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Whether you’re a professional who wants to promote your services or a business that wants to market your brand, growing your Twitter following is one of the important first steps. But growing your community on Twitter is easier said than done, sometimes taking years just to gain a few thousand followers.
So we asked 100+ experts to share their own experiences with growing their following on Twitter. And we’re providing you with actionable tips and proven tactics that you can apply for your own Twitter growth strategy. Here’s the first part of our massive 3-part guide on “Tactics to Grow Your Twitter Following.”
First things first – you should work on creating a profile that people would want to follow. “Your Twitter profile is the most important part of your account,” says Condo Blackbook founder Sep Niakan.
Ravi Patel, CEO & Founder of Job Alert agrees, saying, “It's crucial to have your house in order and display yourself in the most appealing manner possible.”
“Most people look at this before clicking the 'follow' button. So before you do anything else, make sure your profile is complete and optimised. If you want to portray credibility and trustworthiness, this is usually the first step,” he adds.
While you can choose any name for your username, Sep recommends using your real name to add credibility. “Remember to use your true brand name and get verified if you're using Twitter for business, as most worldwide brands do.”
According to Tim Clarke, the Director of Sales for SEOblog, “[Your] Twitter profile is like a resume! Providing comprehensive information about you will give followers an idea of what to expect from you.”
Tim suggests uploading a profile photo that catches the audience's attention and reveals your brand identity.
“Add a profile and header photo that defines you. For business accounts, you can use your company's logo,” suggests Joy Organics CEO, Gerrid Smith.
On the other hand, a company logo might not always be the best choice, according to Ryan Dalal, CEO & Founder of Merge PDF. “Instead of just a company logo, use a picture of yourself to represent your brand,” Ryan suggests. “This will make your firm far more approachable to followers rather than making it appear like a faceless organisation.” Firms and agencies named after a person or solopreneurs could benefit from this approach.
“Also, make sure you're smiling and that you're utilising a quality photo. When compared to a grumpy face, a happy face attracts more followers,” Ryan adds. Ravi agrees, saying, “People trust faces they've seen several times, according to research, which is why a photo of your happy face works best.”
Your bio is another section of your profile that needs optimising. “You could also optimise your bio to showcase your company by explaining who you are to the world in a few short, sweet, and appealing sentences,” says Tim.
Following Tim’s suggestion, the SEOblog Twitter profile has a short yet descriptive bio that tells people exactly what the account is all about. They use the company’s logo as a profile photo and a matching banner photo to complement it.
“Add a profile and header photo that defines you. For business accounts, you can utilise your company's logo. Twitter also allows you to post a 160-character account description, allowing you to introduce yourself to potential followers,” suggests Wrangu CEO, Lee Grant.
According to Ravi, this is the part where you need to be creative because of the limited character count. “Make it clear why others should follow you. Because so much commerce these days is done locally, be sure you indicate your location as appropriate. It has the potential to make or break a following.”
Additionally, Chloe Sisson of Zen Media, a digital PR agency, suggests that you, “Optimise your bio with keywords so that people who search for topics relating to your account will be able to easily find you.”
Of course, having an outstanding profile alone isn’t going to cut it. Growing your Twitter following also requires you to build visibility on the platform by staying active. For starters, you need to tweet regularly and consistently.
According to Darshan Somashekar, Founder & CEO of Freecell-Challenge and Spider Solitaire Challenge, “Twitter is a highly dynamic social media platform that can handle a large number of tweets per day. Every tweet gives an opportunity to boost your visibility on a site where thousands of tweets are sent every minute.”
“As a result, people who want to get more followers should tweet often. Your Twitter followers are more likely to unfollow you if they see you never post updates,” he explains. “You should, however, avoid bombarding your fans with too many posts,” Darshan warns.
Chris Nddie, Co-Owner and Marketing Director of ClothingRIC, explains, “Unlike Facebook or Instagram, where you can get away with posting 1-2 times a day, most tweets only last a few minutes on the timeline, so you'll need to up your frequency to ensure your message is seen.”
Lottery Sambad’s Founder & CEO, Neil Shaw agrees saying, “We witnessed everything from a single tweet to 50 tweets each day! You don't have to tweet 50 times every day, but you should strive for at least 10 times per day.”
Both Neil and Chris suggest that you schedule a few tweets per day with a platform like MeetEdgar then utilise your engagement time to make a few more tweets manually. “This ensures that you have a solid balance of content and that you remain consistent. The more often you tweet, the more likely you are to gain Twitter followers.”
The Chipotle Twitter account has over 900k tweets, which speaks volumes about the frequency of their tweets. They have amassed a whopping 1 million followers on the platform.
The same approach works for Katherine Brown, Founder & Marketing Director for Spyic. “To increase my Twitter following, I always make sure to tweet more often. Adding new content to your Twitter account shows potential followers that you're active, engaging, and worth following,” she explains.
