If you want to grow your Twitter following in a strategic way and fast, consider using these tactics to go from zero to 1,000 in just a few weeks. I followed these steps over the course of three or four weeks a couple of years ago and hit about 800 followers. The number then just about doubled on its own. I’m sure if you put more effort into it than I did and continued to maintain your lists over time, that you’d greatly surpass these numbers.
The main strategy is to follow people in your interest area who will most likely follow you back. So, knowing your target market or ideal client type will go a long way in determining who to follow. How to determine your target market or ideal client isn’t covered in the scope of this article but may be the subject of a future post. So stay tuned!
Method 1: Follow Tweeps who follow the Influencers in your interest area
1. Find out on Twitter who the top influencers are in your desired industry: can be people, businesses, magazines, whatever
2. Make a list of those Twitter handles…you may only need a handful
3. Sign up for and log on to tweepi.com
4. From the Dashboard, select Follow Followers
5. Type in the Twitter handle of one of your influencers and Start Following; the list you’ll see is of all the Tweeps who are following your influencer
6. Make sure the following Columns are showing: # Followers; Last Tweet; Follow Ratio; Follow?
7. I use the following criteria for the greatest chance of being followed back by an experienced Tweep:
• # of followers > 500+
• Last Tweet < 1-2 months ago; < 1-2 days ago is better • Follow Ratio between 90% and 110%
The higher the %, the less likely the Tweep will follow you back—they have more followers than they are following. The lower the %, chances are, the less experienced or influential the tweep may be about social media (or so the person who taught me how to do this told me). This is a totally organic process so use what feels right for you.
8. Optional: (a) I look at the image; if I don’t like it, I don’t bother. I prefer personal photos and headshots and tend to stay away from anything else unless the Tweep is a known entity to me like a friend or a business I’m interested in. (b) I look at the info button to make sure the Tweep’s profile interests me. I like personal statements and business descriptions. I avoid a sales pitch, a blank profile or anything that seems hokey or annoying.
9. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
10. Engage in light but meaningful conversation with people who follow you back. Say thanks. #FF them. Retweet their tweets. Compliment them. Provide content that’s meaningful. For every tweet that’s a sales pitch, write 20+ tweets that give value. Schedule tweets using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. It’s okay to tweet the same message more than once in a day.
Method 2: Follow Tweeps your Influencers follow (this will likely yield fewer tangible results than method 1):
1. From the Dashboard, select Follow Friends
2. Follow the steps from #5 above
Keep Your List Clean and Qualified
Just like the desirable Tweeps you want to follow, you also want to try to keep your Follow Ratio within the 90% to 110% range. To do that, use Flush, Reciprocate and Cleanup as needed. The criteria I use:
• Under Cleanup, I delete anyone who hasn’t tweeted anything in the past year or more
• Under Reciprocate, I follow back based on the criteria described in #7 and #8 above
• Under Flush, I try to keep the list of Tweeps I’m following but are not following me back to industry experts only. Outside of the industry experts, anyone who doesn’t follow me back within a few months gets flushed. Note: the more industry experts you follow, the more Tweeps you’ll attract because they’ll likely be using method #1 to grow their own list of followers
I also occasionally use the Twitter client to browse through the Followers and Following lists and manually make edits there. Tweepi doesn’t let you block users. So I get rid of the porno queens and other deadbeats using Twitter.