How To Gain More Followers On Twitter?

January 8, 2017 by Nedim Talović

How To Gain More Followers On Twitter?
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Currently, there are more than 300 million active Twitter users per month which tells us how important this social network is.

However, if you want to see traffic increase from Twitter you need to gain more followers. So, in this blog post I’ll show you:

  • How to gain more followers on Twitter?
  • Which content type to post?
  • How to choose appropriate hashtags?
  • Which tools to use?

and many other tips and tricks.

Let’s dive into Twitter’s world.

#1 Post Great Content

You know what they say: Content is the king. Well, everything starts with a great content. Your Tweets have to be interesting if you want to acquire an attention.

The real question is how to know what performs well and what doesn’t?

Luckily, it’s not so hard. You can always use tools like BuzzSumo which lets you find the most interesting Tweets. It’s not only about Twitter, you can see stats for Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Google+ as well.

Now, let’s Imagine that you work in Fitness niche and because of that, I’ll type it into the text field and click on Go!

Fitness search at BuzzSumo

After that, I’ll simply sort the results by Twitter Shares.

Sort by Twitter Shares

Additionally, I can display only results for the past month (to see what’s hot in the last 30 days).

Filter by date at BuzzSumo

When I scroll down a bit, I can pick a few articles that are very tweeted these days:

BuzzSumo Fitness PostsFor example, an article about 85 years old marathoner got about 4,000 twitter shares. In simple terms, I know that what stories attract a lot of attention.

That’s it! Tweeting great posts makes your profile more interesting which leads to more followers.

#2 Hashtags

Did you know that only 24% of the measured Tweets contained hashtags? What’s more, Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement.

24% of the measured Tweets contained hashtags

Still, it doesn’t mean that you should add unlimited numbers of hashtags because adding more than two hashtags will show a 17% drop in engagement.

Furthermore, using hashtags will lead to more retweets, according to Dan Zarella.

Effects of hashtags on RTs

I don’t need to say that there’s a strong correlation between a number of retweets and number of followers. The more organic reach you got, the more followers will be there.

However, sometimes it can be hard to find popular hashtags. Fortunately, there are dozens helpful tools.

One of them is RiteTag which tells us that using #starwars hashtag might not be useful because too many people are using it now. Instead of that, using #theforceawakens seems to be much better.

Rite Tag

It’s not the only reason why RiteTag is a great tool – without this tool, I wouldn’t know that #contentmarketing gets:

  • 325 unique Tweets, per day
  • 2.44M hashtag exposure
  • 217 retweets, per hour
  • 0% Tweets with images, per hour
  • 0% Tweets with links, per hour
  • 0% Tweets with mentions, per hour

Content Marketing Hashtag

Also, I can see trends, geographic distribution, popular accounts that used #contentmarketing mostly, languages, etc., but these last data is available only if you pay.

You can also use tools such as Hashtagify and Trendsmap.

#3 Follow More

There are users that practice “follow to follow” strategy, but I wouldn’t advise that.

Having so many followers who follow let’s say 10,000 or 15,000 users doesn’t have a high engagement rate. Just ask yourself how does their home page looks alike and what’s more, what are chances that you’ll get their attention.

According to sysomos.com, 95.84% of Twitter users have up to 499 followers and your goal should be on their list.

Followers data by Sysmos

Nevertheless, you still need to follow more and engage with other REAL people. The whole idea is to get yourself into their discussions. Become an authority. Help them.

Another reason why following thousands of other users is getting banned or hitting the following limit. So, be AWARE.

Firstly, there are two reasons why you can’t follow people:

Technical follow limits are definitely more interesting. You can follow up to 5,000 users and after that, there’s a number of additional users you can follow which is different for every account.

It’s based on your ratio of followers to following.

Twitter Following Limits

Also, you can’t follow more than 1,000 users per day and of course, it’s also forbidden to follow aggressively.

If you’re wondering what’s aggressive following, here’s the definition.

What is aggressive following on Twitter

#4 Ask For Retweets

How many times have you seen “RT” as a part of someone’s Tweet? Probably a lot.

