How to organically grow your followers on Twitter?

I have committed to volunteering at Kevin Richardson wildlife sanctuary in South Africa in 2016.
Until then, I am helping him and his wife Mandy with their digital and social media presence.

They recently asked me for advise about how to organically grow their followers on Twitter.
I thought that the tips I prepared for them, could also be valuable for you.

Here they are.

1- Know who you are talking to:

  • Use Twitter analytics to understand the profile of your organic audience and track your performance over time.
    Go to analytics.twitter.com to activate.
  • Define conversation themes based on your followers traits. You will be more interesting to your reached audience end therefore more users might follow you.

2- Leverage all your marketing material:
Twitter is the best touchpoint to enable your audience to interact with you in real time. Remind them when they see your brand!

  • Your online assets of course:
    • Embed your Twitter timeline into your website:
      This will show your live activity and entice your website visitors to follow you.
      If your website template is not pre built with this feature, click on this link to know how.
    • Same goes for the the follow button:
      Add a follow button to your website and email signature (if you can’t figure this out, just write your @handle with a hyperlink)
    • Try adding call to action to your videos:
      Add a screen at the end of your videos with a call to action to follow you on Twitter (always showing your @handle + a clear call to action).
  • Your offline ones as well:
    • Show your @handle on all your marketing tools: brochures, business cards, leaflets, sales receipts, newsletters T shirts, vehicles, cup cakes,….Wherever people might see your brand when they have their mobile phones handy, add Twitter. Be creative with it, try things out!
      Remember that “Follow us on Twitter” or the Twitter bird is not enough. Be specific, show your @handle: Follow us on Twitter @mariesornin
    • This is also true for speaking engagement/ public appearances:
      Include your @handle in your slides, call out the audience to follow you when you start.
      Get your staff and the conference/ program organizers/ audience to live Tweet the key elements of your speech. Make sure that they mention your @handle and # of the event in their Tweets.

3- Give and Get:

Like in any conversation being engaging is key to making people want to talk to you again.
Twitter works the same way.
When you are engaging to your current followers, they will carry your message out extending your “earned” visibility and consequently bringing you new followers.
There are several ways of doing so on Twitter, here are some important ones:

  • Let people know what to expect from Twitter account: Your photo, bio and URL on your Twitter profile are the 1st thing that people will see. Make it impactful and catchy.
  • Follow people who are important to you. They might follow you back
  • Mention people’s @handle in your tweets, tag them in your photos. They might reply, favorite and RT you (generating a greater earned footprint for your content)
  • Reply to the users mentioning you in a timely manner. They will feel engaged, gratified and will help spread your message to their followers when you need them to!
  • Tweet around the clock: your followers might scattered around the globe (Twitter analytics can tell you that), you must be visible to all of them regularly.
  • Use Twitter native tools: upload your photos on Twitter (links to an Instagram photo will get way less engagement), shoot videos from your mobile, build website cards to Tweet your site pages, try Vines & GIFs.

4- Leverage moments:

  • Insert your tweets in current topics of conversations.Use Search.twitter.com to find the the right #. Use them in your Tweets.

Try these tips and check the impact on your followers growth over time.
Alternate your implementation, don’t do everything at once so you can understand what pushes the needle and focus on these points.

And of course, since I work at Twitter, I couldn’t finish this post without a little push to our promoted products: if all that is working for you and you want to take it one step further, you can also add a Promoted Accounts campaign.

Any other tips that are worth sharing? Comment below!

Marie Sornin for @lionwhispererSA
After all that, if you care that at this current rate Lions might be extinct in 20 years, give Kevin a follow on Twitter: @lionwhispererSA

Is social currency worth Gold?

If there is one thing that shocked me in the 2013 Cannes Cyber Lions winners, it is that all of them seem to claim to be a social media success! Although the shortlisted campaigns don’t present themselves specifically as social media activities, it is as if generating reactions on social networks, has became the proof that a campaign has been adopted by the target audience. Just as much as the business performance… So, does it mean that turning an advertising message into social currency is worth gold?

Here is a summary of my favourite campaigns:

Adidas Window shopping (2013 Silver Cyber Lion)
Shop like it’s the future! I love the idea of keeping a store open even when it’s closed. The key is that they made the mobile integration simple and seamless. Reminds me of the Tesco Korea campaign (2011 Gold Cyber Lion)

Dove Real Beauty Sketches (2013 Gold Cyber Lion)
Not only it is an interesting concept artistically, the campaign really brings to life how women see themselves. The problem is obvious, it is up to all of us to help fix it!
Funny to see that Axe is now giving power to women with the fear no Susan Glenn initiative!

Oreo Daily Twist (2013 Grand Prix Cyber Lion)
Cool idea, social by design and success coming down to the dedicated resource on deck to come up with creativity worth spreading every day!
Everybody loves Oreos, now everybody loves sharing their Oreo twists!

Metropole Tweetphony (2013 Silver Cyber Lion)
I like the way new technologies are now associated with stuff as old as classical music…  The Tweepthony could have very well turned into a real cacophony but it didn’t. Like Pay with a Tweet, (2011 Cyber Lion winner) great use of twitter for creating value!

