How to Get More Followers on Twitter [Infographic]

Let me start of by saying that collecting followers on Twitter should never be your end goal. We’ve all heard it before, but I’m going to say it again: the quality of your followers is more important than the quantity. You’re better off with 100 followers on Twitter who care about what you have to say than you are having 1,000 followers who don’t engage with you. That being said, you are better off with 1,000 engaged followers than 100 engaged followers.

So, what can you do to get more engaged followers on Twitter? Well, I’m glad you asked! I just found this great infographic from Twiends with dozens of ideas to increase your following.

Here are a few of my personal faves:

Guest Blogging:

I generally think of guest blogging as an SEO tactic, because it’s great for building backlinks, but one of the very strong side benefits is that it can help you get more engaged followers on Twitter. If you write great content, your readers will want to hear more from you – so they’re likely to follow you on social media. They’re also likely to share your content with their network, exposing you to an even larger group of potential followers.

To get the most out of guest blogging, make it easy for your fans to find you by including social media handles in your bio. Many people will include both their Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile on their bio, but a Twitter handle is more appealing because it’s a one-way follow (versus LinkedIn, which is a reciprocal follow).

Webinars:

Twitter is great for driving webinar attendance and engagement which, in turn, can help you get more followers on Twitter. Use Twitter to promote your webinar to your followers, and ask them to retweet you to spread the word – not only will this will help you get better attendance, it will help more people discover you. During the event, encourage attendees to live tweet to increase engagement, and your reach, even more. With more engagement and reach, you’ll be exposed to a wider audience that may be interested in following you.

Speak at a Conference:

Speaking at a conference is a great way to turn an offline tactic into an online success. People who have chosen to hear you speak at a conference are exactly the audience that would want to receive your updates on Twitter (assuming you tweet about the same topics that you speak about at conferences). Make it easy for them to find you by including your Twitter handle in your bio, and on each slide in your presentation. Also encourage them to live tweet your presentation and/or ask questions – this will help you increase your reach and build relationships.

@reply:

This is one of the simplest tips on my list, but it’s a great way to increase your followers on Twitter. An @reply, in which you reply to someone’s tweet, is a great way to stand out among all the noise on Twitter – because it’s personal. Just make sure it’s engaging enough to start a social conversation. Rather than writing, “@JenPicard: I loved your blog post about getting more followers on Twitter,” say “@JenPicard: Great post on increasing Twitter followers – where can someone in the marketing industry submit guest posts?” Asking a question, sharing a success, or otherwise adding value to the conversation will elicit a response, and probably a follow. More important than the single follow, however, is the reciprocal engagement that will take place and increase your reach. Remember, a bigger reach leads to more followers on Twitter.

Want to increase your followers on Twitter? Check out these great tips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you best tips to get more followers on Twitter?

7 Tips for a Successful Contest on Facebook

Running a contest on Facebook can be a great addition to you social media marketing plan

In one of my recent surveys I found out that fully 32% of all Facebook users have liked a Page because of a contest on Facebook. Marketers want to create a magical competition that increases their likes on Facebook, engages thousands of users and creates a lot of new clients, but many fall short and end up violating Facebook’s terms or giving away expensive products for very few likes or other return.

Over the years I have helped a lot of businesses create contests on Facebook and I’ve learned something every time. So, what is needed to create a successful contest on Facebook? As with any social media marketing endeavor, success comes from good planning, management and follow-up.

Here are my seven top tips for companies that want to build a successful contest on Facebook.

1. Set a goal and a budget

Why should you have a contest on Facebook? If your answer is “because it’s fun” or “all of my competitors are doing it”, it’s time for you to go back to the drawing board. Your contest should somehow contribute to a business goal for your company. Do you want more reach? More likes? More sales? Decide what your goal is worth to you and create a budget that fits.

Say your goal is to drive more likes to your page and each like is worth $5 to you. If the contest prize will cost you $100, then you will need to get 20 new likes to recoup this cost. Don’t forget set-up costs; you will also need to consider the cost of your Facebook App (more on that later) and any advertising you plan to support your contest on Facebook.

How you calculate what your goal is worth will be unique for your company, but the important thing is that you have a goal and that you can easily measure the success of your contest.

2. Create a simple and shareable contest application

A contest on Facebook needs to be located in an application (read Facebook’s Pages terms if you have not already done so). With this in mind, you have three choices. You can build your application from scratch (which requires some programming skills), you can buy a tool with which you can build and customize your own applications, or you can outsource the entire process. I might be a bit biased here, but if you don’t have any programming skills or a big bank account, I recommend you buy a tool so you can build and customize your own applications. This will save you both time and money.

