Social media is now the top internet activity. Americans spend an average of 37 minutes each day on social media, higher than shopping, email or any other major internet activity (Business Insider, 2014). People are spending around 120 billion minutes every month on just Facebook and Twitter. With over a billion users on Facebook and half as many on Twitter, small businesses not utilizing these social networks to the fullest extent is akin to letting go of prime real estate in the physical world.
However, merely creating social accounts doesn’t translate to success for SMBs. Our data indicates that more than 58% of SMBs have less than 100 likes on Facebook and over 72% have less than 100 followers on Twitter. Those numbers may sound abysmal, but that means there’s plenty of room for growth.
Terrific Tweets Matter
What brings success on Twitter? More followers equals a larger audience, but how do you get more followers? Many people believe that getting more followers means following more people and making more status updates. While our data indicates that this may be a start, it is far from the only solution.
There is only about a 22% correlation between the number of status updates and the number of followers, and about a 12% correlation between the number of following versus the number of followers. While you can count on bringing in some followers using each of these tactics, the biggest lesson to be learnt: quality content is (afterall) king. If you have high quality content and follow the right kinds of accounts, you will get more followers. We have listed a few others ways as well because we all know there are only two kinds of people: those who care how many followers they have on Twitter and those who pretend not to care how many followers they have on Twitter.
3 Ways to get More Followers on Twitter
- Share on other Social Media
Promote your Twitter account on your Facebook page, share some of your more compelling tweets on Google+, link a picture on Pinterest to your Twitter… This strategy will make the most of the social community you are already a part of, and provide a platform for amplification.
- Mix your Content
Diversify the reasons you post to Twitter. Share interesting news articles, vary your hashtags and mix in some personal anecdotes. While you’re doing this, make sure you share only things you care about — people can tell if you are disingenuous. If you don’t care about sports, there is no need to post a “so happy the [local team] won!” tweet.
- Use a Profile Picture and Descriptive Bio
It sounds simple, but there are many Twitter accounts out there that lack a headshot and compelling bio. The photo helps people relate to you (and know you’re not a robot), and the bio is a snapshot into what you Tweet about.
From Likes to Leads
While Facebook is the highest driver of traffic, Twitter is the strongest social media channel for generating leads, outperforming Facebook and Linkedin 9-1, with 82% of social media leads coming from Twitter (Optify, 2013).
On Facebook, the correlation between average likes per post and total page likes hovers below 6%. This is good news for small businesses, because it means that just because a page has thousands of Likes, it doesn’t mean their posts will automatically be more popular. Good quality content is the most important variable in social engagement.
5 Ways to Get More Facebook Page Likes
- Post regularly — as in every day, or close to it.
- Be authentic — use your voice to speak to your audience, not a robotic company voice.
- Use pictures — a visual will increase your likelihood of shares and likes.
- Ask questions — and listen for the response.
- Contests — offer rewards for those who share and like your posts. People like free things.
Why Does it Matter?
While many businesses have a Facebook page, over 58% of surveyed owners say they struggle with promoting their Facebook pages, or don’t even have one at all (Social Media Today). Our data indicates that only just over 46% of businesses promote their Facebook page on their website, and only about 30% link to their Twitter account. While not the only place to promote social, a company’s website is the clear starting point.
Obviously a huge opportunity exists for digital agencies and marketing companies working to enhance brand awareness via social media.
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