Get More Twitter Followers…Really?

Found it very funny when searching on Google Instant and seeing the results for “Get More” and Twitter followers are the first two results displayed.  I found this trend ironic because I know facebook fan pages, more blog traffic, website traffic, and any other number of terms with “get more” could be equally as popular searches.

I myself wanted to increase my Twitter following and was leveraging the previously excellent ReFollow tool before it became a paid tool mostly shut down until they get funding to put in new servers.  I really have no methodology anymore to finding Twitter users and expanding my network.  I tend to use Twellow or some other service to find users in similar technology, blogging and poetry categories and I follow and add people to lists who interest me or write about things that interest me, but this isn’t really a method for building followers of my own account.  Retweets and writing articles are really only a good way of broadcasting to your own audience, I am finding few “new” people are responding to me lately though there have been some new Twitter folks joining my Random Twitter Poetry game.

I am not interested in followers for the #, it is meaningless to have 20k bot accounts or spam accounts following you, you need to have interaction with readers.  I want feedback on my items and want people in like categories to request my feedback on their stuff as well.  Two way conversations can be interesting and provide useful information, like when I ask for a software recommendation, or WordPress plugin tip….etc.  I tend to not chat politics on Twitter, but use it as more of a networking resource for learning new information or finding interesting articles, though I do use it to indulge my Random Twitter Poetry game and enjoy connecting with writers and poetry fans who participate and enjoy reading what I come up with.

So if there is a really good way to get followers that are meaningful then I haven’t found it, my guess would be to publish content and then have your content promoted by others then if someone reads your content and you make a “Follow Me” button more easily accessible you might end up getting waves of followers.  I have seen services like Fiverr, SponsoredTweets, MyLikes and many other programs where you can pay a flat rate or CPC to try and get social media promotion, but I think this isn’t a good return on investment unless you are trying to sell or market a product.  Followers for Followers sake is probably not something you should be seeking so vehemently, or chances are you are doing it for the wrong reason?

-Justin Germino

Ways To Increase Number of Twitter Followers

Recently my Twitter account @Dragonblogger just reached 6,000+ Twitter followers for the first time since I started the account almost two years ago.  While my profile is growing a following I really didn’t start gaining a larger amount of followers until the past six months or so.  Early on I was wondering how to increase the number of Twitter followers without resorting to blatant follow everyone I could and hope for follow back or using any spamming auto follow or DM programs.

One reason for my lack of a larger following is that my one twitter account is tied to four different niche/themes and this causes me to lose audience who is interested in only one niche or another.  I have a technology and blogging blog and followers who follow me for technology, others who follow me for blogging/seo/social media information.

Still I run a poetry blog and have a small array of poetry fans who follow me for my poetry, these are not my typical technology and blogging fans, and I lose many followers right after I publish a new poem and post about it which shows which of my audience is only interested in my tech and blogging topics.

My third is my personal blog and also I heavily promote local Arizona events, bands and companies which may not be of interest to people living outside of Arizona.  Hence my Twitter account suffers from some of the same issues that a blog would suffer from when you don’t have a specific Niche.

Still, the people who follow DragonBlogger follow me because they are a fan of any or all of the various blogs that I run, poems that I create or conversations I strike up on Twitter.  I try to be very conversational, I am willing to help and lend support to anyone who needs it regarding WordPress, ideas about blogging and I am always willing to showcase someone else’s poetry or blog post if they ask me and I like the article and think it will appeal to my following.

People often ask me, how do I increase my Twitter following and there is really one typical method that I do. 

Follow to Show Gratitude

I typically follow most people who retweet my articles, these people have taken the time to share my work and I follow them unless they have obscene or spam marketing tweets.

Follow People in Similar Niche

This is my secret weapon of Twitter following, I use the Refollow tool to follow people in the same niche or category that I am interested in and would want to follow me.  Refollow allows you to filter people by so many fields it isn’t funny.  This isn’t auto following and you are basically choosing to follow people in similar niche or market as you and some will follow you back as a result based on the law of averages.

Go to Refollow, and click on "Users who are following" and enter the name of somebody who is very popular in your niche or category you want to grow your following in.  For my tutorial example I chose mega Social Media guru Chris Brogan.

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I select his account and let Refollow load the first 1,000 followers.  Note when doing this with someone with so many Twitter followers never try to process more than 1,000 at a time.

Then I use the following filters:

  • Check only show users who are not following me
  • Check only show users who I am not following
  • Check only show users with profile pictures
  • Check only show users who have tweeted in last 14 days
  • Check "Search For" and type in target niche or keyword "in" All
  • Click Update View

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Using this method in the example pic above you can see that I have filtered only on Twitter users who weren’t already following and I wasn’t following.  They had to have the word "Blogger" in their profile somewhere and they had to have a profile picture.

I would then follow all of these users, be careful not to follow too many accounts at once.  I never mass follow more than 100 – 200 people per day, anything further risks your account looking like a bot and risks you getting your account suspended.

I would repeat the above but do so with Technology Bloggers or sources and filter on different keywords.  I would see who is following peers in my network like @FamousBloggers or @Ileane or @Kikolani and I would follow some people who follow them and are in similar niche markets. 

Now, obviously there is a follow and auto follow limit right?  You can only follow up to 2000 accounts if you have 2000 or less followers and only about the same number of followers who are following you.  So you will reach a cap, and not everyone will follow you back.

Clean Up Your Following List

I will trim my Twitter following periodically like every month and remove anyone who doesn’t tweet at least 1x per 7 days, but since I only use this tool every so often I always make sure I am following at least 500 less people than are following me.  I try to keep my follower/following ratio to .95 or less.

These are my tips for building a Twitter following and are not as "Fast" as some scam and quick follower programs and sites, but this way I get "REAL" followers.  The people I follower are not simple auto spam bots and the filters make sure I follow real people.  If I see someone tweeting a bunch of junk in my tweet stream, I unfollow them real quick.

-Justin Germino