This is in line with FindPeopleFast Founder, Daniela Sawyer’s advice. Daniela says, “The growth on Twitter depends on the regular engagement of an account owner. The regularity in content helps your audience to look forward to the same type of content.” She suggests that you plan your content strategy and create a calendar to post regularly. And don’t miss scheduling content relevant to important seasons or events.
Regularity should go hand in hand with consistency. According to Glenn Ponting, SEO Manager of Snowpads, “Consistency on Twitter is one of the simplest methods to attract new followers and enhance Twitter interaction.” He also suggests that you try to be relevant and relatable by sharing your daily experiences or even discussing a topic that interests you.
SEOblog’s Tim Clarke agrees, saying, “It's essential to have a constant content rhythm that your audience can count on and look forward to. Create a content calendar to plan your ideas and ensure you are Tweeting during important seasons and events.” He explains, “By constant tweeting, you are also creating an image to your audience that you are active, engaging, and worth following.”
The Sainsbury’s Twitter account doesn’t go a day without tweeting and even signs off each night to let followers know when they’re no longer active.
“Consistency is key [may be a] cliché, but true,” agrees The Game Dial Founder, Marcus Valdez. “It's critical to have a consistent content cadence that your audience can anticipate. Make a content calendar to organise your ideas and sync them with important events,” he suggests.
To maintain consistency, you need a defined game plan. Numlooker’s Co-founder, Lynda Fairly says, “Send out 2-3 tweets a day that [are] related to your brand or website. It would help if you were consistent with your content. This is why it's essential to have a plan of action before you start sending tweets out.” She advises, “Don't just Tweet about things that are not related to your company unless it's for fun or you are trying to get other people's attention in your industry.”
Ben Reynolds, CEO & Founder of Sure Dividend, further explains the value of consistency, saying, “Being consistent with your posts can also produce more customers since they can keep coming back for more in a way that's more convenient for them. Even when they aren’t interested in buying your products or services now, it can help maintain their interest, and you can increase the chances of turning them into customers.”
Being active on Twitter isn’t just about sending out tweets and hoping for people to engage. To get engagement, you have to engage with others first. That means interacting with their tweets and responding to their comments to engage in authentic conversations.
“The hardest part is kickstarting that initial engagement when you have a small following,” he adds. “That’s why my number one recommendation would be to spend time building relationships with other people in your niche before trying to grow an audience.”
Andrea follows his own advice and regularly responds to other people’s tweets as well as people’s replies to his tweets.
“Twitter is all about connecting with others. Don't simply send a tweet and then disappear,” advises Hutch Ashoo, Founder & CEO of Pillar Wealth Management. “To increase engagement and relationships, follow others in your sector, retweet influencers, communicate with community thought leaders, and respond to mentions and consumers.”
John Frigo, Ecommerce Manager for My Supplement Store and Best Price Nutrition believes this is “the best tactic” for growing a Twitter following. “You can tweet out into the ether all day long and you’re probably not going to have much of an impact but if you begin conversing with people and interacting with already trending tweets you'll get a lot more attention and will grow subscribers pretty quickly,” he explains.
“Twitter is a social media network that encourages people to interact with one another. More than any other site, Twitter's design, and functionality are geared toward conversations,” explains Edward Mellett, Co-Founder of Wiki Job UK. “Making time for involvement, whether it's retweeting, liking, or reacting to other people's tweets, is essential. If you aren't active on Twitter, it's nearly impossible to gain additional followers,” he adds.
According to Diggity Marketing’s Marketing Director, Nathan Hughes, “Twitter is a virtual society for people who want to have conversations. People are there to have conversations with other people outside of their close social group.” He advises, “So if you are looking to increase your Twitter following, you should not hesitate in tweeting your thoughts and replying to other people’s tweets. However, make sure the tweets are meaningful and relevant to conversations going on.”
While this is a time-sensitive activity, it’s worth the investment because it’s one of the most effective ways to grow your following.
John Frigo suggests that you sort tweets by latest on Twitter and engage with those posts. That way, if a post winds up getting some traction, you're going to be higher up in the thread or higher up in the conversation. This translates to more visibility and attention.
Tanya Alexandra, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Miss Amara agrees, saying, “Engaging with users is a sure strategy to increase your exposure and build a larger following. Regularly tweet, respond to users who have mentioned or contacted you for customer service…”
Dan Close, Founder & CEO of We Buy Houses in Kentucky, says, “Be sure to respond when other Twitter users mention you in a comment or tag you in a post. This increases their engagement and encourages other users to follow and interact with you in the future.”
And even if someone doesn’t respond right away, that doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with them, according to Adam Wood, Co-Founder of RevenueGeeks. “Examine their discussions to see if you can add to the debate with useful remarks or retweet any of their links,” he advises.
