APIs are application programming interfaces; basically they automate a certain level of social media interaction on your Twitter account. TweelAdder and Tweepi are two of the more popular applications used by marketers and individuals all over the world to increase followers through a process of following large amounts of people, and then unfollowing them. But the Twitter rules have changed, completely banning the follow/unfollow automation that dominated the API world.
What New Twitter Rules Mean for Old APIs
Some digital marketers are bummed, but some call this a win. Many believe that automation misses the whole point behind Twitter and social media in general: to interact and build lasting relationships, not just your number of followers. An automatic message sent to any Twitter account that follows you is not just generic—it can be perceived as downright rude; just take it from Twitter guru and digital marketer Blake Jamieson whose anti-automation tweet got a few thousand likes and hundreds or retweets. Real influencers and customers are not looking for a sales pitch on Twitter. They’re looking to interact with other real human beings, so you’ve got to be one if you want to truly grow your Twitter following.
Hashtag Your Heart Out
Not to say you need a million hashtags to get noticed and get more followers. You need to choose the right hashtags, and strike an even balance between actual readable, coherently-written text and hashtags. If your tweet has an image that’s great, but no tweet can survive on hashtags and bitly links alone. If you want to connect with an audience using hashtags, then you need to deliver an intelligible message in addition to relevant hashtags.
Find your best hashtags in two different ways: trending and searching. First, searching: make a list of all the hashtags you can think of that might be relevant to your audience. Then, type each one into the search bar and see what comes up. Are they your competitors? Your target market? A whole other topic that doesn’t relate to your customers? You can already start starring some hashtags on your list and crossing off others. As you scroll, look for other hashtags that are shared in the same tweets and click on them. This will send you to a whole other feed and hopefully help you find related and relevant hashtags you never would have thought of or known about.
You also want to take note of what’s trending on your Twitter news feed. Shoot to use one a day, but don’t force it. If you can find a common thread between what’s trending at the moment and your brand message then go for it! And don’t forget to search the hashtag after you post and comment on and like other users who have used the same hashtag. But remember, just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s relevant. Stay true to your brand and your audience always!
Bring Value Always
You need to bring content to your Twitter community by a ratio of 5 to 1: that’s five valued, relevant posts for every advertisement you post. Another good rule of thumb is to spend equal amounts of time sourcing new hashtags and followers as you do interacting with the followers you already have. Like, comment, retweet, send them a video tweet to up your media ante and really get a good conversation going. Disneyland giveaways, promotions, and free tips that anyone can use is a great way to give value and establish your company as a resource for reliable information.
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