It's no doubt that Twitter is a powerful B2B tool to connect with potential clients and there are many tactics to gain new Twitter followers. However, to maintain steady growth for your account, there are a few things you need to pay close attention to.
Before you attempt to grow your account, make sure your Twitter page is complete. By complete, I mean that you should have:
If your account is set up properly then you are ready to start growing it. Getting started is easy; All you need to do is start following people you find to be relevant to your purpose on Twitter. What you'll notice is that some will follow you back and some won't. It's a slow process at first, but once your account has hit the threshold of around 500 followers, you'll notice a rate increase for follow backs. Another thing you'll notice is that you'll start to gain some 'organic' followers (if you are posting good content). This is a good sign. However, just like you, these people don't follow others just to be following someone. Many consider Twitter followers as business prospects. If you don't follow them back after a few days, they are likely to unfollow your account.
So, how do you prevent all of the unfollows, especially the ones that are relevant to you?
While you are growing your Twitter account, you should monitor your new followers almost daily and follow the relevant accounts back. To do this, you can log into your account and view your followers. Clicking on the 'Followers' tab will show you who followed you in chronological order (newest to oldest). Another method is to use a tool, such as Crowdfire or StatusBrew. These tools allow you to view your most recent followers and you can use other built-in filters to zoom in on accounts that meet a defined criteria. You can also use them to unfollow people who haven't followed you back. We usually give people 3-5 days to follow us back before unfollowing. You should test this interval for your business and determine the average time it takes for people to follow you back. If you stay on top of this process, it shouldn't take you but 10 minutes per day.
Another practice that helps maintain your follower growth is to like and/or retweet their other people's tweets. With the enormous volume of posts on Twitter each day, this can be a daunting task. However, if you utilize Twitter Lists, you can keep select groups of people segmented and manage your relationships with them easier. This tactic is especially useful if you are connecting with influencers, as your retweets will also give you exposure to the influencer's Twitter followers. You should take it a step further and add a comment or relevant hashtag to your retweet.
To recap, here are guidelines to follow:
Applying these tactics to your overall Twitter strategy will help you both grow your Twitter account and ensure that you are connected to the 'right' people/companies.