How to Build a Twitter Following

Here's the right way to get more people to follow you on Twitter

An image of the Twitter app icon on a smartphone screen.

 

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Twitter is a great platform to built a following so you can promote yourself, your work or your business. Actors, writers, sports players, musicians, politicians and practically everyone else is already using Twitter as a way to connect with fans and promote themselves to millions of people across the globe.

There are two ways you can build a Twitter following. The first is fast and easy, but won't result in quality followers. The second takes time and effort, but pays off in the end.

The Sleazy Way to Get Followers (Just for the Big Numbers)

It's no secret that people love big numbers on social media. For many, that big number is all that matters — even if 90 percent of followers are fake accounts run by bots.

On Twitter, you can do mass follows, mass retweets and mass likes to get people to follow you. Once you show up in someone's notifications tab, it gets you noticed for at least a second, and they may (or may not) follow you.

Unfortunately, people you follow will often only follow you back because you followed them first. They're often not all that interested in what you're tweeting about — they're interested in the same thing you are: more followers!

As far as mass retweets and likes go, be careful with this type of strategy. If you use an automated tool to do it, you could easily get reported and suspended from Twitter. 

The Right Way to Get Genuine Followers

For a growing follower count of people who actually want to see your tweets and interact with you, you'll need a different approach that goes beyond mass following.

But be warned: Attracting followers who are genuinely interested in what you have to tweet about is no easy task. It takes both time and effort to get those results.

Know your target follower. Just like having a target customer for a business, you should have a target follower for your Twitter profile. Knowing exactly who you're targeting as a follower can help you tailor your profile and your tweets to them so they know exactly what kind of value to expect by following you.

Have an interesting looking profile. Your profile is your first impression. Make sure you have a great profile photo, header photo, bio and website link if you have one.

Tweet valuable content. Twitter users love to click on interesting images, videos and article links. If you can provide value to them by what you share, they'll appreciate it.

Show your personality through your tweets. There's nothing more boring than a Twitter profile full of headlines and links. You may only have 280 characters to work with, but showing who you really are is probably the best way to become likeable on Twitter.

Interact with as many other users as you can. You don't necessarily have to be following them already. By @mentioning, retweeting, and liking other users' tweets, you'll get their attention. It may lead to a new follow or even a retweet that exposes you to more potential new followers.

Tweet frequently. If you only tweet once a week, you're not going to gain many new followers. The more you tweet and interact with other users, the more you increase your exposure to your current followers who may retweet you and earn you new followers.

Tweet at the right time of the day. There are certain times of the day and days of the week where you might get more exposure and interaction from your tweets.

Join a Twitter chat. Twitter chats use specific hashtags at a certain time and date for a discussion around some topic. They're great for meeting new people, sharing your thoughts and attracting more followers.

Tweet about the news and use trending hashtags. Tweeting about current events using trending hashtags will be sure to get you noticed, mainly because everyone else will be watching those hashtags flowing in through Twitter. If your tweets are great, you could earn yourself some new followers for it.

Avoid automating too many of your tweets. There's nothing terribly wrong with using a tool like Buffer or TweetDeck to schedule some tweets, but the thing is that users are smart enough to tell an automated tweet from a real one and they generally don't want to follow robots. Have a good mix of mostly real tweets with just a few automated ones every once in a while and you'll be good to go.

Avoid cramming too many hashtags into your tweets. Hashtags are one of social media's greatest inventions, but they look super spammy and impossible to read when you overuse them. Stick to just 1 or 2 per tweet and take a break from using them often so you appear more human.

Use these tips and you should have no problem building up your following. You'll be a Twitter superstar in no time.