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Do you wake up in the morning and look forward to tweets from brands? Me neither. If someone decides to follow your company, it’s a massive deal. They’re allowing you to enter a news feed most likely to be populated by family, friends and colleagues.

The opportunity to deliver the value they expect is often missed by not understanding the reason for the follow. Interest is lost, the unfollow button is hit or tweets are ignored.  To avoid this, it is best to research the motivations of the follower, and then use the results to aid future planning.

The most obvious way is to ask them upfront, either through Twitter itself, an online survey or offline questionnaire. As well as this, tweets can (and should) be analysed regularly to see which perform best.

By doing the above, and by making it clear on your bio what the account will be used for, you should have a fairly good idea about the expectations of those who follow you. If you’re not at this stage though, other than taking the advice above, we would recommend you take into account some of these common reasons for why people follow brands on Twitter:

Promotions and Competitions

Ok, many followers will have no emotional connection with your brand and will only be following in the hope it tangibly benefits them. They will be waiting for your competitions or discounts, and who can blame them? If you give them the opportunity to use your product or service at a lower cost, they may be more likely to remain a customer and spread positive world of mouth. Don’t become overly reliant on competitions though, as this probably isn’t what you want you brand to be known for.

To Give Feedback

Twitter is famous for being a customer service channel. Who hasn’t turned to Twitter to vent their anger or frustration with a company? Feedback should be encouraged, to show that you embrace social media as a two-way conversation, and to help you improve your offering.

Exclusive and Interesting Content

If someone follows your company on Twitter, they may want to see content that can’t be seen elsewhere. Not something that was sent out in a newsletter, not something that was on the website yesterday, but exclusive content. Tweeting material that is fresh and interesting is giving them a great reason to follow you.

New Products or Services

This DOES NOT mean to market your current products and services each and every day. The most common reasons brands are unfollowed is because of too much marketing and too many posts. Save some of your tweets, and grab your audience’s attention, with new updates and announcements. These may genuinely be of interest to your followers.

Company News

Customers also turn to Twitter to learn about your company. Who are you? What happens in your workplace? Who are your staff? This is an opportunity to involve your whole company in social media, not just your marketing department, and to tell the story of the brand. By doing this, you will build trust and give followers the news that they want to hear.

Hopefully this advice will help you to discover the expectations of your followers and give you ideas about tweets they may want to see. Amongst the millions of tweets shared every day, yours can then cut through the noise and bring benefits to both you and your customers.

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