I remember when I joined Twitter seven years ago. Within the first day, I had four followers, and I recall running out of my office and into the kitchen so I could tell my husband that four people were following me. “Me!” I said.
I was stoked.
I didn’t know back then that to gain followers you had to follow people, so I did nothing, aside from posting a few tweets every day.
Don’t Be a Twit
Then I did the worst thing possible. (I made other mistakes in those days but, hey, I was still learning.) I signed up for an application called TrueTwit. Basically, the application “verifies” that someone who follows you isn’t a bot or a spammer by making new followers type a captcha. If they don’t type the captcha, you can’t follow them back, assuming they’re worth following.
If someone locks down their account, preventing people from following, it’s their fault for being overly cautious. The result? Their account doesn’t grow. They are virtually turning their back to Twitter’s social experience and the opportunity to socialize with their clients and meet new consumers as well as meet new colleagues.
When I used the application, I obviously didn’t know better. After a year or two, I might have had 100 followers. Then I read a radical suggestion. Someone recommended that anyone who used an app like TrueTwit should dump it immediately and start following 50 people a day.
I immediately dumped TrueTwit and started following my target demographic.
By the end of the year, I gained about 5,000 followers, and my account grew from there to its present state of 40,000 followers.
So my first bit of advice is don’t use TrueTwit or any application that’s similar to it and if you want to have followers, you need to follow people. Actively start to follow 50 people a day. Starting now.
Unfollow Inactive Twitter Accounts
Not everyone you follow will follow you back. So after giving people a week or so to follow you back, you’ll need to unfollow them. Just say adios to them.
To unfollow these Twitter users, you’ll need to use an application such as Tweepi or ManageFlitter. I’ve used both apps, and I look them both. ManageFlitter also keeps track of inactive accounts (I believe Tweepi does too but I no longer use it) – those people who followed you but then stopped tweeting. I unfollow those accounts as well because I don’t want to tweet to inactive accounts.
ManageFlitter has quite a few awesome features. For example, it identifies bots and spam accounts, I profiled all of its features in a how-to post some time back. The instructions and screenshots haven’t changed, so I recommend that you visit it here.
Pay Attention to Trending Hashtags
Every day I take a look at trending hashtags. Sure, sometimes they’ll be about sports and TV shows but other times they will mention issues relevant to business.
My point here is that you never know what you’ll find in trending hashtags.
Watching trending hashtags and then posting about them can help widen your circle of contacts and followers.
My last tip is to be sociable.
As I’ve said many times, the essence of social media is to be social and sociable. So ask and answer questions. Say thank you. And be open to meeting new people.
What are your favorite Twitter tips?
Frances Caballo is a social media strategist and manager and the author of six books on social media. Click here to schedule an appointment with her.Interested in marketing a book you wrote? Visit Frances at SocialMediaJustforWriters.com.