A few days ago I wrote a post about 25 Reasons Why Someone Should Join Twitter which I am hoping have convinced all of you to join twitter, and if you have passed the link around then your friends should also be convinced as well. In this post I am going to talk about some ways you can increase your influence and gain followers on twitter. No this is not one of those spammy ways which you receive in your twitter Direct Messages claiming that they will gain you 10,000 followers in a week, but what I will tell you that after reading this post and applying the techniques, you will have a loyal followers/friends who will value your tweets and Retweet your messages. But before we start, we need to establish what are the benefits of having higher influence and more followers on twitter.
Why Increase Influence and Gain Followers on Twitter?
Higher influence can get you insane traffic to your website. Higher influence makes you a celebrity. High Influence gets you publicity. Higher influence gets you more followers. Having that said it is the influence that matters not the follower count. So don’t go after the tools that automates the process of following and lands you thousands of followers because half of those followers are not even active. You want to increase your influence to make an impact and get your brand noticed.
Ok so now you know breifly why you need to have higher influence and followers then lets get the show on the road.
Twitter Tips to Increase Your Influence and Gain Followers
1. Interaction is Essential
The most important tip you need to know if you want to have some influence and good reputation on twitter is that you need to interact. Twitter is not a monologue, so don’t just stop by to let people know what you are doing. Make sure that you respond to your friend’s tweets, and you answer people’s question. Twitter is like a big conversation between you and your friends/community. The more you participate the higher your influence will be because you will get noticed by others. Think of twitter like a forum, where if you don’t interact with others, you won’t be noticed.
2. Spark Interest in your Tweet with Creativity
When I say creativity, it does not mean you have to take the most complex way. Instead creativity is all about simplicity, and that is what twitter is about. You need to make your tweets interesting. If you just ramble on your blog all day about the same stuff, you eating lunch at subway, playing basketball, and thats it. You will lose your readers instantly. Think of twitter as a blog just smaller. Gee, I wonder where the term micro-blogging came from. You need to find a way to spark interest, and make people react with your 140 characters. That is when your creativity comes in.
You can write: “Good morning”, or You can write: “Just saw the sunlight hitting my face through the window, I guess its fair to say good morning”
So it is really upto you how you make your tweets interesting.
3. Remember to be Yourself
It is said in dating that you should never put on a fake front because you can’t keep it on forever. You need to be yourself from the start. Twitter is the same way if you want to increase your influence. Don’t try to be something that you are not. If you use ain’t and gonna and wanna, then feel free to use it because twitter is anything that you want it to be. This way you will get the right type of followers. The followers who are like you. Trust me, people don’t want to follow a suckup. I would rather follow a guy who is himself and speaks his mind when necessary.
4. Treat others with Respect
You need to treat others with respect. Give them the same respect you would want to recieve. I personally hate everyone who sends me an automated direct message when I follow them because that it is just disrespectful. Most of them sounds like:
Hey Do you want to get 10,000 followers on twitter and make money – url
Only Spammers love spammers. I absolutely hate this behavior and I cannot tolerate it. If you send me this type of message, you will most likely be unfollowed. And it is not just me, any normal twitter user would do that as well. If you are going to send someone a Direct Message then put some thoughts into it. Same goes with twitterfeed plugin. This is a great plugin by all means, and I was using it for a while. All it does is that it automatically updates your twitter when you publish a new post on your blog. But the text is so generic that it makes the other person think like that you don’t care about them. Be respectful once again. Turn that off. If you think your link is worth sharing, then share it personally with some creativity. If you are not doing it for others sake, do it for your own because it is going to help you get more influence If you don’t do it and set multiple feeds to be posted on your twitter account, you will likely be unfollowed.
5. Be Considerate to Others
If you are going to have a back to back conversation with someone on twitter it is better to send them a Direct Message and get their Instant Messenger ID. It turns off your new followers who was about to follow you. Also it turns down your current followers because on their homepage they are seeing you having a conversation with someone else which is not useful to them. So they will most likely unfollow you.