Whatever choice you make, make sure that you end up with a contest that users can easily understand and that encourages them to share. Consider four popular types:

  • A simple “Motivate and Win” contest with a Like-gate, where the components of the contest application are available only to users who like your Page. These are useful if your aim is to grow your Facebook community.
  • A contest with a few questions, the answers to which users can find the answers on your website. These are especially useful if your goal is to drive traffic to your website.
  • A competition in which the user needs to vote on other users’ contributions. These usually generate a lot of buzz and get a lovely viral spread as well.
  • A competition offering a prize to people who share your content. These can be very effective in increasing awareness of your offerings.

The key here is to keep it simple and give the user the ability (and incentive) to share the contest on Facebook with their friends.

3. Ensure your contest on Facebook is accessible on mobile devices

Many Facebook users access the site on mobile devices, so running a contest on Facebook that only works on desktop is a big no-no. The challenge is that Facebook tabs aren’t visible on mobile devices. Make sure your contest on Facebook is accessible to everyone; use a webpage to store your contest on Facebook that can be accessed via mobile devices. You don’t want to risk making your mobile followers sour on you, or lose all mobile users, just because your application doesn’t work on mobile devices!

4. Regularly post about the contest on Facebook

If nobody knows about your contest on Facebook, nobody will participate. Make sure all of your followers and their friends know about the contest by publishing new posts at least 2 – 3 times per week. Offer images of the prize and describe what you can do with it, ask users to participate, and include other calls to action to get more followers to participate in the contest. You can also change your cover photo and point users to your contest. Facebook recently changed its guidelines allowing you to include calls to actions in your cover photo.

5. Promote the contest on your website, in newsletters and through ads

Just because you’re hosting your contest on Facebook doesn’t mean that Facebook should be the only place where you promote it. Add links and banners to your website to make sure visitors are informed about the contest on Facebook and include information on it in your customer newsletters. In my experience, advertising on Facebook has been crucial for contests – just make sure that your ads are targeting the right audience (e.g. do not target Italians if your prize is in the US) and try to use multiple ad formats to see which delivers the best results.

6. Send your congratulations to the winner

When the contest is over, you should show the joy that the contest gave all participants and/or winners. You might, for example, take a picture of the lucky winner and publish it on your timeline. (Just keep in mind that, according to Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines, you can’t notify a winner using the Facebook platform). Also consider talking to the winner or some of the participants to get their feedback on the contest, and then use that feedback in posts and for a future contest on Facebook.

7. Analyze and learn

When you have done all the above, it’s time to become a “number nerd.” Measure progress toward the goals you picked in Step 1 and how well the contest contributed to your business goals. Check Facebook Insights to see how many people visited your contest, how many more likes you received during the contest period, how your reach was affected during the contest, and so on. Make sure you understand what contributed to the success of your contest, and think about what you can do differently the next time around. Then it’s time to start planning for the next contest on Facebook. 😉

To sum things up, set a goal, create a plan, build an app with shareable content, let the world know about your contest, and keep it simple and fun.

Are there any good tips I missed for running a successful contest on Facebook? Add a comment below!

Want more Facebook marketing tips? Like us on Facebook!

3 Things to Know About Social Listening

There’s been a lot of talk lately about social listening, which is another term for social media monitoring.  At a technical level, social listening is an eloquent name for “search.”  These days there are tools available to extract insights from the billions of conversations happening on social media at any given time. If you’re not doing any social listening, or have been looking for a way to beef up your efforts, here are three things you should know:

1) You don’t need a social media marketing program to use social listening

Social listening is a great way to inform any business effort that would be assisted by input from a relevant social community.  Before we had the tools to crunch together the gozillions of social conversations happening across the internet and deliver business insights, we had things like focus groups and research polls.

Any effort that involves the traditional 3 C’s Business Model (Customer, Competition, Company) can be assisted by measuring social sentiment.  When viewed this way, social listening can be used across your organization in several ways:

  • R&D: Find new product ideas listening to what people are saying about products and features
  • Sales:  Could chatter in a specific geography be a new market opportunity?
  • Legal: Research social sentiment on relevant issues, cases and events
  • HR: What are employees, past and present, saying?
  • Customer Service: What are your customers saying?
  • Crisis Communication: Ack!  Hair on fire.  How serious is it?
  • PR & Community Management: Are there key influencers or detractors worth engaging?

