How To Get Twitter Followers (And Increase Your Influence In 2016)
Twitter is filled with opportunities to reach customers and new leads. Although having many followers can help, you definitely don’t need 100,000 or more for your time on twitter to be profitable.
How can you tweet to increase your reach? How can you get twitter followers who want to see your posts?
We recently jumped into the Twitterverse, so we also had questions for the pros and their wonderful feedback is already paying off.
Please note that we do not endorse or have any affiliation with the resources or advice mentioned. We also do not profit in any way from any of the links mentioned in this article. Clicking any outside links, using any products or taking action on any advice, should only be done at your own risk.
Experts already successful on twitter, provide us with invaluable tips and tricks on how we can also find success on the platform.
We suggest you follow the experts on twitter as well so you can see their advice put into action on a daily basis and learn from it.
Luke Watson @essential_tv (29k):
Also @EssentialDead (72.8k) for fans of The Walking Dead, @AHS_Fanatics (63k) for fans of American Horror Story, @EssentialFlash (60.4k) for fans of The Flash, etc. (near 1m combined).
I have a few tips that could be used to help…
Focus - It was easy for me to build sizable followings around specific TV shows because the focus of these profiles was obvious. For example, EssentialDead is all Walking Dead, all the time, so a fan of that series will find value in following that profile, and someone who is not a fan of The Walking Dead has absolutely no reason to follow it. The more focused your profile is, the easier it is to target the people who are most likely to be interested, and the easier it is for that person to instantly recognize why they should follow you. Don’t try to be all things to all people; just be one thing to the right people.
Timing - For me, it is easy to know when the best time to engage is. Most television is on a schedule, so I can count on a large segment of my followers to be online and interested when new episodes are airing. Managing so many profiles, it isn’t realistic for me to tweet meaningfully with followers every day, so I concentrate on delivering the best, most meaningful tweets during the hour that I know they’ll reach the most eyes. I have a more difficult time with shows that have concluded, are between seasons, or are released all at once on Netflix. For those, I find that a tweet that relates both to the show and to trending news, a current event, or a holiday is effective. It’s all about being a part of the conversation during the conversation, no matter what your subject happens to be.
Listen - Engagement is a two-way street. I’m not the official Twitter jockey for these TV shows, but I provide something that most of them don’t legitimate discussion. The official profiles usually collect far more followers with their verified status and their exclusive content, but they stick to a strict script; pro-show, pro-network, PR-speak, everything is awesome or they just ignore you. Real fans want to engage in discussion that isn’t always positive, relishes conjecture, goes beyond the walled garden of the network, and I have the freedom to participate. When they ask questions, they want answers. The #1 question I get is when does X come back? If a season premiere isn’t yet announced, I don’t ignore them, and I don’t provide a standard no comment response ‹ I look at past seasons and provide an educated guess. Whether I’m right or wrong, I provide legitimate engagement and put forth effort that does not go unnoticed. That’s all they want. It’s too easy to use Twitter to tweet at followers ‹ especially for TV folks who are used to that practice. Twitter is about tweeting with your followers. If you don’t listen to them, they’ll know you don’t care because you obviously don’t.
Rebecca Sanchez, Founder @mattiedog (12.3k):
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to cultivate an active Twitter following? If so, then 2016 is your year! If there is one thing I’ve learned by stepping into the social media arena, it’s that you need to interact in order to build your audience. Yes I know, that takes time – but if your goal is to grow your Twitter audience in 2016 then you’ll need to put on your big boy (or girl) pants and interact to cultivate a following.
Here are my tips and tricks to expand your Twitter reach and become an influencer in 2016:
1. Define your niche. Everybody loves dogs and so as a pet-based Twitter-er, I knew that by using Twitter to connect with other pet-lovers I would increase my following. Being precise and identifying and searching out a group with whom you can resonate is a sure-fire way to increase your Twitter followers.
2. Be unique. We’ve already established that you need a niche, however how do you stand out even more to be an influencer in your niche? By being unique. For me I knew that what would resonate the most with my followers is tweeting to pet-lovers using a dog’s point of view. Who knows dogs better than a dog?
