Twitter has the potential to launch your business from mediocrity to high visibility. It’s currently one of the most high-profile social media tools with millions of users. Users often prefer to follow a business rather than join a Facebook page, since it’s less of an emotional commitment and easier to manage.

Once someone’s followed you, that essentially means that they want to hear more from you and are open to both content and marketing messages from your company.

How do you get more followers and how do you increase customer loyalty once you have those followers? Here are a few tips.

=> What Do Your Users Want to Hear About?

In the long run, what really matters is the quality of your content. To succeed, you need to ask yourself: What do my users want to hear?

Followers of a local restaurant chain, for example, might be interested in the daily special or in special discounts.

On the other hand, followers of online personalities and bloggers might want witty lines on news or quick tips on whatever topic they’re writing about.

Each market and each customer base has different expectations about what they’re going to receive. Make sure you’re tweeting out the kind of content that people want to hear.

Do this and followers will stay followers, read your tweets and pass your tweets along to their friends.

=> The Dialogue versus The Monologue

A lot of businesses make the mistake of “talking at” their customers through Twitter. While this may work for some, it’s not nearly as effective as having a two-way conversation with your followers.

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Ask your followers a question and have them respond. Welcome @replies and respond to direct messages.

In short, use Twitter to host a conversation rather than just tweet out one way.

=> Competitive Spying

To dominate your market, you need to know your market. One of the best ways to know your market is to follow all your competitors on Twitter.

  1. How are your competitors using Twitter?
  2. Are they having more success or are you?
  3. Do they have more user engagement or do you?
  4. What kind of promotions are they doing?
  5. Are they using contests or coupons?
  6. What kind of “vibe” do they have?

Knowing what your competitors are doing gives you a huge leg-up. By keeping track of them, you can learn from their successes and avoid their failures. You may even be able to steal some of their followers by participating in their conversations.

It’s basic but powerful: In order to dominate your market, you need to give your users what they truly want – consistently. Aim to be in conversation with your followers rather than just having a one-way monologue. Finally, follow your competitors’ every move and aim to always be two steps ahead.