When I am training people in how to use Twitter, the question asked most often is “How do you get Twitter followers?” When you are just starting out, you may not know any people that are on Twitter and don’t have any idea of where to start.
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If you have been on Twitter for awhile, you may find that your number of followers has stopped growing and are looking for ways to get new followers. Wrong or right many people see Twitter as a numbers game, so even ‘Power’ Twitter users are often looking for new techniques to increase their numbers of followers too.
Quantity vs. Quality
Before we think about techniques to get more Twitter Followers, it’s important to consider if it is more important for you to get a really high number of followers on Twitter, or is it best to get followers that are specifically interested in the topics that you are interested in. If you are using Twitter for business it’s important to ensure that you are getting followers that are relevant to your topic, so you need to balance out your activities to get numbers versus activities aimed at gaining specific followers in your target market – because some activities to get a massive amount of followers may turn off the targeted followers. So think about why and how you are using Twitter when deciding which techniques are best for you.
Using Black Hat Techniques to Get Twitter Followers
‘Black Hat’ online marketing techniques are those that are considered to be against the terms/guidelines of the online marketing services providers (i.e. Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). I do not use black hat techniques and do not recommend that you do because, besides getting your account penalised or disabled, these techniques can put off legitimate followers and make you look bad. I do include some of these tips here, clearly noted as ‘black hat’. You will come across these methods as you go along and it’s important that you know how to spot techniques that may bring you more trouble than benefits.
13 Techniques to Get More Twitter Followers
1. Get followers on Twitter with INTERESTING, RELEVANT CONTENT
What content is going to be interesting and relevant to the people you want to follow you? Figure that out and provide that content on a regular basis and watch your followers grow. Include a mix of types of content: straight messages/comments on relevant topics, links to your own articles, links to other relevant material, images, surveys, etc. – anything that’s going to make you worthy of the desired follow.
Posting content on trending topics may get you a number of followers that are interested in trending topics. As many Twitter users post about general and personal topics as well as those specific to their businesses this could be a way to attract more followers, but they won’t necessarily be interested in your specific topics as well, so balance out this type of post.
Black Hat Tip: ONLY post links to trending topics. Find interesting articles posted by others and repost them as your own without giving credit to the original source. Include only links to your website about such topics and no links from other sources. You may think that this is a good way to show yourself as an authority, but while not ‘illegal’, this will show you up as being limited and not very helpful.
2. Create a PROFILE that will get more followers.
As you will find people to follow using ‘Who to Follow’, people will also find you using this Twitter tool, and search engines, if the information for your profile includes information that is relevant to them.
- Your ‘Picture’ can influence if people read your posts and follow you. I’ve found that using a photograph of me, rather than some icon, has increased my followers and also helps people to identify me when meeting face to face; but this may be down to the services that I provide. A clever cartoon or other icon may be better for you, but it’s best to not change your picture too often as it will confuse people.
- Deciding on your ‘Name’ (whether you use your own name, a business name or a clever phrase) will be based on your overall Twitter strategy, but it’s important to consider if your ‘Name’ will appeal to those you want to follow you. The name you use may also help your profile come up in searches, so consider using keywords.
- ‘Location’ can be important if you want to get followers in your area, or if location is relevant to your posts.
- Include a link to your most relevant site under ‘Web’. If you don’t have a site include a link to another social profile (Facebook Page or LinkedIn) or a Posterous, etc.; but be sure that it has a good amount of information about you. Not including a link or including a link to a page with no relevant information will definitely turn off followers. If you don’t have such a page set up, do it NOW! Consider creating a special page on your site, a Twitter Landing Page, to specifically welcome those that have come from your Twitter profile and move them into appropriate areas of your website.
- ‘Bio’ is the most important element, so write it to attract the right followers and be sure to include ‘keywords’, the words that people will be searching on when looking for relevant followers.
@hankwasiak (http://twitter.com/hankwasiak) has a great Twitter profile: His Picture is interesting and distinctive, including his Emmy awards. He is known offline, so uses his own Name as people may be searching on it and it helps to boost his ‘brand’. He notes in Location that he is based in both New York and Los Angeles and under Web includes a link to his own website for people to get more information on him. His Bio includes who he is, what he does and the kind of information he will be sharing with his followers.
Is the design of your profile page important? If you can have a nicely customised background, that reinforces your brand, it can be a factor to influence people to follow you; but the content you provide in the profile and your posts is much more important. Many influential people on Twitter have nice custom Twitter backgrounds designed for the ‘Old Twitter’ that are now half covered by the main pane of information since “New Twitter” came along, and it doesn’t hurt their number of followers.
Black Hat Tip: Just list a bunch of high traffic keywords for all of the elements of your profile to come up for searches on these. But will it be interesting enough for people to follow? Or, put an image of a sexy girl/boy for your Picture. (Does that actually work for people?!)
3. FOLLOW people that you want to follow you.
It sounds very simple, but many people follow EVERYONE that follows them. Check out Twitter’s “Who to Follow”. See who Twitter suggests that you follow and also search for yourself. Follow those that you want to follow you: prospects, clients, influencers in your industry, media, etc.
Black Hat Tip: For those who are more interested in quantity rather than quality of followers; follow as many people as possible, regardless of who they are or what their interests are. Many will automatically follow you and your numbers will rise. You can then unfollow these. Some will unfollow you as well, but many will not. Twitter has disabled accounts found to do this, so watch the numbers that you follow and unfollow at once.