by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
This is a great question! It’s also one that has a lot of part to it. To try to cover all of the info in a single post won’t be possible. But we’ll give you a good foundation today and continue to cover the info in the following weeks and months.
One of the things I’m asked about the most is how to increase my Twitter followers. I haven’t run into many people who don’t want to increase their numbers, so today I’m going to give you my top 10 ways to grow your twitter account.
1. Be sure to follow people back. It’s considered good manners to follow people back who follow you. This doesn’t mean you have to follow people who make you uncomfortable or who are trying to sell you 10,000 followers. Use common sense, but unless there’s a good reason, be nice and follow people back.
2. Don’t PROTECT YOUR TWEETS. On your Twitter profile there’s the option to protect your tweets. This locks your account and doesn’t let people follow you unless you approve them. If you feel the need to protect your tweets, you really shouldn’t be on Twitter. This social media platform is a place to get found, not a place to lurk.
3. Make sure your 160 character ABOUT ME gives a good picture of who you are. You don’t want to over use hashtags here, but you do want to cover all the things you might tweet about. Here’s what I have as my description: Writer & Author—passionate for life’s stories & God’s path. #Militaryfamily blogger http://Guideposts.org #steampunk #vets #scifi #socialmedia4writers
4. Show your face. Always use a picture of YOURSELF as your Twitter icon. The evidence is overwhelming. People respond to a head shot where you can see the person’s smile. The only exception is if you have a business account. Then you can use your company’s logo.
5. Have a regular presence on Twitter. I Tweet a lot more now than I did when I started out. More first goal was to Tweet four to six times each day, four or five days a week. I use Hootsuite to schedule my Tweets throughout the day. Do NOT send out all your tweets at once. This is called hogging the stream and is the height of bad manners!
6. BE CONSISTENT with the subject of your tweets. I tweet about social media, writing, parenting, and issues important to military families. Occasionally, I’ll find something that I just want to share outside of those topics, but that’s an exception, not the norm.
7. Make sure you’re sharing valuable content with your Twitter updates. Don’t make your Tweets all about you. Instead, promote others who have something valuable to say to your followers. I know it’s counterintuitive, but it works every time!
8. Look for strategic people to follow. Here’s what I mean—when I was working on my science fiction manuscript I worked hard to grow my Twitter followers for that specific market. To find new people to follow, I visiedt some of my favorite science fiction author’s profiles. Then I clicked on their followers and searched there for new people to follow. This does two things:
- It gives me people to follow who are interested in following a scifi author.
- It gives me a better chance of them following me back because they’re already good about following back.
9. Reply to others publically. Twitter is a public medium and people like to be mentioned. If someone says something nice about you, or mentions you, be sure to reply publically to thank them. I also keep a list of people who regularly mention me and try to find something they do that I can mention.
10 Don’t use an auto responder. You may think you’re being polite, but what you’re really being is irritating. Auto responders are obvious and no one likes messages from a computer clogging up their timeline.
11. Don’t get caught upside down with your twitter ratios. A Twitter account looks much more interesting to potential followers if there are more people following than more that the account is following. IN other words. It’s better to have more FOLLOWERS than FOLLOWING.
This becomes critical when you reach the magic 2000 number. Twitter has certain hard and fast rules about how many people you can follow. This makes following more than 2000 accounts tricky. Here is how Twitter explains it:
…every user can follow 2000 people total. Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following.
Basically, if you read 2000 people you’re following and you don’t have that many accounts or MORE following you, Twitter will limit the number of accounts you can continue to follow. If you have more followers than following, you’ll sail past the 2000 ceiling and won’t even notice it.
But if you hit this limit, you can use a free program I recommend to unfollow people who are not following you back. I’ve looked into a lot of programs and www.Manageflitter.com is by far my favorite. It allows me to unfollow a large number of accounts in one sitting.
SPECIAL NOTE: Twitter has strict guidelines about aggressive following and churn. BEFORE you work with ManageFlitter, know the rules so you won’t be penalized.
Aggressive following: Twitter defines aggressive following as:
indiscriminately following hundreds of accounts just to garner attention. However, following a few users if their accounts seem interesting is normal and is not considered aggressive.
Aggressive Follow Churn: Twitter defines aggressive follow churn this way:
when an account repeatedly follows and then un-follows a large number of users. This may be done to get lots of people to notice them, to circumvent a Twitter limit, or to change their follower-to-following ratio.
What NOT to do
There are several things that may seem tempting for short cuts to Twitter followers. I cannot urge you strongly enough not to try them. This is one of these times when if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
- Do NOT buy Twitter followers.
- Do NOT use ANY automatic programs to increase your followers on Twitter.
Twitter has very strict policies against these practices and I’ve known several people who have had their Twitter accounts suspended because of this.
This is an overview of how to grow your twitter account. I’d love for you to share tips that work for you!
Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her most recent fiction – Alone, and nonfiction – While My Child is Away. She’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month and has just been named as one of the 2017 Writer’s Digest Top 101 Websites for Writers. She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, as well as the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine.