In this article, you’ll discover five ways to turn your Twitter followers into loyal fans.
#1: Replace Automation With Honest Engagement
If you look across social media platforms, a common trend is to “be more real.” But a lot of Twitter business profiles are full of automated tweets promoting their latest blog posts or services. Or worse, scheduled holiday messages that were written months ago.
Automation definitely has its place when it comes to social, but if you want to develop loyal fans, try to rein in the automation and replace it with actual social commentary, day-to-day tweets, and images you create on the fly.
Talk about what’s relevant in your industry in a non-automated way that people can actually reply to. This takes Twitter back to what it used to be, and in fact what made it so successful: real people talking in real time about what’s going on.
This is really important if you want to develop loyal fans, because loyalty comes with your followers knowing who you are as a person or business, and liking you. It’s hard to like a profile that’s simply automated.
Here’s a great example of Zappos being timely. For #NationalVideoGamesDay, they asked their followers what their first video game was, generating conversation.
Creating these real-time tweets allows people to connect with you. In a sea of blog links and quotes, be the person in the Twitter feed who’s actually starting conversations, not using Twitter to simply blast out sales messages.
#2: Be the One to Initiate Conversation
A good way to create brand loyalty is to start making the first move when it comes to interacting on Twitter. Before clicking on the notifications tab and seeing what people are saying to you, jump on the home feed tab to see what other people are saying. Challenge yourself to reply to at least one person before checking your own notifications.
Depending on how many people you follow, your home feed may be a bit of a mess, sosegment the people you want to speak to into Twitter lists and start scrolling through your lists before reviewing your notifications.
You can set up lists for clients, prospects, good referrers, influencers, companies you’ve bought from, people actually talking on Twitter (not just using it to broadcast), and more. The potential lists are endless!
To set up a Twitter list, click on your profile photo and select Lists.
Then click Create New List.
Next, give your list a name, set it to Private (if you don’t want anybody to see it), and click Save List.
To add somebody to your list, click the gear icon on their profile and select Add or Remove From Lists.
Make sure you regularly check your lists and proactively start conversations. It’s these conversations that help you form relationships and brand loyalty. Reportedly, Zappos actually uses this tactic to generate over 1,200 conversations per month with its customers.
#3: Personalize Responses With Twitter Video Reply
Twitter Video Reply is a massively underused feature of Twitter, but it can be super-effective when used well. Instead of replying to people or tweeting them as you normally would, you can record a video up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds in length and send that to people natively from within the Twitter mobile app.
This feature allows you to build a more personal connection quicker, in the same way you can on platforms like Snapchat. You’re putting a face and voice to your tweets. Hardly anyone does this consistently on Twitter, so if you start now, you’ll really stand out.
Imagine if you asked a question about a brand or a product on Twitter and the company replied to you with a video solving your issue. You’d feel you were being treated like a valued customer, and that in turn creates brand loyalty. This works exactly the same way when building relationships with potential influencers or potential customers. Better yet… it can be just as quick as sending a tweet.
When tweeting from the Twitter app, tap the camera button and select Video.
Similar to Snapchat, tap and hold the record button to start recording and release to stop. You can create multiple shots up to 30 seconds.
Next, hit Done, write a tweet to go with the video, and send it.
#4: Make Friends, Not Followers
Building brand loyalty takes time, and the only way you can really do this on Twitter is to stop seeing your followers as numbers and start treating them like friends.
We’ve all heard stories like Starbucks sending people surprise coffees who have tweeted they’re in need of one, or Taylor Swift researching her fans across social networks and sending a select few Christmas presents.
Why do you think these brands and celebrities do things like this? It’s because they understand that social media isn’t advertising. A high proportion of your tweets should be socializing, and you can only do that if you start treating your followers like your friends. Friends buy each other coffee and Christmas presents, right?
You don’t necessarily have to put your hand in your pocket for every follower. You can’t buy friendship, but if you think of your followers as friends and be genuinely friendly, it’s a surefire way to create brand loyalty.
Other people will see your acts of kindness and friendship, and that builds brand loyalty too. Nobody expects Taylor Swift to buy every one of her 81 million followers a Christmas present, but the fact that she cares enough to buy presents for a few rubs off on many.
#5: Be Receptive to Direct Messages
A final point is to actually show up in Twitter direct messages. Use this functionality tohave one-on-one conversations with your followers, as well as for customer support.
Twitter now will allow any users to send you a direct message if you’ve turned on the feature in your settings. To check if it’s enabled, click on your profile and click Settings.
Select Security and Privacy.
Scroll down to the Direct Messages section, and make sure the boxes are checked.Click Save Changes.
Now if people have an issue or just want to talk to you directly on Twitter, you can have a private conversation without moving them from their chosen platform.
Granted, there’s a lot of spam in Twitter DMs, but showing you’re open to private discussions and participating in them when the opportunity arises shows your followers you aren’t on Twitter simply to broadcast. You’re approachable and interested in having conversations.
The main thread running through these five tactics is simply to be a bit more human on Twitter. You’ll develop loyal fans by showing up in real time, having real discussions, and proving you’re on Twitter to do what Twitter was intended for: to join conversations.