Twitter is a powerful tool for businesses when used correctly. It can help you generate leads, solidify your branding, and build connections with your prospects. The trouble is, if you have no followers, you can’t experience all these benefits.
Having an active following on Twitter isn’t just about prestige, and followers aren’t just numbers. Twitter followers hold real value for businesses; in fact, 36% of marketers say they have gained a customer by using Twitter.
This article will examine at 50 ways you can increase your Twitter followers, and take advantage of the many benefits of Twitter. The strategies below all fit into one of the following 4 categories:
- Tweeting content that’s so enticing and/or informative that it’s likely to be retweeted
- Following others so they’ll follow you back
- Tweeting content in a way that it actually gets seen
- Promoting your Twitter account effectively
Twitter has a great paid ads option which is very effective for acquiring followers, but in this article we’ll only consider free options (since the paid one is pretty obvious). Don’t forget to add your best Twitter tips in the comments at the end of this post!
1. Follow more people. Research shows a correlation between the number of people followed and the number of followers.
2. Use a tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial to schedule your tweets. Posting regularly will increase your engagement and visibility, thereby increasing your follower count.
3. Use Twiends to find new Twitter users you can connect with. Once you’re listed on the platform, other users with similar interests will also be able to find and follow you.
4. Optimize your Twitter bio. Users who want to find out more about you will inevitably visit your Twitter bio. Make sure it’s professional, complete and that it does a great job of representing you and your business.
5. Use links in your tweets. Tweets with links get more retweets than those without.
6. Use relevant keywords in your bio so you rank in Twitter search. Don’t forget to include your city or region name to attract local users.
7. Use relevant hashtags in your posts. Tweets with hashtags get at least 2x more engagement, and will help you attract new followers who are searching for those keywords.
8. Ask for retweets. Tweets that include “Please retweet” in their text get 4x more retweets.
9. Find people you know by uploading your email contacts to Twitter. They are likely to follow you back, especially since they know you in real life.
10. Include images with your tweets. Research suggests that tweets with images receive 18% more engagement than those without.
11. Promote your Twitter account on all your marketing materials. This includes your business cards, brochures, signs and of course, your website.
12. Use a headshot in your profile picture, not your logo. Nobody wants to follow a faceless brand. Show there’s a real person behind your brand by using a personal photo.
13. Use the Tweet This WordPress plugin to embed content boxes on your website or blog. These are great for getting your site visitors to tweet your content, expanding your reach and attracting new followers.
14. Promote your Twitter account on your other social media accounts. For best results, entice people by mentioning interesting discussions you’re engaged with on Twitter.
15. Tweet on the weekends. Dan Zarrella’s research indicates brands get 17% more engagement on the weekends than during the week.
16. Reference users in your tweets. When replying to or mentioning other users, be sure @mention them. People are much more likely to engage with your tweets when they’re mentioned by name.
17. Use a follow button on your website or blog. Why not make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to find you?
18. Tweet motivational or inspirational quotes. These are great for getting retweets.
19. Respond publically when your response would be useful to others. Instead of direct messaging responses to public questions, share your knowledge publically, @mentioning the person who asked.
20. Include a link to your @username in the author bio of your guest posts.
21. Listen in on relevant conversations: Using a tool like Social Mention, find out what other Twitter users are saying about your brand, products or industry. Respond or answer questions where appropriate.
22. @mention influential users when relevant. This may help catch their attention, leading them to follow you or even retweet your content. Here are some other strategies for getting influencers to follow you on Twitter.
23. Embed tweets in your website content. Display particularly interesting or popular tweets in a blog post to entice your website visitors to follow you on Twitter.
24. Participate in Twitter chats. Chats are a great way to engage with your customers and prospects on a deeper level. Follow those you meet in the chat, and they’re likely to follow you back.
25. Pin an eye-catching tweet to the top of your stream. When people check out your profile, show them the best-of-the-best to entice them to follow you.
26. Find new followers using Ignitwit. Choose the topics you’re interested in and receive a list of users you should follow. They will even tell you who has chosen not to follow you back…giving you the ability to unfollow uninterested parties.
27. Ask your email subscribers to follow you on Twitter. Let them know about interesting discussions, chats or topics they can expect to find if they follow you.
28. Help others rather than just pushing your own stuff. Twitter is about helping, making connections and providing great content, not about selling your stuff. Become known as someone who puts the needs of others first, and your follower count will grow organically.
29. Use Twitter search to find users who share your interests. Follow them, engage with their content and wait for them to follow you back!
30. Participate in Follow Friday (#FF). Regularly add new followers and suggest users others should follow. Getting connected and being a connector are both key to increasing your follower count.
31. Retweet influencers and give valuable feedback. Check out this post for details on how to use this technique to get influencers to notice and follow you!
32. Tweet the same content multiple times. Moz estimates the lifespan of a tweet at around 18 minutes. How many of your followers are actually on Twitter in those 18 minutes? Tweet out your links multiple times over the course of a day or two to give your tweets as much visibility as possible.
33. @mention users in your tweets, asking them for input. It’s hard to resist responding to a question when you’re asked by name!
34. Link to your Twitter profile on your other social media profiles.
35. Always reply to questions. Not only is this just good etiquette, but it sends the signal that you actually notice and care about your followers, and that you’re worth following.
36. Post engaging, informative content. This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Posting what you had for lunch, or your opinions about world politics, or random thoughts about life are fine, but without a solid base of valuable, relevant content, your follower count will never increase.
37. Utilize social proof by embedding a follow button with a counter on your website or blog.
38. Tweet often, but not in bursts. A Korean research study showed that a common reason why people unfollow is due to too many tweets in a short period of time.
39. Try tweeting between 1pm and 3pm when Twitter traffic is at its peak.
40. Be a generous retweeter. People like to know you’re not only listening, but that you’re willing to spread the Twitter love. The more you retweet, the more likely you are to be retweeted, and the more followers you’re likely to attract.
41. Add questions in your retweets (if possible) to increase engagement and visibility.
42. Share news that’s relevant to your audience. News is one of the most retweeted types of content.
43. Regularly offer your followers exclusive coupons. 94% of Twitter users follow brands for the discounts and promos.
44. Don’t buy fake followers! While it may be tempting to boost your numbers by paying for fake followers, these followers will never add any value to your business. Not only that, but engaging in this process may lead to your account being suspended.
45. Use Followerwonk to find new people to connect with, and to find out which activities typically drive the most new followers to your account.
46. Find and follower your LinkedIn connections on Twitter. Here’s how to do it.
47. Make sure you have a tweet button next to each and every post on your blog.
48. Don’t focus on yourself. Tweets that contain a self-reference get retweeted less often than those that don’t.
49. Use Twitter cards to increase visibility and engagement. Add some simple code to your site, and anytime someone tweets your content, the rich media you’ve included (images, videos, etc.) will show alongside their tweet.
50. Use words like ‘you’, ‘twitter’, ‘please’ and ‘retweet’, that are more likely to get retweeted. Some words to avoid in your tweets? ‘Game’, ‘going’, ‘haha’ and ‘lol’.
If you’re serious about increasing your Twitter followers, the #1 piece of advice I can give you is this: Regularly tweet a variety of helpful and relevant content. Following this simple maxim will be your best bet to getting the most clicks, retweets and followers. It’s not rocket science, and even small businesses with non-existent budgets can thrive by following this one rule.