9 Rules I Followed To Gain 20k Engaged Twitter Followers

Originally Published on LinkedIn on September 15, 2015 by Jack Kosakowski
9 Rules I Followed To Gain 20k Engaged Twitter Followers
Twitter is one of the toughest channels to get traction on when you start using social media to generate new business.  With that being said, Twitter is one of the most effective social media platforms there is for generating conversations and building a following of potential buyers.  It’s a key component to the whole social selling process, in my opinion.
Most Individuals and Brands Do Twitter Wrong
As anyone knows that follows me on social media… I’m a Twitter fanatic!  I have spent countless hours on Twitter trying to figure out how it works through lots of listening, observing, and engaging.  What I find is that the majority of people just don’t get it.  There are a variety of reasons I believe most don’t get it, but I think the most obvious one is that there isn’t a lot of “quality” education about effective Twitter use.
My Twitter Story
About eleven months ago I was given some advice from a good friend and social selling thought leader, Kevin Thomas Tully (@kevinttully), that I needed to be on Twitter.  I had been leveraging LinkedIn and Google Plus pretty heavy and was having some pretty good success with social selling from those two channels.  I thought Twitter was for Justin Bieber fans and had written it off as an effective channel for B2B sales.  After a little convincing from Kevin I decided to give it a try.
I started off doing Twitter chats and from that point forward I was hooked!  In the last 11 months I have built a following of almost 20K highly-engaged, organic followers.  I have created more opportunities, high-level relationships, and career opportunities than I could have ever imagined.  It has been a game changer in every aspect of my career.
It’s no secret that the key to having success with anything you do is making a commitment.   I was always raised that if you start something you need to finish it.  You have to make a commitment to Twitter in order to have success.  The commitment to educating yourself on how to use Twitter and maximize your success is a commitment all on its own.  I have spent hours just reading and observing different ways to use Twitter to get success.
 2. Consistency
I’m a big believer that consistency is the absolute key to Twitter in every aspect.  If you want to build a highly engaged audience then you have to be consistent.  It’s a huge psychology play in my opinion.  Everyone has trusted advisors for certain topics, and 9 out of 10 times that is a source that is consistently reliable from a visibility standpoint.  You need to be adding value daily through visibility.  Your message and focus has to be consistent, as well.  Using Buffer, Hootsuite, or other publishing platforms will help you maximize your time and stay consistent.
3. Quality
The competitive advantage on Twitter is that most people don’t spend time to post quality content in a visual way that captures your audience’s attention.   I leverage Canva to create visuals even when I am sharing someone else’s content.  Everything in life is a first impression, and Twitter is no different.  Your audience will understand your value through first impressions of how you present yourself visually.  The quality of your message will determine if you add value or noise.  Using a free content platform like Topsy will allow you to find quality content hot off the press as well.
4. Engagement/Listening
Engagement and listening on social media are the key drivers to creating offline conversations from Twitter.  Personally, I think these two go hand in hand and that is why I combined the two.  You have to consistently be listening and engaging as close to real time as possible.  Of course, I know that is almost impossible to do it all the time but you have to get people while they are engaged.  I’m very proactive and reactive on Twitter and that has been one of the major keys to my success.  Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are great tools that you can use in order to monitor Twitter conversations.
5. Focus
Your message and content on Twitter have to be focused on the topic you are trying to add value about.  When I started, I made a conscious decision that I wanted to focus my thought leadership on social selling.  Now, with that being said, I can add value on other topics that blend with social selling like social media and sales.  If you have a niche focus then make sure you keep 70% of everything you share or publish on that topic.  The other 30% should be associated with that niche area of focus.
6. Metrics
If you are going to put the time and commitment into Twitter then you better know what you are trying to get out of your time.  You also need to know what is working and not working to help you maximize success.  My main metric of what I’m trying to achieve is offline conversations; yours may be different. Of course, my main objective is revenue, but my metric to figure out the revenue starts with tracking the offline conversations.  I’m also looking at Twitter analytics to analyze my content and engagement growth daily.  There are lots of tools to measure whatever data or metrics that you are trying to analyze.  That comes from the commitment to educate yourself on which software will best fit your metric needs. Twitonomy is a great software platform to use to monitor your metrics on Twitter.
7. Sharing
You will never win on Twitter if you don’t start building an army of advocates.  The easiest and most effective way to do this is by sharing and becoming their advocate first.  My objective has always been to advocate for those that are where I want to be.  You can call those influencers, trusted advisors, or whatever other term you want.  It is crucial that you give back to those that add value to your day and let them know through sharing that you are their new advocate.  If your focus is on being an advocate for others you will start to see those same advocates return the favor.   You can use the native twitter app to RT and quote others when sharing tweets.
8. Content
It’s no secret that a lot of my success has come from creating my own content, and I highly recommend you do that.  Now, that does not mean you can’t have success on Twitter without having your own content.  If you put the time and commitment into sharing hot off the press, quality content about your focused topic and save your audience the time… That works!  There are many people on Twitter that are having tons of success and don’t have their own content.  Quality over quantity wins on Twitter every time.  You are what you share to your audience.  You share crap… That is your audience’s perception of the value that you add.   I mentioned Canva earlier, but I’ll mention it again because I love it that much.  You can create all types of visual content in Canva that is visually appealing.  It’s super easy to use!
9. Patience
Patience is a virtue when it comes to Twitter.  It takes time and it can take a lot of time.  You can’t give up, as it will seem like you aren’t making any progress at times.  Be patient and monitor your metrics over time.  I am the most impatient person around and Twitter has helped me understand the value of being patient.
Bonus Twitter Tip – Use CrowdFireApp to follow and unfollow others on Twitter.  Make a commitment to find your target audience with this software and you can build your following fast.  I’ve been using it and I’ve seen HUGE results!
In Conclusion
This may seem like a lot of rules to follow and I’m not going to argue with that.  Nothing good comes easy and if it did the world would be a lot easier to conquer.  I’m a living example of how the power of Twitter in less than a year has helped change my future for the good.  Make a commitment, put in the time, and be consistent from the start.  If you do this, then you can take your career and future to the next level with me!
Photo By Jay Janner