amount of time they spend on your profile, improving the odds that they become a follower.
A background image should have the following characteristics:
- Visually appealing
- Inline with branding/positioning
- Communicates or highlights value proposition
Additional items to considering including in a background image:
- Highlight value proposition
- People involved
- Customer testimonials and recommendations
- Call to action
- Contact information
- Link to a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc…
Testing and Optimizing for Max Followers
Testing and optimizing a Twitter profile is an ongoing process. After you have optimized your Twitter profile, spend a couple minutes following people on Twitter in your target market as well as people who could become customers in the future. Do this for a few days and see how many end up following you back. If a decent number follow back, you probably did a good job optimizing your Twitter profile.
Once you have a profile that is optimized, it is time to shift focus to improving your tweets. In subsequent articles, we will examine the importance of tweeting valuable content to get more followers.