Increase your twitter followers - Dos and Dont

Let’s face it: You want more Twitter followers.

We can talk about how the quality of your followers is more important than the quantity—but the truth is, without a decent following, people are less likely to follow or trust you. When looking at your Twitter profile for the first time, people look at the size of your network to judge whether to follow you or not. And if you’re a social media marketer, your boss might even be using social media followers as a KPI.

Social media is about relationships—this is true—but it’s hard to justify having a social presence if you have a small network.

So, how do you increase your number of followers? And more importantly, how do you get more Twitter followers without turning people off?

Here are some tips on how to grow your network without looking like a jerk:

Complete your profile and add a photo. Personally, I never follow people with an egg as their profile photo. I also find it hard to gauge if a person is follow-worthy if their bio is empty. Get these basics covered. Also consider adding a cool cover photo and including your location. These things will help convince people that you’re worth following.

Tweet! No one will follow you if your Twitter profile is empty. Start tweeting content that’s relevant to your industry and your interests even if your network is still small. Oh, and don’t forget to tweet on a regular basis. There’s nothing worse than seeing a profile that hasn’t sent a tweet since 2012.

See if your email contacts are on Twitter. One of the fastest way to increase your Twitter followers (at least in the beginning) is to find people you already know. Thankfully, Twitter makes it easy to find your email contacts:

  1. Log in to Twitter.com.
  2. From your Twitter stream, under “Who To Follow,” click “Find people you know.”
  3. Click “Search contacts” for any of the applicable email services.
  4. Log in and grant access to continue.

Follow people. Provided you have similar interests, people often follow back if you follow first. Find people who genuinely interest you and start engaging with them. There are several tools to use this:

  • Tweepi lets you follow accounts that are already connected to another account. This is a great tool to use if you have a Twitter “idol.”
  • Followerwonk makes it easy to search Twitter bios. So if I want to follow everyone who has “social media” AND “Vancouver” in their Twitter bio, I can easily do that with Followerwonk.
  • Buzzsumo helps you find key influencers for a topic.

Retweet, reply to, and mention others. Engaging with people tells other people that you are not a robot. Say “hi” by replying to what other people are posting about, mention them in your posts, or re-tweet their stuff. If you want to expand your network locally, use Hootsuite’s advanced geo-search tool to find people in your area who talking about topics that interest you.

Use hashtags. People usually find content on Twitter using hashtags, so use these regularly. A maximum of 2 hashtags per tweet is recommended, although my rule has always been that you should use as many as long as it doesn’t #make #your #tweet #look #stupid. If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, check out hashtags.org or do a Twitter search to see if people are already using the hashtag.

Add your Twitter handle EVERYWHERE. Tap into your current network and encourage people who already know you to follow you. Here are some places where you can let people know that you’re on Twitter:

  • Your email signature
  • LinkedIn (under Contact Info)
  • Facebook (go to Contact Information > Website)
  • Google+ (Links > Other Profiles)
  • Your website or your company’s website

Blog. Twitter is great with bite-sized content—but if you really want to establish thought leadership, you need to blog. If people see that you actually know your stuff, they’re more likely to check out your Twitter profile. Needless to say, you should make sure that your blog includes links to your social media profiles, including Twitter.

Publish on LinkedIn. This year, LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform. That means you don’t need to be a LinkedIn Influencer in order to blog on LinkedIn. I find that publishing on LinkedIn gives my content more reach than usual. For instance, if your content is featured on Pulse, people can see your content from the LinkedIn site as well as the Pulse mobile app.

What I find effective is to add my Twitter handle at the bottom of my LinkedIn posts. This encourages people to engage with me on Twitter—and it’s a subtle invitation to connect with me on that platform. And when people share your LinkedIn post on Twitter, LinkedIn auto-populates the tweet to include your Twitter handle.

Tweet some personal stuff (for personal accounts). People want to follow people on Twitter. It’s not interesting to follow an account that simply tweets news and blog posts—unless you’re a media outlet and that’s what people expect from you. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and tweet some stuff from your everyday life. What you might think is mundane might be interesting to others. Never post NSFW content (unless your job involves that type of content), but make sure you’re authentic on social.

How to increase your Twitter followers (without looking like a jerk)

How to increase your followers like a jerk

If you want to avoid turning people off, here are some DON’Ts to avoid:

Buy followers. People will figure out if you buy Twitter followers. And really, why would you want to buy followers? It’s like paying to talk to an empty room. If you’re working with an agency or a consultant, be aware of the warning signs that they’ve bought your Twitter followers.

Automate too much. No one’s going to follow you if all your tweets are duplicates of your Facebook posts. Some automation is cool (for instance, scheduling tweets to buffer your posts), but overdoing it will not build relationships.

Be timid. Professionalism is nice, but no one wants to follow a robot. It’s okay to be opinionated. Humor goes a long way.

Unfollow people because they don’t follow back. If you’re only following accounts because you want them to follow back, that’s kind of a jerk move. Use my tip above instead: Follow people that genuinely interest you and start talking to them. If they don’t follow back….well that’s not really the end of the world, is it? Provided you’re getting some value from their content, there’s no reason why you should unfollow.

Auto-DM people. Sending an automated direct message on Twitter is so 2010. It annoys the hell out of people. So don’t do it. Ever.

How do you increase Twitter followers?

I think my list here is pretty comprehensive. What would you add to the list?

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