Too often I get asked, “how do I get more followers on Twitter?” A lot of times I want to reply with, “Well, how do you get more friends?”
Think about it, in offline world, people will probably gravitate to you for being friendly, interesting, and helpful.
- Being friendly
Being friendly on Twitter is different than in real life. You can’t show emotion in your face or give inflection in your voice, but what you can do is reach out to people.
If you see a great article and want to tweet it, go ahead and give that author credit when you give the post link. Chances are, that author will at least say thank you (I know I always try to!). If you are following someone whom you think gives great advice, let them know! Don’t grovel of course, but showing extra appreciation besides a retweet doesn’t go unnoticed.
Try using Listorious. It’s a great site where you can list your favorite Twitter users in different categories and see who’s top ranked across different topic areas or industries. Why is this helpful? So you can pinpoint who exactly you want to start reaching out to.
Jump in the conversation on Twitter chats. Find top level figures in your area of interest tweeting and most likely you’ll find at least one mention of a Twitter chat pretty early on.
- Being interesting
Please tell me you don’t just talk about yourself, but that you offer pieces of advice, words of wisdom, and content that you created that’s actually professional. But beyond being a professional, you’re also a human first. Be funny, but don’t be inappropriate. What’s inappropriate? That’s up to you. But remember, Twitter is a public form of communication and your boss or your grandparents may just stumble upon it. I can’t tell you how many times I don’t find someone personable online and unfollow them, or at least lose interest.
Don’t just broadcast information (tweeting an article/blog post title and link). Remember, you’re a human so act like one.
- Being helpful
Read the news! Offer the latest info by finding content through authority figures on Twitter, articles from top news outlets and blogs through your Google Reader. If you tweet once a day, people will forget about you. If you tweet 1,000 times a day, people will want to forget about you. Make sure you find a happy medium- maybe 8 to 10 tweets a day on a consistent basis- and make sure that content is a mix of new information, retweets, and engaging with others. Make sure at least 7 to 8 out of every 10 tweets are on topic. The other tweets can be funny or maybe more random, like mentioning you’re going to a baseball game that evening.
Also, when someone finds your content or skills especially valuable they reach out. Don’t over promise anything, but don’t be against helping someone new.
Other ideas can be found on this great infographic by Twiends.
Through Twitter I was able to find my last full time position, have been able to “attend” many offline events taking place in time zones I couldn’t get to otherwise, have met new friends in San Francisco, and found many contacts related to my blog work.
Like everything else in life, you get what you give. There isn’t a magic answer to getting more followers, but really, do you need more followers? Try instead to focus on the audience you do have, even if it grows slowly. Having others engage with you on a deeper level than one click to follow (think: tweets and retweets of your content, true Twitter conversation, click-throughs to your site, and asking to connect off of Twitter) is weighted more heavily anyway, at least in my book.
Have a subject you want to learn more about? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.