There are all sorts of reasons to want more Twitter followers – to meet more people and have more conversations, to create a greater reach, and, of course, to increase your online brand. After all, the more followers you have, the better it looks, right?
So how do you get more?
Yes, we all know that posting great tweets is supposed to be the be-all and end-all answer. But you need people to see and re-tweet those great tweets.
You need followers to get followers; it’s a Catch 22. The quality of your tweets is only one factor.
There is a lot more to it, it turns out.
I have been using Twitter for a little less than a year and have almost 2,000 followers, slowly building my following the old-fashioned way – with good tweets and re-tweets.
Then I figured that there has to be a better way. So I started using the techniques below and, in the last 48 hours I received more than 100 new followers.
Here’s what to do:
1. Follow more people: The easiest way to get more followers right now is by starting to follow more people. Why? Because the twitiquette is that it is proper to follow people who follow you. Ergo, the more people you follow, the more followers you will have. If you follow a lot more people, a lot more people will follow you back.
But that said, not all people you follow will in fact follow you back, so then what? Try this dandy trick:
2. Follow people who have a high likelihood of following you back: Not all Twitter users are created equal. For instance, our pal Guy Kawasaki makes it well known that his policy is to follow people who follow him, and with over 250,000 followers, who are we to argue? Follow Guy, Guy will follow you.
There are other people who similarly have a high follow-back ratio. For example, this article lists “Top 237 Twitter Users Who Will Follow You Back.” Now, I don’t suggest that you blindly follow all 237, instead, cull through the list and see which ones meet your needs and follow those. They will very likely follow you back.
You can create your own list by searching for those people whose follow and follower numbers are roughly equal. That is a sure sign that they follow their followers.
3. Follow people with similar interests who also have a high likelihood of following you back: This is a great trick for creating a lot of highly targeted followers:
- First, find the connectors, or as we say in Yiddish, the machers, in your industry or area of interest and then
- Look to see who their followers are, that is, go to their Twitter homepage and click on their followers list, and then
- Work through the list, following selected followers
Again, I strongly suggest that you not simply and blindly follow all of their followers as that will likely lead to a Twitter terms of service violation.
But by selectively following people who follow leaders in your industry, you tap into people who A) want to be connected, B) have things in common with you, and C) will likely connect to you too.
4. Use hashtags (#) to find the right followers: For example, in my case, I am always looking for great small business tweeters, so I often search for tweets under #SmallBiz. I know I will always find good people to follow there, as well as followers to follow me. You should do the same in your industry.
Similarly, be sure to add appropriate hashtags to your tweets so that they will show up in those Twitter streams and thereby increase your chances of getting re-tweeted (see below.)
5. Create benefits for following you: For example, you can use your Twitter account to tweet “followers-only” specials and coupons. That will attract followers. Or what about this idea: Have a contest from your Twitter profile and then tweet about it. Wanting to be a good member of the Twitteratti, your followers will re-tweet your contest to their followers, and you will thereby get more followers.
This of course leads to the next method:
6. Get Re-tweeted: Having your followers re-tweet your great content is like getting an unsolicited endorsement from them, and it pushes your name into virgin territory ripe for finding new followers who liked what they read in the re-tweet.
7. Re-Tweet: Use Search.Twitter.com to see which of your tweets are the most popular and then re-tweet those at various times during the day, using hashtags. This will ensure that different people, and new people, see your best tweets. They will then either re-tweet them, or start to follow you, as the case may be.
8. Blast it: Of course, make sure your Twitter profile is part of your email address, linked to your Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn and other social media accounts, and prominent on your homepage.