“Participating in talks will also put you in front of more people, increasing the likelihood of being followed. You can fast grow your relevant followers by participating in pertinent chats... Assuming you have something worthwhile to contribute!”
For Tool Tester Network’s CEO, Robert Brandl, it’s all about “sharing content on recent developments in my company, reviews on the latest web building platforms, tips on improving your business communication skills, and discussing my favourite hobbies.”
“This might not be possible when you reach a certain size, but smaller businesses really benefit from a feeling of community, and you create that by engaging with your audience directly,” says Oscar Frost, SEO & Content Executive for Cognism.
This strategy worked great for Ecommerce Email Marketing Consultant Danavir Sarria, who says, “Twitter is a social platform that rewards volume. Personally, I post 5+ tweets per day and I reply to at least 3-5 other threads per day as well. That makes up 90% of my Twitter growth strategy.” As a result, his following has grown from 0 to almost 2,000.
SaaS and Ecommerce Freelance Writer Ashley R. Cummings shares her own experience with growing her Twitter following. “The main thing that has been working for me is posting consistently and putting time and energy into helpful Twitter threads…” She adds, “I don't have a huge following yet, but I've been seeing excellent results so far. In a matter of a few short months, I've already grown my following by 75%."
Fi Shailes, Content Writer for Digital Drum, had tried various things to build her following. “But in the end, it's the same few tactics that I stick to and seem to work for me,” she says. Regularly engaging with others is one of those tactics.
“Ensuring that I respond and react to each and every comment someone leaves on a tweet and every share. Making an effort to not only do the above, but also invest effort in getting involved in different conversations on Twitter – whether that's offering an opinion, a quick bit of advice, or helping someone share an article or a job opening,” Fi explains.
The same strategy works even for business accounts. According to the Better Proposals Marketing Manager, Snizhana Kolomiets, the brand’s Twitter currently has around 17k followers. “The major reason why we grew to this number is that we spend a lot of time on Twitter and respond to all customers that reach out through this platform,” she explains the reason behind this success.
“When you publicly show that you care about customers and solving their problems, it gets the attention of everyone who follows you. It’s like social proof that shows that you’re on point when it comes to making your customers happy.”
Richard Mews, CEO of Sell With Richard agrees, saying, “If you want other people to connect with your material, interacting with them first is a brilliant place to start. When you can like, reply, and retweet your users' posts, following them may also assist.”
He further explains, “They'll be more inclined to pay attention to what you're publishing if you reply to other users or interact with their material. This is particularly true since most companies don't take or have time to engage with a large number of followers, so when you do, it means a lot more.”
United Medical Credit has also managed to bank on the power of interaction. According to Marketing Director, Scott Spivack, “Twitter is mostly about sketching connections and we leave no stone unturned to accomplish that. It’s a regular part of our priority to connect with users, answer tweets, retweet relevant industry experts to expand our reach and follower base.”
Business accounts often get customers tweeting to them. This is a great opportunity to engage with them and increase the visibility of your brand’s Twitter account. But that also means engaging with customers who are unhappy or have complaints.
Michael Newman, CEO & Plastic Surgeon for Drnewmanbeverly Hills advises, “When dealing with criticism or irate consumers, be sure to react as quickly as possible—this should always be your first concern.” He explains, “When you react to a tweet, you not only improve the likelihood that they will respond in some manner to your response, but you also increase the likelihood that they will interact with your postings in the future.”
Notice how the Morrisons Twitter page politely responds to disappointed and confused customers below. In some cases, they attempt to take the conversation to the DMs so the issue can be resolved between the store and the customer. But the team’s response still provides a testament to their willingness to resolve problems.
Alex Claro, VPN Analyst for Credit Donkey also suggests that you dedicate 5-10 minutes every day to engage with your community. “Spend some time responding to comments, thanking users for their retweets, retweeting other people's chats, or replying to other tweets and participating in their dialogues, regardless of the time of day.”
An excellent way to engage with others and boost your account visibility is by participating in Twitter chats. These are conversations on a specific topic that take place at a designated time and using a designated hashtag.
For the Code Signing Store team, Twitter chats are the most entertaining approach to gain more Twitter followers. Tech and Security Expert Rameez Usmani explains, “Twitter chats are akin to virtual gatherings focused on a particular topic. The host will ask questions and each Twitter discussion will have its own hashtag. Then participants in the Twitter chat can post their answers, comment on other people's replies, and generally talk about the issue.”
“Many hosts hold Twitter conversations regularly, such as once a week or once a month,” he elaborates. Rameez suggests attending a few Twitter conversations regularly so you can get to know the host and other regular attendees.