6. Post Useful Content
You need to learn to post useful content for followers. People on twitter are looking for information. You can really increase your influence by posting useful content. Because when you post something useful, you are bound to get other people to Retweet that. The more people retweet it, the more people will see your name. When alot of people see your name, you will indirectly get more followers. Now some keypoints to remember when posting content is that you must use your hashtags # effectively [More about Hashtags].
7. Link to Your Own Posts/Articles
Yes, Use twitter to your advantage. Link to your articles. But link to them in a creative way. Make a strong pitch. Remember that it must be useful to your friends and followers. The reason why I say that this builds your influence on the web is that when you link to something your own and it is good, people really start to take you seriously. Besides most people don’t have enough time to search for good links. If you have a good link which is yours then share it make sure you use hashtags though because Twitter’s Search feature will help you get more followers.
8. Share the Love
You won’t get love back unless you share some. You need to Retweet if you find something good because it lets your friends and followers know that you are seeing their tweets. By retweeting you increase your influence because others will retweet your interesting tweets to return the favor. So this way you can really increase your influence across the twitter sphere. Also new followers like to see someone who retweets because they like to know that there is a human on the other side.
9. Balance Your Tweets
The user which is most influential is the one who have a balanced profile. If you just self promote yourself all day then people will begin to ignore you. If you just blog about your life repeatedly then people will also ignore you. Retweeting is good, but if you retweet alot then you will also get unfollowed. I remember seeing a tweet today:
So if you didn’t get the point, make sure you keep balance in your profile.
10. Solve Problems
I have grown alot of my traffic from forums by providing support. This is another thing I have started doing on twitter as well. I use the search feature to see if people are having trouble with something wordpress related. Then I help them solve the problem. I also try to help my friends as well and this increase my influence because more people favor me due to the fact that I am a helpful guy.
11. Tweet Regularly
If you want to have influence in any social media networks, you need to be active. Same rule goes for twitter as well. You need to tweet regularly. I rarely follow a person whose last tweet was 3 days ago because I know this person is not going to add value to my life. So you need to tweet often. But remember to leave space in between your tweets, so you can see some reaction. This way you can evaluate your audience and see what type of tweets they really like. You must remember if you are tweeting every 1 minute, you might end up losing followers because most people don’t like having their screen filled with one user’s useless content.
12. Tweet in Peak Times
Woah who knew there would be this effect also. We know that digg is more active on sometimes rather than other. Well same goes with twitter. Twitter is more active in sometimes than other. Obviously the service is global, so it is active 24 hours, but there are some peak hours. These hours are on EST. If you post around 8 a.m EST you are most likely to get more notice because people around the US can see you and people around other parts can see you as well such as Australia and so on. By peaking in these times, you are increasing the chance of retweets.
13. Link Your Profiles
The most effective way to get more followers is that you link your profile from all your other profiles and blogs. Most people who are on twitter are on other social media networks as well such as Digg, stumbleupon, and so on. Well why not link your twitter profile on your digg profile page because this way your digg followers can follow you to twitter. Do the same with your blogs. Promote your profile in your blog posts. If you haven’t noticed, on top of each single post page, I am asking my users to follow me. I am maximizing my potential by getting the most amount of loyal and worthy followers from everywhere.
14. Promote Your Profile in Person
If you go to web conferences or meetings then feel free to let others know about your twitter profile. I remember when I was in Izeafest in 2008, I let others know about mine. When I go to meetings with my client, I often say, if you need quick question send me a message on my twitter profile. Then they end up joining if they are not already there and follow me.
15. Launch Contests
Shoemoney was having a huge giveaway when he wanted to reach 20,000 twitter followers a while back. You can have the same. Run contests on twitter if you want to increase followers. Market Leverage has been sponsoring alot of contests, and in most contests they put a condition to follow them on twitter. This is one of the very creative way of getting more followers on twitter.
