We’ve all been there. You get a direct message on Twitter that simply says “Hey – I just followed you. Follow me back!”
Does that work for anyone? Have you ever received that and then immediately followed that person? Have you sent that to someone else and then seen your following rise? I won’t doubt that it does happen, but I would seriously doubt that there is much engagement and relationship happening in this exchange.
For those of you on Twitter looking to expand your following, there are plenty of ways to attract new followers without even having to ask them. Here are some of the tips that I have used that may be helpful to you.
Don’t Look at The Numbers
Easier said than done. But seriously – don’t even look at how many people follow you. The more you watch this number, the most obsessed you get. You want that number to constantly be on the rise and you forget that people need a reason to follow you.
Whenever you post, be real. Talk about the things you love, the things you do and all that you learn throughout your day. It’s actually okay to post what you had for breakfast – if you tie it to a favorite food – and also if you post about more important things much more regularly. People want to connect with a person so it’s important to keep the personality in your brand.
As much as people love you for who you are, they don’t really deeply care about you as a person initially. This is hard for many of us to accept, but it’s the truth. When you are first getting to know someone, you always want to know WIIFM – What’s in it for me? To initially engage new followers, share smart information – articles you read, thought-provoking questions, conversation starters. I’ve found that focusing on a particular industry helps me to find information to share and find people who share those interests. The interesting articles are simply a connecting point between two strangers with like interests.
I believe that it’s completely okay to follow people who are not following you. On Twitter, your job is to create a home feed that is tailored to your interests. You do this by following interesting people. Don’t take it personally if people don’t find you as interesting as you find them. In fact, use it as motivation to share more authentically and smarter. Focus on creating an engaging and informative experience for yourself and the followers will come over time.
You want to get to know your followers. Read their tweets, share their posts and answer their questions. Learn about them and remember what you learn. When you have some down time, send your Twitter friends direct messages to ask them how they are and inquire about prior conversations you’ve had. This puts a much more personal touch on your interactions and helps to build investment on both sides.
There is no magic formula to getting a ton of followers. And, in fact, I don’t believe that a ton of followers is really the best strategy. Every once in a while, send a question out to your followers. If you get responses, this is a good sign that you are engaging people. If you get no feedback, you need to think about how to better communicate with your followers. If you get a better response from 100 followers than you do with 10,000, then I think you are successful on Twitter. These are some of the things that I have done to build an engaged Twitter following. What else have you done that works?