I love it when someone slides into my DM’s and requests a specific blog post – so shout out to Jo for suggesting today’s on how to grow your Twitter following! If you have any suggestions of what you’d like to see on here please, please let me know as coming up with ideas when you have none is an utter ballache.
Today I want to share with you a few of the ways I’ve grown my Twitter following over the years. I recently hit the milestone of 5,000 followers which these days in the blogging world is pretty small fry, but it’s an ace, realistic milestone to have.
It’s taken a long-ass time to get there and my next biggie is the elusive, magical 10k but if these tips should teach you anything…it’s to walk before you run. Oh, and to grow your Twitter account NATURALLY. None of this buying followers or bot-based bullshit.
So, let’s get cracking.
Grow Your Twitter Following Step #1 – Finding the right people to follow
Let’s face it, to grow your Twitter, you need to find your “tribe” (blergh, that made me feel a bit sick in the mouth typing that). You need to search for the people that you are most likely to engage with. Basically, don’t follow a bunch of fashion accounts if you couldn’t give a shit about fashion.
How to decide what to search for
The best way to search for people to follow on Twitter is to brainstorm a list of the sorts of content you want to see in your timeline. For example, here are just a few of my interests:
- Blogging (duh)
- Film and TV
- Mental Health
- Lifestyle blogs
Now I have that list, I can search for relevant accounts to follow. You could use Twitter’s own search box and search for “mental health blogger” as an example, but I actually find Moz’s Followerwonk Twitter bio search tool to be much more effective. It’s completely free and simple to use. Just search for keywords (put quotation marks around them for an exact match search) and you’ll be presented with a list of people to follow who use that keyword in their bio.
Pro tip: don’t neglect your Twitter bio, as it’s a great way for others to find you.
Be wary that Followerwonk will present you with the HUGE accounts first with silly amounts of followers. Whilst there’s no harm in following these necessarily, you want to also be following smaller accounts that you can engage with. More on engagement later!
Look at their profiles
Before following people on Twitter, take a look at their most recent tweets. Is that content of interest to you? If the answer is yes…follow! If not, you may want to rethink. Otherwise, your timeline will end up crammed with rubbish you don’t want to see.
Grow Your Twitter Following Step #2 – Join in Twitter chats
It seems that everyone and their cat has their own Twitter chat these days. That’s OK though, as Twitter chats are a great tool to help you grow your Twitter account. Twitter chats are basically dedicated times where people can join and chat, often answering questions posed by the organiser or a “guest host”.
Elaine has a great resource which lists all the Twitter chats, so definitely go check that out. Find chats you can do around your lifestyle, and see which ones you enjoy the most.
Keeping up with Twitter chats
An issue that people sometimes have with the Twitter chats is that they can be hard to follow along, especially really active ones with lots of bloggers involved!
I recommend using Tweetdeck, and setting up a column for the chat hashtag. This will then show you all the tweets in that chat. You can easily scroll up and down to catch up on conversations if you need to! Set up another column for your notifications so you can see them come in as people respond to you, like or retweet what you have to say.
How they help you grow your Twitter following
So how can Twitter chats help you grow on Twitter? They basically give you access to people you may not have engaged with before. I always go on a bit of a stalkathon after a chat is finished and click through to all the bloggers I’ve seen engaging in the chat that I’m not already following. More often than not I find quite a few new people to follow!
The other benefit of Twitter chats is very often at the end the host will ask people to share their blog link. Definitely get involved in this by dropping a tweet with the hashtag and a short message saying that you enjoyed the chat, and what people can expect from your blog as well. I’ve seen traffic spikes post-chat on several occasions as people are often fishing for new blogs to enjoy!
Grow Your Twitter Following Step #3 – Engage, engage, engage!
So Twitter chats are all about engagement, but your general Twitter usage should be too! If you want to grow your Twitter naturally, it’s all about building relationships. It’s no good following thousands of accounts and not talking to any of them!
If you are following a lot of people, it can be difficult to find content to engage with sometimes. However, you can create Lists on Twitter of your “favourite” bloggers that you want to engage with on the regular, or alternatively, you can just spend a bit of time every once in a while having a good ol’ scroll through Twitter until you see something you want to respond to.
Knowing what to engage with
The types of tweets you should engage with is really up to you! My only recommendation here is to have something “valuable” to say. That might just be that you think the photo a blogger has shared of their dog is beyond adorable, or it might be something “deeper” and more insightful.
Much like getting comments on our blog posts, bloggers love getting people responding to their tweets as it starts a conversation.
What to avoid
OK, so this might come across as slightly controversial, but I personally feel their are types of engagement you should avoid. Firstly, pointless ones that come across as exactly that – if you reply to a tweet with something that the recipient can’t really respond to, what’s the point?
I would also avoid confrontation. Unfortunately, we seem to live in a world at the moment where a percentage of the population think opinions are fact. If you disagree with a blogger, a healthy debate can be OK but can also end up turning into full-on #dramz. Feeding trolls is not a good way to grow your Twitter, so if you see a deliberate attention grab, it’s often best to turn the other cheek.
So there we have it! How to grow your Twitter in a way that is natural instead of trying to cheat the system with mass follow/unfollow sprees, begging for followers through F4F crap or straight up being a prick by paying for them.
Got any other ways that you use to grow your Twitter following? Let me know in the comments!