16. Free Giveaways to get more followers
The most successful thing I saw was Sitepoint giving away their high quality book in a ebook format for free. This 200+ page book was free to anyone who follow them on twitter. They have a whopping 30,000 followers now. Giveaways with anything works. People has been using giveaways to build their email list, you can use it to build your twitter followers.
17. Use An Interesting Username
Believe it or not it does matter. If you are not the most creative person on the face of the earth, just use your name because that is the safest way to go. But if you must then use something creative. Buybooksdotcom is not a good good username for anyone. Most people will not follow you if you use something ridiculous like that. By using a good username or your name, people don’t think you are a spammer (atleast they don’t judge you before seeing your tweets).
18. Change Your Profile Picture
If you think you are going to have any influence in the twitter community, you need to change your twitter picture than. People with the default profile picture shows others how lazy they are, and they will most likely be ignored. Because why should someone put an effort to follow you when you can’t put an effort to change your own profile picture. I say use your own picture, but if not use something cool. Something that represent your brand which is YOU!
19. Custom Twitter Background
If you haven’t noticed, most popular users have custom twitter backgrounds. No you should not get one just because they have one. You should learn why they have one and then get a custom background. By getting a custom background, you are branding your page even more. This way you will set an identity of yourself and your twitter page. I know not everyone is a designer, that is why there are services like Twitter Image which charge you $100 to make you a twitter background. Or you can just contact me, and I will make one for $20
20. Use Your Bio Effectively
I have seen people leaving their Bio Section Blank. That is one of the most important section on your page. How would I know the initial info about you before I follow you? I always look for an interesting bio section, and if your bio is convincing enough, I follow you. So put some effort in writing yours. Here is how my bio reads:
I am a Social Media Maven. I am a #Blogger, #Web Designer, #SEM, #Florida Gator, and one cool guy who you should know on the web.
21. Use Your Location Wisely
I understand some people are afraid to share their location. So you should be more generic. I mean I didn’t put down exactly where I live, but I put down that I live in Florida. This will help you get more followers and more targetted followers. I looked for bloggers and designers in florida through the search features to look for some of my followers.
22. Follow People You Know
To increase followers, one way you can do is by following people you know because they are bound to follow you back. A good way to start out is by going to the Find People Tool on twitter and searching for people you know.
23. Look for Good Followers
There is nothing wrong with you initiating the process of follow. You can find interesting people on your niche using the Twitter Search feature. I searched for keywords like blog designers, and it came up with all the listings. I manually went through all the people and followed the ones that I liked. Most people follow people back if they are interesting, so you can follow and just have interesting tweets, and you will get follow back. Another way of doing this is through other people. You can use services like tweetmeme to see who retweeted your links, and you can follow these people back.
24. Follow the Top Guys
By following the top guys in your niche, you are increasing your chances of being followed by others. Reason is because most people look at the top celebrities and start following others in their list. So you might increase followers this way also. You can also learn alot from the top guys and see what type of content they post. By seeing that you can see why they are at the top.
25. Understand the Power of Quality over Quantity
Twiter is not about the quantity, but is rather about the quality. You can have 15,000 useless followers which you added via an automated software, or you can have 1000 loyal and good followers who will Retweet your tweets. I would take the 1000 because I know that if these thousand retweet my link, then their followers will retweet the link and it will become a chain reaction. So always go for the quality not for the quantity. Same goes for your updates. You can have 10 quality updates a day or 90 useless updates a day. Pick carefully.
If you have really and truly read this post, then you should’ve gotten the idea that I support more influence over more followers. So don’t try to get more followers, try to get higher influence. Because when you have higher influence, you will get followers on your own. And how you get higher influence is by posting useful and informative content and basically by following the tips above.
You can use tools like Twitter Counter to see your follower count and see how the trend is looking for you. Also you can use the tool called Qwitter which emails you everytime someone unfollows after a specific tweet. This way you can see what pissed off your follower.
Remember Twitter can be anything that you want it to be, so make it a better place.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter if you want more followers, and Retweet this post because you know it will be useful to your friends and followers.