For entrepreneurs and startups, time is money so getting in front of new targeted customers is critical.

One way of doing both is using Twitter to build credibility and increase your reach.

Easier said than done, right?

Among businesses, big and small alike, Twitter remains one of the most popular social media apps in use to engage potential and existing customers, in order to reach a wide audience online. According to its company web page, Twitter has 313 million monthly users and has 82% users on mobile. These impressive numbers, together with the very essence of Twitter –  its immediacy, directness, concise messaging, and personability – makes the app especially appealing for entrepreneurs and startup companies in order to grow their enterprise for the long haul.

In Twitter terms, this means obtaining (and retaining) as many followers as possible who follow your company’s Twitter account. Here are some helpful tips to do just that – How to get 500+ and more Twitter followers in 7 days for your startup business:

  • Create a plan – First and foremost, clearly define your Twitter strategy, your niche, and targeted audience. Your Twitter strategy should also be a part of your overall social media marketing strategy so that your message is consistent across all social channels. Some of the important points to consider are:
    • Goals – deciding who your audience/customers are who fit your niche, making them your customers, retaining them, and later transforming them into advocates/fans.
    • Content – deciding on who you are, what you are, what you value, and then deciding the mix of visual and textual content. Keep in mind to follow the 80/20 rule of balancing useful content such as helpful tips, with marketing/sales pitch content.

  • Research – It’s a good practice to find out how everyone else is utilizing Twitter and to know which accounts to follow and emulate. That said, it’s important to:
  • Know your competition – check out their Twitter account and other social accounts they may have, see how often they post, who they follow (and you can follow them, too), what you like or don’t like about their account.
  • Identify Influencers – find out who the top 50 or 100 Twitter accounts are within your industry/niche, or those that share similar interests and experiences with your own  so you can get interesting tips, comments, and photos. It’s also a great idea to follow who they follow so that their followers can follow you back. Amazon,  Starbucks, and JetBlue Airways are examples of companies that have a strong presence on Twitter.

  • Prepare well before posting your first Tweet– Prudence is a great trait to have, as well as restraint, particularly in the Twitter space, and so preparation is key.
    • Create an editorial calendar – This tool is very helpful in organizing and scheduling when to publish your content online across all social channels, including Twitter, in a coherent and uniform manner. This tool can also help decide how often to post on Twitter. Twice a week is good starting point, gradually adding more posts going forward.
    • Gather enough content (about a month’s worth is a good start) – the more visual material the better. As they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words.
    • Create blogs that are share worthy like expert tips, for example, with the reason being twofold: one, you can link another social account or your website where your blog is located; and two, your followers can easily share them via reTweets and other social accounts such as Facebook and Instagram.
  • Get the most out of your Twitter Bio – On her Agorapulse blog, Amanda Webb says that, “A good Twitter bio oozes personality. It introduces you and your business to your audience and shows them what kind of content they can expect from you. Used well, your Twitter bio will be memorable, help you build relationships and attract the right followers.” She shares practical and insightful ideas and examples, among them, include making the most of all 160 characters, sharing interests, being personal, using (or not) hashtags, and using humor.

See example below: Sir Richard Branson, @RichardBranson, founder of The Virgin Group, his Twitter bio reads: “Tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes @virgin!”

  • Start following and posting – After your research and preparation, now you’re ready to start posting and following. Acknowledge new followers personally and unfollow those who do not follow you back. Communicate with your followers often – e.g. encourage re-tweets and feedback. Invite guest bloggers and return the favor, i.e. guest blog with another account. Participate in Twitter chats. In short, having an active Twitter account means creating relationships with others and these relationships can lead your company to exciting opportunities.
  • Use tools find out how well (or not) you are doing – Now that you’ve been in Twitter for some time, it’s good to know how your account is doing. Aside from reviewing your editorial calendar, your content, and posting frequency, it’s good to keep track of the tactics you’ve used, i.e. hashtags, number of mentions, number of visits, number of re-Tweets, etc. Twitter search and Twitter analytics are built-in and available. Other free sites include: Hootsuite, Buffer, and Tweetchup. To read more about them, here’s a good article.

In summary, Twitter is a great tool and a must for companies, most especially for entrepreneurs and startups. It’s a great way to build your business, to establish and maintain relationships, and to find and retain customers. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to gaining 500+ followers. Happy Tweeting!

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