In this lesson, we’ll talk about another strategy you can use to gain more followers, the elements that will help you create a powerful account and how you can monetize your Twitter efforts.
Follow and You Shall Be Followed
One of the most effective strategies to gain followers on Twitter is to actually follow other people. Why? Because many Twitter users reciprocate whoever is following them, so they will follow you back.
Just be careful to not mass follow and unfollow people aggressively (e.g., follow and unfollow hundreds of users every single day), because this would violate Twitter’s Terms of Services and it could get your account banned.
Now should you follow people randomly? Not at all, as this would reduce the quality of your followers as well. You should only follow users relevant to your niche and with similar interests. One way to do this is to follow the followers of a specific profile. If you have a web design blog, for example, you could identify some popular web designers on Twitter and start following the followers of their accounts, as there are good chances that these users are interested in web design.
There is a similar service called TweepML, where you’ll find pre-created lists of Twitter users around specific niches or topics. The service allows you to automatically follow all the users inside any list.
Understanding the Twitter Limits
Twitter added several limits over time to combat spam problems, and they affect the amount of followers and followings you can have, so it is important to understand how they work.
The first limit that you need to keep in mind is the maximum number of follows per day, which is 1,000. In other words, on any 24 hours period you can follow a maximum of 1,000 people. If you try to follow someone once you reached the 1,000 limit, Twitter will not execute the command and report an error.
The second limit that you need to keep in mind is the total number of people that Twitter accounts can follow in general. Each account can follow up to 2,000 people no matter what. After that threshold you will be allowed to follow 10% more people than the number of followers you have. If you want follow more than 2,000 people, therefore, you will need to have 2,000 followers on your account, and this will enable you to follow up to 2,200 people.
If you reach 3,000 followers you will be able to follow 3,300 people. If you reach 5,000 followers you will be able to follow 5,500 people. So on and so forth.
Building a Powerful Account
By now you should already know how to gain followers on Twitter. This is an important part of building a powerful account, but there is also another factor that you should take into consideration: the responsiveness of your followers. That is, how willing are your followers to read your tweets, click on your links and perform whatever action you are asking them to perform?
Here is a quick example to let you understand why having a responsive set of followers is important. Suppose that we have two marketers using Twitter. The first one decided to “buy” followers from an online service. The service basically charges $49 and promises to add 5,000 followers to the account of the client. Obviously most of those followers will be bots and fake accounts, and the marketer will have no real relationship with them. As a result, the responsiveness of this account will be very low.
The second marketer, on the other hand, adopts a more natural approach. He uses the techniques we described above to gain 2,000 followers, making sure to only follow people who are inside his niche. He also keeps adding value through his tweets and engaging with his followers as often as possible. As a result, the responsiveness of his account is fairly good.
Now imagine that both marketers want to promote an affiliate offer. They both tweet the same message with a link pointing to the same sales page. It is very likely that the first marketer will see a very low amount of clicks from his tweet, and probably no sale at all.
The second marketer, on the other hand, will see many more clicks and will have a much higher chance of delivering sales.
As you can see, the total number of followers you have is only part of the story.
Three Elements to Keep in Mind
We are now going to cover some points that you need to keep in mind to increase the responsiveness of your Twitter account:
1. Work within a niche
A niche is nothing more than a group of people who share the same interest. You have the Ferrari niche, the marketing niche and the ice cream niche, for example If you want to build a powerful Twitter account you must focus your efforts on a single niche. This means that you should follow people inside that niche, publish tweets that are relevant to that niche and so on.
2. Add value through your tweets
If all you publish on your tweets are links to your own websites and products your followers will start ignoring you very soon.
It is essential to give value to your followers before you ask them to do something for you. This involves tweeting interesting things, including links to stories that will be useful to your followers and so on.
Try to keep the ratio of 10 “value” tweets to every “marketing” tweet you send out.
