Five Tips for Getting Twitter Followers Without Buying Them
You must admit it: Growing your Twitter following is incredibly difficult. There are more than 328 million active users, and people are struggling to get their attention – and, for good reason.
Twitter is one of the most popular and powerful social media networks. As it turns out, 63% of users in the United States get their news on Twitter. And, as far as ad revenue goes, the engagement rate grew 208% in 2016.
As with any social network, growing an audience doesn’t happen overnight. It takes focus, ongoing commitment, and the willingness to try new strategies.
Sure, you may buy followers and make it look like you have an audience, but that’s just a vanity metric. The fake accounts you buy won’t do much to help advance your engagement – they’re not going to engage with you or click on your links, or tell you which strategies are working and which need to be adapted.
So, let’s learn how to increase Twitter followers the right way.
1. Share Content That Gets Attention
Try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes for a moment. Would you want to be hit with cold sales pitches about products and services you don’t care about, or would you prefer to receive educational and entertaining content?
Well, your audience feels the same way.
But, what type of content should you create and share?
Here are some ideas:
- Educational Content: Online users hate it when content feels deceptive. They want educational content packed into engaging formats. So, rather than Tweeting about products and offers, focus on creating and sharing how-to articles, videos, whitepapers, and eBooks. Millennials especially appreciate leadership, so by sharing helpful, relevant content, you are sure to become an authority in your niche.
- Aspirational Content: Whether it’s getting a better job, a bigger house or more valuable skills, we all want to improve ourselves. Share tips and advice about how your audience could achieve the lifestyle they’re dreaming about, and you may get new followers.
- Use Images: Tweets that include images generate about 313% more engagement than those without. The more people comment and share your Tweets, the higher the chances of attracting new followers.
A great example of a Twitter account that shares engaging content backed by creative images is Dollar Shave Club, see the Tweet below:
Why is it so freakin' hard to lose those last 15 pounds?https://t.co/mLylmXwrW4— Dollar Shave Club (@DollarShaveClub) September 27, 2017
2. Leverage the Power of Hashtags
If you don’t know what a hashtag is, here’s a brief definition: they are keywords or phrases used to categorize messages and make it easier for users to find discussions about a certain topic. #GameofThrones, for example, will allow you to find all the Tweets and mentions about the HBO hit series.
Check out this humourous take on a Game of Thrones scene that has attracted a ton of engagement:
But, how do you ensure that the hashtags you’re using will attract the right audience?
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use Popular Hashtags: By focusing on hashtags that people are already using, you increase your chance of reaching a wider audience. For example, you could use the hashtag #dayinthelife to give people an insight into the life you lead.
- Be Specific: Don’t rely solely on popular hashtags, but try to find ideas that are relevant to your specific audience. For example, #InvestInWomen will reach a more targeted audience and more potential followers than a general hashtag like #Lifestyle.
- Don’t Hijack Sensitive Hashtags: In the heat of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Kenneth Cole took advantage of the revolutionary wave of demonstrations to promote their products. That’s the definition of inappropriate, insensitive, and an ignorant hashtag hijack. Don’t use hashtags, especially those focused on social causes and tragedies, if you don’t understand the context or if you don’t know what they represent.
3. Focus on Improving Engagement Rates
Just like any other social media network, Twitter isn’t unidirectional. In other words, if you want to increase your followers, you need to engage with people regularly.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Follow Others: One effective way of growing your audience on Twitter is to look for people that are relevant to your profile and follow them first. Most of them will return the favor and follow you back, especially if your profile expresses who you are, your values, and mission.
- Reply to Users That Mention Your Account: An active account, where you reply to mentions, share other Tweets, and engage your audience in conversations, may entice people to follow you. Allocate at least one hour every day to track mentions and reply to them.
- Participate in (or Host) Twitter Chats: One of the things that make Twitter such a powerful social network is its ability to engage users in real-time. Twitter chats, for example, can generate engagement, boost the visibility of your profile and, consequently, attract new followers.
Below is an example of an account promoting one of their Twitter chats about the movie Nightmare on Elm Street:
4. Expand Your Reach With Contests
One of the simplest and most effective ways to put your Twitter profile on the map and reach out to a wider audience is to run a contest. Yes, it’s a bit sneaky, but it works.
For example, you could run a “Follow and Retweet to Win” contest to increase the number of your followers.
Sure, most of the new followers you’ll get will only be interested in winning a free product or voucher, but try to think about it this way. Now you have the opportunity to show them what you're all about and allure them with high-quality content. Maybe they’ve followed you for the perks and benefits, but you now have a chance to turn them into loyal followers.
5. Monitor, Test, and Adapt
We know what you’re thinking: this isn’t necessarily a tip about how to get more Twitter followers. And, you are right, but that doesn’t make this step less important.
Perhaps the most important part of putting the strategies above into action is monitoring and measuring them to see if they truly deliver the results you were expecting.
Look at engagement rates, clicks, impressions, and so on to determine what motivates people to follow and engage with you on Twitter.
Maybe participating in Twitter chats isn’t as effective as you hoped and it actually costs you more resources than the results it delivers. Pay close attention to your analytics and adapt your strategy accordingly.
When it comes to growing Twitter followers, you need to think long-term. Sure, buying likes or followers will give you the impression that you’re not shouting into the wind, but you need to ask yourself: Does it actually result in more engagement?
Growing your Twitter organically, through quality content, clever use of hashtags, and other strategies, might take a while, but in the end, you will have an audience that regularly tunes in to learn and engage with the things you have to say.