Your public library now has a Twitter account, and youve been actively tweeting several times a day. Youre sharing great content and are having some interesting conversations with a handful of patrons.
But, for all the work, your number of followers seems to be increasing at a tortoises pace. Slow, but steady. While its important to remember that quality always outweighs quantity, here are some tips that may help to get the number racing upward at a hares tempo.
Ten tips for building your Twitter community:
- Follow more people. Most Twitterers will follow you back if you follow them. Still, you dont want to follow randomly, because the main goal of Twitter is to connect and converse with your followers.
- Thus, follow strategically. First, follow the local influential. Start with people you know who may be influential in your community: the mayor, the local coffee shop owner, the school superintendent. Then, follow like-minded people: other libraries, bookstores, book clubs, writers.
- Next, talk to your followers. By regularly engaging in conversation, you will be in effect introduced to other like-minded people the followers of your followers.
- Sponsor a contest. This has the potential to create a lot of buzz and also be a lot of fun. Be creative about the prizes to keep the cost low: the winner gets to be mayor for the day of the library, or they get first dibs on popular books. But, make it a requirement of winning that contestants must be followers of the library.
- Hold a scavenger hunt. Ask patrons and followers to find fact treasures throughout the library and then share them on Twitter. Let them know that to play, they must follow you.
- Join a Twitter chat. Participating in a Twitter chat will introduce you to other Twitter followers and illustrate that you value the thoughts and ideas others have to offer.
- Promote your Twitter handle offline: on your website, in your e-mail signature, at the check-out desk, in the newspaper and on flyers.
- Ask followers and library champions to give you a shout out on their Twitter accounts and let their followers know to follow you, but be sure to reciprocate by doing the same for them.
- Become known for great content. Sharing interesting content, whether developed on your own or by retweeting other peoples tweets will help you gain followers because the information you are sharing is valuable or interesting.
- Compliment your followers: Use the Follow Friday hashtag (#FF) to recognize other Twitterers who share interesting content. Also, be sure to publicly thank others for retweeting your tweets or following you.
If youre looking for more tips or want to get more detail about the tips above, the two books below are recommended reading.
Shel Israels Twitterville describes the landscape that is Twitter and shares case studies from Comcast and Ford, among others.
Mark Schaefers Tao of Twitter unlocks the mystery of Twitter and covers strategies, tactics and time-savers to create an effective presence on Twitter.