If you’re just starting out on Twitter, you might fall over in astonishment that some folks have 50,000 + followers. Regular people. Not just Ashton Kutcher.
“Do I need to follow everyone who follows me?” someone asked me yesterday.
“No, not really,” I replied.
A lot of the people that keep following you are just robots. Or people who follow you in the hope they’ll get a follow back for the sake of looking good because, hey, 50,000 followers is awesome.
Last time I checked I had something in the region of 2299 followers and in return I follow about 1,900. That’s pretty meagre for someone that’s been on Twitter since August 2008.
But I’ve never worried about generating a massive list of followers.
Why ? Because right from the start I wanted a list of people that I know and can engage with. Sure, I probably only have about 15-20 people who I really engage with on a weekly basis but it doesn’t matter it’s so few. Real conversations, genuine network building, participating in the sharing economy [check out the podcast] is, to my mind, much more significant than having a list of 50,000 that you can’t manage.
So instead of trying to follow everyone, bots and all, build a list of real people instead.
How to Build a List of Real People Followers
- Look for tweets in your community that you can reply to. Then reply.
- Look for tweets in your community that you help with or solve a problem. Then solve the problem.
- Look for tweets that use specific search words that relate to your business or industry and retweet them. Preferably add a comment.
- Add something personal like a greeting or comment to a retweet. I usually send a “Hello from Sweden”.
- Before you follow someone check out their stream to double-check they’re not a bot. Bots tweet garbage.
- Watch out for hashtags (#) related to your industry, services, skills or business interests: e.g. #dogtraining #sushi #marketingtips
- Don’t tweet out marketing messages 24/7. It makes you sound like bot.
- Retweet your followers tweets.
- Add a comment when you retweet to really start a conversation.
Over to You
If you’re active on Twitter, I’d love to know what persuades you to follow someone. Do you just follow those peeps who follow you ? Do you use Twitter search ? Or do you choose your tweeps with care?