Twitter has been instrumental in helping me grow my business, get new clients and referrals, and meet other web designers and entrepreneurs - so I thought that this would be a pretty relevant subject to cover. Want to know the REAL secret to getting more Twitter followers? I'll bet you do. Well I'm going to tell you, and I'm not even going to charge you a premium of $29.99 for my top secret 3 page ebook from a one page site that involves about an hour of scrolling, several price cuts (as long as you buy within the next 5 minutes and 34 seconds), and a set of free steak knives. No, this dear readers, is freemium information. *insert additional meaningless buzz words here*
The Tension Is Killing Me, What's The Secret?
Well, with no further a-do or lengthy introduction, the "secret" is to follow people. You don't need to be interactive, you don't need to be some sort of super re-tweeter, you just need to follow people. Oh, and NOT with some spammy automated program that also retails for $29.99 with a free set of steak knives.
Allow me to demonstrate with a graph of my Twitter followers over the last week
That's a pretty clear picture eh? - "oh but that's only ONE example!" I hear you cry.
Ok I feel your pain, let's zoom out and take a look at a monthly view of the scenario.
Starting to see a pattern emerge? You should be! You follow people, a (relatively high) percentage of them follow you back.
Super Important Disclaimer
Do I endorse abusing Twitter by following thousands of people for the sake of bollstering your own follower count? No. Am I saying that this will make you successful on Twitter? Again - absolutely not.
This is simply a method I've used to grow my Twitter network, not JUST my followers - and I didn't wander round Twitter just clicking "follow" on any old person, what would be the point of that? No - I'm in to web design, so first I went on the profiles of other web designers who I talk to and started following some people that they were following. Why? Because I get on well with them on Twitter, it's a fair assumption to make that they probably follow other people who I'd get on with.
For the big lot of 100 new people to follow yesterday I needed someone who was relatively high profile in the web design world, and who I also got on with well - so I grabbed 100 of the people who Chris Spooner is following.
I believe that this makes a big difference - if I was interested in cats, and all I tweeted about all day was cats, I'm pretty sure that none of the people who Chris is following would have bothered to follow me back. But because I'm in the same niche/industry (whatever) - I may be of interest to them.
Another thing to take note of is that this by no means a guide to keep followers, if you post useless stuff all day long, you can be sure that people will unfollow you again pretty quickly. It's not a get rich quick scheme.
In closing - this strategy is open to abuse like ANY OTHER. I may have picked a huge link-bait title, but I want to grow my Twitter network, both in terms of following interesting people, and being followed - not to spam the hell out of everyone.
Enjoy - go out there and follow great people! Here's a short list of my recommendations for people to follow
Why Aren't I On That List?
Because these are the people who reply to me pretty much every day and always have interesting things to say. If you're following me and not listed here - talk to me more often!
* (I'm sure I've forgotten a couple of people who do deserve to be on that list, so please don't be offended, send me a DM and I'll add you)
Brett, who commented below, has very kindly emailed me to let me know that unofficial Twitter policy is that you shouldn't add more than 200 followers a day. This seems very reasonable to me, and I certainly won't ever come close to that - but it's a handy bit of info nevertheless!