2) You get what you pay for (and that’s OK)

With billions of social conversations happening out there simultaneously, finding the ones that are relevant to your business effort can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  I’m sure you’re totally awesome, but you’re not superhuman.  So don’t try to be superhuman.  Use a tool.  (Yes, you’re still allowed to wear a cape.)

For those of you just starting out with a social effort, there are free and freemium social listening tools out there.  These tools are free because they parse a limited number of data sources for results, and they’re a good way to dip your toe in the water of social monitoring.  Once you’re running a serious social media marketing program with measurable business results, you’re best off with a social listening tool that delivers both data and insights associated with that data.  Something as simple as a word cloud will give you quick insight into what’s going on in social chatter around your topics of interest.

If you’re wondering, “Why can’t all these tools be free?” the answer is simple. Beyond “Well, somebody has to build and maintain them,” the fact is data isn’t free.  Meltwater Buzz, for example, gathers as much data as is technologically possible (for you more advanced tech folks, yes, we do get the entire Twitter firehose), and then delivers both the source results and the business insights around them.

If your presence is global, you may also want to monitor in multiple languages and translate the results to your native language.  But no free tool will support that.

3) Consumers aren’t sure how they feel about social listening*

The infographic at the beginning of this post sums it up: 32% of U.S. consumers of all ages – and more surprisingly – 38% of Millennials have no idea companies are listening to them.  More than 40% of consumers think listening online intrudes on privacy.  But almost 50% of consumers want companies to listen in order to improve products, and nearly 60% of them want companies to respond to complaints made through social media.

Indeed, the message from consumers seems to be “Listen to me when I want you to,” which is a request best put into action when you start crafting your social conversation.  By listening, you can figure out what your target community is saying, as well as where and how you might best insert yourself into that conversation.

So go ahead and listen, and be prepared for some rotten tomatoes.  As we community managers found in the days of chat rooms and message boards, the low barriers to entry for digital communication and the anonymity of sitting behind a computer screen will generally lend themselves to some level of squeaky wheel syndrome.  Don’t flip out too much when you see complaints coming into your Twitter feed, but do be prepared with an action plan to route these communications productively.

There’s a lot of data out there these days, and knowledge is power.  Let the wisdom of crowds guide your business efforts: after all, social listening is the new focus group.


* “Social Listening vs. Digital Privacy,” JD Power & Associates & Netbase, 2013

Generating Leads on Social Media: Do’s and Don’ts

Social media is a great tool for building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website and, if used appropriately, generating leads. However, it’s the last point that brands tend to have the most trouble with. As marketers, everything we do should have a business impact, and there’s no better way to prove business impact than generating leads and proving good, old-fashioned ROI. So, without further ado, here are some do’s and don’ts for generating leads on social media.

 

DON’T continually broadcast your messages.

DO make the switch from monologue to social dialogue marketing.

Social media is intended to be social – meaning it’s a conversation between you and your community. Start off on social media by listening, and find the topics that your audience is interested in. Once you have a firm grasp of the types of conversations that take place on each network, begin contributing to them. This will help you position yourself as an expert and build trust with your community. Then you’ll be top of mind when they need advice or when they’re ready to talk about your product. No need to broadcast, your prospects know where to find you when they’re ready.

 

DON’T be overly promotional.

DO add value.

Adding to the previous point, the type of information you share will determine your level of community engagement. Promotional content is not likely to get much engagement, and certainly won’t build any trust if brought up too early. Make sure you’re adding value to your community and building relationships first, and earning the right to discuss your product. Let your prospects see you as a resource, and they’ll be sure to come to you when they need to discuss solutions.

 

DON’T miss the opportunity to sell, when it arises.

DO use a social media monitoring solution to ensure you don’t miss valuable opportunities.

Set up social media monitoring to alert you when your brand name, your competitor’s brand name, or your product category is mentioned. For example, if someone has a question or complaint about a competitor, offer him or her advice to help solve the problem. This can go a long way in building a relationship, and your prospect isn’t likely to forget you when its time for contract renewals.

Are you sensing a theme yet? Generating leads on social media is all about social conversations.

 

DON’T treat all networks the same.

DO utilize the unique features each social network has to offer.

Each social network has unique opportunities for generating leads. For example, get fans to your Facebook page with great engagement and content and let them discover your Facebook Tabs where they can download an eBook, subscribe to your email list, or participate in a survey or contest. Or get fans to your LinkedIn page, where they can discover your product pages.

 

The Moral of the Story?