3. Be authentic. Ugh, the a-word! The reason you hear the word ‘authentic’ so much is that it rings true. If I didn’t already love animals and have a rescue dog, and believe that a dog tweeting out tales (tails?) from a dog’s POV wouldn’t be fun and engaging then why tweet at all? You have to believe in what you are tweeting in order to cultivate an interactive Twitter base, your followers will ‘see’ your personality with your tweets.
4. Follow others. Birds of a feather flock together and the couldn’t be more true than on Twitter. Seek out other like-minded individuals who are in your niche and follow them. Introduce yourself (don’t just say “Hello,” read their Twitter bio and find what resonates with you and then offer an interested howdy-do!) and ask them to follow you back.
5. Engage. Study your industry/interest trend, follow the news in order to help inform your tweets, as questions and offer thoughts. You can be controversial or helpful – these are two different approaches and both have pros and cons. One provokes and one tends to offer guidance. Alternatively, you can simply ‘talk’ tweet to one Twitter-er at a time, however, that will take ions of time to build your audience.
6. Hashtags: Research and use hashtags to help identify others to engage and follow you. There are Twitter influence groups that host regular online meet-ups, parties, etc., and you’ll want to join these as long as the theme of their events are in line with your authentic voice. Also, there are fun ways to include off-topic hashtag interfaces. I look for trending hashtags and incorporate them into my tweets that contain my core message of spaying and neutering your pet. It’s funny and I gain new followers!
7. Be consistent….and flexible. If you’ve done your work to understand the wants, needs and desires of your audience coupled with your own personal/business goals then for heaven sakes, why talk about anything else? Basically, this is the 80/20 rule where you want to tweet out 80% in your line of ‘expertise’ and 20% about those danged Seattle Seahawks or NCIS. Surprisingly, the 20% variance can bring you new and interesting followers who typically appreciate your niche.
There are a number of automated tools that can help you achieve your goal of becoming a 2016 Twitter influencer. I use Who.Unfollowed.Me and SocialOomph.com to help me manage followers and create tweets, as well as Hootsuite to help me stay on top of all of my social media accounts, as well as trends, topics, and other interesting Twitter-ers to follower. I recommend trying out any one or all of these helpful tools, just don’t become overwhelmed and always stay focused on your goal.
David Burrows @dmburrows (12.9k):
1. Engage others – Many people make the mistake of simply posting tweets, following a few others and liking a few posts here and there. The secret to a thriving twitter profile is engaging with others. Search topics that are hot or that relate to your interests and why you’re online. Congratulate people, write a funny comment, thank others or simply introduce yourself to others who share your passions and interests. People who don’t also follow those you tweet with won’t see the conversation, so there’s no need to worry about flooding their news feeds with personal discussions. It also helps Twitter’s algorithm to learn who you are so it can suggest you as a person of interest for others to follow.
2. Use hashtags – hashtags are where many people find news, trends, topics, answers to questions and other relevant tweets. If you’re posting about new technology and electric cars, use the popular tags in your tweet like #Tesla, #ModelS and #ElectricCars. Three or less hashtags are optimal, more than that and it leans towards a spammy post. New potential followers will find you in hashtag searches. Also, search hashtags before posting and pro-actively follow accounts you find interesting. Many will follow you back!
3. Content – along with hashtags, adding web links, video, pictures, polls and tagging another account in your tweets will increase your posts’ visibility and search results. People love to offer their opinion on things and Twitters’ new polling feature is a great way to engage people on topics from politics to football to grass fed beef.
Billy Procida @thebillyprocida (9.6k):
Stand-up comedian and host of The Manwhore Podcast
Be aware of the trends sidebar: Writing a brilliant tweet with 200 followers doesn’t mean squat if no one sees it. If the subject of your joke or commentary is trending, use the hashtag or phrasing that is being used in the national conversation. A joke about Donald Trump’s Paris flub will be seen by more people if you include the trending phrase “Paris is in Germany” somehow. There’s a reason that porn bots do this: it works.
Live tweet events: Funny jokes during the next Republican debate can garner a lot of likes, retweets and follows. Just be sure you’re using the same hashtag as everyone else!