It’s because this CTA (Call-to-Action) is very efficient.

Please ReTweet results in 20.30 RTs per Tweet, in average.

Please Retweet vs Please RT

This image above suggest, that it’s much better to use Please ReTweet instead Please RT.

Another way of asking for RTs would be using an email! Yes, you read it correctly because email outreach is an excellent way not only for link building but for getting shares and RTs.

Here’s what you need to do.

Firstly, find the list of influencers because they have so many likes and retweets. As for me, I’d definitely go with Followerwonk.

In the menu, click on Search Bios.

Followerwonk

After that, in the search box type content marketing (e.g.) and click on Do it.

Search for "content marketing" influencers

Now, we have the list of all Twitter users with “content marketing” in their profiles. I’ve sorted it by social authority.

Why?

I suppose they got a high number of retweets.

Kerry Butters

For example, I randomly picked Kerry Butters, so I’ll open FollowFly, enter her username and click on Show.

FollowFly

Once you click, you’ll see the list of all Tweets ordered by most likes within the past 30 days.

FollowFly Results

Additionally, I can order by retweets and change date range (show for the last year), but I won’t because the first Tweet looks interesting. It attracted 45 retweets and 51 favorites.

The whole idea is to outreach those people by email and ask them to retweet your Tweet which is similar.

Get who RT and Favorited a Tweet

I know it might be a boring and hard job, but it’s definitely a free way of getting new retweets, increasing the number of your organic reach, and at the end of the day, a number of followers.

#5 Tweet Consistently

As you might expect, you won’t see results over the night. That way, you need to be CONSISTENT and PATIENT.

According to Dan Zarrella, Tweets between 100 and 115 characters are 34% more likely to be retweeted than Tweets outside of that range, with a 99.99% confidence interval.

Effect on length on RT

Furthermore, you need to Tweet at the right time. For example, the most popular hour to Tweet in the United States is between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. (Central Time), study says.

Most Popular Hour To Tweet In The U.S.

However, you should know that CTR depends on by day of the week. For example, the best day to Tweet is Saturday because your CTR should be ~2.54%.

Why is this so important?

Twitter Activity by Day

It’s important because it tells you the quality of your followers, but before that, let’s make clear average CTR is also influenced by the number of followers, too.

Here’s what study says:

  • Users with 50 – 1,000 followers had a 6.16% CTR
  • Users with 1,000 – 5,000 followers had a 1.45% CTR
  • Users with 5,000 – 10,000 followers had a 0.55% CTR
  • Users with 10,000+ followers had a 0.45% CTR

So, if you have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers and CTR below 1.00% it means that your followers are those who follow everyone and whose main goal is to share spam.

In fact, consistent tweeting will let you learn more about your followers so you will know where to focus. Without it, I doubt you can increase your number of followers. The reason why I’m writing so much about CTR is measuring.

#6 Engage With Other Users

Since nobody likes automatic messages, you need to put yourself into a discussion with other influencers.

Your Tweets shouldn’t be only about links. You can interact with other users. That way, you will increase the number of followers.

However, let’s identify actions that are actually engagement:

  • Retweet
  • Favoriting
  • Replying
  • Mentioning

Creating a quiz might be a great way of getting new customers.

Natural Gas Solution

As you might expect, this tweet from Natural Gas Solution resulted with a huge number of replies, retweets, and favorites as well.
Furthermore, you can use photos to drive engagement. That’s something that even Twitter recommends on their blog.

For example, research has shown that Tweets with photos get 313% more engagement.

As for me, this tweet is perfect for two reasons:

  • Extends character limit
  • Strong CTA

Another interesting solution is tapping into trending topics by using Twitter Polls.

Have you started using Twitter Polls? If not, start today!

#7 Use Different Tools

Remember when I told you that being consistent is very important?

Well, yes, sometimes you simply forget to publish something new or you’re away from the keyboard.

Luckily, there’s a huge number of tools which can help you to share on social media. One of them is Buffer, and I personally like it because of its scheduling feature.

