How to Get Real People to Follow You on Twitter

twitter followersIf 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

  1. Look for tweets in your community that you can reply to. Then reply.
  2. Look for tweets in your community that you help with or solve a problem. Then solve the problem.
  3. Look for tweets that use specific search words that relate to your business or industry and retweet them. Preferably add a comment.
  4. Add something personal like a greeting or comment to a retweet. I usually send a “Hello from Sweden”.
  5. Before you follow someone check out their stream to double-check they’re not a bot. Bots tweet garbage.
  6. Watch out for hashtags (#) related to your industry, services, skills or business interests: e.g. #dogtraining #sushi #marketingtips
  7. Don’t tweet out marketing messages 24/7. It makes you sound like bot.
  8. Retweet your followers tweets.
  9. 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?