By Jo Middleton
Picture the scene… you’ve signed up to Twitter and you’re regularly tweeting a range of fascinating and hilarious insights. 137 people are following and about 8 of these are actually listening. You know you’re witty and insightful, so how come the rest of Twitter hasn’t noticed it yet?
The trouble is, that although we all know the mantra ‘content is key’, there is no point in producing great content if there is no one there to read it. In the UK particularly we are a little bit British about blowing our own trumpets, but when it comes to getting more Twitter followers you can’t afford to be shy.
So how do you get more people to follow you on Twitter?
Follow more people
Yes yes, I know it’s might not seem cool, but the single most effective way to get more followers is to follow people. They might stay for your quirky take on lunch but they come in the first place because by following them you are effectively waving, saying ‘hey! Over here! Look at me!’
You don’t have to just follow random strangers mind, you can still keep it relevant, and I’m not talking hundreds of people every day. How about finding someone on Twitter that you admire or that has similar interests, and then following some of their followers? Chances are they will be interested in your tweets too. Plus the beauty of Twitter is that you can make random connections sometimes, and just be open to what might come of them.
Unfollow more people
Of course not everyone you follow is going to be as impressed with your pictures of your children looking cute as you are, so not everyone will follow you back. This is OK, but if you’ve given them a couple of weeks and heard nothing, you could just unfollow them. Nothing ventured and all that. That way too you don’t end up as one of those desperate looking people who has 89 followers but follows 1,897. The way I see Twitter, it’s about having a conversation, and conversation has to be a two way thing.
Follow people back
Unfollowing non-followers might seem a little rude, but essentially what they are saying is ‘that’s fine, I’m happy for you to listen to me, but I’m not prepared listen back’, and quite frankly that seems rude to me. With this in mind, I think it’s good practice to follow people back if they look interesting and relevant. This doesn’t mean everybody, but if they look like the sort of person you’d be happy to chat to at a wedding.
Set up your profile
No one wants to follow one of those egg heads do they? Set up your profile to include a nice little bit of information about yourself, and a link to your blog or website, so that people know what they are letting themselves in for. Include a clear profile picture of your face too rather than a logo or other image, as it is much more personal.
Talk to people
Twitter is about conversation right? Reply to people. Retweet other people’s content. Share interesting links. You know that though.
Use Twitter lists
Once you’ve got a decent following, keeping up with everyone can be tricky, so use lists to organise people into groups. If for example, you are a massive fan of crafts, have a list of craft bloggers and websites that you can refer to for ideas and conversation when you’re in a crafty mood.
Know the Twitter tricks
I’ve been using Twitter for a reasonable amount of time now, but it was only recently that I learnt that if you start your tweet with an ‘@’, it only shows in the feeds of people who follow you and the person you are @ing.
This is fine when you’re having a long conversation with someone, but it’s not so great if you are doing a general shout out, bigging up a brand, or talking about something you want the whole world to see.
Stick to 120 characters too rather than 140 if you can – it makes it easier for people to retweet you.
If all of this sounds like way too much faff, find a programme that will do it for you. There are loads of them, but I use one called Crowdfire, (formerly known as Justunfollow.) It has loads of cool features, including giving you a list of people who aren’t following you back so you can unfollow them if you want to, an option to view followers from other similar accounts for ideas for people to follow and a facility that lets you find and dump your inactive followers.
And that’s it! It’s not rocket science, so why not give it a go?
Do you have any Twitter tips and tricks you’d like to share?