I also thought that a few other campaigns are also worth highlighting:

– Metro Train Dumb ways to Die (2013 5 Gold Lions/ 1 Silver). Brilliant branded content, the amount of recognition speaks for itself!
Perfume open platform for creativity (2013 Silver Cyber Lion + entertainment category at he Japan media arts festival)
Hello Again by Lincoln (2013 Gold Cyber Lion) Although the challenge of re inventing an old car brand and associate it with Music has been over used, the innovation power used to create the digital content is incredible (great credits to Go Pro). Execution is outstanding!
Nike Chance (2013 Silver Cyber Lion) Giving rejected young players another chance. Hope they will turn this into a yearly mechanic not just a one off campaign.
Clouds over Cuba (2013 Gold Cyber Lion): making history and culture accessible to all! Like the Google Art project, we want more of that!
– Perrier Secret Place (2013 Bronze and Silver Lion), Golden chains (2013 Silver Cyber Lion), Tokyo Symphony (2013 Silver Cyber Lion) and Jam with Chrome (2013 Bronze Silver Lion) are great examples of pure digital and collaborative entertainment!

Do you what these brilliant campaigns have in common, apart form being 2013 Cannes Cyber Lions winners, of course? Come to Ignite Sydney on August 7th and I will share with you the three words that guarantee social media success (I might use some of these campaigns as examples to illustrate what I mean!)

Marie Sornin

An essay on social currency

Guest post by Alexander Southwick– Emerging Solutions and Social Advertising Executive at Fairfax Media

As social media develops to become a mainstream marketing channel for brands, there is a critical need to define the way we measure social success. In line with the traditional measurement metric of ‘reach’, most marketers look to the total number of ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ on their brand accounts as a key objective for their social media activities.
In theory, ‘reach’ should increase the engagement level with brands. Therein lies the dilemma of social networks: a consumer can filter out a brand if they feel they are being interrupted too much (spam). Knowing that the average post on a Facebook brand page will only reach 12% of your audience means that the total number of ‘likes’ a page has isn’t a true reflection of social success. Instead marketers need to look away from reach based messaging, to messaging that is adding value to the communities they are building around their brands: Social currency!

Social currency is a relatively new term that is applied to material being shared across social networks. People deal in social currency to increase their personal or brand standings in the eyes of peers and consumers. In short… something that people want to share and discuss. A brand updating their page with a new viral video gives their users a reason to share with their connections. As a result the creation of content with high social currency will help to add value to the community. Consequently, for marketers to be successful at social media, they need to look to develop content that gives social currency for users to take away and ‘share’, ‘retweet’, ‘reblog’ and ‘repin’ across social networks.

One of the most outstanding example of social currency is the  Red Bull Stratos Jump. It occurred on the 14th of October 2012 and not only did Felix break 3 world records, he helped Red Bull create truly unique and compelling ‘hook’ that people wanted to ‘share’, ‘retweet’, ‘reblog’ and everything in between. With more than 8 million people worldwide watching the Youtube Live stream, the post jump photo of Felix having landed safely has achieved 491,353 Likes, 21,175 comments and 50,508 shares the majority of which occurred in the first hour of it being uploaded! Multiplying the number of shares by the average number of friends a Facebook user has the reach potential got close to 11 million Facebook users. Even by applying the 12% viewing ratio, that still gives you a true reach of 1.32 million! Red Bull associated its brand to content that is so compelling  it became a mainstream topic of conversation. Direct marketing benefits are invaluable!

Creating social currency isn’t easy.
However, by deeply understanding your audience (beyond what they like about your brands & products), identifying what is  most interesting to your fans/followers and potential customers and creating content around it, you will have the keys to provide value. The next thing you need to do is break out of the TVC model and go for a ‘branded entertainment’ production model…. and that isn’t easy… only a few advertisers manage to do this well. The Mary Me Microsoft campaign we blogged about in 2010 and the ‘is it content or is it advertising?‘ post from last December showed good examples. Here is a more recent one: Teaching your consumers something new a in fun way is a particularly good, even if it has a bit of a sombre message –

As more marketers understand the importance of social currency, and consumers gain more power to ignore or amplify their message….  The process of surrounding the target consumer with messaging in an integrated campaign might not hold true anymore. Accurate measurement is critical for social media to keep growing its share in the communications mix. We must re-think how to evaluate social media KPIs and what messaging will achieve these KPIs .

As an agency or advertiser, do you have specific KPIs for your social media campaigns? Are able to clearly measure the benefit they are bringing to your marketing plans?

For more information on how to create social currency read our article “What are the three words that will guarantee social media success?”

Alexander Southwick

Sources:

Red Bull Facebook Page

Social media: it’s that simple!

The goal isn't to be good at social media, the goal is to be good at business because of social media

credit to @Jaybaer #ADMAWebinar social strategy

Twitter cheat sheet

Twitter cheat sheet

everything you need to about how to use Twitter