Reply to famous people: Even if @realDonaldTrump doesn’t respond to you, your reply to his tweet can still get a lot of attention! When you click on a tweet, all of the replies will appear beneath it. With the right timing, and quality, people may think your opinion actually matters!
Be good at it: None of the suggestions in this article will matter if your tweets suck. At the end of the day you still need to produce *quality content*, whether it’s in the form of jokes, social commentary, memes, or breaking news. Unless you’re a celebrity, people need a good reason to follow you.
Cindy Readnower @cindyreadnower (5.2k):
1. Be disciplined: Use software such as Buffer.com and SocialPilot.co to schedule your tweets ahead of time so you’re not too busy to get it done.
2. Use a formula of a third, a third, a third for items of a more personal nature (while still protecting your privacy), items about your business, and items that are either inspirational or something that informs others.
3. Remember that most readers either want to be entertained or educated.
4. Look at profiles of people similar to you and then follow their followers. Look over the profiles and find people that are actually in the same biz, similar to you or that you would want to communicate with. Give them some time to follow back, and if not use unfollowing apps to delete them. Keep your followers and unfollowers in balance.
5. Be diversified. Those accounts that have more interests/expertise will grow easier. If you are all about only one subject, expect slower growth. Someone who is an author and also an expert at interior design can grow followers more easily than someone that only tweets about spirituality.
Nick Tirrell @nicktirrell (12.4k):
One of the best things an individual or brand can do to create a following on Twitter is to really have your finger on the pulse of your audience. You need to know the audience you want to connect with like the back of your hand…where they are, what kind of content they’re interacting with, when they’re active, who you’re competing with for their attention.
Beyond that, personality is massively important in the age of social consumers. Don’t think of your Twitter (or all social feeds for that matter) as a broadcasting outlet, think of it as a conversation among friends.
Sarah Boisvert @FabLabHub (73.2k):
Also @PotomacPhotonic (71.9k), @MicroFabLab (48k), @3Dmicrofactory (41.6k), @FabFndn (13.9k), @enablethefuture (12.2k)
Key is to make lists and interact! I only read the twitter streams from my lists and keywords [#3Dprinting for example] and then interact like crazy. I RT both with and without comments, ask questions based on the tweets in these targeted streams, tweet cool interesting news to our readers, link to interesting stories on our websites, and generally just act like a good member of the Twitter community.
I like to say Twitter is not a billboard! It’s interactive like meeting a new friend or colleague in real life. It usually takes about a year to build up to 10,000 followers but these are people with whom you have a deep connection. I don’t send automated welcome messages – no one has time for them in their DM stream! – and they are CLEARLY not personal!
David Smethie @davidsmethie (22.6k):
Follow the followers of your competitors. If someone is following your competitor, there’s a good chance that they would be a good prospect for your business and would benefit from your product or service. A certain percentage will follow you back. Of course, most accounts that you follow will not follow you back, so you will need to unfollow those that don’t reciprocate after a certain period of time, ideally in the reverse order that you follow them. I use ManageFlitter to handle the following and unfollowing. I subscribe to their business plan, which costs $49/month and is well worth it. Included with the plan are 10,000 “Remote Access Account” credits (a credit is either a follow or an unfollow). What this means is that all following and unfollowing is performed by people, not computers, in accordance with Twitter’s terms of service.
You can grow a massive following, but the number of followers you have is irrelevant if you don’t connect and engage with them. There are many Twitter accounts with thousands of followers that generate little to no engagement. So be sure to ENGAGE with your followers. Thank them for following you, and ask if there’s anything you can do to help them. Provide them with a free resource, such as a blog post or white paper, that exposes them to your brand without any sales pitch. Always start a relationship on Twitter, or anywhere else for that matter, by leading with value.
Adam Greenbaum @5280adam (21.2k):
It’s really simple, tweet a lot about the things you love. Stick to a niche and follow people in that niche, add them to lists. Most of all, have great content. Tweeting just to tweet is the worst, offer value to your followers. Before you hit send, ask yourself, “is this shareable content?” If no, don’t hit send.
Scheduling tweets makes life easier too. Use Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule relevant tweets at relevant times, then you can focus more on engaging instead of just posting.