“Make sure you follow the other participants and communicate with them outside of the Twitter chat period if you want to learn how to obtain more Twitter followers from Twitter chats. This is how long-term partnerships are formed.”
Messaged.com’s CEO and Co-Founder, Dan Ni says that participating in Twitter chats has helped him greatly increase his Twitter engagement and following. It also helped better inform people about his company. Dan has managed to amass 15.8k followers on the platform.
The Virtudesk team also believes this is the best tactic to grow your Twitter followers. “We have just joined Twitter chats for three months and we started off with 1200 followers only, but now our account had grown to 1,777 followers today,” says PR Specialist, Jerica Fornis. “This is the same tactic that we used for our CEO’s Twitter account and from 72 followers, his followers had grown to 296 today.”
“The key to success in using this tactic is to engage in at least two chats every day,” suggests Jerica. You can check Twitter chat schedules on the TweetReports website. Some of the chats listed on this site may be outdated, so make sure to double-check if the Twitter chat is still active. Search for the chat hashtag on Twitter and see the latest tweet. If the last tweet was long ago, then you can safely conclude they are no longer active.
“When selecting a Twitter chat, make sure that it is related to your niche so your tweets will provide value to your audience,” advises Jerica. “Another reminder when engaging with one is to follow the host’s instructions, don’t forget to say hi to those people you met, share your best insights, and make friends.”
Artem Minaev, Co-Founder of FirstSiteGuide.com, agrees that this is a great place to engage with new people and spread awareness about your brand. He also suggests hosting a Twitter chat yourself.
To host your own Twitter chat, however, having participated in other chats and engaging with other participants before is a must.
“You can start having discussions with your followers if you've been participating in Twitter chats and actively engaging on Twitter. Asking about your sector or specialisation, or even simply a fun icebreaker, and then tagging your Twitter buddies to respond is a popular way to do this,” suggests Gerrid Smith, who founded Corporate Investigation Consulting. “This will start a conversation topic.”
“The trick to initiating a discussion is that you can't do so without first establishing a rapport with other users,” Gerrid explains. “People who have never engaged with you previously are unlikely to start responding to inquiries right away. Before you start inviting other Twitter users to join in on chats, you need to establish a rapport with them so they know who you are.”
This strategy has worked well for Michel Fortin, director of rearch at Seoplus+. “I’m often participating in Twitter chats, like #seochat or #ppcchat. Either I host them or participate in them,” he says. “They provide me with a great deal of insights and new ideas to try out. But also, my answers can often get retweeted by someone whose opinion I value, which confirms things for me — and at the same time, the extra exposure attracts new followers,” Michael explains.
Another excellent way to gain new followers is by following relevant accounts first. This could encourage a follow back from some of those accounts.
For brands, this could be similar brand accounts and influential personalities in the industry. Entrepreneurs and agencies could do the same while also following accounts of potential leads i.e. accounts of people/companies that might need their services.
“New brands on Twitter need to follow similar accounts. Most advice will tell them to follow the giants in their field, but that advice is outdated. There's no reason to follow the giants unless you love their content,” advises Partners in Fire Content Creator, Melanie Allen. “Instead, follow accounts in a similar niche with a similar following. These accounts will turn into your best Twitter buddies, and you can all grow together.”
Janice Wald, the blogger and Blogging Coach behind Mostly Blogging, recently boosted her Twitter following by several hundred people using the Twiends directory. “You can follow people in your content niche, in your location, and there are other filters you can choose,” she explains.
“Twiends works on a reciprocal basis. People are more apt to follow since they know they will get followed too. Twiends is also quick to use.” Janice has amassed over 20k followers on Twitter. You can check out a full review of the Twiends platform on Janice’s blog.
You can also use a platform like Audiense Insights to extract valuable audience intelligence and discover important accounts to follow. For starters, the platform helps you identify the people who influence your audience so you can follow those accounts.
Gerald Lombardo, who co-founded The Word Counter, suggests leveraging the 2,000 follower hack, which is a strategic “hack” for building an exponentially fast social media following. “As a new user, you can follow up to 2,000 users before hitting a follow limit,” explains Gerald.
“Choose these 2,000 users wisely (preferably ones that will more than likely follow back), and then start creating engaging content that adheres to you + your competitors,” he suggests. “This will drastically improve your reach, and allow you to connect with new prospective users quickly and effectively.”
From the basics such as optimising your profile and tweeting regularly to more “advanced” steps such as utilising Twitter chats and leveraging the 2,000 follower hack – these practical tips are proven to help you grow your Twitter following. Make the most of them to start gaining more followers on the platform.
If you want to take your Twitter marketing to the next level, the Audiense Connect Twitter marketing platform can help. This comes with robust community analysis and management features and advanced monitoring and listening so you can gain a better understanding of your audience. Sign up for Audiense Connect today and grow your Twitter marketing efforts.