Posted by Dan Malachowski, Product Marketing Manager
Unless you have over 5,700 followers on Twitter, Common Squirrel has more than you. Being a squirrel, Common Squirrel doesn’t have much to tweet about, but people still love him. In fact, Common Squirrel’s most insightful tweet is “dig dig dig dig dig.” That’s it. And Common Squirrel isn’t the only squirrel tweeting. There’s Butters the Squirrel, who has 500+ followers, Unique Squirrel from Madison Square Park in NYC and Red Squirrel, who doesn’t like grey squirrels. But Common Squirrel clearly has the squirrels on Twitter market cornered.
So how do you gain a following as large as Common Squirrel’s? Here are a few tips:
· Give Something Away: Threadless gives away free tee-shirts on Thursdays by encouraging people to #threadless them with their favorite Threadless tee; they have almost 700,000 followers. Maggianos gave away free food. I love their fettuccine alfredo.
· Focus on Quality and/or Humorous Content: On this point, Twitter has a lot in common with a regular blog. If you’re continually generating quality blog content, you’ll get more people adding your blog to their RSS feed, hungry for daily insights. Maybe you’re an expert in search marketing and people are following you for tips, or maybe you happen to be a squirrel who can type. Either way, you can’t do anything without good content. I know this is easier said than done, but if a squirrel with a seven word vocabulary can do it, so can you. Focus on your sweet spot– what your target audience wants.
· Be Timely: If you’re tweeting about what’s hot in the news, you could gain followers who are searching for real-time insights on Twitter Search or who are having conversations around certain hot topics, like Jon and Kate or something. It’s like SEO for Twitter Search– the timelier your tweets, the more visibility you’ll have on the Twitter Search SERP and the more followers you’ll gain.
· Keep on Top of It: You’re not likely to gain any followers if you haven’t tweeted in a month. If you’re not continually pushing out quality content, you can give up on gaining more followers than our squirrel friend. On the other hand, don’t post too much; you don’t want to spam or clog up your followers’ feeds– although an argument can be made that Common Squirrel, despite being annoying, still has tons of followers. He tweets stuff like “stare” and “run run” every hour and is totally clogging my feed. I get the point, you’re a squirrel.
· Follow Others: Many will follow back (even non-humans). And a personal thank-you direct message for following makes for a good personal touch.
Perhaps you can utilize some of these tips to overtake Common Squirrel in terms of followers. But if 5,700 followers seems out of reach, start off by focusing on gaining more followers than Feral Pigeon.