Jess Bahr @jessabahr (28.8k):
Be the engagement you want to receive. Don’t just tweet out tweets for the sake of being active – jump into Twitter Chats, search for hashtags and terms you want to be branded against, and proactively engage with other Tweeters.
Sabrina Kizzie @sabrinaonmove (5.7k):
You must be consistent. Tweet on a regular basis often. I tweet 25 times a day. Engage with key influencers in your field. Create customized hashtags and register them on www.twubs.com…use www.canva.com for creative and original images. Always include images. Thank your followers every Friday (FF). Always engage. When retweeting always mention the author/editor and the source/article.
Doyle Bueler @doylebuehler (9.7k):
Follow your influencers and their followers. This one seems pretty easy, but isn’t done that often. Identify who the influencers are in your industry. The big guys and gals who already have a heap of followers, Retweets, and have real things happening on their Twitter channel. Follow these people! Then, follow their followers as well.
Why? Because their followers will be looking for advice and asking questions of the same topics that you can then respond to. Respond to their questions and respond when the influencer is too busy or unavailable to respond. This will help grow your tribe, and move you towards being an influencer.
Andy Lindus, COO @linduscon (33.8k):
The goal with our company’s Twitter account has been to establish ourselves as an expert in the remodeling industry by sharing our experiences & knowledge. We regularly tweet our blogs about home improvement trends, along with YouTube videos from jobsites & photos of completed projects.
We also regularly engage with other industry influencers, including the manufacturers whose products we carry. Twice in 2015, we’ve been featured in Twitter Chats with Angie’s List and this has given us even greater exposure and allowed us to interact with other industry professionals & home improvement enthusiasts throughout the US.
Paula Kiger @biggreenpen (8.3k):
Tips that have helped me include:
- Monitoring my account daily for new followers and following them back (if we are a good match).
- Being someone on Twitter who people know will interact and engage.
- Being involved in groups centered around a specific interest (such as the #runchat group).
- Participating in ambassadorships (like #fitfluential) where we do “follow” threads occasionally and support one another.
- In a limited way, I have participated in giveaways where people get additional entries for following me. I know that is a bit of a mixed bag — how do I know someone who follows me to try to win a $200 Target gift card will hang around? That’s where I have to accept those people won’t always stay BUT hope that my behavior on Twitter intrigues them enough to get them to want to be a true follower.
Jay Denhart-Lillard @jldenhart (6.9k):
Here are some tips and tricks to earn an active following on twitter…
1. Know Your Niche: In order to grow a following, you have to offer your audience something unique, something genuine and something that truly benefits them. If you can’t share something useful, then there will be no reason for people to want to know what you have so say or share. So start by defining your own clear, specific point of view: you could say that you have to define your own personal brand that you want to offer to others.
2. Post regularly: Twitter is focused relentlessly on the most recent conversations and posts, so if you want your followers to see something from you, you’ll want to make sure that you post everyday — maybe even several times per day. But don’t make everything just about you, and be sure that you retweet other people’s content and links. It’s good to mix things up and not just post links to your content and musings. Treat Twitter like a community that you participate in. It’s a kind of give and take.
3. Stay In The Moment: Twitter is about recency and timeliness, much more so than other networks. If you’ve got news to share you should share it immediately. And If you want to respond to a question or conversation topic, you will want to do it as soon as possible. People treat Twitter more like live conversations, especially Tweet-Ups, which are similar to Blabs or Periscope sessions. It’s all about participating in the moment.
4. Birds Of A Feather: Reach out to other people who share the same interests and passion topics as you do. Follow them, and they are more likely to follow you as well. You can also take a look at their other followers, and chances are good that they have some followers that you’d like to get to know and add to your network.
Jenifer Daniels @jentrification (9.2k), CEO @getcolorstock (5.6k):
Tip 1: participate in Twitter chats relative to your professional industry. It’s a great way to showcase your expertise, meet like-minded tweeters, and grow your followers.
Tip 2: complete your Twitter bio with relevant content. Your favorite quote won’t cut it. Refer to your professional industry, alma mater, or your career/life aspirations.