I cannot write a tip for how to build a huge twitter following. I am not a celebrity, reality star, nor has Traveling Ted ever gone viral; however, I am semi-rapidly approaching 8,000 twitter followers. I am not a social media maven, but my modest twitter following does give me the credence to impart a few tips on how to get a bunch of tweeps to click your follow button.
The fact that I have 8,000 followers though is not what makes me an expert on how to build a twitter following. What makes me an expert is that for every person who has decided to follow me, I have looked at their profile and decided whether to follow them. This means I have looked at over 8,000 twitter profiles and decided whether to follow them or not. I now have narrowed the decision to about 10 seconds. I have a feeling that to follow or not to follow criteria that I have established is similar for many other people who communicate in 140 characters or less.
The number one way to gain a following is to tweet quality stuff, but this is a given. Just like I give travel tips on getting off the beaten path, these social media tips are a little off the social media beaten path as they are not such obvious strategy to the twitter newbie. If implemented, they will help sway other tweeps that you have recently followed when they open up your profile and make that split second decision to either follow or unfollow.
5. Retweet, retweet, retweet, and then retweet some more
If I open up an account and right off the bat see a bunch of RTs on the timeline it is most likely I will follow them. Unless they are retweeting Hitler, there is a good chance these accounts will be followed.
4. Communicate with people on twitter right after following them
Do you want people who you follow to return the favor? One good idea is to retweet their posts as soon as you follow them. Another good idea is to communicate with them on twitter right off the bat. Ask them a question on one of their posts. When it comes time for them to open your email message showing you followed them, they will be like, oh that is that cool guy/girl I have been chatting to lately. They will most likely reciprocate the follow.
3. Use hashtags
Hashtags are how twitter places tweets into categories. When you make a post about hiking, be sure to use the hashtag #hiking. All you do is add the number sign immediately followed by the category. There are several good reasons to do this.
People search these hashtags and will find your posts, read the, and retweet them. Certain groups go through these hashtags and blindly retweet all items in the hashtag. Industry expert search these hashtags and perhaps it will get you invited on a trip or some other perk. Using the hashtag effectively gains exposure for yourself and in return will garner more follows.
2.Make sure your twitter link is easily found on your page
I put my twitter follow button on the right sidebar on my page. I also finish every post with a paragraph asking people to join me on twitter. This means every post I have written has two links where people can easily follow me. I have written over 750 online articles, so there are over 1,500 links out there were people can follow me on twitter.
Another good idea is to make sure your twitter buttons on your blog automatically tweet the title, link, and @yourtwittername when people tweet your stuff. If it does not, some people will just not tweet it or if they do it will go out without being credited to you and you might miss out on potential followers.
1. Keep a healthy balance between followers and following
One of the first things I look for when opening a person’s twitter page is their following to follower ratio. If you have followed 1,000 tweeps yet only have 250 following you it does not look great. I let other accounts do some quality control here for me. If 750 people are not following you back there is probably a good reason.
In order to maintain a healthy balance, do not follow a ton of twitter accounts right away. Start off slow. I think many are so excited to be on twitter when they start that they start following like a banshee. I am not sure a banshee has ever been on twitter, but you know what I mean.
If you have already followed a ton and they are not following you back, then it is time to surgically remove some followers to return to a better ratio. You can start with Just unfollow (now Crowdfire) which will show who is not following you back. You don’t have to unfollow everyone that is not following you, but just trim the fat a little. Another way to let go of a few weak links is to monitor your twitter time line and if you see a really dumb tweet click on their timeline. Was this stupid tweet an exception or is it a pattern. If they are all like that then you know what to do.
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Good tips. You’ve definitely done a good job of building followers. The other thing I would recommend (and something I don’t always do a good job of) is being personal. Have conversations with people as well. That can really help you as you engage others beyond the mass of RTs.
Jeremy Branham recently posted..Walking among the giants: Muir Woods National Monument
Good post Ted.
I (liked) this post, ha. If you followed me in the past and stopped because I was to controversial, then try again because I will be re-entering the corporate world next week (where they brings good things to life) and there is no freedom of speech in that arena, wink, wink. Happy, safe travels.
Robb714 recently posted..Handling The Holidays
Excellent post Ted! This is the best post I’ve read so far on gathering a Twitter following. There are times I walk away from my Twitter account, bc its still limping in the rise.
I always wonder about all these folks following me & that I follow equates the low number of RTs, despite my RTing. Then again, I only see the same people tweeting.
But that ‘Just Unfollow’ one is a wicked tip I never knew about. I’ll start my spring cleaning.
Christine | Grrrl Traveler recently posted..Are you a street-smart traveler or just travel-jaded?
I also use the socialbro app to manage my twitter account. I highly recommend it.
Justin recently posted..Q&A and a camping book giveaway!
Thanks for the advice – new blogger, very new to twitter – will take on board!
Alvina recently posted..Walking Round The Tongue
I do all these things. I have a respectable following and high Klout score on my personal account but with the magazine’s account, I RT quite a bit but am not getting RTs back. I get a lot of “follows” and then, when I follow back, they drop me. I remove them using a site that tells me when someone drops me so they aren’t there long, dragging down my Klout score.
I think I’m posting some good stuff and the site is doing incredibly well but my Tweeps don’t seem to be sharing the love.
I feel somewhat used due to my strong social networking and while my tweeps want me to spread the news about them, they don’t want to spread the news about ME.
I’m open to suggestions as to how to get the tweeps to share my tweets…
I would suggest to continue what you are doing and RT a lot and then post quality stuff yourself. When someone does RT your stuff, appreciate them for what they do and try not to get too consumed by those who do not reciprocate.
I recommend it Leslie to quickly find new followers and delete those not sharing.
Yup. Simple. Short. No BS. Thanks. I’m sharing.
Glad you found this post useful Hans! Thank you for stopping by.
Great tips Ted! Especially JustUnfollow. Started using that right away.
I hope I make the cut 🙂
Great tips Ted! I just clicked your link to JustUnfollow. I need to do some summer (spring) cleaning 🙂