Want to know how to get people to follow you on twitter?
Does this describe you?
You signed up for a Twitter account and were excited and motivated to make the most of what you know is a great tool for making new connections for your business.
You followed the conventional advice of searching for people and businesses you know, of following people that they follow, and searching for people with similar interests. And yet here you sit, weeks or maybe even months later, with only a handful of followers and NO IDEA what you should be tweeting. Most of all you’re wondering how to get people to follow you on Twitter.
If this describes you, you’re not alone. Trust me, I know that getting your first batch of followers isn’t always easy, and can feel overwhelming.
That’s why I decided to write this post; If you can take a few minutes a day for the next couple of weeks and follow these simple steps, I guarantee that not only your number of followers will vastly increase, but that you will start to actually enjoy being on Twitter (it’s true! This is fun!).
But before we begin, a word of warning for anyone who thinks that numbers are the most important thing.
It can be tempting to follow anyone and everyone you can in the hopes that they’ll follow you back. I’m here to tell you to be selective about who you follow. I’d rather follow (and be followed by) people that I actually have some things in common with, who are eager to interact with me, and who I can work with to grow our businesses.
500 eager, interactive and responsive followers are worth so much more to me than 5000 followers who I have nothing in common with.
That said, getting those first 100, 500 or 1000 followers are important as a means of gaining social proof, like it or not.
Want to know how to get people to follow you on Twitter? Here are 9 ways to get more followers and have more fun on Twitter, starting today!
How to Get People to Follow You on Twitter
1. Get a Twitter management tool.
I know, this tip doesn’t seem to fit here. What does a Twitter management tool have to do with getting people to follow you? Well, some of the tips I discuss below are 10x easier using a free Twitter management program like HootSuite or TweetDeck.
For instance, if you’re simply using the official Twitter website, it’s easy to lose track of who’s retweeting who, who’s replying to you, and who’s mentioning you in their tweets. You’ll simply see a steady stream of tweets in no particular order.
2. Tell everyone in your network about your new Twitter account.
I’m not saying you need to tell your offline friends, neighbours, and your kid’s teacher that you’re now on Twitter. But leverage your existing social media profiles and email list by asking them to follow you on Twitter.
Better yet, give them a reason to follow you. Tell them about your giveaway (see #7 below) and watch your numbers grow.
Sometimes getting people to follow you on Twitter is as simple as asking!
3. Include ‘tweet this’ buttons on your blog posts.
Simply using a ‘tweet this’ button honestly isn’t really going to increase your number of followers. When people tweet one of your blog posts, people who want to read the post will click through to your blog. Of course this is still great, and worth doing.
Just make sure you include a ‘Follow Me’ icon on your blog, or better yet, directly ask readers to follow you. Include a call to action at the end of your blog post and don’t be shy about asking for what you want (‘Follow me on Twitter’).
There are tons of resources for finding free Twitter icons for your site. TwitButtons is a great option as it allows you to plug in your Twitter url and it embeds it right into the image. Paste the code to your site, and you’re done!
You could also get creative and get your own Twitter badge designed. Check out this badge on the Coca-Cola website…anyone could design something like this!
4. Use a Twitter widget on your website.
I also highly recommend having a Twitter widget on your site that will show your latest tweets.
Here’s how to set up a Twitter widget (it’s easy!):
First, make sure you’re signed in to your Twitter account, and then click on this link: https://twitter.com/settings/widgets (alternatively you can click on ‘settings’ and then ‘widgets’).
Next, click on ‘Create New’.
On the next page you’ll be asked to enter some basic preferences for your widget, like height, colours, and which domain you’ll be embedding the widget on. The right half of the screen will show you what the widget will look like.
Finally, click the ‘Create widget’ button at the bottom of the screen. You’ll be taken to a page where you can copy and paste the widget code onto your website.
5. Ask questions.
Asking interesting and thought-provoking questions. Questions are more likely to get responses than non-questions, and when people respond to your questions, their followers will see (and hopefully, follow you).
Asking questions is also a great way to get a discussion going with your followers. The more active and heated the discussion gets, the more people who will see it and potentially join in.
6. Retweet others.
When you retweet others, your tweet will show up in their mention stream. Make a point of re-sharing interesting content at least once or twice a day. Not only is this great for establishing your reputation as someone who’s ‘in the know’ in your niche, but it endears you to those who you’re re-tweeting!
To retweet, simply use the following format: Type RT, then the @ symbol followed by the person’s twitter name, followed by the original message. If you have room left over, you can of course add a personal note as well.
7. Host a giveaway.
There are a couple of ways you could do this. If you have an informational product you already sell on your site, you can offer a complimentary copy for all new Twitter followers. In my experience, offering free info products are the best way to ensure those who ‘sign up’ (i.e. follow you) are actually interested in what you have to say.
Another way you can do it is to award gift certificates or, if you sell physical products, offer to award these to a certain number of new followers. I find this method can also quickly ramp up your numbers, but when you’re giving away physical products or something that can be resold, you may end up getting many followers who are just in it for the money.
8. Comment on blogs using your Twitter url.
Search for blogs in your niche using a site like Technorati and find posts where you can make a meaningful contribution (the key here is to be authentic and helpful…you don’t want your comments to come across as spammy!).
If you’ve left a comment that’s helpful and obviously well thought-out, most blog owners will click through to your url to find out more about you.
9. Post content worth retweeting.
The content that gets retweeted most often is content that:
- Isn’t self-promoting
- Is humorous
- Contains surprising data or statistics, or
- Contains breaking news.
Try to incorporate at least one or two potentially ‘retweetable’ bits of information into your Twitter timeline each day.
So, to summarize the answer to how to get more people to follow you on Twitter? Get the word out, post interactive and ‘retweetable’ content, and be generous with retweeting others’ tweets.
It really is just that simple!
Let’s continue the discussion on Twitter…follow me and I’ll follow you back!
I’m curious: How long did it take you to reach your first 1000 followers? Any tips you can share to help others trying to get started? Tell us in the comments below.