On other social networking sites, you see people who have hundreds or even thousands of friends. Not only do these individuals not know these ‘friends’, they will have no contact with them other than to ask them to be their friend or to accept a request. Then they just ignore you but are happy because having 20,000 friends on MySpace is cool apparently. The big difference between this and Twitter is that companies on the latter site have a genuine interest in being ‘followed’ because this could help their business greatly.
It is entirely possible for a struggling online business to get 10,000 followers in a few weeks if they use the right strategies. Obviously, the more people you have viewing your product, the more likely it is that your sales will increase which will hopefully be the difference between your business being a roaring success or yet another e-failure. It is a little more difficult to achieve large numbers of followers than it is to gain ‘friends’ on a social networking site, but it brings rewards, having thousands of strangers as your ‘friend’ is good for nothing unless you’re an exhibitionist who enjoys having their pictures leered at by strangers, which is just wrong.
Companies that are determined to become successful on Twitter need to give a little incentive and nothing is better than free merchandise. For example, if you are selling a book, you could give it free via PDF format to anyone who follows you on Twitter within your first week. This is risky however as you may be giving away thousands of pounds worth of gear to people who quickly ‘unfollow’ you but that’s a risk you have to take.
Such a promotion needs to be well, promoted. First up, come up with a memorable title. Something simple and catchy will do just fine. Once you have found a suitable moniker for the giveaway, register it and refer to it on all marketing material sent out. Remember, the number of direct messages you can send in a 24 hour period is limited but you can have your account ‘white listed’ which gives you special exemption. This is critical in order to make a big splash.
No general worth their salt would ever go into battle without a contingency plan in case their first option is not viable. So you need to come up with an idea to make sure that you have an alternative to simply asking consumers to sign up on Twitter. A fantastic idea is to allow people to give their email address instead. Even those who are reticent when it comes to following you are likely to willingly give up their email address. Such people may elect to join you on Twitter at a later date but at least you have their email for marketing purposes.
There are a variety of ways and means to increase your Twitter follower count. It may involve taking some risks or showing some initiative, but the effort will be well worth it when it results in your company’s unbridled success.