[Editor’s note: Amanda recently graduated from Cal State University San Bernardino. She just finished an internship with our sister company, Lemonade Stand.]
Marketing a startup is hard. It can feel almost impossible to cut through all the noise on social media – especially when it feels like nobody’s listening. I wanted to share how to get Twitter followers for a startup because the method I used is easy. It just takes a bit of daily work to get rolling. But let’s start at the beginning…
About three months ago I started my last marketing course ever. That’s also when I saw an internship posting for Lemonade Stand, which wanted help pitching Yalla. I applied thinking, “Why not?”
I hadn’t had an internship yet and my time in university was dwindling as I neared graduation, so naturally I freaked a little. This internship involved a lot of public speaking, which was a challenge that I was willing to accept.
I first started pitching Yalla to students individually. This direct marketing method actually worked really well and students started signing up right away. The feedback that I got from students was, for the most part, very positive. They liked the idea of keeping track of assignments through Yalla and working together as groups for projects. Literally the only negative feedback I got for reasons as to why they were uninterested is because they were graduating.
We also wanted to talk to professors for a chance to present to entire classes at once. The professors were a tougher crowd than I thought: I either got no response from them, or they said they didn’t have time.
After talking with the team at Lemonade Stand, it was clear we needed a change. We switched from direct marketing to networking, content, and social media marketing to companies and people who we thought might be interested in Yalla. So I set up a new Twitter account and got to work.
Building a following
I decided to dedicate my Twitter presence to promoting other people and their work. Rather than shouting about how great Yalla is, I figured I would give props to writers and companies whose work I admired. I started reading Inc, Groove’s blog and other sites, making a point to tweet out a piece if I really enjoyed it.
I quickly realized sharing information is VERY important. After just 9 tweets of this, my totally unknown account had 20 followers – including the kinds of marketers and startups Yalla would love to attract! The experiment didn’t last long, but it was a promising start. [We’ve been using a similar strategy on the Yalla Twitter account. As of this writing, we’re at 106 tweets and 408 followers.]
So what’s the secret to building a Twitter following? Read, read, read, and share every bit that you think is interesting. Giving credit to the authors is crucial. They WILL see and recognize your account, whether it is through a like, a mention, or a direct message.
Think about it this way: You probably already spend time reading about your industry. Sharing your favorite pieces adds value to your Twitter account, because people know to expect great content from you. It’s also a nice way to make the writer’s day.
Plus, I like to look at this as a learning process as well as networking. I got to connect with different people who work in marketing while reading articles about business and tech that interested me. What’s not to like?