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The Art of Twitter Following
Updated: Jul 30, 2013 / Article by: Kevin Muldoon
One question that all Twitter users ask at some point is “How do I get more followers?”. It is a reasonable question. You will never get the most out of Twitter if no one is following you. You will be able to follow others and interact with them, however it is a one way street if no one ever reads your own tweets.
All Twitter followers are not created equal. Whilst there are benefits to having lots of followers, you will get much more from Twitter if you aim for quality followers who actually want to hear what you say. For example, you could host a competition on your blog and ask participants to follow you on Twitter in order to enter, however afterwards it is unlikely that these people will interact with you or share your tweets. After all, they only followed you because they had to.
Let's look at how you can get quality followers through Twitter.
1. Forget About Following Others In Order For Them To Follow You
The main way that people in the past gamed Twitter (if you can call it that) was to follow others in order for them to follow you. Hundreds of thousands of people did this automatically through services and applications such as TweetAdder. The premise was simple. All you had to do was follow hundreds of people per day. Many would follow back and you would simply unfollow those who did not. This allowed some users to build up thousands of followers in a relatively short space of time.
Twitter has effectively shut down all products that automated the process of following and unfollowing people. Due to being taken to court by Twitter, TweetAdder is a completely different product to what it was previously. Before you could simply load the application up and leave it running, however now the application simply helps you find people to follow. You then need to follow people yourself manually.
If you believe in the process of following people in order for them to follow you back is worthwhile, you will find services such as TweetAdder useful. The problem is with following people in order to increase your own number of followers is that it does not add quality followers to your account. Most of the people who will follow you back will not interact with you in any way. Therefore, your higher follower count will not actually increase your interactivity from others on Twitter. This is why I do not believe it is a good long-term strategy for acquiring followers.
2. Interact with Influential Twitter Users
I strongly recommend following people that you want to follow. Follow people that interest you, follow people that are funny, follow people that break news within your niche. If you ever want the people you follow to follow you back, interact with them. Reply to their tweets and share their tweets with with your own followers. If you interact with someone regularly, they will get to know you better and may decide to follow you back.
You will now be in a position where someone influential follows you and if they know you well, they might repay the kindness you have shown them and retweet your content. This strategy obviously works better when you follow people who have something in common with you. It is unlikely that a movie star is going to retweet one of your blog posts about your business, however those within your niche will. It therefore pays to
3. Be Yourself
I remember Joe Rogan once talked about how no one can hide who they are on Twitter. He spoke in depth about how many celebrities were coming off as idiots, petty or bitter. I believe this 100%. You cannot hide who you are.
So my advice to all of you is to be yourself. Do not try and be something you are not on Twitter. Just be yourself and let your personality shine through.
A big part of showcasing your personality is customising your profile. This is not a step you should skip. On Twitter, those who do not complete their profile come across as spam accounts and as a result will find it difficult to convince others to follow them. Therefore, make the point of describing yourself in your profile, adding an avatar and perhaps even adding a custom background. Your profile page is where people view information about you so it should reflect who you are and what you do.
4. Share Great Content with Others
Twitter is one of the most popular places on the internet that people share content. By sharing good content regularly you will show others that you are someone worth following. I recommend getting into the routine of sharing good content with others on Twitter regularly by sharing good articles you like with your followers. You should retweet good content from other Twitter users too.
5. Promote Your Twitter Account
One of the best ways to get Twitter followers is to promote your Twitter account outside of Twitter itself. Make sure you link to your Twitter account on your websites and on any other social media accounts you use online.
How much many followers you get from outside of Twitter largely depends on your presence online. The more well-known you are online, the more Twitter followers you will gain as a result of your reputation. There are top bloggers out there who are not even active on Twitter, yet they have thousands of followers on Twitter because people want to listen to what they say.
You do not have to own your own website in order to gain followers in this way. Many journalists and freelance bloggers have grown their Twitter following by simply linking to their Twitter account at the bottom of their articles. You could always write a few articles for some high traffic websites in order to raise your own profile. A good article on a high traffic blog could see you get hundreds of new followers over the space of just a few days.
I have only spoke about what I consider to be the most important points to consider when following others. There are lots of other techniques that Twitter users use to gain followers. For example, Twitter directories such as Twellow and WeFollow are very popular. I find this kind of thing gives the same results as competitions and following others in order to get a follow back. Your focus should always be on getting quality followers who are actually interested in what you have to say. It is counter-productive to spend so much time gaining followers when they are only looking to inflate their own Twitter presence.
What do you think is the best way to acquire Twitter followers? I'd love to hear your opinion on this issue so please take the time to leave a comment if you can.
About Kevin Muldoon
Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity, Internet Marketing and Social Media on his personal blog. He is also the author of the best-selling book "The Art of Freelance Blogging".