Twitter has had a big hand in popularizing social networking on the mainstream forefront, and the microblogging platform gets plenty of use from high profile players in the world of media, sports, and entertainment. This doesn’t even count the millions of regular Joes who use the service to talk about everything from video game scores to unfortunate incidents at their local supermarket.
Unfortunately, it may be tempting to follow any request for the sake of building a larger audience, but if you’re trying to promote a consulting business and you’re connected with users who tweet about sports and partying, those followers are serving very little benefit to your cause.
Successful Twitter marketing starts with having a target audience that has a strong interest in your niche. Think quality over quantity when it comes to Twitter followers, and here are five methods and services to help you find the right ones for your list:
1. Twitter Search
The best place to start with finding relevant followers is within Twitter itself. Twitter’s internal search feature has improved significantly since its early days, and now it provides an easier way to locate potential connections. Twitter’s search tool lets you find people by email address, first name and last name, and this makes it quite useful for hooking up with people you already know will enhance your network of followers.
2. Promote Your Twitter Profile
One of the easiest ways to find relevant Twitter followers is to simply promote your profile. To do that, publish links to your profile everywhere you possibly can. These places include your website, blog, email campaigns, Facebook fan page, and even forum posts. Couple these links with a compelling call to action for people who share your interest, and you’ll build a relevant following in no time.
A lot of what makes Twitter great is not the actual service, but all the third-party applications designed to support the platform. The growing number of user-built directories such as JustTweetIt are a perfect example of this. JustTweetIt helps you find relevant followers by simply submitting your profile and interests. Once your details are entered in the system, Twitter users can potentially run across you by browsing through a variety of categories, and follow if they find you interesting.
Many hail Twellow as the internal search component Twitter should have developed for its own site. Often called the Twitter Yellow Pages, it is perhaps one of the best directories of its kind. Twellow offers tons of public profiles that can be found through hundreds of categories and a broad range of search features. It also has a built-in feature known as Twellowhood, an exclusive directory that lets users find local individuals and brands to follow, which can be very advantageous if you are executing a regional marketing strategy.
5. Study the Competition
What’s a great way to find relevant followers? Analyzing going through your competitor’s follow list. Tools such as Tweepi and TwitterCounter are available to help you discover the competition’s most influential followers, how quickly they are building their network, and much more. This is valuable information indeed, but it should never be abused. Instead of spamming the competitor’s connections in hopes of stealing them, focus on ways to connect and build genuine relationships with them.
Contel Bradford is an experienced freelance writer, eBook author, and a frequent contributor to Benchmark Email’s email marketing blog.