APPROACHES TO GROWING FOLLOWERS
You can approach building your followers from the following perspectives:
- focus on building followers and friends that are engaged in providing information on a topic of interest and relevance to yourself, or
- simply going for raw numbers.
If you are going to focus on building followers of relevance, then you will need to spend a significant amount of your time doing research. Luckily there are lots of tools to help you with this. You can use the Twitter search function and various Twitter-related directories to find users who are tweeting on topics of interest and then follow them (e.g. Just Tweet It).
If you are going to focus on building a large number of followers without regard for demographics you should focus primarily on finding and following those users who have published their willingness to “follow back” any user who follows them. This is very easy to do – simply search for users whose bio or tweets include these hashtags in their posts #willfollowback, #teamfollowback, #wefollowback, #followback, #ifollowback. You can also search for and use pre-made lists of people who are willing and eager to follow back, some examples of places to find follow back lists:
- 100 Twitter Followback Lists
- Twibes Followback
- We Follow
- …there are tons of others on Twitter and the web
And you can also add your twitter account to these follow back lists to raise your account’s visibility with the follow back crowd.
The best way to use the list of prospective followers is in conjunction with a tool such as Tweet Adder.
PAYING FOR GROWTH
There are also a number of tools you can use to pay for growth. In my experience, the following tools are exceptionally effective (you can gain thousands of followers in a few hours) and generally inexpensive:
LEVERAGING CONTENT FOR GROWTH
Your tweets themselves represent a means to build followers organically. Typical content may include contests, quizzes, giveaways and polls. You can also retweet content from other twitter user accounts and websites.
You can automate content creation and publishing to a large degree if you use a tool like Tweet Adder or Hoot Suite. For example, Tweet Adder provides the ability to automatically retweet content from RSS feeds as well as to tweet from a pre-configured set of tweets.
To help attract other users to follow you (independent of your out-bound efforts), you should ensure your Twitter bio has relevant keywords and description to help people determine your relevance to their interests. If appropriate, you can also use your bio information to bluntly indicate you will follow back by including phrases in your bio such as “If you follow me, I will follow you!”, “I follow back!”, “iFollowback”.
TIMING IS IMPORTANT
You should be aware that tweets have an average lifespan of less then one hour – the lifespan being the time during which they are likely to be seen and potentially retweeted.
Consequently it is important to recognize the proper timing for your tweets to maximize their value to you. The following blog article provides a good overview of the various factors to consider when scheduling your tweets – http://blog.tweetsmarter.com/retweeting/when-is-the-best-time-to-tweet/.
LINK TO TRADITIONAL
Promote yourself, such as by putting your Twitter username on your blog, in your email signature and on your business cards.
Be sure to review Twitter’s official rules to ensure you keep your twitter following activities inbounds to prevent account suspension.