How to Get More Followers on Twitter

How to get more Twitter followers is one of the first hurdles you have when you start a new Twitter account. Assuming that you are interested in quality and not just quantity, one of the most effective tactics is what I like to call a follower raid.

if 15% of the people who follow Coke-a-Cola follow you back, but 30% of the people who follow McDonalds follow you back, you should raid McDonalds Twitter followers more often …

While this name may have a slightly dark or black hat pirate overtone to it (arrrgh), quite simply it’s using other existing accounts in your particular niche and mining through the people who follow them. The first thing I would do is identify your competition in the space (I like to create a private list for this) and start following the accounts that are following them. The next thing to do is identify related or complimentary accounts (again create another private list). Do you sell after market racing parts for cars? People who follow NHRA and NASCAR are good candidates.

Now you could just run through multiple accounts willy-nilly without a plan but, if you want to be smart about it, do it systematically. Each week choose one account and follow the 100-200 most recent followers. If you use Raven Tools Event Tracking, you can see which accounts are the most successful for getting you new Twitter followers. An important thing to remember is that non social media people don’t spend all day on Twitter or even visit Twitter everyday, so you have to give them a few days to follow you back.

Graph of Following/Followers using Raven Tools

When it comes to following back, pruning non-followers, and reciprocal follows, it’s more of an art, not a science. Some people are industry leaders–you will always want to follow them. Then there are celebrities, real or the fake, Internet kind (you know, like Robert Scoble). If they are important to your space, follow them; if not, don’t worry. There are a few tools out there to unfollow people who don’t follow you. Personally I like manageflitter. If you use it with Firefox and the check all extension, you can unfollow the people who don’t follow you back pretty easily. They also have the ability to filter out verified, celebrity, or other important accounts.

When you are doing this you are likely to come across accounts with a high number of Twitter followers, but only follow a low number of people back (some folks call them Twitter snobs). These people play a very important role: they help you identify accounts that are active in social media in a particular niche. If they have an interest in your subject matter, they are a golden resource and usually an excellent place to get more Twitter followers. The accounts they follow and interact with are usually influential or very good at helping you spread spread your message or reach.

If you systematically raid the followers of each of these accounts and use something like Raven Tools Event Tracking , you can identify which accounts are more likely to follow you back. For example, if 15% of the people who follow Coke-a-Cola follow you back, but 30% of the people who follow McDonalds follow you back, you should raid McDonalds Twitter followers more often.

A final consideration: you never want to let the number of people you are following get too far above the number that are following you. Personally I like to use 20% as a rule of thumb, but it can vary a little.

So what are the takeaways on how to get more Twitter followers:

  • Use private lists to keep track of similar or related Twitter accounts.
  • Set up a plan to grow your followers so you can track which accounts are most effective.
  • Tools like Raven Event Tracking let you tag specific campaigns.
  • Allow an adequate amount of time for people to follow back: not everyone is on Twitter all day.
  • Prune back dead/non followers before mining a new account.
  • Look for accounts with high number of followers and low number following to identify key players with a high social participation or influence factor.
  • Automation is good, but social media is about being social. You will need to interact if you want to get the most value out of it.

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