“I tweet, therefore my entire life has shrunk to 140 character chunks of instant event & predigested gnomic wisdom. & swearing.”
– Neil Gaiman
Guide to growing your Twitter by 25 followers a week
A few weeks ago I went to the book store and saw a title about growing your Twitter presence. Being curious I decided to take a look.
The content was, to put it nicely, very silly.
It had strategies like: use plenty of hashtags, follow thousands of people, and make intentionally stupid mistakes in your Tweets (like misspelling things) so the people correct you.
As someone who has grown their Twitter account exponentially over the past three months, I have different advice.
My suggestions aren’t going to cost you $25 for a book, and I know they actually work. You can watch my Twitter followers go up daily. There’s no smoke and mirrors here.
1. Know your audience
I write for men in their 20’s. It would be a little weird if you followed me on Twitter and everything I posted was tied into some trending pop-culture event.
As of this writing here’s what’s trending:
(Note: My account still thinks I’m living in Peru.)
If you logged on and saw “If you think #TheHobbitTickets are cool, check out this post!” You’d probably think it was cheesy and disengage with me.
It’s a lame strategy and one that really won’t win anyone over. Folks who are Tweeting about a movie don’t care about some finance article.
If your target audience is men, write about stuff men like. If your target audience is women, post about things they’d enjoy. It’s that simple.
2. Publish good content
This is where most social media marketing books falter. They put an emphasis on posting a lot or chasing trends, but they act like quality doesn’t matter. According to them you could basically Tweet like this:
9:00 am – “Just woke up. Hope everyone has a good morning!”
9:30 am – “Eating a pancake. Lol!”
1:00 pm – “Look at this funny meme!”
That’s great, if you’re a high school girl. The rest of us have to actually put a little more effort in.
Personally, I’ve had a lot of luck with the following strategies:
- Tweeting out something I’ve actually learned (and is useful to others).
- Asking a discussion question (“If _____ happened what would you do?”).
- Going on a multi-part “Twitter rant” (where an entire concept is explained or discussed).
- Occasionally (and I mean very rarely) making jokes and lightly trolling.
3. Re-Tweet great material
Well Built Style is one of my favorite Twitter accounts (click here to see for yourself). The guy constantly puts out great information and links to some really cool videos, books, and articles.
A marketing guru would say “don’t link to that guy. His account is better than yours!” And you’d end up missing out on some great content. It isn’t like Twitter only lets you follow one person. If I re-Tweet something cool it doesn’t cost me my audience.
Don’t be afraid to refer people to someone who does something better than you. Pretending to be the all-knowing master of everything will leave you burnt out and alone.
4. Engage with people bigger than you
Here’s a marketing rule that’s kind of a secret. You never ever start a war with someone smaller than you. Always aim for the big guys.
The other night some knucklehead actor started a fight with Danger & Play. He did this because D&P is bigger and more famous than he is.
Knowing that this actor (I forget his name and am too lazy to look it up, but he’s the only guy who starred in Project X without his own Wikipedia page) was being a hypocrite, I Tweeted something at him. Thanks to re-Tweets, my one message ended up reaching over 16,000 different people. Not bad!
Site traffic went up and I think I got a few new followers out of the deal.
When you see a fraud or a troll, especially if it’s a big one, point them out. They’ll be caught with their pants down and you’ll gain some exposure.
Last week I added 23 followers to my Twitter account. And social media is something that I barely use. If you take my advice and use this guide to growing your Twitter followers, you can easily do the same.
Building up your brand isn’t rocket science. There are plenty of stupid people who can still amass a crowd. As long as you know your audience, have something to say, share other people’s cool finds, and converse with the higher-ups, you’ll do fine.
Lastly, be sure to follow me on Twitter if you aren’t already.