Building a targeted social media following ethically

Articles on how to get massive amounts of followers on twitter, typically describe techniques that are on a thin line between fair use of social media in marketing purposes and unethical and potentially illegal spam.

Twitter is a social network before all and there are lots of different people, with different interests using it. It’s not really important how many followers you have, it’s all about who your followers are.

Let’s say you sell products to real estate brokers and agents, as one our client does. It is far more important for you to have hundreds of people in the real estate industry as your twitter followers then thousands of random people.

Targeted followers matter the most

It comes down to some simple maths, if your followers are people that are really interested in your services, products, or expertise, you are far more likely to convert them into customers and they are also more likely to spread your messages and engage with you in discussions.

So how do you get a targeted audience?

Lets take twitter as an example

Acquiring targeted followers on twitter basically starts like any other marketing activity:

1. Define your targeted audience and do some research on them. 
Find out who are the most influential twitter users in your target audience, have a look at what they tweet about and why people follow them.

2. Use twitter search to find conversations about your niche, services or products. 
Don’t just search one hashtag or term and think you’re done. Be creative, try to find any logical or common set of words or phrases that are be used in discussions about your services, products or your general niche.

3. Engage your targeted audience in conversation.
This is what social media is all about! conversations, real ones. If you manage to give quality information and answer questions about services or products that you also offer, your reputation will grow with time and so naturally will your followers.

4. Don’t spam, mass follow, and don’t try to sell all the time. 
People don’t like to be sold to. If someone is asking to be recommended a service provider, offer your services, however, don’t just send out spam to anyone that fits the profile of your target group.

5. Follow the most influential twitter users in your niche

Pay extra attention to them and try and engage them in communication as much as possible. If they communicate with you back, you will eventually get lots of targeted followers from this social validation.

6. Use #hashtags.
This will make your tweets more visible in twitter search and you are more likely to get some quality, targeted followers this way. Do not abuse these tags, only use them when it’s obvious they fit the content of your message.

7. Be active in social events, community behaviour.
twitter’s #FollowFriday is a great example. Give and you will receive. Send messages about users you find interesting or influential with #FollowFriday tag every Friday and you might be lucky to receive some reciprocal Friday love. This is one of the most effective ways to get quality and relevant followers.

8. Join in twitter directories.
One of the best known twitter directories is WeFollow. under appropriate category (hashtag).