Monday, August 17, 2015

Social Media Basics for Writers, Part X—10 Tips to Help Writers Get More Twitter Followers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Once we see the value in Twitter, the next thing we need to know is how to get more followers. 

I haven’t run into many people who don’t want to increase their numbers, so today I’m going to share 10 tips to help writers 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.

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.

Don't protect your tweets!
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 & Author—passionate for life's stories & God's path. #Militaryfamily blogger #steampunk #vets #scifi #socialmedia4writers

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. 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.

Make sure you're sharing valuable content with
your Twitter updates.
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!

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.

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. 

10 Tips to Help Writers Get More #Twitter Followers - #SocialMedia expert @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

With these 10 tips, getting more #Twitter followers is easy - #SocialMedia expert @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

If you've missed the previous posts in this series, here they are:


  1. Good Morning Edie, Once again your post is full of great information. I will learn how to use Hootsuite today. A great tip I learned...Thank everyone who follows you. I have two different pictures of a twitter bird saying :Thanks for following". I alternate them. I usually get 5+ new followers a day. It is a slow pace but it works. Thank you my friend.

    1. Cherrilynn, slow and steady is the way to go! but once you reach a certain point, chances are you'll begin to get a lot more followers each day. When that happens, you can cut back on the "Thank You's" otherwise your feed will become uninteresting. It's a tightrope, but definitely manageable! Blessings, E

  2. I agree with Cherrilynn. I'm getting about the same growth as she is and it works. I nearly always follow back, but first I look at their tweets. If I see offensive content or language, I don't follow them. But that's not very often.

    1. Ane, I look at their profile pic and description. Nine times out of ten, inappropriate content will show up there. I just don't have time to investigate everyone who follows me. Good thoughts! Blessings, E

  3. I was paranoid about using Twitter until you showed me the way, Edie. When I got serious about it a little over a year ago, I had about thirty followers and couldn't imagine how I would grow those numbers. By using it every day and adhering to your advice, I now have almost 1200 followers. Thanks for always giving us such great tips. :)

  4. By the way, our post today on is about using social media, and we are promoting your book, Connections. :)

    1. Andrea, thank you! I shared it on my social media networks today. Also I LOVE Rise of the Machines, Kristin Lamb's social media book you also mention. Blessings, E

  5. Thank you again, Edie. Always good advice.

    1. Pat, thank you for the encouragement and for stopping by! Blessings, E

  6. Edie,

    Great advice in this article about twitter. Thank you. Even though I know people advise against buying followers, I have tried it several times over the years through You do not get quality followers doing that but it is a way to instantly boost your numbers--so for some people I think it is worth trying and not always a no no. I continue to grow my followers and recently went over 150,000. I continue to have great things happen from twitter.

    Check out Terry Whalin on twitter

    1. Terry, I've always shied away from buying twitter followers and I'm glad to know there are some reputable ones out there. Thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to comment and share your insight with my readers! Blessings, E