Who doesn’t want to have a huge Twitter following?
Sure you’re no @realDonaldTrump or @BarackObama but neither am I. In the past 4 years, I’ve managed close to ten Twitter accounts and I’ve found a way to grow your Twitter followers by 300 every month, effortlessly! Sure, I could spend 45 minutes per day following and unfollowing people and be engaging with them but we’ve all other things to do. You too can grow your Twitter effortlessly and should!
In fact, Twitter is still one of the main indicators of anyone’s credibility online along with LinkedIn and a personal website. And the more followers you have on Twitter, the more Twitter swag you have! Not to mention it’s an easy way to reach out to busy people well over your paygrade.
Don’t use Twitter only to grow it and brag about your number of followers, be social!
You’re not that famous that you can post what you have for lunch. In fact, posting about you only is a sure way to have no followers. Be social, open to discussion, share great content and you might gain more than just followers but also new email subscribers, new leads or contacts!
Set your profile up for success
This will seem obvious but I thought I’d mention it anyway, given the number of times I’ve seen it.
If you’re going to be serious about Twitter, please have an up-to-date & clean picture (it will be everywhere).
Also, whether you’re using Twitter for yourself or your company, use your real name: social media is all about discussion and who wants to talk with “MissKentucky87”?
Last, have fun but relevant Twitter bio was mentioning what you do, what you likestruggles,etc. That’s what people read when they land on your profile. And don’t forget to add a location and your website.
Here’s mine at the moment:
Publish great content, often
As with every social media, users want to follow other cool users who share great, useful content. With that in mind, you should first make sure you publish that great, useful content your target audience is looking for. So make sure to share articles from trusted sources like:
- Well-know blogs in your industry
- Your own articles if you have decided to have a blog!
When it comes to posting frequency, Twitter is really different from Facebook or Instagram and there is no harm in publishing very often! On the contrary, publishing often on Twitter means more people have a chance of seeing the content you’re putting out. To make this process easier, you can use tools like IFTTT and Buffer like explained in detail in my social media automation blog post.
Bonus tip: Sharing content from other websites doesn’t necessarily mean losing the opportunity to get traffic! A pretty nifty tool called Snip.ly can help you place calls-to-action over the content of the page you shared!
Here is one I could for a Techcrunch post for instance (view it here):
Give Yourself a headstart with your existing network
Why start from scratch when you already have your network! You can import it to your Twitter account in order to gain your first few followers or the next ones.
I’d suggest you do it in two times on your computer and your phone. On your computer you’ll be able to access your Gmail & Outlook contacts via the “Find friends” link in your follow suggestions (on the top right of any page). On your phone it’ll be your address book via the “Connect” icon.
Pretty straight forward from there.
Bonus tip: download your LinkedIn connections as a .CSV file and import them as contacts in either your Gmail, Outlook accounts or Address book before proceeding!
The framework to grow your Twitter followers
Let’s not lie to ourselves, in addition to becoming a cool place to follow celebrities & jobs, Twitter has also become the real of the bots. Why not take advantage of that!
Now, of course some industries are easier than others as is digital marketing or media vs. agriculture. The only way to find out is to try for your niche!
Here is the process I recommend for growing your Twitter account:
- People who are relevant to your niche & interests. In my case, I follow people involved in growth hacking, eCommerce, life hacking based a) #hashtags b) their bio text c) their names d) their location
- People/bots who have followed you (so that they don’t unfollow you)
- Be sure not to follow more than 500 people a day & unfollow more than 400 people a day so your account is not blocked
- Some of them will follow you back
- Welcome each one of them with an auto-mention (equals engagement and possibly targeted traffic to your website)
- After a few days, unfollow people you followed but didn’t follow you back
You get the logic? Now let’s get into more details.
1 – Follow and Unfollow
Now, this process is a bit hard to sustain manually. Hopefully, there are some pretty great tools to help you facilitate it or even automate it. Please note that the tips I share here also apply if you’re not using those tools or use other ones.
In order to facilitate this, I suggest you use Audiense which is an official Twitter partner that significantly reduces the pain of the Follow/Unfollow process. Let’s start with following.
Since you should not follow more than 500 people a day and you want the maximum number of them to follow you back, you have to be strategic about how you use your “follows”. This can be found in the “My community” section of Audiense, make sure to activate the “follow mode”. You’ll want to target active users (for instance who tweeted in the last month), who don’t have too many followers (less than 8K followers) which will maximize chances they follow you back.
Then, you will also want to target users based on their interests, location etc (remember you bio?). You could have different strategies there and either search per keyword or even follow other account’s followers (like your competitor’s).
Also, some people you don’t know will follow you on Twitter, make sure you follow them back so that they don’t unfollow you!
You want to make sure to maintain a “correct” ratio of followers/following and so you should unfollow people on a regular basis. To do this in Audiense, go in “My Community” and “People you follow who don’t follow you back”, make sure to activate the “follow mode”. As a rule of thumb, I unfollow people I’ve followed and who haven’t followed me back in the last 3 days so that they have enough time to follow me and to keep my followers/following ratio reasonable.
Bonus: If you want to fully automate this Follow/Unfollow process, the best I’ve found and used to date is ManageFlitter. In order to automate this process, you will have to on a Pro account and buy what they call “Remote Account Management (RAM)” which are actions that people do for you. For instance, 1 follow equals 1 action and it costs $5 for each 1000 actions, pretty interesting!
2 – Auto-mentions
Now that you’re following targeted users, you will want to engage with them as soon as they follow you. If you’ve been on Twitter before reading this, you know that a lot of people use Auto-DMs (auto direct messages) to do that but it’s not only spammy but less and less effective. Instead, I encourage you to check auto-mentions.
That’s where Audiense is really useful as it allows you to build rules for auto-mentions. They are plenty of options but I suggest you only send auto-mentions to people who follow you to welcome them. With the rule builder, you can personalize your auto-mentions according to keywords in the user’s bio, cities (even include it in the tweet) etc. This is really powerful for personalizing your auto-mentions.
You can even A/B test different copy for each of your rules!
For instance, if someone follows me on Twitter they will get either my Growth Hacking Resources as a tweet (if they are growth hackers) or a question about your new year’s resolutions/growth hacking struggles , all that depending on what keywords you have in your Twitter bio/name. Pretty powerful!
Surf on #hashtags
In addition to the techniques mentioned in this article, another way to grow your followers is to add people to twitter lists and make them feel appreciated for their content. In turn, some of them will follow you back.
With that technique you can target:
- People engaged with a specific topic
- Conference attendees (without necessarily being there!)
- Your competitor’s hashtags 🙂
Twitter is one of the few websites that will pop up when someone searches your name in Google. What’s more, it’s an easy way to gauge someone’s credibility only, pretty much like a LinkedIn or personal website. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a good impression. Here is what we’ve seen:
- First off, don’t forget Twitter is a social media first
- Then, make sure your profile is perfect
- Curate great content and publish often. Twitter is about sharing and engaging before all.
- Give yourself a headstart and leverage your current network to gain your first hundreds of followers.
- Understand how to grow your Twitter followers effectively by following, unfollowing and sending auto-mentions
- Use hashtags and Twitter lists to your advantage
Ready to grow your Twitter account?