Let's first take a step back and take a look at the different drivers for people to follow a business' Twitter. Statistics shown that people follow a company on twitter for three main reasons:
- To receive special promotions or discounts
- Because they are a current customer
- They are looking for interesting or entertaining content
This information is important because we can now tailor your twitter posts, content and overall twitter strategy towards the types of content that excite followers.
Now that we know what drives people to follow your business on twitter, let's dive into five creative ways to start building your Twitter following. Please note, these examples are simply given to get the "gears" in your head turning and I would suggest putting your own business' creative swing on each idea or building off these ideas.
Offer an Exclusive Extension or Service for Followers
A great way to gain a lot of twitter followers is to offer an exclusive extension for your twitter followers. Although this is a stronger approach to gaining new followers, many have seen amazing results with this strategy.
Example: Setup a landing page for the extension on your website just like all your other extensions, but instead of having a button to download, have something to the effect of:
To Download, Simply (follow @twitter button) now and we'll send you a message on twitter with the download!
Then every time you gain a new follower on twitter, send them a standardized message thanking them for following your business and include a reward of a free download of that particular extension.
This is an extremely effective way to boost your twitter following because you are offering such a value for becoming a follower. If you do not want to do this with an extension, there are many other types of exclusive offers you could offer such as a free ebook, training course, bonus plugin or a free webinar.
Exclusive Promotional Offers
Listed as the number one reason people follow a business on Twitter, this idea can yield big results if run properly. If you're a Joomla developer running a promotion, why not re-gear it towards exclusively twitter with a goal of increasing your followers and then converting those followers on your promotion.
When running a promotion to increase followers, it's important to keep it exclusive to Twitter and not offer it anywhere else. However, you should market the promotion through out all your normal means of marketing: email blast, website, other social networks, etc.
An exclusive offer can really be anything you want, however, it needs to be a big enough offer to persuade people to go out of their way to follow your Joomla business. Sometime offering some sort of jaw-dropping offer can create quite the buzz in the community and result in a great deal of viral response.
Another good idea is to create a monthly offer that is extended only to your twitter followers for the first week of every month. Then select different products or services and feature them with a healthy discount.
Try a number of different types of promotions for various products or services and see which combination converts the highest. Once you find the magic one, create a larger campaign to try and really drive followers to your twitter page.
Host an Exclusive Twitter Contest
If you have not seen the theme in these ideas yet, they are all being run exclusively on twitter, however, they are being marketed on all your marketing networks. As stated earlier, this will be your best effort to get the word out about the content and convert new followers.
Running a Twitter exclusive contest for your followers is an amazing way not only to gain new followers, but also to build brand loyalty with current followers. Take the time to plan out a complete contest from start to finish and there's a good chance you will see a big boost in your following.
Here's a general example of how you could effectively use run a contest to help indirectly increase your followers. Let's say you are a Joomla extension developer who has a new component coming out and you would like to generate some buzz around it.
Create a contest to run for the first week of the component's release where 10 lucky twitter followers can win a free copy of the component. All users have to do to enter is follow your business on twitter and once following, make a tweet mentioning your new component. To track the contest, create a specific hash tag for the contest and require your followers to include this hash tag in their tweet.
Integrate Twitter Into Your Entire Process
If you're like most Joomla developers, there's a good chance that you send out hundreds of emails and post all day on social media site and other website. These are all good opportunities to gain new followers.
Start integrating your twitter into everything you are doing including marketing, communications and promotional materials. Add a call to action to follow you on Twitter on your business cards, email signature, invoices, letter head, skype bio, etc. Each contact you have with another human being is an opportunity to gain a new follower.
Use the special "follow @twitter" button to allow users to directly follow you with just one click of the mouse. This can be placed in most of the areas where HTML is accepted and is a quick way to gain new twitter followers when paired with a strong call to action as we will talk about below.
Create Strong and Compelling Call to Actions that speak Value
No matter which marketing idea you plan to employ above, it is key that you develop strong, actionable call to actions which speak to the value that the user will receive once they follow your business. Creating this type of call to actions is a science and must continually be refined and improved, however, in time you will create amazing call to actions with huge conversion rates.
An example of a strong, actionable call to action is: "Follow (your business) now for educational content, Joomla news and product updates + we will give you XX% off your next purchase!"
For those of you who are marketing savvy enough and have the resources, create multiple call to actions and put them in an A/B test to see which benefit performs the best. Start with having each call to action focus on a different benefit and see which benefit converts the most users. For example:
- Ad 1: "Grow your Joomla Knowledge! Follow (your business) on twitter for exclusive educational content"
- Ad 2: "Stay up to date on Joomla News. We post news daily on our twitter, follow us now!"
- Ad 3: "Keep your components Up to Date. Follow us on twitter for the latest product updates."
- Ad 4: "Who doesn't like discounts? Follow us on twitter and receive XX% off your next purchase!"
Over time you will be able to see which benefit converts the best and then slowly start focusing on this benefit over the other benefits.
Find a Complementary Business and Cross-Promote
In the business world, and especially in the Joomla world, we are all about helping businesses which complement our products or services. The more you can help another business, the more they will help you and both of the organizations will grow.
Connect with a business that offers some type of product or service that complements your own business and create a cross-promotional marketing strategy to help drive new followers to each other from your existing networks.
These are just a few creative ideas to get the "gears" in your brain turning about how to effectively grow your Twitter following. One last point to keep in mind, make sure that you keep your strategy targeted at people in your target demographic. Focusing on getting people to follow you who are in your business's target demographic will ensure that users will engage and convert on the content you post on twitter. You will see better results from 100 qualified followers than 300 unqualified followers.
Have you ever successfully run a marketing strategy to increase your followers? Please share and explain what made it successful. If you have any questions or other ideas, please comment now.