Two years ago I had about 500 followers. Today I have over 12,000 and the number is growing by hundreds each month. What good do these followers do for me? Plenty, but that’s a topic for another post. Trust me for now when I say it’s worth it, especially if you’re looking to get a book deal or a gig writing for a major publication.
What’s my secret to consistent, steady, natural growth of my Twitter following? The first secret shouldn’t be a secret at all, but you’d be excused if you thought it was–finish setting up your profile! Many people never get around to uploading a profile photo, writing a 160 character bio, or filling in other essential information. They have a profile that looks like this:
Nobody wants to follow you if you’re not engaged enough to spend five minutes setting things up. Here’s how to set up the basics so your profile will inspire confidence in others and get them following you.
Step 1: Full name
If you don’t use your full name, like Dan below (Dan works with me, btw, or at least he did until yesterday now that I’ve seen this…ha! Just kidding), then people can find you by searching for it. Whenever I have tried to find Dan, I would type in “Dan Butler” and even though I’m following him his profile wouldn’t come up because there are many other Dan Butlers who come up first, and Twitter doesn’t even know Dan’s last name is Butler because he just has “Dan” as his name.
Step 2: Profile photo
People don’t trust the egg, or Twitter’s default avatar. Anything (within reason) is better than the egg. A photo that allows people who know you to quickly recognize you might be best.
Step 3: Banner photo
As with your profile photo, the banner image should say something about you. Make it personal, like these:
Step 4: Bio
Make sure the Twitter Bio Generator couldn’t create your bio. Here are some Twitter bio basics:
- Have one. Don’t leave it empty.
- No typos. C’mon, you’ve only got 160 characters to work with, you can check your work.
- Don’t use these words; guru, visionary, expert, maven, driven, passionate. What would you add? Sound off in the comments below.
- Think like an SEO and use keywords. This is going to affect how you show up in Twitter’s suggestions of who to follow, Twitter searches, etc. Put stuff in there that you care about and want people to know.
- Include credibility factors to differentiate. I include that I write for Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, that I’ve spoken at TEDx, etc. These are hard facts that add real credibility, as opposed to saying “I’m a social media guru.” Oh yeah? What proof do you have? Put the proof in your bio. Don’t tell me, show me.
- Include hobbies to be authentic. People are interested in your credibility factors. They connect with your hobbies. I’m thrilled whenever I find a business professional on Twitter who is also a skateboarder, because that matches me, and there aren’t many of us. I also put in my bio that I’m a dad, trail runner, etc. because, well, I am, and I want to connect with others who are interested in those things, and I want them to know to connect with me.
Here are some good bios, some for individuals and some for organizations.
Step 5: Other info
If you leave your location blank, people won’t find you via Twitter search when they look for someone like you in that geography. I search based on location a LOT. So do other people. If you leave it blank, you’re missing out. And if Twitter gives you a space to put a link, put one in there. Don’t use up your precious 160 character bio to link to a website you can put in the link space.
Step 6: Make it easy for others to find you.
Go to your settings, then security and privacy, and then find these settings and make sure they’re checked.
Step 7: Follow, be useful.
Unless you’re a celebrity, the easiest way to get followers is to follow others. The best way to get followers is to post useful content people love.
Yes, this is pretty basic stuff, but a lot of people aren’t doing these basic things. When you meet them, share this post with them. We can work together to make the world a better place.Liked it? Share it!