So, you’ve taken the first steps towards marketing your brand on social media and you’ve created a new Twitter account. This step is relatively easy, but what comes next is more challenging – getting people to actually see the content you post on the platform. For this, you need followers, and you need them fast.

Here are 6 simple steps to get you from none to hopefully lots of new Twitter followers:

Step 1 – Tweet first, get followers after. If you follow lots of other people and there’s absolutely nothing on your Twitter profile, they are not too likely to follow you back. You’ll either look suspicious (like a fake account) or like you have nothing to offer. So, prepare some tweets, starting with a “hello world!” type post and follow it up with links to new blog articles on your website and other relevant news.

Step 2 – Find and follow relevant accounts. Start with people and businesses in your industry, as well as those who have perhaps supported your business in an offline capacity. Industry blogs and magazines are also a good place to start, as well as suppliers, people you know and anyone whose posts are interesting to you and your customers. Do a quick check of follower numbers and number of tweets before clicking ‘follow’, just to make sure that the account is nice and active. You’ll soon find that lots of these accounts start following you back, and then you’ll have someone to tweet to.

Step 3 – Join in conversations. Take some time to explore Twitter, perhaps when you’re looking for accounts to follow. Search for hashtags and terms related to your industry, perhaps in relation to a news story, and you may come across conversations and other tweets. Respond to these if you have something to say and join in discussions. By joining in and re-tweeting others, you will hopefully get more re-tweets and follows yourself.

Step 4 – Post interesting content. For others to decide to follow you, they need to feel you’ll be adding value to their Twitter stream. Make sure you post a variety of tweets and avoid the heavy sales pitch as much as possible. Be human, be funny, post links to interesting blogs you’ve written or found, ask questions and invite opinion. Do polls and surveys, share images and video and generally - be interesting!

Step 5 – Take part in Twitter chats. These are scheduled chats on particular subjects, usually marked with hashtags. You can search for these by looking for a hashtag, or follow instructions online for finding and joining in Twitter chats. You can pick up lots of new followers by participating in these chats, especially if you can offer some good insight and opinion.

Step 6 – Keep active and engaged. Your Twitter following will grow organically over time, but only if you remain an active member of the community. You need to post regularly and keep a close eye on your notifications, so you can respond and join in conversations as they happen.