Recently we decided to test how easy it would be to gain targeted twitter followers for free, and fast. Here is how we genuinely added over 800 followers in a month, without spending any cash. These are easy to follow steps, but be warned it will take some effort. You will need to be able to put in an hour a day but the benefit is that you will grow a twitter following that is:
- Interested in what you tweet
Which at the end of the day is what matters because what good are thousands of followers if they are not interested in what you are tweeting?
Step 1: Make your profile look awesome
When your name is recommended for people to follow they may only see a short snippet, so you need your profile to be clear and concise. Here are a few quick tips for a good twitter profile:
- Ensure you have a fun, preferably smiling photo on your twitter.
- Keep your bio snappy but informative.
- Don’t be afraid to change it, tweak it as need be.
- Hash-tags in your bio are not recommended but you can always try one.
- Have a good, bright twitter header image that conveys what you are selling (you!).
Step 2: Curate awesome content.
There are many people on Twitter who have made a career out of content curation, this content needs to be in-line with your followers expectations and most importantly – interesting.
There’s a couple of way’s to do this, my way was two fold: a) Use a RSS reader such as Feedly. Feedly allows you to keep a list of your regular blogs that you like to read so you can easily read (and curate) content at a glance. Simply create a catalogue of your top blogs for your chosen subjects and use that regularly to curate content. b) Search for content further down the Google results that is fresh, no more than a week old and page 4 onwards.
You’re looking for the gold that doesn’t hit page 1 of Google. Search Google for your chosen keyword, then select “Search Tools”. Select the “any time” drop down and change it to “last week”, thus showing you only content Google has indexed in the last week (Can you smell the freshness?). Now the key is to not stop on page 1, scan quickly through the results and go as deep as you need into the results. Often it’s worth jumping straight to page 5 or 10, you’ll know when you see gold because it will make you want to read it. You have to get good at scanning the pages, click through on to URL’s and quickly decide if it’s right for your Twitter.
Step 3: Tweet your awesome content out regularly
You don’t need to sit and manually tweet this content, instead use a service such as Buffer. Their free version lets you schedule a fair amount of content in advance. Add the plugins and bookmark bars to make it easy to add the content you find direct into Buffer.
Ideally you want to be tweeting 2-3 times a day, just enough for new followers to think your interesting but not too much to think you will flood their Twitter feed. Play around with the scheduling, see what times work best for you. For example when I tweeted at 7 am two days in a row I instantly got 10 favourites compared to other times, test – rinse and repeat. Alongside the scheduled tweets, take the time to re-tweet at-least one tweet a day, ideally from a different person each time.
This should be easy after step 4 as you will have some great new followers. Finally if you can every couple of days tweet an image that helps your twitter feed look engaging, search hash-tags on twitter and use the “Photos” option to view only photos or head to Pinterest and find some quality images there. Then download the image and tweet it out alongside a well selected hash-tag.
It’s all about packaging you (or your product) as a good account to follow for high quality, engaging content. Do this for a couple of days before moving on to step 4.
Step 4: Find awesome tweeps to follow
Here’s the secret twitter doesn’t tell you when you first sign-up, to get followers in any decent amount you need to follow other people (Sounds obvious once you realise I know). So get following, but not just anyone… no!
Find awesome people that you want to connect with, who share in your love of the content you are putting out there, build that brand not on followers who follow just for the number but because their interested in you. Once you start to engage in this you will find that your name is recommended to others to follow that you are not currently following by Twitter itself, don’t feel the need to follow back if you don’t want to. There will be countless spam accounts that start following you, personally I choose not to follow them.
There are tools out there that allow you to search at a highly targeted level for like minded twitter profiles. Take for example a search for “social media manager” and perhaps couple this with a location of UK. Using these tools (or even the advanced Twitter default search) it is possible to hone in on a specific audience to follow. The next criteria you want to look for in following people is their follower-following ratio. If someone is following 200 but has a follower count of 5,000 then the chances of them following you back are minimal. There are lots of ways you can search this technically, but by far the easiest way is to simply scan and spot for close ratios. They don’t need to be exact, look for a couple of hundred either way.
A word of warning, don’t follow too many people at the same time. This is known as aggressive following, it could get you in trouble with Twitter and looks spammy. Instead follow no more than 100 per day and a minimum of 30. Repeat the above steps for a couple of weeks before moving on to step 5.
Step 5: Prune the followers back
First thing to note is it’s not good etiquette to follow someone, have them follow you back and immediate unfollow them. Many do this to try and make their follower count look artificially good. There really is no need and it’s simply rude to do so, instead we’re focussing on those who didn’t follow back and only those who we followed over 2-4 weeks ago (Not everyone is glued to their Twitter so some may take a few days or longer before reciprocating).
With that in mind it’s time to review your follower ratio, you may or may not be aware that twitter limits the number of people that you can follow. Initially this is set at 2,000. However as you gain more followers this increases, it’s thought to be the number of followers plus ten percent. So if you have followed 2,000 tweeps with only 1,000 following you back then it’s time to begin the pruning (and to review both what content you are sharing and who you are following as something is wrong).
You may decide that some of the people you followed are offering you some great content to read and you really don’t want to unfollow them despite the lack of a follow-back, no problem. Although consider one tip here, especially when looking at those celebs you are following, is that celeb really likely to follow you back? Why not unfollow them and instead create a twitter list of your favourite celebs, thus allowing you to still keep an eye on their tweets but freeing up your following list.
Curate good content, schedule it to tweet and find good tweeps to read it whilst watching your ratio. If for some reason you are not finding people following you back then your content isn’t working for that audience, either change the content or find the right audience. Don’t forget to interact with your new audience too, after-all it’s called a social network for a reason!