Illustrated by Patrick Yurick
The main reason people want more Twitter followers is to build credibility. For businesses, it’s a good way to show your reputation. For people, especially those looking for a job in social media, it’s a way to prove influence.
The more followers you have, the more people will be inclined to trust you. The idea of getting more followers might make you feel like you’re in high school: the more followers you have, the more popular you appear.
It’s because of this that some people choose to “cheat” the system by buying followers or using automated programs (more on that later).
But there’s a benefit to more Twitter followers than just the “body count.”
Whenever I follow someone new, I make an effort to reply to something in his or her feed right away. It’s not just a follower-building habit, it’s a relationship-inducing tactic that has served me well in getting jobs, building friendships and even getting free stuff.
Don’t place your bets on getting a response from celebrities on Twitter, but it’s easy to get the attention of regular users, business owners, PR people and customer service tweeters.
A few easy ways to get more Twitter followers:
- Attend tweet-ups
- Follow more people
- Introduce yourself to people you follow
- Add a “follow” button to your website
- Use a flattering profile picture
- Ask for re-tweets
- Join tweet chats and use designated hashtags
- Respond to more people in your feed
- Use Twitter search to answer questions people are asking
I can also think of a few more ways to gain Twitter followers…
Some people use applications like Hootsuite to create custom feeds of anyone who mentions keywords they want to watch, or create mini-feeds of influencers who they want to re-tweet and get in front of.
The wonderful thing about Twitter is that you get back what you put into it. You can spend a single evening seeking out conversations to respond to, and get fifty new followers in a few hours.
Or, there’s the easy road, automated applications and buying followers, which rarely conjures up valuable followers, but certainly makes your profile scream, “I’m popular!” Imagine if high school was that easy!
Whether you choose the organic karma-building method of getting followers, or the dirty not-so-secret secrets of Twitter’s “most fake followed” users, there are strategies for every level of effort.
Keep in mind that Twitter isn’t a popularity contest. If you spend all your time trying to be witty, share what you think people want you to share, and promote your business like everyone else, your followers will get bored.
So I guess the biggest lesson comes from Oscar Wilde: be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Sometimes your username is taken too, and that sucks.
Did you know that I’m now managing Twitter.About.com too?
From now on I’ll be sharing a bunch of quick-tip articles here that link back to all the new tips,
strategies, apps and tactics I’m posting over there that will help you sharpen your Twitter chops.
Consider it cross-pollination!