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How to grow your Twitter followers
Your Follower and Following lists should always be
Managing your Twitter followers is an important aspect of using the site well. If you don’t pay attention to it and learn some tips and tricks, your Following and Follower lists will become unbalanced and you will not be able to market yourself effectively.
Growing Your Followers
You can follow anyone on Twitter you want – famous people, businesses, or Jane next door. But will these people help you maximize the effectiveness of Twitter in your marketing strategy?
How do you find the right people, those people who will be interested in what you have to say? Who should you network with you increase your influence?
The ‘easy’ (slow) method is to let your followers list grow organically. You can read through your feed diligently. Look at the tweets and the topics. Look at who your connections are retweeting. But this is very, very, painstakingly slow when you have marketing goals in mind. To use Twitter well you need to branch out.
Think about what you want to promote. If it’s a product, look for people who are talking about it or a competing product with followers you can reach. If it’s a book, look to other writers, similar books, or even themes in your work like fashion or Los Angeles.
Twitter has a search feature but that’s not going to be a huge help. You might pick up a couple of good connections this way but for the most part people are going to ignore you if they feel you are going after them solely to sell them something.
One tried and true method is to look for a person or business similar to you and follow their followers. With this method you know you are targeting people who are more likely to be interested in what you have to say. You don’t have to go crazy here. Follow 10 or 20 and test the waters. See who expresses interest and who follows you back. Pick a few different profiles and see which one is most effective for you.
For the busy marketer, there are programs that will do this for you (Tweet Adder is one of many). They do have a cost investment but it may be worth it if your time is more valuable and other areas of your work and/or marketing need your attention more urgently.
Trimming Your Follow List
The main guideline here is that Twitter should be a communication tool and if people are only there to speak to you and not listen in return, you need to take action.
Take care of who you follow is just as necessary as growing your followers. Twitter has built in thresholds for your follow list. If you have less than 2,000 followers then you cannot follow more than 2,000 other users. Once you pass this limit a % limit kicks in, restricting your follows proportionally. In order to properly grow you base of followers you will need an effective strategy for trimming your Follow list and maintain it right from the start.
First of all, this doesn’t mean you have to go out and unfollow everyone, or everyone who isn’t following you. You will find lots of famous people who only follow a handful of other users, or a few hundred at most, but you are not there yet. These people you have chosen to follow are on your radar for a reason. You like them and you are interested in what they share. Don’t drop them.
Most of your time on Twitter will be spent on trying to start conversations and in connecting with other users. You cannot do that well unless you have a lot of connections with other users who have the same idea and use Twitter as a two-way street.
What are you really looking at here? If you set the goal of following 100 people every week your return in follows may only be 50 or 60 people if you’re lucky. A lot of factors can affect this, such as whether you targeted your following strategy on people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to say and therefore will follow you back. The number of followers you have also matters. When you start out with few followers it will be a little harder to get the follow back. Once you gain several hundred or thousand followers, however, users are more likely to see you as a valuable connection and follow you back. It gets easier to grow you base.
With this strategy you will take a few months to hit that first 2,000 follow limit but at the same time your followers will only number half that at best.
It is not feasible to manually go through and check whether your followers are following you back. You can easily handle the following aspect of this alone but when it comes to trimming you need help. If you are using an automated program like Tweet Adder it can handle this aspect as well.
But if you didn’t pay for help on the first half of this and you don’t want to fork over the cash, what do you do?
Go free or cheap! There are many sites that can help you with this and they each have their ups and downs. Some do charge a fee but it’s generally reasonable at about $9.99/month. Each handles things differently and you should check out different options to see which method and interface best fits your style.
Keep up the good work – Maintain Maintain Maintain
Depending on how much time you have to devote to this process, you may go through these steps once a day, once a week, or once a month but is important to keep the cycle going. Keep finding new followers. Keep trimming those who need to go. This only becomes a one-time thing if you go with an automatic program and let it handle everything for you. But, even then, some oversight and changes over time is still going to be important to ensure you are keeping your Twitter lists in line with your overall strategy and marketing goals.
Remember that Twitter is a powerful tool but you have to keep it fresh, up to date, and functioning as an effective part of your toolbox. These simply strategies will keep it working and growing and help give you the best results!