Like him or not, pop sensation Justin Bieber is marketing gold on Twitter. The most followed user on the social network, the 18-year-old singer has more than 35 million followers and attracts an average of 44,737 new ones every day, according to Twitter Counter. That's more followers than his native country of Canada has people.
Bieber uses Twitter to keep his "Beliebers" tweeting about everything from his albums to his TV appearances to his favorite charitable causes. Online marketers should take note.
Here are three marketing lessons from Bieber's smooth, effective Twitter moves:
1. Have real conversations with your followers and thank them often.
Bieber uses Twitter to casually interact with his followers, not just to spam them about his latest iTunes release and tour dates. The teen heartthrob personally responds to and retweets dozens of his fans' tweets throughout the day, thanking them for their support and asking them about their lives. Some 51 percent of Beiber's tweets are retweets of others' tweets, and 11 percent are replies, according to TweetStats.
Lesson: Take time to converse with and retweet your Twitter followers instead of simply tweeting promotional messages about your products and services. That means exchanging friendly tweets and thoughtfully responding to questions. Let your followers know that they are important to you. This can help build a sense of community and encourages them to continue following you.
2. Get retweeted more often.
Most Twitter users would be happy to be retweeted once a day, week or month. Bieber gets retweeted an average of 32,000 times for every new tweet he sends, according to SEO and social monitoring service SEOmoz.
Retweets are word-of-mouth magic. Whenever Bieber replies to a follower, the follower replies and then retweets Bieber's reply. The follower often sends a new tweet informing that person's followers how thrilled he or she is that Bieber replied. Those retweets then get retweeted and conversation goes on and on.
Lesson: Getting retweeted often is critical to maximizing your company's reach. The first step to getting retweeted on a regular basis is to start following as many influencers within your industry as possible. Then retweet them often. Reply to your followers with personalized comments that inspire them to retweet you. It lets them know that you value them and their support.
The more you use words like "new" in your tweet, the higher the chances it will get retweeted, says social media expert Dan Zarella. Adding a link and the words "Please retweet" to your tweet can also boost your retweet rate.
3. Tweet for charity.
Whether raising money for pediatric cancer patients or asking fans to donate money to organizations such as charity: water, Bieber often tweets to benefit dozens of charities. After the Sandy Hook tragedy, he encouraged his followers to sign the #sandyhookpromise pledge to help reduce gun violence. They did -- by the millions -- and then retweeted Bieber's inspiring tweet.
Lesson: Your Twitter strategy shouldn't only be about marketing your own products and services. Tweeting for charity can help drive engagement and attract new followers. Tweet from your official company Twitter account about causes that you are passionate about and that your industry is linked to. Doing so shows that you care about causes that resonate with the people you're doing business with -- and want to do business with -- and can create lasting connections with your followers.
Related: 10 Twitter Feeds for a Timely Dose of Inspiration