Optimal Scheduling

I don’t need to worry when to publish since Buffer does it for me. Here’re the results:

Your Optimal Schedule

How does it work? Buffer has looked for the past 5,000 interactions on my profile. Furthermore, they pick some timeslots outside my top engaged times to find unexplored, new optimal timing areas.

Buffer isn’t the only tool. Here are some other great tools:

  • HootSuite
  • Kuku.io
  • Jarvis
  • Stacker
  • Dlvr.it
  • SproutSocial
  • GoCinchy Social
  • SocialScheduler
  • SocialPilot
  • Over-graph

#8 Add Widgets On Your Website

Another way of acquiring new followers is adding Twitter widgets on your website or blog. Specifically, there are many types of widgets but I will explain only a few them.

Firstly, you can add a small widget like this (above and below your blog posts).

Follow NASA

Surely, it depends a lot on your number of traffic, but trust me, you will start acquiring new followers over the time.

In fact, this isn’t the only way of acquiring new followers. Here is what you can do more. You can embed some of the tweets in the middle of the blog post. Here’s how it looks.

Jellymetrics Tweet

The code for specific tweet can be generated at Twitter Publish, so embedding Tweets or profile isn’t that hard.

But, if you don’t know anything about coding, you can always use Twitter WordPress Plugin. Here are some of its features:

  • Customize Embedded Tweets
  • Convert Twitter URLs into rich embeds
  • Encourage sharing with Tweet buttons
  • Grow your Twitter and Periscope audience
  • Measure advertising success
  • Customize enabled features across your site or network

According to BuiltWith, there are 402,006 websites using Twitter Follow Button. Being on this list is necessary, don’t you agree?

#9 Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is not as dead as Matt Cutts says. For those who don’t know, he’s the former head of the web spam team at Google.

Here’re three common reasons why people do guest blogging:

  1. Build backlinks
  2. Get new traffic
  3. Build an authority

The latest reason is connected with your number of followers. Authority in the Internet community and a number of followers are in a strong correlation.

Anyway, there’s one other interesting fact.

Below every guest blog post, there will be your short biography and guess what – links to your social network profiles.

Here’s one from Kissmetrics’ blog post.

Kissmetrics Guest Blog Biography

The lesson is that If you write a lot of guest blog posts, you’ll definitely increase your number of followers. No worries.

How to find a guest blog post opportunities?

Simple. Just search for fitness + “submit a guest post”.

Submit a guest post

Or fitness + “guest post by”.

Guest Post By

Google will return you list of blogs that accept guest blogging. Now, go and send the pitch!

#10 Avoid Being a Bot & Don’t Spam

Please limit the number of Tweets because:

  • People who follow you will unfollow you
  • People who don’t follow won’t follow you

Their home page shouldn’t be everything about you.

In fact, low Tweet frequency may be ineffective, found Track Social. On the other side, when a brand Tweets 2 – 5 times per day, they got more RTs per Tweet, by up to 300%, compared to when they Tweet only once a day.

Retweets by Tweet Frequency

SocialBakers shows us how engagement decreases after the third tweet.

Engagement Decreases After Third Tweet

However, these are just statistics. You should always measure your own data and figure what works for you.

Furthermore, you should also avoid an auto-DM when someone follows you, says tech journalist Diana Adams.

Diana Adams

I hate this.

Here’s how my Twitter inbox looks alike:

Direct Messages

If you wish to DM someone, then find his blog post and write a custom message, manually of course. Never, and I mean never, send an automated message. People just don’t like it.

#11 Visit Conferences

Although we use social networks every single day, real life meetings are a much better way of engaging with others in the industry.

People at a conference

There are two approaches when you’re visiting a conference:

  1. Speaking
  2. Attending

The first way is definitely more effective, but the second will work as well. Here is what you need to do.

Talk to every single attendee, ask a couple of questions and in the end, ask for the follow. Yes, tell him: “Hey you know, I’ll follow you on Twitter. I’d like to read your Tweets because I think you’re very interesting person”.

A classic ego building. I bet he or she will follow you back. That way you can increase your number of followers. Networking.

