How to Gain Twitter Followers Without Selling Out

Followers“Whoever dies with the most toys wins.”

Let me preface this blog post by referencing this cliche, and proposing my theory that it’s not about how many followers you have on Twitter.  It’s about relevant followers, and ultimately clicks that can turn into leads!  Try thinking of Twitter, or any social network, as a trade show.  People can wander around all day, but what the merchants are really hoping for is a sale.  If the vendors’ products are eye catching, those products are more likely to stop someone in their tracks.  If they meet the person’s needs, they’re more likely to make a sale.

So, you just signed up for a Twitter account.  What’s next?  You could probably start following as many people as you can, but there’s a better way to acquire followers.  The first thing you should do is get your profile page set up and ready for that first follower.  Your profile picture should be a square version of your company logo, or even a professional headshot.  Your bio needs to be a maximum of 160 characters (like your tweets), but should contain some keywords and a clear call to action.  This is important from a search engine optimization standpoint, as Google will index this information.

Bob Gummel

After optimizing your profile, take a minute to do a quick search (http://search.twitter.com) based on the keywords you’re targeting.  In this case, Big Bob decides to search for terms like “Akron”, “realty”, “realtor”, “Ohio”, and others related to his industry and location.  Profiles for local media, including news sites for local television and radio, are great ways to participate in discussions.  Follow these accounts, and start re-tweeting some of the posts that you deem relevant to your business.  Browse websites and forums that are related to your industry, and share some of the articles or posts that you find useful.  Rewrite the titles to these articles in your own words, and be sure to give credit to the site you snagged the article or post from.  For an almost-guaranteed follow, cite the original site or author’s Twitter handle.  Google Alerts is also a great way to keep tabs on what is happening online as it relates to your keywords.

Twitter Search

How To Turn Heads, Get Responses and Increase Your Twitter Followers

Conversation is loosely defined as an informal exchange of information or thoughts.  Twitterers (or is it “tweeters”?) will usually respond to direct questions or responses.  In Big Bob’s case, if he notices that Billy Breakingnews, a newspaper reporter, just tweeted his story on the rise of social media as a tool for home sellers, Big Bob should respond to him using the @reply method.  Using keywords in the tweet is also a good idea- but don’t overdo it.  Too many keywords will quickly label you as a spammer.  Any reputable Internet marketing firm will advise you to keep your campaign, including your social media accounts, on the up-and-up.

Twitter Message

Hashtags, or words with the # symbol in front, are used to highlight topics or keywords within a tweet.  Twitter doesn’t officially endorse the use of hashtags, but they mention that it’s a way for users to categorize messages.  When you incorporate a hashtag within a tweet, other Twitter users who perform a search of that hashtag may find your tweet and possibly follow you.  Within your Twitter profile is an area that shows what’s trending within a particular geographical area, and this is always a great way to find out what people are talking about.  You can also find social chats taking place on Twitter, where users will discuss various topics and incorporate those hashtags.  Participating in a chat will undoubtedly help you gain exposure and add more followers.

In the long run, having more Twitter followers than your competition is less important than having relevant ones.  Participating in relevant conversations will help you gain those followers you desire, and hopefully with a little time invested in Twitter, you’ll see a return on that investment.  What do you think?  Do you use any trusted methods to gain Twitter followers?

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11 Comments

  1. Nicole says

    Great article, Andrew! I agree with your assessment that total number of followers is less important than relevant followers. There are several theories for the best ways to manage your followers/followees. I am a firm believer in lists, which help me stay engaged with the people, brands, and topics I want to follow. It can take hours to get everyone organized into lists if you follow many, so I’ve gotten into the habit of listing people immediately when I follow. I get a fair amount of spam followers, so I typically wait a few days to see who I’m going to follow back. Be generous with your @replies and retweets…those are the most effective ways to engage new followers.

  2. Rahul says

    I think the key to success in a business is to give your costumers what they want or need!
    Twit good content in your niche and you will get followers in a matter of days!
    For example:you tweet a good piece of information about IM and you have 1000 followers,20 of them finds your tweet interesting and they re-tweet to another 1000 each, etc etc etc

    Find a way to make the web work for you!There is no magic system or magic button,the secret is hard work and good content!
    Quality beats quantity===>that is my motto!

  3. Andrew says

    Great idea, Nicole. Lists are something I haven’t actively pursued, but they’re a great way to send shout-outs to people. Rahul, you bring up a good point: hard work and good content are both ways to be legitimate on Twitter!

  4. Curtis says

    I am glad to see this. I am getting an exponential number of irrelevant followers with each relevant follower. I hope more people read this and understand the old school thinking of quality is certainly better than quantity. I will be RT this to all my followers.

  5. Jeremy Thorne says

    Very good article with smart ideas and points. It’s crazy how easy and simple SEO keywords can be with something as basic as a Twitter account. Keep the good stuff coming!

  6. says

    It would be great if this article presents in point form. But great article anyway, coz I am searching for article how to attract followers on twitter. :)

  7. Rajiv says

    Yes, I think same social success plays a important role in any webmaster life. These days social engagement us must, thanks foe telling the true facts. I hope i get more future.

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