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Ditch the number game and cultivate a community - Nurture and engage with Twitter

Posted: 03 February 2016

The holy grail of modern candidate and brand engagement is a thriving social following. The recruiters, employers and brands that know the value of Twitter have stopped seeing its creation as a number game and started to give it the curated time and attention it deserves. A nurtured and engaged following isn't developed overnight and it certainly isn't standard for every social user. This type of dedicated following is reserved for the hard workers, effort makers, big pic thinkers and ever keen engagers.

So, what makes Twitter a perfect home for engaged communities and solid gold followers? Well, it’s relevant, of the moment, visual, teeming with unique communities and so easy to utilise for brands big and small. And that’s to name but a few. What isn’t so easy is transforming your fun social Twitter account into an engaged, meaningful community. It is possible and it’s always worth it so roll up your sleeves, let the shenanigans take a back seat and start to tap into the wonder of this Twitter-tastic universe.

Six tips for crafting an engaged Twitter following.

It takes more than Retweets and hashtags to create a business or brand-affirming asset. There’s no shortcut to nurturing an engaged Twitter community so if you’re hoping to clock in, bleed it dry and do the bare minimum, this is not the post for you.

Tip #1 - Give your profile some love.

Always get the basics spot on, or it’ll all go downhill. Your profile is the stepping stone and stage setter, it’s the thing your followers will look to and make a rush judgement on. If it’s sloppy or badly presented it can hurt your reputation and sincerity. Have a look over your profile and make sure the basic boxes are ticked, it’s never too late to give it a spit and polish.

  • Got a short, unique name?
  • Is your profile pic your face? It should be.
  • Is your bio clear, clean, concise and characterful?
  • Have you added your location?
  • Do you have a nice background on the go?

Tip #2 - Have a strategy (but be ready to adapt it).

Again, without a strategy you might find yourself flopping about without focus after a week. Social engagement might seem a breeze but it’s all about ensuring your engaging different audiences, driving them to perform an action and building a relationship that continues that cycle. It might sound a little mechanical but the greatest social followings are the result of mindful research and curated care, they don’t happen by accident.

Don’t be too precious with your strategy, What you want from Twitter could change in a month, year, whatever so be open to new Twitter tools, how your audience are changing and the nature of social. Listen and adapt, while always staying true to you and your values.

Tip #3 - Find the right followers, not just any followers.

If you’re after mass followers rather than meaningful followers, engagement really doesn’t mean much to you. To create a community of followers you need to uncover and engage the right followers. Luckily you don’t have to go in blind, there’s a lot of great tools that can help you tap into your followers’ followers and find out what social matches are best for you. The likes of WeFollow is well worth exploring.

Tip #4 - Become a content strategist.

Content and social media go together marvelously well. The key to building a following is to trade in great quality, interesting content of all shapes and sizes. Establish your Twitter goals and match them up with the content that can help you get there. For instance, if you’re looking to be seen as a thought leader then why not develop a seminar series on Twitter Chats?

Tip #5 - Leverage Twitter’s tools.

Twitter is changing all the time and the tools are coming thick and fast. If you’re not tapping into the best and newest tools Twitter has to offer then why are you using this platform?

The likes of TweetDeck is great for categorising the subjects and areas most important to you in a visual way. And Hootsuite helps with scheduling etc. Remember Twitter’s own hashtags and Twitter Lists are all stellar tools so find the best ways to utilise these for you and your followers.

Tip #6 - Actually engage.

It might sound a little silly but what’s the point in going to all this effort only to fail at the engagement hurdle? So many Twitter users have no clue how to properly engage with their followers. You have to give, give, give before you can take. Trust is a big part of Twitter communities and the only way to build loyalty and longevity is to show your worth and ethos. Make time every single day to really engage with your followers. Don’t just retweet and Like tweets, look at your followers activity and see what interests them today. Provide a fresh insight or resource, join in a conversation, whatever engagement means to you and them today.

Twitter will always be a cornerstone of the social strategies of professionals, candidates, brand etc. It really does have what it takes to help you create a full and formed community. Its tools and tech are centred on speeding up and securing new ways to engage and share. But you only get what you put in so be generous with your time and resources and be the community you hope to create.

Do you like this stuff? Then join over 21,000 other awesome people who get tips on improving their employer brand, recruitment, marketing and the odd spot of career advice delivered directly to their inbox from me! @markbevans