10 Easy Ways to Increase Twitter Followers
ADRIENNE WOLTER | 14 JULY 2016
As a concept, succeeding on Twitter seems so simple. Just write super short updates from time to time, use the hashtags everyone else is using, and you’ll rack up the followers in no time.
Of course, anyone who has tried to grow a following on Twitter and grown frustrated realizes that it is, unfortunately, not that simple. Your tweets languish in obscurity, maybe inspiring the odd favorite or a retweet once in a blue moon.
Twitter is different from other social networks in that it is super timely – in fact, the half-life of a tweet is as short as 15 minutes. The fast pace of a social network like Twitter can make it tricky for brands to plan and execute on a social media strategy.
Fortunately, it is easy to grow your influence (and your following) on Twitter by following the ten tips outlined in this post. Keep reading for some Twitter advice that you can put into practice today!
1. Tweet Often
Because a tweet offers such a short span of relevancy to your followers, you need to tweet more often than you might, for instance, post on Facebook.
On Facebook, in the minutes and hours after you post, the algorithm is judging users’ engagement with your update and showing it to a larger audience if it is determined to be a compelling update. However, on Twitter, as the minutes tick by, your tweet is simply falling further and further down in your newsfeed.
Tweeting five times a day is a manageable way to reach your audience. It hits a sweet spot between tweeting too infrequently and having to invest a lot of time into crafting tweets. You’ll see that five tweets marks the first spike in the chart below – meaning you’ll get a greater response for the time it takes to write all those tweets.
2. Tweet Consistently
Tweeting consistently – at a balance between tweeting many times in quick succession and a tweet every few days or weeks – is very important on Twitter.
When you tweet in bursts, you risk taking over your followers’ feeds, and this is a good way to annoy someone enough to cause them to unfollow you. On the other hand, you don’t want to forget to tweet either – or your followers will forget about you.
To tweet consistently, the best thing you can do for yourself is to schedule out tweets in advance. One thing that many businesses do is create a social calendar for each month and schedule all of these tweets out in advance using a tool like HootSuite.
3. Use Your Industry’s Popular Hashtags
Every industry, whether you’re in marketing or construction, has hashtags that are commonly used by its community. One of the most reliable ways to discover these is by watching the activity of influencers whose Twitter presence you want to emulate. Soon, you’ll start to see common hashtags emerging. You can monitor these hashtags to see which fire up the most engagement, and begin integrating them into your own tweets.
4. Use Trending Hashtags – Tastefully
Trending hashtags are a tempting prospect for brands on Twitter – after all, here is a hashtag that is reaching a huge audience and that people are actively engaging with.
However, there are so many examples of brands using trending hashtags tastelessly on Twitter. For example, when the verdict was announced for the controversial Casey Anthony murder trial, #notguilty became a trending hashtag. Entenmann’s (either on purpose or entirely by accident), threw out this treat:
They later apologized for the tweet. To avoid becoming the next Twitter PR disaster, carefully consider trending hashtags before you jump on them, and always be sure that you fully understand why something is trending before you use it.
5. Interact with Your @Mentions
If you are getting @mentions, that is awesome! That is an opportunity to connect with a follower or a potential follower who has already engaged with you – don’t waste it!
If someone has just shared your content without following, your subsequent interaction can make them think, “hey, that’s pretty cool!” and follow you after all.
It doesn’t take long to engage these users – just a simple thank you can suffice, although social media consultant Ian Anderson Gray makes a case on his blog for saying thank you the right way, or not at all. The “right way” is adding something of value to the conversation, instead of just adding to the noise.
6. @Mention People and Brands You Tweet About
This is a big one, and I even mentioned it in my earlier post about the most common Twitter mistakes. If you mention a brand or influencer in your tweet, be sure to go all the way and @mention them! This kind of connectivity is what Twitter thrives on, and it gives you potential access to audiences that are often much larger than your own. That’s because when people receive @mentions that are flattering, they might be inclined to share them. The chances that someone who you mention in your tweet seeing that tweet about themselves go way up when you actually tag them.
Moz does a great job with @mentions, crediting the writer, creator, or presenter in nearly every tweet:
7. Engage with Influencers in Your Industry
I might even suggest going so far as to create these opportunities for yourself, going out of your way to find an excuse to name influencers in your tweets. Whether you’re quoting them, sharing their content, or even getting them to post on your blog, a simple @mention can unlock brand new audiences if they retweet you.
Another way you can engage with influencers in your industry is using Twitter lists. Whether public or private, you can use lists to pare Twitter down to the people you want to focus on and help you find new ways to engage them.
If you engage enough and thoughtfully enough, they may even follow you back. In addition to feeling awesome, it is a signifier of quality and can lead to your profile being recommended to others in your industry.
8. Maximize Your Blog’s Social Sharing
If you are trying to succeed on Twitter, make sure you’ve gotten down some of the easy wins that are sometimes overlooked.
First of all, make sure that you include social buttons that are accessible at all times – or at least at the beginning and end to your post. This is because some users want to read a post before they judge whether or not to share it. Others will see a headline and think “this is perfect! I NEED to share it!” and share before ever reading the post. Or maybe they never even read it. Either way, you want to be ready to catch both types of sharers.
Another easy win also involves these buttons. Be sure to set the defaults so that when a reader clicks to share a blog post, your username is included in the tweet. This both gives you more Twitter users to interact with and helps spread your influence.
Finally, be sure to include “tweetables” on your blog to make people more likely to share! You can add click to tweet links using many free plugins, such as this one by CoSchedule.
9. Link to Twitter
There are a lot of places you can link to your Twitter from, and taking advantage of these link opportunities ensures that your customers can find you.
Here are a few places you should check off your list to link to Twitter from:
- Email signature
- Newsletter template
- Forum signature
- Other social networks
Some of these you can even make into a full-blown call to action rather than a plain old link or icon.
10. Use Twitter Analytics to Improve Your Tweets
Don’t forget, Twitter has a free analytics dashboard that you can access anytime by going to analytics.twitter.com. The dashboard offers up a four-week summary of your activity compared to the previous four weeks, highlights for the current month, and advice for how to grow your influence. This is a great place to start to see where you are at.
Once you take note of that, start experimenting! Fire off tweets at new times, on the weekends, and using a variety of hashtags. See what tweets come up in your highlights or lead to spikes of activity. This helps you avoid basing your conclusions purely off of gut instinct and gives you the real data you need to improve your Twitter strategy.
When you start to see consistently better results for a type of tweet or time of day, great! Continue trying to replicate those results, using Twitter Analytics as your guide.
There you have it – ten quick and easy tips for growing your following on Twitter!
Here’s a quick checklist of the tips above:
- Tweet often.
- Tweet consistently.
- Find and use your industry’s most popular hashtags.
- Use trending hashtags – tastefully.
- Interact with people who @mention you.
- @Mention the people and brands you talk about in your tweets.
- Engage with influencers in your industry.
- Maximize social sharing from your blog.
- Link to Twitter.
- Use your Twitter analytics to improve your tweets.
Have another quick and easy tip for growing your Twitter following? I’d love to hear it! Share your wisdom in the comments below.