I have been on Twitter for years. YEARS. And I’ve loved it for a very long time. I love the quick conversation and the ability it gives you to meet lots of lovely new people very easily and gatecrash their conversations until they notice you and you try to become their BFF.
There are so many people that I wouldn’t know as well as I do now, or at all if it wasn’t for Twitter. 52,000 people in fact. Just kidding, obvs (I hate myself a little bit more every time I write obvs, but sometimes it is just the right ‘word’).
So many people seem shocked when they see I have over fifty thousand followers on Twitter, and lots ask how I got so many. I think sometimes people find me and see my Twitter account and think I’m a really big blogger. Mwahahaha. Obviously I’m not, and I have felt like a bit of a fraud when people think it’s impressive having so many followers.
If anyone asks though I am honest and say that anyone can get that many followers on Twitter, it just takes time.
How I got over 50,000 followers on Twitter, and how you can too
What I do, and have been for years, is to follow people in my niche (so generally parenting bloggers) and then use some online tool, like ManageFlitter.com to unfollow those that don’t follow me back after a little while. That way I can follow more people. I have done it this way for years and years and it works. As I write this I have 52, 923 followers on Twitter and I have built that up just by using this method. Obviously I get regular natural followers too, and more as I’ve increased my follower count.
You can spend a few minutes a day doing this, or even less if you’d rather, but it really doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, and it’s easy to do (just a bit boring).
So basically, all you are doing, is:
- Go to Twitter and use the search function to find people in your niche, search for ‘mummy bloggers’ or whatever. You can change what you search for each time so that you get different people come up. For example next time you could search for ‘daddy bloggers’ and then ‘parent bloggers’. OR (and I prefer this way because it’s quicker) you can go to someone’s account who is in your niche, and who has a lot of followers or who is ‘popular’ and follow their followers. Usually the people that will be following them will also be in the same niche (bored of saying niche now. Niche) so they are your target audience.
- Follow a load of new people. You could be picky here and actually look at each person’s bio, but this is supposed to be a quick thing, and I wouldn’t bother.
- A few days later go to ManageFlitter or whatever tool you choose to use for unfollowing, and unfollow those who don’t follow you back.
- Rinse and repeat.
- Bask in the glory of looking popular on Twitter.
A couple of tips:
- Make sure you leave it a couple of days before you unfollow those who don’t follow you back, as they may not have been on Twitter for a day or so, or had time to look at who has followed them.
- Don’t follow too many new people all at once. If you follow thousands of people Twitter might see it as spammy as lock your account. I’ve always found following a few hundred people to be fine, but just go slowly at first.
I know some people don’t like doing it this way, and would rather build up a more ‘natural’ following, and I can understand that. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with actively following people. Of course, I don’t agree with those people who follow people, only to unfollow them as soon as they follow back – so they keep a low follower number and look really popular – those people are knobs.
I actually barely actively build up my Twitter following any more – I think I have a good amount of followers and I don’t have the time to keep doing this when I could be spending it on something blogging-related, plus I can’t be arsed. But I do think it’s good to do occasionally as there are always new people to follow on Twitter and always more people you could follow who may be interested in your blog. When you follow someone they will often have a look at your bio to see if they want to follow you, and potentially check out your blog.
Obviously it’s important to interact with people on Twitter and not just constantly share your links, otherwise there’s no point, and people won’t want to follow you back. By engaging with people, sharing content your followers may be interested in, and being sociable, your followers will increase naturally anyway. But if you want them to increase to a good number or faster, then this is a good way to do it.
I have got some blog opportunities through my Twitter that I probably wouldn’t have got without the amount of followers I have so for me it’s a great thing to have. And for a long time, before I started actively using Facebook for blogging purposes and worked on my SEO a bit, Twitter was my highest traffic source. It’s definitely not as easy to get people clicking on your blog link on Twitter anymore – nearly every tweet is a damn link, and there is a lot less conversation. But it can still be a good source of traffic if you use it well, and can be a great way to get more eyes on your blog posts, and hopefully some will become regular readers.
I hope this is useful. I’ve been asked a lot about it over the years, but I’ve never got round to writing anything about it before. Plus I feel like people might think I’m showing off! Which I promise I’m not. We can’t all be #ProTweeters and #Probloggers can we??
I am aware that it’s not all about the numbers, and as with anything it’s quality over blah blah blah – if you have a zillion followers but only ever share links, then your Twitter account may not be much use to you (unless you’re Kanye). But numbers definitely do help, plus it makes you look popular even when you’re not, and that can’t be a bad thing can it…
If you have any questions about Twitter or any of this, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to answer them for you!