Twitter only really starts to work if you follow a reasonable number of people, I think around fifty is a minimum, but 100+ is better. For the sake of equity and let’s face it vanity it is also good to have a healthy follower list.
Sometimes it can be difficult to see why some users pile on the followers whilst others stay static. In the light of the hype this weekend about rise to twitter stardom of prime minister’s wife Sarah Brown here are some tips about setting out on the road to recruting followers to your twitter stream.
1. Be Famous IRL (in real life)
Offline fame boosts online fame. Ashton Kutcher, Stephen Fry, Barack Obama and of course Sarah Brown all have considerable profiles in the real world.
2. Find and Follow
If you want people to follow you then you should follow people too. This works in two ways; people will follow back (probably about 25-30% of them and higher if they are people with interests in common with yours). Secondly when you follow someone it puts you at the top of their followes list and for a time you that makes you first in line when other users trawl their list for people to follow. Be careful not to spam, check out the twitter rules on this.
3. Follow Back
For most of the same reasons as tip 2, but also because if you don’t a proportion of users will unfollow you at a later date (reciprocation is important).
4. Hang out with The Famous
If you engage in online dialogue with people who have a lot of followers it is likely to get noticed. Their followers will see their at-posts to you for one thing (depending on their settings). People will also belive that if you are getting attention from a big hitter you must be interesting. After all it’s who you know not what you know.
5. Be Interesting
OK, it is also what you know. Provide some insight or a link to something genuinely interesting and you will start to build an audience. Talk about what you had for breakfast and watch your followers drift away.
6. Complete Your Profile
It doesn’t take long and your are more likely to be followed if you have a picture, a short biog and a link to your blog, Linkedin page or something relevant. It stands to reason that people will want to know a little bit a bout you.
7. Pimp your Twitter ID
Make it easy for people to find. Add it to your email signature and make sure it is prominent in other social networks.
8. Get with the Trend
If you have been using twitter for a while you will realise that people follow keywords not just users. That means that if you are talking about hot topics then people who are trend watching. Keep this relevant. Using irrelevant hashtags for example is another form of twitter spam. Easirer said than done but it is also better to start a trend than to follow one.
9. Engage (and unlock your updates)
Whilst you can tweet too much it is partly about being noticed so you have to converse. It is also a mistake to protect your updates. Twitter is about openness and if you want to keep your comments private don’t post them on twitter in the first place – or use direct messaging. Locked updates put your followers off.
10. Don’t Get Fixated
…on building follower numbers and don’t subscribe to the products/programmes/schemes that claim to boost your lists. They are the online equivalent of get rich quick cons. It isn’t a popularity contest and if you follow the advice here you should see a steady increase.