How to Grow Your Twitter Followers

More and more people start using twitter as a marketing tool and yet too many fail to understand how it works.

In a nutshell Twitter is a microblogging site with a very distinct limitation: all messages are limited to 140 characters very much like an SMS message.

If you see Twitter as a (micro) blog you start understanding a few key things:

  • your followers are more likely to see your tweets (similarly to the subscribers to your blog) although everybody else can
  • when you write a tweet it simply goes out and appears on your followers’ feeds
  • because your followers are (very probably) following other people they will see your Tweet just if they are looking at their followers around the time you write your tweet.
  • Any of your followers can go back and check what you tweeted about in the past but that is really if they are looking for something.

Why growing your followers?

Given the short life span of any tweet you would like to make sure that many people find your tweets interesting and do something about it, e.g.:

  • follow up a link that you included
  • re-tweet it to their followers
  • post it to other social media

How to Grow Your Twitter Followers

Start by following other people.  In general if you follow people on twitter there is a high probability they will follow you back: this is not guaranteed if you are following celebrities, companies and other famous brands.

A rule of thunb to determine that is whether is likely that a person will follow you back is about checking the ratio between following/followers:

  • People with a similar number of following/followers are likely to follow you back, probably using an automatic follow back system (see below for details)
  • People with a much greater number of followers than people they are following tend to be those celebrities, companies and famous brand I described above: avoid them unless you are really interested in what they tweet about.
  • People with much smaller number of followers than they are following are the kind of people desperate for followers, again not very useful to follow.

Remember to be nice and thank all people that follow you, this is to start a possible conversation with these people.  Now I know what you are thinking: if you start following 20-50 new people at a time (I would not increase people I am following by more that that to avoid being mistaken for one of the third group above) and they all follow you back how many thank you messages doyou need to send? quite a lot! so here is the trick, much of it can be automated 🙂

Automating the process

  • Create an account on http://www.socialoomph.com/ and authenticate it with your twitter account(s).  This will allow you to create an auto responder (thank message) and set up an autofollower (follow all people that follow you).
  • Create an account of Twellow, the yellow pages for twitter, setting up a decently complete profile and registering you in categories that apply.
  • Start following people using the twellow browsing tool that allow to both seach people by category (e.g. Executive Coaching) and geographically (e.g. in Cambridgeshire)
  • sit back and relax, your followers will start coming 🙂

Although there are people that do the above and then leave it I still believe a twitter account should, like a blog, carry fresh content so keep tweeting and help other people by re-tweeting what they tweet about. If you establish good relationships with your twitter friends (e.g. people that you follow and they follow you back) you are likely to enjoy your experience much more.

If you like this post the best thing you could do, once you automated your twitter followers, is to re-tweet it and perhaps even leave a comment.  Good Tweeting.

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