It’s not a secret anymore. Building your following on Twitter is one of the most powerful things one can do when setting out to build interest around a brand, a product, or even themselves.
Artists hold no exception.
This list is very much aimed toward the beginning blogger — if you find it adds nothing to your knowledge, consider posting a few of your own tips in the comments section.
1. Engage with the Twitter Community
This is probably one of the most common reasons why businesses have given up on Twitter. Though they can understand that the social web is where they need to be in order to expand their reach and find new customers, build their brand, and even increase sales or recognition, they fail in understanding that the social web is not a place … rather, a community. Approach Twitter as a community — a place full of people — instead of a bulletin board and you’ll find more success in your Twitter activity.
2. Tweet Regularly
Social web hermits will quickly fade from the attention of the social community, so be sure to tweet regularly. Stay in touch with your followers.
3. Mention Other Twitter Users
One of the easiest ways to engage with the community and make friends on Twitter is to mention other users. If they lead you to an awesome article or posted something cool, tell your following about it and give them credit.
To mention another user, use the @ symbol. For example, @CreativeBlogger.
4. Retweet stuff
If you really want to give another user props, use the retweet button–it’ll repost the original tweet from the original user on your stream, which means your following will see a tweet from someone they normally wouldn’t.
This helps give the user more exposure and provide your followers with a neat way to discover them.
Warning: Retweeting can be annoying for your followers when abused, so be careful not to over retweet. I’ve personally unfollowed users for this. I think the reason for this is because we follow users for their unique point of view in life, so when they over retweet, the stream fills up with points of view you may or may not care to follow.
5. DM Your Tweeps
Another way to engage your followers is to send direct messages. DMs are private messages, so not only does it create a more personal message, but it also stays out of view from others.
6. Listen to the Community
While posting unique, helpful content can be considered engaging with the community–especially when you stay on top of the conversation unfolding in the comments section–it’s by no means the only way to engage. In fact, it might even be considered the opposite of the best way, which is listening.
No one wants to go on a date or meeting with someone that doesn’t listen to them–the social web is the same way.
To listen to the community, you need to consume content published by others. The best way to find content relevant to your niche of creative work is to search for words and phrases implying an interest in you and your work. For example, a poet might search for “poetry readings” to locate people interested in poetry.
Build your following by engaging with people that genuinely seem interested. Never spam people.
7. Comment On Blogs
Delve into the content available on blogs and post comments that continue the conversation. The idea behind this method of building your Twitter following happens when you post your name and URL which is usually an option if not required by most blogs.
Use the URL space to direct the link to your Twitter profile and use the space for your name to post your Twitter username. For example, instead of signing a comment as Christopher, I might sign it as @ChristopherR2D2 or @CreativeBlogger.
8. Help Your Readers Retweet Your Blog Content
Another off-Twitter method to build your Twitter following is to enable the readers of your blog to share your content with their own following. The best way to do this is with plugins, such as ShareThis and TweetMeme.
Enabling readers has many benefits: two of which include additional exposure that you’re on Twitter and additional exposure of your content.
9. Guest Posts and Bylines
A guest post can consist of any type of content, but there are a few things that usually shape it: one, it’s free content written by you (the guest); two, you give up the rights to the content in exchange for the chance to hook readers; three, you’re provided with a byline where you can promote what you do and how readers can connect with you, usually in the form of a link or two.
This is your chance to point another bloggers’ readership toward your Twitter account.
Guest posts will provide different results depending on the readership of the blog, but it’s proved to be one of the best ways to increase your own following … all you have to do is hook the readership with awesome content and provide the link to your Twitter profile.
10. Tell People You’re On Twitter
Whether you’re at an exhibit of some sort, a meeting with friends, or sharing your work
Pretty Basic Stuff, Right?
Share how you build your following on Twitter using the comments section below.