Having created and managed three Twitter accounts for my own endeavors, I’ve tried three different methods for gaining followers. I learned some valuable nuggets along the way. If you’re just beginning to get all a-Twitter, heed my two tweets’ worth on matter.
For those of you who commented on my last post asking to get the scoop on fast follower procurement, topic one’s for you…
Paid Follower Acquisition, a.k.a. “Buy the Numbers”:
It’s true that you can buy your followers; I admit I tried it for my @smallbizbigtime account. I paid up a not-so-big fee on www.tweepme.com so that I could spike my follow tally rather quickly. Tweepme.com offers a mutual following system, whereby you gain lots of followers and are automatically set up to follow others as well.
The truth about this service—in my experience? I didn’t really buy followers. I bought numbers. The people ‘following’ me on @smallbizbigtime are not as responsive or engaged as the followers on my two other Twitter accounts. Yes, I boosted my numbers and fast…but that is all I did. I didn’t purchase access to potential clients, readers or customers; I did pay to get my number up to a seemingly impressive level.
If all you want is a big follower number, go for it. This service did the trick in that regard. But if you want to find people who genuinely have interest in you or your business, beware the hollow follow!
Too Much Mix to the Mingle:
On my first Twitter account—@irenewilliams, I have a healthy number of followers that grew over time organically. This growth occurred mainly because I began following others first. Many people will reciprocate when you start following them, plus the more you follow, the more you might just ‘be found’ around Twitter.
However, being new to the Twitterverse, I lost focus on who I wanted to follow and why. I got a little number hungry. Eventually my follow list became large and out of focus, thus the kinds of people following me followed suit. With large numbers and no clear direction, it’s hard to nurture this online community. Mind you, the followers here prove to be more responsive but it’s a hit-or-miss scenario every time.
Tweets of a Feather Flock Together:
On my @designvine account, I showed up for all the right reasons. I just wanted to find a community of like-minded Tweeters, to learn and gain knowledge and earn a spot in the conversation. I didn’t care at all about the number of followers I would acquire; I just wanted to have a direct link to the best, brightest and most relevant in the Twitterverse.
The result is that I feel part of a real online community whenever I log into my DesignVine account. It’s a small Twitterverse after all, at least it is once you hone in on the purpose of participation and the people you with whom you want to connect.
And guess what? My numbers grew quickly and authentically for this account, proving that when the motivation is conversation, social media can legitimately work beautifully. I feel like I’m getting to know some folks in the design world just by tweeting up with them several times a week. Tweets of a feather really do flock together!
After three stints in the Twitter laboratory, here are my top three tips on getting followers on Twitter.
1. Don’t think about “how to get followers”; think about how to build online community. If you’ve shown up on Twitter only for the chance to be heard, you’re in for one boring-futile-fruitless experience. Any form of social media is about conversation, and let’s face it, one-sided conversations are big yawns. You wouldn’t walk into a networking event and start barking about your latest sale and tossing business cards at people. So why would you join Twitter and expect to tweet 140-character classified ads for your biz? This is a chance to get to know people, establish relationship and reputation and earn your spot in the conversation.
2. Vet who you follow to eliminate “hollow follows.” Services such as www.socialoomph.com allow you to set up functions such as the ‘auto-follow.’ Automatically following anybody who follows you can lead to clutter in your news feed and ultimately may dilute your Twitter experience. You’re not obligated to return the follow. Staying true to your purpose in being on Twitter will help you keep your follow list in check.
3. Take your tweet time! There’s no rush in growing your follower numbers. It’s best to build your base naturally over time; that way it will more likely mean something of substance. This is not to say you won’t grow numbers rapidly; it’s really to say that you shouldn’t focus on the speed by which you accrue followers. My @designvine numbers swelled in a very short time yet maintained their quality because I’d so carefully managed my initial followings and interactions.
Please—-tweet up with me on any of my accounts (@irenewilliams, @smallbizbigtime or @designvine) or comment here with more Twitter questions. I’d be honored to offer specific ideas to help you find your flock in the Twitterverse!
THANKS for reading!