Monday, May 6, 2013

Social Media Monday—Top 10 Ways to Get More Twitter Followers

Social Media Tips

I do a lot of teaching about social media online and at conferences all around the country. One of the things I’m asked about the most is how to increase my Twitter followers. I haven’t run into many people who don’t want to increase their numbers, so today I’m going to give you my top 10 ways to get more Twitter followers.
Why do I want more Twitter followers?
  • It gives me credibility
  • It increases my reach, and makes it easier to spread the word, no matter what my message.

10 Tips to Get More Twitter Followers
How do I get more Twitter followers?

1. Be sure to follow people back. It’s considered good manners to follow people back who follow you. This doesn’t mean you have to follow people who make you uncomfortable or who are trying to sell you 10,000 followers. Use common sense, but unless there’s a good reason be nice and follow people back.

2. Don’t PROTECT YOUR TWEETS. On your Twitter profile there’s the option to protect your tweets. This locks your account and doesn’t let people follow you unless you approve them. If you feel the need to protect your tweets, you really shouldn’t be on Twitter. This social media platform is a place to get found, not lurk.

3. Make sure your 160 character ABOUT ME gives a good picture of who you are. You don’t want to over use hashtags here, but you do want to cover all the things you might tweet about. Here’s what I have as my description: Writer, Editor, Wonderer—with a passion for life's stories and God's path. Author, repped by Jessica Kirkland, #militaryfamilies #vets #SciFi #mystery

Show Your Face!
4. Show your face. Always use a picture of YOURSELF as your Twitter icon. The evidence is overwhelming. People respond to a head shot where you can see the person’s smile. The only exception is if you have a business account. Then you can use your company’s logo.

5. Have a regular presence on Twitter. I Tweet a lot more now than I did when I started out. More first goal was to Tweet four to six times each day, four or five days a week. I use Hootsuite to schedule my Tweets throughout the day. Here's a post I wrote on How to use Hootsuite to help you get started. Do NOT send out all your tweets at once. This is called hogging the stream and is the height of bad manners!

 6. BE CONSISTENT with the subject of your tweets. I tweet about social media, writing, some books, and issues important to military families. Occasionally, I’ll find something that I just want to share outside of those topics, but that’s an exception, not the norm.

7. Make sure you’re sharing valuable content with your Twitter updates. Don’t make your Tweets all about you. Instead, promote others who have something valuable to say to your followers. I know it’s counter intuitive, but it works every time!

Look for Strategic People to Follow
8. Look for strategic people to follow. Here’s what I mean. I’m working on a science fiction manuscript and trying to grow my Twitter followers for that specific market. To find new people to follow, I visit some of my favorite science fiction author’s profiles. Then I click on their followers. This does two things.
1. It gives me people to follow who are interested in following a scifi author.
2. It gives me a good chance of them following me back because they’re already good about following back.

9. Reply to others publically. Twitter is a public medium and people like to be mentioned. If someone says something nice about you, or mentions you, be sure to reply publically to thank them. I also keep a list of people who regularly mention me and try to find something they do that I can mention. Here's a post I wrote on the Ways to Utilize Twitter Lists

10. Don’t use an auto responder. You may think you’re being polite, but what you’re really being is irritating. Auto responders are obvious and no one likes messages from a computer clogging up their timeline.

What NOT to do!
What NOT to do
There are several things that may seem tempting for short cuts to Twitter followers. I cannot urge you strongly enough not to try them. This is one of these times when if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
  • Do NOT buy Twitter followers.
  • Do NOT use ANY automatic programs to increase your followers on Twitter.

Twitter has very strict policies against these practices and I’ve known several people who have had their Twitter accounts suspended because of this. 


  1. Thanks, Edie. Good, practical tips!

  2. I appreciate the example of following strategic people. I didn't understand that before.

    1. Ellen, I don't think I've explained it in detail before. Thanks for stopping by! Blessings, E

  3. Agree with Pat -- excellent tips, Edie!

  4. Thanks - getting used to twitter & this is very helpful!
    Barb Winters :-)

    1. Barb, I'm glad this helps and I'm glad you're getting acquainted with twitter!
      Blessings, E

  5. Excellent tips Edie! I've learned everything about Twitter from you and think it's a lot of fun. Will tweet your post now...

  6. Also Edie, I've gotten stuck - Twitter won't let me follow anyone else (~2000) until I get more followers (~1970). Any tips (besides what you have already shared) to get past this "roadblock"?

    1. Julia, I recommend you sign up for (free version) and unfollow those who don't follow you back. Also, I'm going to do a call out to my Twitter followers to follow you. That should help get you past the roadblock. I hit the same roadblock at 2000, very irritating! Love you, E

  7. Ah Edie, I think you are rubbing off on me since I've got this one covered!

    1. You're definitely coming up to speed! Blessings, E

  8. Edie--thanks for this! One of these days, because of your help, I'll be competent and comfortable using Twitter. :)

  9. Edie, you are a wealth of knowledge and really a gift. I just recommended your blog to our group of Word Weavers who are really struggling with social media. Thanks for making it all less of a mystery!