When I joined Twitter in 2010, I quickly maxed out my following once everyone who remotely knew me had followed me. I hovered around 100 followers for three years.
Last week I passed 1000 followers!
My Twitter following has grown by 900 followers in 9 months. I have not subscribed to any “pay for followers” service. I haven’t had anything unexpectedly go viral. And most of my followers are not “follow to get followed” junkies. My following has come through intentional, steady effort.
Here’s what I’ve done and plan to keep doing.
1. I started adding value.
Instead of just tweeting my own thoughts, I started bringing attention to the thoughts and actions of others in two ways.
- I add a comment to my retweets. Instead of always hitting retweet I will sometimes hit quote tweet and add a few words like, “Grt thought!”, “Nicely said.” “Thks for sharing.” These additional comments often get me a follow from the author of the original tweet.
- I tweet links to blogs with good content. I have found some great bloggers over the months, and I make it a point to share their new posts and not just my own. Pointing towards the good content of others only helps grow your own following.
2. I discovered my best time to Tweet.
I schedule the majority of my tweets the night before using Buffer. This allows me to think about what kind of content I want to share the next day instead of randomly tweeting as the day unfolds, more about that in point #3.
Buffer also shows me analytics on when my tweets are retweeted. I’ve discovered my best times to get retweeted, and I have set up my Buffer schedule accordingly. Here is my current schedule:
3. I ditched my multiple twitter personalities.
I use to tweet whatever I was experiencing at the moment.
Reading a book – tweet a quote.
In a conversation – tweet a joke.
In church – tweet an insight.
While your tweets should reflect your personality, they shouldn’t reflect multiple personalities. Click to Tweet
It’s conflicting to see a person tweet a profound insight followed by a generic rant or a crude expression. We all have conflicting thoughts and experiences, but it’s best to let your tweets portray your more consistent self.
4. I included “Tweet This” buttons in my subscriber emails.
I use Mailchimp to send my subscribers emails. Every time I post new content on the blog, my subscribers get the content by email. For example, subscribers received this post in their inbox at 6:30am today. Not a subscriber? You can sign-up right below this post.
I use to only include the first few paragraphs of a blog post in my email and then ask subscribers to “Click here to read more…”. Now I put the whole post in the email and include tweet buttons for sharing.
My email subscribers are my faithful readers, so I want to give them an opportunity to share what they read without having to spend time going to my website. They were kind enough to give me their email, the least I can do is say what I’m going to say in my emails.
5. I avoided “Twitter Tourette’s”.
“Twitter Tourette’s” is when a person fires off multiple tweets back to back and then goes silent for days. Such on/off tweeting screams of inconsistency.
Tweeting once a day in a consistent tone will gain you a following faster than tweeting at random moments of inspiration.