For perspective, I’m writing this on April 25th (my birthday btw, in case you want to send a card :>).
I just started a process to grow a Twitter following for the MaximizeYourMoney Twitter account (feel free to follow it – I’d appreciate it!).
Baseline: Zero followers.
A Posting System Needed…
April 22nd I subscribed to MeetEdgar and set it up with the MYM Blog’s RSS feed – in just seconds it pulled in the content from the blog. I’m not sure if it will automatically pull in new posts or not. I’ll need to pay attention and check that out. [UPDATE: Yes, it pulls new posts automatically and puts them in a “pending review” queue. That’s a great feature.][UPDATE2: Buffer has a beta feature that allows saving posts to a Library and then scheduling them to go out over time. This is a great feature that I think will allow me to switch away from MeetEdgar but still fill that same function.][UPDATE3: Buffer killed the Library feature. Very dissappointing because I loved it.]
In the past I’ve used SocialOomph, and had been pretty happy with it, plus it costs less, but I’ve talked to a lot of people who manage social media pretty well and they’ve raved about MeetEdgar so that’s what I decided to try. Edgar has a queue – where it dropped the RSS blog posts – that allows for categories that you can fill with posts. Links, images, text, etc… normal social media posting stuff. Then you tell it when you want posts to go out and it picks posts for you and staggers them through the chosen days and times. When all of the posts have been made, it starts over again. I like this scheduling option more than the one at SocialOomph that requires you set a schedule on each post (i.e. “post this every X days”) which can cause some odd overlapping at times.
So we have some content set up and that will go out on a regular basis. Why? And why allow some posts to repeat? Because social media is very “here-and-now”. Some reports show that as few as 4% of followers (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) actually see your posts. The reason is that social media streams are *SO* noisy that many things get missed. By repeating (the good) content you have a better chance that people will see it. Also, if you are growing the account you’ll have new followers every day/week/whatever – people who haven’t seen the older posts but who would benefit from them. So this type of process is a good thing.
Need Followers to See the Posts!
April 22nd we had zero followers. Today we still only have 15, but hey, it’s been less than 72 hours, so I really didn’t expect much. In fact, to do social media right you need:
- TIME. It takes time. Building a good social media following and marketing strategy takes time. It is a marathon, not a sprint.
- CONSISTENCY. You really need a good system to excel at social media. You need to post regularly. You need to engage with followers. You need to develop and deploy new content. If you post a bunch then nothing for a while, then post again, then nothing… that type of sporadic activity is not going to move you to a successful campaign.
So what’s a good way to get Twitter followers? Find other accounts that are similar to yours. For the MYM project there are the obvious ones like @DaveRamsey or @ChrisHogan360 but also a ton of smaller personal finance bloggers. Build a list of a few. Don’t just focus on the big ones – sometimes the smaller ones are even better (more later).
Once you have a list, it is easy enough to bring up that other Twitter account and see who follows them. Those are people who are interested in the type of content you are producing and sharing. Engage with these people. Follow them. Read their posts. Retweet and Like as appropriate. What you’ll find is that a decent percentage of them will start to follow you also – especially from the smaller accounts. If someone followed a different small/new account, they are more likely to also follow your new/smaller account early on.
Don’t follow hundreds of new people every day. One reason is that you just won’t be able to “do it well” if there are that many new people. You really should be attempting to engage with them. Another reason is that Twitter doesn’t like it. Even after following the first 5o people at MYM I got a request to make sure I was a real person and not a spammer. I did and they (Twitter) were satisfied.
I wonder how long it will take me to hit 1,000 Twitter followers. Guess we’ll see! :) [It took just over one month.] I’ll post updates here sharing my progress so you can gauge for yourself how well this follower-building technique works (or not).
So… the results so far… to be updated over time…
April 22nd 2016: 0 followers but I started following batches of people who like similar content
July 22nd: 3,368 followers
January 30th 2017: 4,624 followers
June 2nd 2017: 5,636
Twitter is the #2 traffic source to the MaximizeYourMoney Financial Coaching website now. What is the #1 source? Pinterest actually. Yeah, surprises me too. :)