Speaking is definitely easier because it takes less time and effort. You simply need to tell to the audience: “If you enjoyed listening to me, here is my Twitter profile so you can find similar content there, too”.

Simple as that.

#12 Verify Your Profile

When you become an authority in your space, you should think about verifying your Twitter account.

Twitter Profile On Twitter

However, not every account will be verified. Here is what types of accounts get verified.

Twitter Verify

The verified account gives you trustiness and when someone visits your Twitter profile, there are bigger chances of getting a new follower.

Here is what your account must have when submitting a request:

  • A verified phone number
  • A confirmed email address
  • A bio
  • A profile photo
  • A header photo
  • A birthday (for accounts that are not company, brand, or organization account)
  • A website
  • Tweets set as public in Tweet privacy settings

For individual accounts, Twitter requires a copy of your official government-issued photo identification (passport or driving license).

Also, Twitter may ask you why they should verify an account. Now, click here to send a request.

#13 Leverage Twitter Cards

Twitter Cards allow you to attach rich media experiences to your Tweets. The first reason why you need to leverage Twitter Cards is because it gives your Tweets more attention (better CTR).

In fact, interesting Tweets and Twitter profile are increasing chances for getting new followers.

Jellymetrics Twitter Card

However, it’s not the only reason why Twitter Cards are amazing. They’re amazing also because implementing Twitter Cards lets you use Twitter Card Analytics which is the key to Twitter success.

Twitter Analytics

Here are some of the most important Twitter Card Analytics features:

  • The overall data (larger circles) for Tweets, impressions, clicks, app install attempts and Retweets include all Tweets containing a link to your website, posted by anyone on Twitter.
  • Provides a look at how the overall data in Your Snapshot has changed over time
  • Segments the apps, websites, and widgets that your influencers tweet from.
  • Ranks the pages with Twitter Cards that got the most clicks, making it possible to determine what content is driving the most interaction.
  • Surfaces the top accounts that tweeted links to your content, so that you have the option to converse with influencers
  • Indicates the percentage of users that have viewed your Twitter Cards that also have your app installed
  • Learning from your data tells on where your focus should be.

#14 Use an Appropriate Photo & Bio

Bio & photo is the first place that everyone who visits your profile is going to see. It answers if you’re a professional or not.

Biography needs to have a strong CTA. Here are Twitter Biography ideas:

  • Use keywords
  • Embrace the space
  • Tell what do you believe in
  • Include name of your employer
  • Avoid meaningless buzzwords
  • Add social proof
  • Use humor

As for me, I think the most important is a social proof.

Elon Musk

Check out how Elon Musk’s Twitter Biography is so effective.

OK, you’re not Elon Musk and you probably won’t succeed like him, but if you have ever written a book or if you contribute to some powerful blogs like Forbes and Huffington Post, you can share it with the community.

On the other side, when it comes to using a photo, I think it needs to have relevant to your work.

For example, as a startup founder, you can have a photo as Elon Musk has, but as a businessman, you can’t have a photo as Amy Schumer (she’s an American stand-up comedian).

Amy Schumer

 

So, be professional unless you’re a comedian.

Conclusion

Finally, we can conclude that increasing Twitter followers is not an easy job. It takes time and lots of efforts.

You can’t expect to see fabulous results within a few days or even weeks – being consistent is crucial for the business.

Never and never forget to measure. It tells you what works and what doesn’t. Try posting in different times and eventually you’ll see what makes the best results.

Creativity is undoubtedly important. As for me, I wouldn’t limit my activity to posting links since it’s not the best and only solution. I think there’s always enough space for asking questions, posting quizzes, interacting with other users, etc. Posting links is just one part of it.

Never forget to post up one or two hashtags since they’re increasing your engagement rate up to 21%.

What are your Twitter strategies? Share in the comments section.

Comments

  • Jonah January 9, 2017

    Hi Nedim . I’m Jonah from Hashtagify.me. Thanks very much for the mention 🙂 Have a nice day!

    • Nedim Talović January 9, 2017

      Hi Jonah. You’re welcome 🙂 Have a nice day too!

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