Scenario: You’ve been invited to a very important dinner party. This dinner party has all kinds of networking connections, and since you hate your current job, your motivation to succeed is high. You might be an introvert, you might be an extrovert, but it doesn’t matter. You must talk to other party attendees and make valuable connections. But before that, you must put on your nicest outfit. After all, attending a dinner party in your pajamas is not exactly kosher.
Before you step out, dress up.
The same idea applies to building a Twitter following before launching your new business. "Listen to social media conversations" is a top suggestion when building a brand on social media, and it is an absolute must these days. While determining your social marketing strategy, you’ll eventually need to decide which social media tools you’ll use to reach the widest possible audience from your target markets. Twitter is a great place to begin, with people from all demographics, and projected increases in Twitter users.
Now that you’ve secured your Twitter handle, start following people, and start listening. Some people will even give you a "pity follow-back" if you’re new, and that’s fine. Look up businesses/services similar to yours, and follow movers and shakers in your industry. Follow the local news if you want. Follow your grandparents.
The next step is to determine the existing hashtags that fit with your business/product/service, and monitor those hashtags. Follow anyone tweeting that hashtag you find interesting. Retweet, favorite, respond (appropriately of course) and get your name out there. Hootsuite is a good tool for monitoring certain hashtags if you’d like to stay as current as possible. Simply set up the hashtag as a new feed, and you’ll receive regular updates via the dashboard.
Even if you only have 20 to 30 followers at this point, don’t fret. The more you participate in Twitter conversations, the more you will notice how many followers you get during a given time frame. At this point, if you’re ready, you can announce the launch of your new venture!
The next step is determining when to chime in. Try using Buffer. This tool is designed to determine the best times for your tweets to be posted. Simply sign into the website using your Twitter information, and begin loading up your queue with content, which can be posted right away or buffered for later. Don’t forget your hashtags and @mentions!
You’ve worked hard to get to where you are, but don’t let it go to your head. Thank all your followers. It takes all of two seconds.