Be relevant and be unique
Growing a following on Twitter takes work no matter how you slice it. Below I outline some techniques I use to grow a Twitter following for a client or for myself. However, I can’t stress enough the importance of also posting your own relevant and unique content on your Twitter feed. To build a quality follower base, you must provide useful content. This content would most likely be links to content on your website, links to related websites, and retweets. There are various philosophies on what percentage of each of those types of content one should post. My opinion is that the bulk of what you post should be your own original content. I will go into that more deeply in another blog post.
It’s a process and it will take some time
I have a rough philosophy for following others on Twitter. My theory is similar to this guy’s, but probably a little rougher around the edges. He has 50k followers (and he follows nearly as many as that himself), so he’s in a slightly different realm than I am, but when it comes down to it, I think the same theories can apply to anyone looking to grow a following on Twitter.
You could pay for a service to find followers for you like he does, which might work (he says it works for him), but it’s not free. So here are some tips on how to grow your Twitter following yourself — for free. Try one or all of these tactics and I guarantee that you will build your following. It does take a bit of time, though. Not just time to wait for your follower list to grow, but also time put into doing these tricks. If you’re willing to take the time, I can pretty much guarantee you that it will work.
- Twitter search – Use the search field on Twitter to look for people talking about topics that are of interest to you. If you’re a seller of tea, search on people talking about tea. Twitter changes up its search functionality every now and then, but as of today, when you type in a search term on twitter.com, the results you will see on the next page will be topped with images and then below those will be tweets from big name brands. I don’t know about you, but those things aren’t really relevant to me. So, the first thing I do next is to select “tweets” from the dropdown under More Options. That way you can see all the latest tweets on tea. Another option is to select Accounts from the More Options dropdown. That will show you Twitter accounts of folks who have your keyword in their Twitter handle or their bio or if they just talk about it a lot. Not all of those results are going to be perfect, of course. In this example, Téa Leoni is a result. Also from the More Options dropdown you can perform an advanced search using multiple words, excluding words, sentiment, location and more.
- Twitter chats – In the process of searching on the keywords that relate to your business, you may come across references to Twitter chats on those topics. Do a little sleuthing to find out when the chats occur, which will typically be at the same time every week. It doesn’t matter if you’re unsure how to participate in a chat because you can start by simply dropping in on one without joining in. When you are ready to get involved, introduce yourself and perhaps add a comment on or ask a question. How to participate in Twitter chats is a whole other subject, which I will address on another day. As for using chats to grow your following, during chats follow others who are participating. Other participants will be much more likely to follow you back if you contribute a comment or two during the chat. Keep coming back week after week and you can make some serious contacts during chats.
- Selective retweeting – As you do your research it will become abundantly clear who the biggest influencers are in the same field as you. Find the tweets by those giants that speak to you and retweet them on a regular basis, maybe once a week for each giant. Add your own comment when retweeting so that you are adding value for your followers and indicating to the giant that you are knowledgable. A win-win!
So, those are some of my top suggestions. There are other techniques, too, and it may take a few months to determine which combination of tactics works best for you. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.