For some, success in social media websites such as Twitter can be seen as a game to play. While I’ve been a Twitter user since 2009, I mostly used the platform as a lurker reading news from my favorite brands and celebrities. Over the past two years that I’ve gained more than 30,000 Twitter followers on my account @David_Leavitt, and you can too. So how, exactly, did I gain so many Twitter followers in such a short time? There’s no simple answer. Here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way which will help you out on your journey.
Have a well written bio.
Your profile picture and bio are the first things Twitter users see. First impressions count, so make yours the best that you possibly can.
Focus on a niche.
One way to gain thousands of Twitter followers over a short period of time is to focus on a niche. It just so happens that I’m a huge Magic: The Gathering fan, and even write a column devoted to the subject here on Examiner.com. Whenever I write about Magic: The Gathering, I stream Magic: The Gathering to Twitch, or play the game in person I tweet about it. Because I talk about that specific game so much, many of my Twitter followers are other players who share the same interest. Apply this same principle to whatever topic you’re passionate about. Other people who’re interested in the same subject as you may take notice and want to hear what you have to say about it.
Once you know your niche make sure that whenever you tweet that you’re using the correct hashtag. Other users who’re interested in that subject might discover your tweet because you included that hashtag. If you don’t use hashtags you’re missing out on a major opportunity to be discovered by new people that you wouldn’t have interacted with otherwise.
Be an informer.
If you’ve got useful information to share, people are more likely to follow you. Share, share, and share. Retweet posts relevant to your audience. By curating information that people who follow you are interested in, you become an expert in your niche. Better yet, create original exclusive content that others want to read share too. Including your Twitter handle on your website, business cards, email, and stationary can help you passively gain followers from people who read what you’ve written or that you’ve corresponded with in the real world.
That old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words” holds true on social media. People like pictures. They are more likely to favorite and retweet your post because of the eye candy. It may sound ridiculous but the occasional puppy or kitten tweet can do wonders for your follower growth.
Follow new people.
You can’t expect people to just follow you, despite how awesome you may be, unless you’re a celebrity. Take a proactive approach and follow 10 to 100 new people a day within your targeted niche. One good practice is to look at who’s already following you. Select someone who shares similar topics and then follow the last ten people who followed that person.
If a user asks you a question give them an answer. Make your followers feel valued and they’re more likely to interact with you.
It isn’t just about numbers, but they do count.
While having thousands of followers may seem awesome, it’s really the quality of your followers that truly count. I’d trade 100 followers who just lurk for one follower who always interacts with me. Yet despite this, numbers really do matter. People are more willing to follow a user with more followers. There’s a perception of credibility people ascertain to someone with a large following. Only a fraction of Twitter users are ever on at one given point in time. Many won’t ever see a fraction of your tweets. By having more followers there will be more people that are likely to see your messages. By focusing on individuals and creating real interactions you’ll create meaningful relationships on Twitter. Those individual relationships, which can transcend beyond the scope of the internet and into real life, are worth more than a hundred thousand retweets, favorites, or followers will ever do for you.
Don’t give up.
Like many things in life, growing your social media presence is a marathon and not a sprint. Time, persistence, and patience will lead you to success not only in Twitter, but beyond.
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