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If you have a Twitter account, you no doubt have received a spammed DM or seen public spammy tweets promising quick and easy ways to get 10,000s of new followers overnight.
Amazing but true!
Well, the spammy part is true, at least.
I’m here to tell you the real secret magic formula for growing your Twitter network. So, sshhhh! Keep it a secret just between you and me, okay?
Follow other Twitter accounts. Most people will follow you back if you follow them. Look for people in your geographical area — like using NearbyTweets — or those who share professional and personal interests. WeFollow is a good tool for that, or simply Search Twitter. If you read blogs, more often than not, the author will have a link to his/her Twitter account.
Also, many business and brand accounts will follow you back if you follow them — at least the social and smart business Twitter accounts will.
Be interesting. (I heard Guy Kawasaki say that once during a Webinar.) What that means is tweet links that others may like. If you have an observation, strange thought, or quip, tweet it out. For other tips from Kawasaki, see his blog.
@ people and brands you follow. That is, start a conversation or reply to questions or comments they tweet. That gets you noticed (if they are not following you already), and shows you are paying attention to them. Also, if you have a compliment for a company and its on Twitter, make sure you @ the company’s Twitter handle to ensure it will see it. Remember, a lot of social media is about the E.
Participate in Twitter chats. There are Twitter chats for many, if not most industries and interests on Twitter. They typically have a set hashtag and chat regularly. You can find them by searching Twitter for a key word or two. Ones I’ve joined in include #blogchat, started by Mack Collier; #HireFriday, started by Margo Rose; #MoparChat, started by @MoparUnlimited; and #Motorama, started by Berry Lowman.
Amplify others and participate in #FF. #FF is simply followFriday — when you give a public tweet-out to those you follow and encourage others to follow them as well. While some tweeple may just give a #FF and the Twitter handles, it helps to give a word or few about why the people you #FF are worth following. Also, retweet (a/k/a RT) others’ tweets you like. Help spread their good word, and you’ll be seen as someone who contributes to the greater Twitter community.
Make time to tweet. You don’t need to have your Twitter app, desktop tool or browser open 24-7 to be active on Twitter. If you use Twitter for personal reasons, check in 2-3 times a day — like morning, at lunch and while watching TV in the evening. It’s okay to skip a day, but try to be consistent. If you’re a business, you pretty much should have Twitter up whenever you’re working. It can be in the background but have it up, and set up searches related to your business. For business-related Twitter tips, see my past posts of using search for a Twitter community and Twitter tips for business.
Like most things in social media, it’s about being social — with a purpose — and it takes time. There are no quick and easy ways to get more followers.
So to quote the well-known Greek god of victory: Just do it.