Twitter is still a very new medium, and one which people haven’t really gotten to grips with just yet. There is plenty of talk about how to build up followers, and you can even buy followers by the thousand… So really, if all you want is to have as many followers as possible, you don’t need to be reading this post at all.
If however, you want to have followers that will actually follow you. Who will listen to your tweets, and will actually act on what you say… Well, that’s what I’m about to discuss.
Find followers interested in what you are Tweeting
This is the first point. Followers who don’t actually care about whatever it is that you Tweet about, aren’t real followers, they are never going to come to your site, or buy your products, or even re-tweet you.
One of my favorite methods of finding interested Tweeters is to use the Twitter search box. I tweet for instance about internet marketing and SEO, so I might search for people who have recently Tweeted things like “my website” or “my blog”. This is going to find me people that are talking about their own sites. This is a pretty good indication that they have a site that they are interested in promoting, so they might well be interested in hearing my hints and tips on SEO.
I sometimes go more laterally too, but more focused, with searches like “promote my business”. This finds me people who tweet things like “I need to promote my business.” Or “Does anyone have any tips to help me promote my business.” These searches don’t produce many results, but the results they do produce are often very high quality.
Remember, the aim is to find people who are likely to benefit from what you have to offer. Finding a highly targeted follower like this is often more valuable than finding 50 untargeted ones.
Find followers who will actually hear you
Unfortunately, many people seem to treat Twitter as a popularity contest… The more followers the better. As a result, you will see many people with 5,000 followers who are also following several thousand people.
Now imagine if you were following me, but you were also following 5,000 other people. Do you think you would read anything I ever Tweeted? I doubt it. So I look for small time users. Individuals who follow a select group of people, mainly their friends, and perhaps a couple of people they are interested in.
These people may be less likely to give you an automatic follow back, they will be more skeptical of you. But if they do follow you, it will be because they are actually interested in hearing what you are Tweeting about.
Building up a following
Once you have found these rare people, who are interested in your subject, and who don’t already follow thousands of other Tweeters, you have to follow them. Unfortunately there is no better way to attract their attention (in my opinion). But hopefully, when you follow them, they will be curious enough to have a look at who you are.
This is when having a good profile set up helps a lot. Have an avatar that people will want to connect with. A picture of yourself is generally best, it shows that you are a real person and not a spam bot. You will also want to make sure that your past Tweets are good quality. This is how most people will judge you.
So work on yourself first. Then go find some like minded Tweeters, follow them, and if your Tweets are good, and helpful to them, they might just follow you back.
Your next step is to keep up the good work. Look for new followers regularly, it doesn’t matter if you only build up 10 a week, as long as they are 10 genuine followers. And if your content is good enough word will soon start to spread.