Gaining an online following can take time, patience, and hard work. The only real shortcut is if you get lucky and have a piece of content go viral. But even after you’ve gained a large viewership via viral means, it’s still important to remain relevant to maintain and entertain that audience. Youtube and Twitter are some of the most useful tools on the web to garner the public’s attention. These platforms allow one person to have a big voice when properly utilized. So how does one go about building up and cultivating a following?
First and foremost: Find a niche.
Before you create a Youtube channel or a Twitter account, you need to think of a reason as to why you want to gain a following in the first place. What do you want to say? What do you have to share? What are your interests? Perhaps you have a service or a product to promote. Maybe you like sharing and commentating on news stories that interest you.
Personally, I’ve found the most success by focusing on multiple niches that tie in together, such as: Climate change, activism, strange news, paranormal, and conspiracy theory. That might sound incredibly broad and it is a little broad, but many of the people who are interested in one of these topics are also interested in another. On both Youtube and Twitter, I noticed a large jump in subscribers and followers when I expanded my coverage of paranormal and UFO sightings to include earth changes and strange news. Experimenting is okay, but be sure to pay attention to any spikes or drops in subscribers/followers. That will be an indication that you’re either on the right or wrong path.
Create mirror accounts.
If possible, try to use the same name or handle for both your Youtube and Twitter accounts. It doesn’t have to be exact, but they should be related. If you’re trying to promote yourself, then use your name (or nickname) for both. Example for Youtube: JaneDoeChannel, JaneDoe. For Twitter: @JaneDoe. Be sure to link the two accounts together on each profile. For personal media and offline relationships, it’s good to create separate accounts and consider setting those to private.
When uploading videos to Youtube, it’s vital to generate fresh material on a regular basis. If your primary focus is to gain subscribers, then set a goal. How many videos are you willing to create in a given time frame? Some users post monthly, but that may be hard for your channel to gain momentum depending on the subject matter. Uploading weekly and daily are the quickest ways to gain views. Video views will eventually lead to subscribers. When it comes to Youtube, as long as the content quality is high, then feel free to post frequently. If you cover multiple topics, then you can easily organize those into playlists.
While the video is uploading, don’t forget to add tags. These tags allow for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The same applies on Twitter with the usage of hashtags.
Posting to Twitter is a little bit trickier. If you post too much, then your account could easily be considered spam. No one wants to follow someone who floods their timelines. If you post too little, you may get lost in the crowd. If possible, sharing anywhere between 6 to 24 pieces of information a day will easily win you new followers without being considered spammy. Spread them out throughout the day — entering one or two pertinent segments, within your niche, an hour. Schedules vary, so this method may not be suitable for everyone. Find what works for you.
Promote your stuff.
If both of your Youtube and Twitter accounts cover the same subject matter, then share the related material. On Youtube: Go to the video you wish to promote and click ‘Share’ just underneath the title. Find and click on the Twitter symbol. A new window should pop up. Be sure to add any relative hashtags to the link. Note that this is your original content. When done, click ‘Tweet’.
Promote similar content.
Don’t just share your stuff. Share the resources you use and share alike material. This can easily be done on Twitter by retweeting other’s posts. This shows your followers that you’re willing to actively engage with them, which gives a sense of community. Respond to positive feedback and constructive criticism. If you become inundated, then take recognition of posts that have a lot of thought put into them, and don’t worry about having to reply to everything. Being overwhelmed is a good sign that you’re reaching people.