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Twitter is a great network to connect with like-minded people and those who care about the things you have something to say about. The more relevant connections you can make the better for everyone.
There are different ways to grow followers.
Some people try to sell 5,000 followers for $29 and while they might deliver them, these followers may have no interest in what you are talking about. At all. Additionally, buying followers doesn’t seem very authentic to me.
But it is true that the larger of an audience we can assemble – an audience that cares about our topics – the more impact we can have, and in the long-term, the more impact that can have on your business. So, how do you grow a Twitter following in a meaningful and authentic way? Here’s how I have gained almost 4,000 followers in just two years – almost 2,000 between November 2014 and early January 2015.
Here’s how I did it:
- Connecting – I connect with people whose updates I may want to follow. Some days – like on a weekend day – I follow hundreds of people. Many of them follow me back. If I find their Tweets interesting, I will stay connected. If they continuously do one of my Twitter pet peeves, I will likely unfollow them at some point. (It’s not about you. It’s about me not liking your content or methods of distribution.)
- Sharing – I continuously share updates. Using Hootsuite, I schedule updates throughout the day – around the clock. Many days have one post per hour. Some days have posts every 15-30 minutes. Since Twitter moves pretty fast, it’s not a big deal to most users. I do link to posts on my blog – The Authentic Storytelling Project – from time to time, but those posts do not make up the majority of my Tweets. (Related post: What’s with all the links on social media)
- Responding – When people talk to me on Twitter, I respond. Now, sometimes – not that often really – people try to keep an unnecessary argument going. In those cases, I just stop the discussion or tell them that “I have nothing else to add.”
- Retweeting – I Retweet people’s updates when it fits with the topics that I normally Tweet about and if it’s interesting. Retweeting somebody saying something I’ve said myself, doesn’t add much value to the people following me.
- Offline – Share your Twitter handle with people offline. For example, when I speak at conferences, every single slide that I share has my Twitter handle on it. Depending on the conference I might also wear a shirt with my Twitter handle. (Some conferences are more of a dressed up affair and I won’t wear it there obviously)
There are other ways, I’m sure. You can, for example, use promoted posts (basically ads on Twitter) to get yourself an even larger audience. That’s another way to gain followers. I haven’t used this strategy for my @ctrappe account.
Growing audiences or communities – depending on your perspective – takes time, but it’s possible to do in an authentic and meaningful way to your brand and your audience.