If you’ve been on Twitter more than about 47 seconds, you’ve likely read or received a tweet about how to grow your list of followers. Many promise hundreds if not thousands of followers within a matter of hours or days. When I first joined Twitter, I was lured into clicking on one of the promotional tweets for growing my list of followers. I wound up with more emails than followers, though, and quickly opted out of the program. Almost instantly, the 50 or so new followers I’d gained “unfollowed” me. No biggie. About half of them didn’t even tweet in my language.
Maybe some of the programs are legitimate. Maybe there is a faster way to grow my group of Twittermates, but I won’t be trying any more gimmicks to increase my followers list. Besides, the point of Twitter is to network and make friends, which is hard to do with people I either don’t understand or have no common interests with, so I recently started a concentrated effort to gain followers on Twitter and within a week, I’ve nearly doubled my list. The best part is, the group I’m growing is targeted to the same interests as me — Blogging and Internet Marketing.
How did I do it?
- I began scheduling regular tweets, using the same formula I taught my readers in my free report, Taming the TwitterBeast in 20 Minutes a Day.
- I started using hashtags on topics of interest (such as #blogging) to draw the attention of like-minded Twitter users. This simple step has brought me dozens of new followers.
- I’ve used the Twitter Search function by typing in keywords for my interests, such as Blogging and Internet Marketing. I browse through the results and follow as many Twittermates as I find who are offering quality information about the topics I want to learn more about. Almost all of those have followed me back quickly.
- I checked my stats on bit.ly and started thanking others who tweeted my stories. Log into your bit.ly account (if you don’t have one — it’s free!), and click on one of the URLs you’ve used bit.ly to shorten. Then click on the +Info tab beneath the URL. The next screen displays the number of Facebook shares, Tweets, etc. Now click on “View All,” and bit.ly will display a list of who actually shared your link. Send each of them a thank-you tweet. If you’re not following them, do so. Usually within a few minutes they will follow you back.
- I signed up for an email update from Social Oomph (also free!) that lets me know every time @onbloggingwell is mentioned on Twitter. I use Social Oomph to schedule tweets about blogging and marketing tips, which saves a lot of time. (That process is also explained in the Taming the TwitterBeast report.) Every day I go through the list of those who mentioned me and send them a quick thank-you. Again, I follow them if I’m not already, and they inevitably will follow me back.
- In addition to the scheduled tweets, I started popping over to Twitter 3 or 4 times per day, even for 5 minutes, and interacting with people. In the past week, I’ve connected with four people enough to get to know them fairly well. Soon, one of my new Twitter-found friends will be guest posting here, so watch for that.
- And I’ve gone through the followers lists of many of those I follow who are closely matched to my niche and followed those who are actively tweeting about my interests. Again, this has brought many new followers to my list.
- In addition to nearly doubling my list of followers (and followees, for that matter), I’ve had 15 new people include me in a list. Growth in your inclusion on lists is one way to measure how useful the information you’re sharing on Twitter is to your followers. As soon as I notice a bump up in my lists number, I check to see who “listed” me and send them a quick note of thanks, too. And, of course, follow them if I’m not already.
Did the above process take more than 20 minutes a day? Yes. I haven’t done all these steps consistently for an entire week before, and every week I might not have time to do so, but even if I do any or all of these steps on a regular basis, my list will continue to grow.
I see no point in using a service such as Twitter for no other reason than having a large number followers who could care less about me or my interests. Because I’ve become more personally active and have actually targeted those within my blog’s topic, the organically grown group of new followers I’ve gained during the past week are ones who provide links that I’m interested in and have shown interest in the information I’ve provided, too.
And that reciprocity is what makes a good network great.
Until next time,