Five Activities to Grow your Twitter Community
Summer class for the UMASS Journalism Online Program is officially in session. My course, Social Media and Public Relations, kicked off last week with the students building and branding their Twitter profiles and actively engaging in our classroom community (#UMASSPRSM). This article is in honor of their dedicated participation so far, and to further help my students and any other students and professionals who are new to Twitter and want to successfully grow their communities and follower base. Paying for followers is not an option. You have to build your community through transparency, meaningful conversations and relationships that blossom organically.
Here are five tips to help you grow your Twitter community and to find great opportunities that can materialize far beyond your Twitter feed.
- Incorporate the right hashtags into your tweets, making what you share searchable and easy to find the people interested in what you’re sharing. Hashtags, if used appropriately, help you to reach your target audience, connect you with your industry and build community. You can use the tool Hashtagify to search for related hashtags, top influencers, and usage patterns. When you use the right hashtags, you’re also able to organize your Twitter conversations and makes sense of a very noisy media landscape.
- Build relationships with Twitter influencers who drive the pressing topics and critical conversations in different communities. When you build a relationship with an influencer, and they share on your behalf, people trust the information and they are more likely to follow you. I use MentionMapp to visually identify and uncover information on people in my own Twitter network and then dig deeper to uncover who they know (individuals of influence) in their networks too. If your connection has a relationship with an influencer, then you may be able to join a conversation or leverage this friend for an introduction.
- “Listen” strategically by monitoring Twitter conversations. By constantly listening, you can learn what people want from you, answer their questions and deliver helpful content, becoming a valuable, trusted and relied upon resource. When you share good information consistently, people will want to follow you. You can monitor Twitter conversations through a number of tools including Hootsuite, Cyfe and BuzzSumo, which are all free tools or have a freemium version.
- Tech Test visual tools that help to make your tweets stand out. I started out using Pablo by Buffer and Canva and now I’m a Piktochart power user. Full disclaimer: after a year or so of using Piktochart they became one of my consulting clients. The ability to create infographics, posters, reports and templates for free, or with a premium subscription, can really make your tweet stand out in a newsfeed.
- Participate in Twitter chats. You might be thinking … Well, that’s because you’re the co-founder of #PRStudChat. Yes, I’ve forged many meaningful relationships and have learned so much from our community of PR students, educators and professionals. However, when you also decide to go outside of your own PR and marketing circles, you can find opportunity as well. I’ve also grown my own following and forged relationships with pros in different industries by participating in tweet chats that are not exclusive to PR. Here’s a list of Twitter chats that come highly recommended. A couple of chats I like that are not on the list include #WinnieSun Twitter Chat and #JustHaves Twitter Chat.
These are just a few of the tips that have helped me to build community and to take these relationships from Twitter and social media to in-person meetings and business opportunities. What are your best tips for growing community?
July 19, 2016 @ 4:48 am
Hi Deirdre .Great Article! Thank you for your kind words and for presenting us to your readers and followers :)Jonah
July 19, 2016 @ 7:37 am
My pleasure, Jonah. I’m always happy to share good tools with my students and PR / marketing colleagues.
July 20, 2016 @ 8:35 am
Great article Deirdre!
I always say that building relationships, building community is very important and still underestimated. It could be real beneficial! You also mention listening. I think it becomes a new standard nowadays. Social listening is crucial for online presence managing, avoiding crises, building community, reaching a new audience and also it works great for getting leads.
I would recommend my favorite tool for this purpose which is BRAND24 – really nice, easy to use and efficient tool for real-time internet monitoring and analyzes.
I wonder, have you ever tried this tool? I find it really powerful and helpful for everyday work in PR, marketing, social media, sales and even customer service.
July 20, 2016 @ 6:02 pm
Hi Gloria! Thanks for sharing. I’ve heard of Brand24 but I haven’t really used it for my clients or with my students in the classroom. Is this a free tool or is it a 30-day trial and then paid subscription? I’m always interested in new resources focused on social listening and intelligence. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
July 21, 2016 @ 9:01 am
I believe that you will find it useful and simply like this tool. It has few very nice features.
You can start with 14-days free trial, and extend it if you need. Also there is available a special educational licence, so feel free to try the trial and don’t hesitate to ask assistants on the chat if you have any questions. They are really helpful 🙂
July 21, 2016 @ 9:36 am
Thanks, Gloria! I appreciate the additional info.
August 15, 2016 @ 8:16 am
Thanks for the great post and advice. with Instagram taking such control of the online world (at least in my line of work) it seems people forget what a great tool Twitter is for PR. Always good to read about advice for the platform.
August 15, 2016 @ 9:25 am
So true about Instagram … in my world too. However, Twitter still proves to be valuable when it comes to mainstream news. Just look at the 2016 Presidential election. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.