3. Engage in the conversations
Apart from adding value through your tweets you should also try to engage in the conversations.Remember that most people see Twitter as a big social network.
Practically speaking, this means that you should answer to questions when possible, retweet interesting tweets, talk from a personal point of view and so on.
Summing Up: Build Genuine Relationships
The summary of these points is that you should aim to build genuine relationships with your Twitter followers. Relationships are the foundation of trust, after all, and trust is what will make your followers read your tweets, click on your links and act on your calls to action.
Making Money with Twitter
In this final part we are going to cover how you can leverage your Twitter account to actually make some money.
1. Sponsored Tweets
Sponsored tweets represent the most direct way to make money with Twitter. You will basically tweet a sponsored message from a company, and they will pay you some money for that.
How much money can you make per sponsored tweet? It depends on how many followers you have and on the popularity of your brand. Web celebrities with over 50,000 followers are being offered as much as $500 for a single sponsored tweet. If you have around 5,000 followers, on the other hand, you should expect to make anywhere from $5 up to $50 per tweet. If you then consider that you can published several sponsored tweets per month, well, you can see that it is not bad money at all.
At this point you might be asking yourself: “All right, but where do I find advertisers?” You need to create on market places for that.
We recommend two in particular: SponsoredTweets.com and Ad.ly. We are not affiliated with any of them, but they are the largest players in the market. Create an account on each, and check where you will get the highest offers.
Just make sure to keep a good balance between sponsored and normal tweets on your account, else you will scare your followers away.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Another way of making money with your Twitter accounts is by tweeting affiliate marketing offers. You basically need to sign¬up as an affiliate for a certain company, and then tweet a message containing your affiliate link.
If you are an affiliate for the company that provides web hosting for your site, for example, you could tweet something like this:
Loving XYZ Hosting so far. No downtimes and good customer support. Check their plans here: http://bit.ly/d35j4
The http://bit.ly/d35j4 would be a shortened link containing your affiliate code, and if any of your followers clicked on it and signed¬up for a hosting account with your provider you will earn a commission.
Keep in mind that you have to options regarding where to send the Twitter traffic to sell affiliate offers. You can send it directly to the sales page of the merchant, as with the example above, and you can send it to a pre¬-sell page that you will create on your own blog or website.
That pre-¬sell page could be a post where you review the products or services for instance. The advantage of using pre-¬sell pages is that you get another opportunity to convince people.
Some offers convert better with direct links, some with links to pre-¬sell pages, so test both and stick with the one performing better.
3. Selling Your Own Products and Services
If you have your own online products (e.g., ebooks), or if you offer some kind of online services (e.g., web design or marketing consulting), you could use your Twitter account to generate sales.
The process here is slightly different than with affiliate marketing. Since you are the actual creator of those products and services, you should focus more on the relationship aspect. In other words, use your Twitter account to foster relationships with your clients instead of trying to rush them through your sales page. Piratically speaking this means that you could talk about your products and services on your tweets, ask your followers for feedback and suggestions, create special promotions only for your Twitter followers and so on.
4. Driving Traffic to Your Website or Blog
This is an indirect way to make money with Twitter, but it should still be considered.
By sending traffic to your website or blog you will be able to gain more RSS subscribers, to build your email lists, to make more money with advertising deals and the like.
An advantage of using this indirect strategy is the fact that your followers will be more responsive to it. In other words, they are will be more likely to click on a link pointing to one of your blog posts than on a link pointing to a sales page selling a third party product.
- If you are not following people regularly, start doing it, as this will also increase the amount of followers you have. You can use the services mentioned in this lesson to make sure you’ll only follow users relevant to your niche.
- Keep in mind that a powerful Twitter account depends not only on the number of followers you have, but also on their responsiveness to your tweets.
- Decide how you are going to monetize your Twitter presence. Notice that you can opt for an indirect strategy, where you’ll use Twitter only to promote and send traffic to your websites.
Previous Lesson: Marketing on Twitter – Part 1