I’ve had a Twitter account for years. But I never really took the time to grow it, because everything that I read about “how to get more Twitter followers” seemed contrived and market-y and spammy and just not like something a real person would do, but something that a “brand” would do.
And I’m not a brand! I’m a real person – I’m just a little shy, even online, and feel kinda awkward reaching out to people I don’t know.
I mean, I wouldn’t walk up to someone on the street and say “Hey, I saw we both like dogs, let’s be friends! I’m going to start listening to everything you say!”
And that’s kinda what Twitter felt like to me.
So the deal was – what can I do that allows me to interact with people in a way that feels more natural to me?
Because here’s the deal with me – Yes, I want targeted followers. I want people who will see a link to my blog post come up in their Twitter feed and think “Hot damn, that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for”. I want people that will come to my blog and find information that helps them, or amuses them, or makes them feel good about being a work-at-home-mother. I want people who will see the products and services I offer, and want to buy them.
But I also want these to be people that I can relate to, people I enjoy getting know and have conversations with on Twitter.
I finally figured it out using my TweetDeck.
First of all, let me show you a recent screen shot of my Twitter-follower stats…
For the entire month of February, I gained 12 Twitter followers.
I started using this method on the first of March – and in 10 days, have gained 53 new followers.
So let me tell you how it’s done.
Now, while I’m doing this with Tweetdeck, I’m sure that HootSuite and just about any other Twitter client will allow you to do something similar.
First of all, I took a good think about a few keywords that I would use to describe what my blog is about. For me, it was #blogging, #wahm and #sahm. (work-at-home-mom & stay-at-home-mom for those of you new to the lingo).
Then I used the search function in Tweetdeck to create columns for these keywords – I did a search for #blogging, and then set that search up as a permanent column. Then I did the same for my other keywords. Here’s a quick video showing you how I do that on Tweetdeck, and also how you can do it online at Twitter:
So… “How does that get me more followers?” I hear you saying 😀
This is where the magic happens.
I leave Tweetdeck open all day while I’m online. Three or four times a day, I take a minute or two – LITERALLY, no more than a minute or two – and check out the posts that I’ve found with those hashtags.
When I see something I like, or something I agree with, I click on “Favorite”. If I really like something, and think that it’s something my followers would be interested in, I re-tweet it.
And that’s it!
So, how does this work?
People LOVE being favorite’d or retweeted. It fulfills a deep need we all have for validation. And when you favorite them or retweet them, their tendency is to send you a message, say “thanks!” and most likely follow you. It’s completely up to you if you want to follow them back.
Now – there are a few “down and dirty” details that can make this work even better for you –
* The amount of follow-love you’re going to get depends entirely upon how many people you favorite and retweet. I recommend spending a minute or two 3-4 times a day and favoriting/retweeting at least 10 tweets. And again, I want to say – LITERALLY a minute or two. It really doesn’t take anymore time than that to do this part of it.
*Don’t be a schmo and retweet people’s links without clicking thru to check it out first. While the tweet might be catchy, the article itself might be awful – or worse yet, some kind of spam.
Besides – when you retweet, you want to be able to say something like “Loved Tip #8!”.. and actually know what you’re talking about. You’ll get more people following you back when they know that you actually cared enough to click through to their link. [inlinetweet prefix=”Remember:” tweeter=”fnnkybutt” suffix=”#twitter #socialmedia”]ALWAYS check out a link before you retweet it.[/inlinetweet]
*When someone follows you, always send a @mention reply to them – NOT an inbox tweet. And PLEASE – don’t respond with some generic “thanks for following, what are you working on these days?” kind of crap. Most people have a Twitter profile that tells you exactly what they’re working on.They’ve been awesome enough to follow you, the least you can do is take 30 seconds to check them out, maybe look at their blog and have something relevant to say back to them.
I’ll never forget when I followed Jessica Gottlieb’s blog and tweeted something to her about one of her posts. Now, Jessica is a pretty famous blogger – I honestly never expected her to say anything back to me. Well, not only did she answer me, she asked a couple questions about how I liked living in Peru. I can’t tell you great it made me feel to know that she actually took the time to look at my profile and find out who I was. You should make sure you give other people that same thrill when you talk to them!
But WAIT – Isn’t there a way to make this easier?
I’m pretty sure I made it clear here that this method takes very little time to do every day. I spend maybe 30 minutes a day working on it, broken up into 5 or 10 minute chunks that I do in between other things. It really takes maybe 2 minutes max to go through and favorite 10 or 15 posts, and maybe retweet a couple.
The rest of my time on Twitter is spent sharing other things that I think will be interesting to my followers and commenting on tweets from people I’m already following. Remember, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”fnnkybutt” suffix=”#Twitter #socialmedia”]Twitter isn’t just about getting as many followers as you can – it’s SOCIAL media, so be social![/inlinetweet]
But – if you absolutely positively don’t have time to even do that much, there is a way to automate it just a little bit.
There’s a web service called Buzzfork that does part of this job for you. With Buzzfork, you simply tell them the keyword phrases that you want to use, and they will automagically go through at intervals during the day and favorite tweets that coincide with those keywords for you. You can leave Buzzfork on autopilot and really don’t have to do anything else. I have found though, that by using my tips above to connect with people, I can double the number of followers I get as opposed to using Buzzfork alone.
Buzzfork isn’t a free service, but they do have a 1-week free trial – I’d definitely recommend giving them a shot and seeing if you like the service – You can
click here to check them out. (Unfortunately, Twitter made some changes to their API, and BuzzFork no longer provides this service)
I really hope you learned something cool here – but remember, none of it does any good if you don’t take action! You’ve got the tools in front of you – it’s just a matter of putting them to work.
So get out there and start making some magic happen!