As some of you know, I have been spending quite a bit of time working on my Twitter account. I spent the vast majority of last year doing very little with Twitter, and it showed – on the 20th December 2011, I had just 374 followers.
But just before Christmas I started work on building a following, and I have been pretty happy with the results to date. At the time of writing, I have 1,452 followers. Over the past couple of weeks, I have gained just over 25 additional followers per day on average. If I were to keep that rate up, I would have around 8,000 followers by the end of this year.
There are of course many people who have done far more impressive things with Twitter, but I think that my achievements are pretty good, relative to the size of this blog. With that in mind, today I want to share with you three methods that I have tried, tested, and found to be effective in growing my Twitter profile.
1. Pay With A Tweet
If you have read my Complete Guide To Guest Posting, you will probably have paid with a tweet (update 11th February 2013: the guide is no longer available to download via the “Pay With a Tweet” method). The concept is very simple – you offer something of value to your readers in exchange for them tweeting out a link to their followers.
In the example of my guest posting guide, people just had to click the button, which took them through to a screen where they could alter the text of the tweet itself (they are not able to change the link). Once the tweet had been sent out, they got a link to my guide. They got a free eBook, I got extra exposure via their tweet – everyone was happy!
There are a few different services out there that can do this for you – I used Pay With A Tweet. You may have heard of cloud:flood, but I have tried to use that on two separate occasions and it has failed me, so I would recommend that you stay away from it.
There are two things you want to bear in mind when considering this method:
- You should only use this if you know that the majority of your readers have a Twitter account
- It will not be effective on blogs with a low level of traffic
2. Tweet Embedding
I really like this method – it is totally non-invasive, and I think it adds a little extra value to your blog.
You may have noticed in some of my recent articles that I surrounded certain sentences in blockquotes and added a “tweet this” link. I actually did it 5 times in my Top Five Regrets of the Dying post. This is a pretty subtle way of giving your readers another opportunity to tweet your post.
I don’t have any hard evidence to back this up, but I think that this particular style of Call To Action (CTA) is pretty effective. Someone may not be particularly bothered about simply re-tweeting a post, but they might see an interesting quote and be compelled to share it.
This method has been a success for me – at least a few people have always tweeted any of my embedded tweets. In fact, some people have tweeted both the post itself and the embedded tweet – double exposure can’t be bad!
There are many different ways in which you could employ this method. You might try something a bit playful or fun, for instance. That gives me an idea…let’s try a social experiment.
Tom Ewer bet me I wouldn’t tweet this (tweet this).
You may be wondering how to embed tweets. I actually do it manually, which allows me to embed the tweet as a link, rather than a little widget. It’s the way I prefer to do it. Just write up your tweet, then run it through this URL encode tool. It will spit out a long string of characters. Just insert that string in the relevant place below, and paste the whole thing into your HTML editor where you would like the link to appear:
[raw]<a title="Tweet This Quote" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=yourtweethere" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tweet this</a>[/raw]
Edit – I have now developed a little plugin that allows you to simply type the anchor text and tweet into the WordPress Visual Editor. Check it out here!
3. Exclusive Twitter Content
I recently got into the habit of tweeting out quotes that were relevant to the leaving work behind message. But it seemed a waste that these tweets had no link attached to them. Whilst people might get a modicum of value out of reading the quotes, I figured it would be cool to take it a step further. So I set up a special page on my blog that is unaccessible via the navigation bar or any other means, and I attached a link to that page whenever I tweeted out a quote.
It may not sound like much, but a few people contacted me just to let me know how cool they thought it was. And if a few people are doing that, quite a lot of people are probably enjoying it. Whilst this method may not have a spectacular effect on your Twitter growth, it is another cool way of making your brand stand out amongst the crowd.
Oh, and if you want to see the page, you’ll have to follow me on Twitter and keep an eye out for the quotes!
What Works For YOU?
So there you have it folks – three different methods I use to give my Twitter growth strategy a boost. But don’t be shy – I’m sure we’d all love to know what methods you have had success with. Let us know in the comments section!
Creative Commons photo courtesy of eldh