Sunday, August 9, 2009

How to Get More Twitter Followers

First things first: Why would you want to get more Twitter followers? Having more twitter followers does not make you popular, famous, or automatically guarantee your company more business. I receive numerous leads monthly from my twitter and facebook relationships, and I have over 5,000 followers but I did not get these 5,000 twitter followers overnight. We found each other over a year of sharing stories, giving each other advice, and promoting each other. Having a lot of twitter followers has its benefits, but not if you do it as an end to justify no means. You need to do it the right way, no scams. Twitter is a great way to connect with your clients, meat new leads, gain new friends but should not be used as just a marketing platform.

So, how can you increase your Twitter followers and have more people actually reading your updates? 

You can build a prominent profile by being real. Be human. Be friendly. Be YOU. This is one instance where it's less about who you know but what you say (TWEET) that matters. The topic of growing your Twitter presence has been very popular lately both as an honest post, scams, and satiracle.  The primary goal is to teach you how to use Twitter and offer real value and in turn you will naturally increase your Twitter following. 

In response to many of these articles I've been writing a Social Media 101 E-Book. FREE for you to download, not $30 or a hundred or even $20. Why am I giving away this E-book for FREE? The knowledge is out there anyway, parts of the book has been compiled from other peoples posts (noted), but mostly because people need to know how to properly use these platforms. Click here to download the FREE Social MEdia 101 Ettiquette Guide.

The following is from Dosh Dosh:

Take a look at this list of Twitter users with the most followers and you'll see that almost everyone on it is famous or well known for reasons other than Twitter. For example, you'll notice that the top 10 users are mainly all people who own popular websites/businesses and brands or have established a reputation through their involvement in different activities.


Run your eyes down the list further and you'll notice the same thing: these Twitter users built their large audience through their already established popularity. They didn't start from the ground up: it's likely that they started with a decent amount of followers and will continue accumulate them passively through the strength of their reputation or personal brand.

Many people have built their following because they are well known away from Twitter, not because they were inherently entertaining or helpful as a Twitter user. In other words, they grew large follower base because they cleverly integrated their brand or what it is they do, with their Twitter profile. They used their websites or platforms to promote their Twitter profile.....

Maximize Visibility: Treat Your Twitter Profile Like Any Other Website

Image Credit: Tweet via QuickSilver

The first step is to understand that your Twitter profile is like any other website. You should treat it no differently from your own blog or a free opt-in newsletter. This means that if you want to increase your Twitter subscriber base, you just need to do one thing again and again: Drive web traffic to your profile. The more targeted the traffic, the better.

This sounds obvious but many people overlook this fundamental principle and focus instead on less relevant details like Twitter usage times/frequency. I'm sure that causing controversy or learning to tweet a certain way might get some extra exposure to your profile but in my opinion, the benefits are minimal. How, when and what you tweet is not crucial.

With this in mind, you can play around with a myriad number of marketing strategies, just like how you would promote a website. Think in terms of incentives. Why would someone want to follow me on Twitter? How will he or she benefit from it? Assuming that someone doesn't know who I am, what would motivate him or her to subscribe to my Twitter profile?

Here are just some examples of traffic-driving strategies (there are many more):

  1. Create a tool/application and promote your profile alongside it.
  2. Buy a banner ad to target tech-savvy audiences, link it to your profile.
  3. Use Twitter as a tool for tech/customer support.
  4. Organize a contest through your Twitter profile
  5. Include links to your profile in email/forum signatures.
  6. Evangelize Twitter on your blog/other blogs and include a link to your profile.
  7. Connect your blog and other social media profiles to your Twitter page.
  8. Learn to pitch Twitter influencers with articles relevant to their interest
  9. Explicitly ask another user to recommend your profile or exchange recommendations.

Mass Following Twitter Users: The Favorite Methodology of 'Spammers'

Twitter is similar to many other social networks in numerous aspects, particularly when it comes to friending behaviors. Like Myspace, its possible to befriend a massive amount of users, some of whom will add you back as a friend. Continually adding Twitter users as friends allows you to increase the amount of followers you have.

This is a strategy that has worked remarkably well for early adopters when the Twitter was still a relatively new phenomenon. For example, I know a marketer who followed over ten thousand users and got thousands of followers in return. He then cut down the amount of people he followed and changed his username to make the account look legitimate.

Nowadays, the Twitter community has grown more aware of these 'spammers' and many tools like the Twitter Blacklist and Twerpscan have been developed to help Twitter users weed out people who try to follow many users in order to build an large audience. Still, a portion of Twitter users (perhaps the new ones) tend to add anyone who befriends them.

Take for instance, Osen Komura. A fake profile set up by another Twitter user in February 2008 as a social experiment. The Osen account followed 41,798 Twitter users in one month and 7,847 users added him as a friend, a 17%+ follow-back rate.


And Osen is not only the only profile out there with thousands of followers all derived through mass user following. The question is: Should you consider using the same strategy?

Apart from the risk of being labeled a Twitter spammer and increasing the noise on your Twitter stream, this method still works. However, know that following so many users inevitably reduces your ability to keep track of individual users since they are drowned out by other updates, unless you conscientiously keep track of your Twitter stream or use RSS. But keep in mind that this is not essential. Here are some good reasons why you really don't need to mass follow twitter users.

Scoble has suggested that it's beneficial to follow many Twitter users because you get more access to information and it shows that you're listening and more open to communication or meeting people. Perhaps so, but I would recommend increasing the people you follow on Twitter gradually, while making sure that you're maintaining conversational interactiveness.

In any case, only viewing Twitter as a broadcast platform to drive traffic to your websites is a limited perspective, especially when your Twitter followers offer a wealth of knowledge, connections and opinions you can use to improve your business and personal skills.

All in all, it depends on your goals and how you use Twitter. Feel free to share this article with your Twitter friends. I'll love to get more feedback on this topic.

Desarae A. Veit
Direct: 515.250.0760
Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.

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