Unless you’re a major celebrity or an icon in your industry, you know how it feels to open up Twitter and outwardly sigh at your follower count. Building your brand up to have thousands of followers on Twitter can seem like an unreachable dream for many. Though difficult, with the appropriate steps this dream can become a reality.
There are dozens of ways that people gain followers. The simplest is to ask your friends, family members, or coworkers to follow you. Other more “complicated” methods, that is methods that require actual effort, can involve frequently tweeting high-quality content.
For research purposes (and out of general curiosity), I posed the question to my friends and followers: Why did you start to follow me on Twitter? I received many responses with an excellent variety of reasons. The points I raise are based off these responses.
This article will hopefully provide a better understanding of some of the different ways you can gain followers on Twitter.
1 ) Twitter Suggestions
Twitter lists suggestions in the sidebar of their desktop website. Based off the accounts you already follow, Twitter compiles a “suggestion list” of similar people. Once your follower count initially starts to grow, your account will show up in this sidebar for many different users. So naturally you need to be prepared for a potential new follower clicking on your page
2) Have Interesting Content
You should tweet frequently about relevant things. And your posts should only consist of top-quality content. People clicking through to your account will skim through your page and hopefully start to follow you if they find your tweets interesting. It’s unlikely you’ll attract attention to your Twitter if your feed is barren or lacks creativity.
3) Have a Great Twitter Bio or Profile Design
Having an attractive user profile—complete with a proper image of you and an appropriate yet creative profile banner—will help draw necessary attention to your Twitter. A good graphic will represent you well and give your Twitter personality. Along with this, you should also create a biography that includes a vast range of information—such as your job, your favorite hobbies, or a clever joke. Biographies are often sought after entities on profile pages. Having a vague biography, no matter how clever you may think it is, will not help people who are wondering exactly who you are or what you do, which can possibly prevent them from following you.
Hashtagging relevant tweets can increase your reach by having your post show up in a search feed. People reading through these hashtag feeds will be able to view your post and hopefully click through to your profile if your tweet is captivating enough. For example, I tweeted many times during a popular video game event and included the most commonly used event hashtag. I gained nearly 70 followers in a just few hours during this event.
5) Personal Connection
Exchanging Twitter handles seems like the new exchanging of business cards. It’s simple and casual to bring up in conversation; “Hey, do you have a Twitter I can follow?” It’s an easy way to keep in touch and network with the people you have met, especially if you did not have enough time to discuss something.
6) Follow to Get Followed
It’s very common on Twitter for people to “follow you back” once you start following them. This is often done by people to easily build connections with their followers. It will help your follower count exponentially. Of course, if you’re trying to keep your following to follower ratio low, you want to avoid this method. A word of warning: Don’t bother following people if you are initially planning on unfollowing them after they follow you back just to gain numbers. This is extremely tacky and unprofessional, and there are many ways to find out if someone has done this.
Of course there are more “unconventional” ways to get followers, like buying them—which I would highly avoid. It’s another effective (in that it helps you reach the ultimate goal of gaining followers) yet tacky method. If people discover that you buy followers, you will very likely be judged.
In the end, numbers are numbers. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Twitter is merely a networking website. Try not to become overly concerned with your follower count. Avoid arrogance and don’t make your only goal in life to become “twitter famous.”
Struggling to gain followers on Twitter is often the bane of a person’s social media existence, but it doesn’t have to be. The main objective is to captivate people. Inevitably your creativity will lure in followers. It can take years to get a large following but it is possible to reach high numbers at a more rapid rate. It’s important not to lose hope and keep at it regardless of your current Twitter state.
Which of these tips do you find most effective? How do you grow your Twitter following?
Emma Zwirko is a social media manager at WP Engine. She hails from the East Coast of the US and enjoys video games, frozen pizza, and cat GIFs. You can follow Emma on Twitter @WPE_Emma.