Generating leads on social media is about building a strong social community through conversation, and building relationships. Discuss promotional content sparingly, and only when initiated by the other party. Your goal is to stay top of mind, so that your prospects reach out to you when they’re ready to buy. When that time comes, make sure you’ve optimized your social profiles (and website!) for conversions. Keep experimenting with different messages, calls to action and lead generation tactics to see what resonates with your community. Social media can be a great tool for generating leads, but you have to realize that it’s less supportive of on direct response than your more traditional lead generation channels.

5 Easy Ways to Brainstorm Blog Topic Ideas

As a social media marketer, content is at the core of my practice. Without insightful, educational, or interesting content to share, I don’t have anything to talk about online.

While curating content is an important part of social media marketing, I’ve found that producing my own content on my company’s blog has been a great way to build credibility for myself and my company. The business blogs that I’ve contributed to in the past have proven to be instrumental in my social media strategy, as they help me meet business goals by driving targeted traffic back to the business’ website.

The trick, however, is blogging often enough to make an impact. Regular blogging has clear benefits to your business: first, it helps your website get indexed more frequently by search engines so that you rank higher in search results; second, it drives a steady flow of traffic to your website to help new prospects discover your business; third, it keeps you top of mind for returning visitors; and finally, yes, it can even help you generate leads.

But, sometimes, it can be difficult to come up with enough blog topic ideas to keep the content coming; this is a common problem.  Allow me to offer five tips for brainstorming blog topic ideas so you can publish on a regular schedule.

Blog Topic Ideas | #1 Newsjacking

One of my favorite methods for coming up with great blog topic ideas is to newsjack, or write a blog post about a recent news story. For example, when Facebook announced its algorithm changes, everyone was writing blog posts about what the changes were, what impact they might have, what they liked, and what they didn’t like, etc.

When I’ve done this in the past, I always tried to add value above and beyond the basic announcement, providing insight on who the news would affect, how it would affect them, and what they could do about it. This helped my posts stand out from the other articles.

Blog Topic Ideas | #2 Create Reaction Posts

Oftentimes, I’ll read a blog post that really gets me thinking – and I’ll want to contribute to the conversation. Rather than writing a novel in the comments section of another blog, I’ll write a reaction post on my own blog. This gives me the freedom to provide an in-depth response to something that intrigued me, and helps me come up with blog topic ideas that at least one other person might be interested in (i.e. the original author)!

Blog Topic Ideas | #3 Share and Discuss Infographics

I often get blog topic ideas from infographics that are related to my blog’s focus. If I see one on Mashable, Pinterest, or another blog that I think would be interesting to my community, I upload the image and do a short write up on it. I usually include something I found surprising, or I’ll pick one of the main points and elaborate on it.  I recently did this on my article How to Get More Followers on Twitter. I found an incredible infographic with tons of great tips for increasing your Twitter following, and wrote a blog post about my four favorite.  If you want to take this tip to the next level, create your own infographic and write up a blog post about it!  (Note: this tip also works for videos you find interesting.)

Blog Topic Ideas | #4 Interview Someone

Rather than trying to come up with a 600-1,000 word post, I will sometimes come up with a few questions that I can ask a customer, thought leader or business partner and have them create the majority of the content. In the past, I’ve done simple email interviews with various thought leaders about industry trends; I send them the questions, and they email their answers back. This was a fun way to collaborate with others in my industry, and they helped me promote the interview to get broader reach. I’ve also seen people run live Google Plus hangouts for these types of interviews, which can be recorded and embedded on your blog, and uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo. It’s a nice bonus to come up with great blog topic ideas that can be reused in other types of content.

Blog Topic Ideas | #5 Get Ideas from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Each time I write a blog post, I type my post’s keywords into the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to see if I can optimize my post for search engines. By doing so, I get alternative, suggested keywords, complete with metrics on the degree of competition for the keywords and the number of monthly searches. This is full of great blog post ideas! For example, when I typed in “Twitter Marketing,” I found that “how to use Twitter” had low competition and 135,000 global, monthly searches. That’s definitely low-hanging fruit from an SEO perspective, so I add that to my list of future blog topic ideas.

I also try to think up some related blog topics ideas, like “How to Use Twitter for Lead Generation,” “How to Use Lists on Twitter,” and “How to Use Twitter Search to Keep an Eye on My Competitors.” Rather than trying to come up with blog topic ideas in a crunch, I’ve found it extremely beneficial to have a list of ideas already at my disposal.

What are your favorite ways to brainstorm blog topic ideas? Share them below, and they may be featured on a future post!