How can nonprofits, or anyone in that matter, gather more Twitter followers when there are literally millions of people who are Tweeting everyday about everything under the sun? When pondering over this question I simply asked my teenage daughter how she gains followers on Twitter. Her simplistic answer, “just ask them to follow you in your bio and they will”, made me realize I was making this challenge harder than it really is. It is extremely competitive within the social media aspects but I am going to take a different way of looking at how we can get new Tweets and not get overwhelmed.
I went searching on the internet for great advice and found sites and blogs that offered ideas such as the site by James Blute featuring 7 Twitter Marketing Tips. His insight was helpful and for a newcomer to the social media world I really appreciated his easy to follow tips.
Basically I had to start really thinking about the audience I want to attract to my cause. In my case, I am extremely new to Twitter but since I am a passionate cancer awareness advocate and want to get the word out to as many people I can in a very short period of time, I needed to learn how to Tweet and wanted to gain as many followers as possible to start. So to get followers you must follow others that are in the same field/cause you are in.
Start by doing a search in Twitter using target words that are in your cause that you feel your audience will be following. Do your homework and really read over their bios, look at what others are Tweeting about and if you like what you see then start following them. Sometimes if you Retweet something you have the chance of gaining them as a follower in the future. Some view it as a form of flattery and will appreciate the Retweet. It’s kind of like an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” scenario and we really need to tap into it especially in the nonprofit realm.
Another way to gain followers is to use the pound symbol (#) Twitter calls the hash tag. This will tag the word you pair it with and when others (like yourself in the beginning) are searching for target words they will find your Tweets and could possibly start following you. It’s really that simple. There are many ways to gather new followers such as noted in this great blog I found at 20 Social Media Resources For Nonprofits posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly. It not only helped me find more resources, but it gave me great ideas on how to gain more followers on Twitter, gave me a list of people/groups that I should be following as well and helpful hints on using more social media that I have never thought about using before.
The world is out there waiting for you to grab it, you just have to ask yourself if you are going to be the first to hook or cast. Get to Tweeting my friends!