When it comes to Twitter, I don't think I have met anyone who does not want to get more quality followers. There are some who claim that quality matters over quantity, but honestly, that's just not true. (And the people who make that claim tend to have a smaller number of followers…just sayin'!)
It's not that quality doesn't matter. Far from it!
It's that quality and quantity aren't mutually exclusive.
Now, the folks who argue against quantity at all costs do have some valid points. Let me bring a few of them up.
If you are just adding people without a reason, that isn't going to help. In other words, if they aren't your ideal prospect, why have them as a follower?
Similarly, if you are buying followers, that is putting you at a huge disadvantage! For starters, that's against the Twitter terms of service. And the same holds true, if they are not your ideal target market, they aren't going to care what you share on Twitter.
But honestly, adding lots of Twitter followers who aren't interested in your product or service is just wasting your time and theirs. If you are new to Twitter, you might even end up skewing your ratio of following to followers. This can limit you from following the people who might be most interested in your products or services.
How to Get – And Keep – More Twitter Followers
1. Complete your bio
Any time I make a list about how to get more Twitter followers (or more friends on any social media platform), I always start with the bio. I feel like I must sound like a broken record, and that anyone who's followed me for any length of time thinks I’m repeating old ideas.
Except – there's still a LOT of people on Twitter with incomplete bios!
Not only does it make it harder for people looking for your product or service to find you, but it just plain looks bad because it looks like you do not care!
Complete your profile with keywords related to your niche and you will quickly notice an uptick in your follower count simply because people can find you.
2. Include a professional profile picture
Very few people I know follow people without a profile picture of themselves. (I would say no one, but there are probably that random one who still will.)
But seriously, the vast majority of people you want to follow you on Twitter are not going to follow you if your picture looks like that default “egghead” that Twitter gives you when you first sign up.
Ideally, you should use a professional quality photo, and make it the same one you use on all of your profiles. Make it easy for people to know it's you online.
3. Use your real name as your username if it is available
This is getting harder with the many people on Twitter, but it is worth a try. If your real name isn't available, try a combination with your middle initial, or add _The_ or TheReal or something similar in front. If you absolutely cannot find a version of your name that still is understandable, try something related to your industry. (@SocialMediaKen or @FitMamaJill are just a couple of examples.)
4. Create a Twitter landing page on your website and link to it from your bio
When you send people to your website from your Twitter profile, a nice touch is to create a landing page just for them. Something along the lines of “Hello, thanks for coming over here from Twitter…” etc. Include this link in your profile so it's visible in your bio. Many people will not click through to your full profile.
This is a great way to build your mailing list! Include your amazing free opt-in offer to make it easy for people to subscribe. Remember to make the next step you want people to take crystal clear!
5. Make it easy for people to follow and tweet you
Again, it sounds obvious, right? But you would be surprised how many people don't make the “Tweet This” and “Follow Me on Twitter” buttons on their websites easy to find!
Make sure you have social sharing buttons on every post and page that people might find valuable and want to share. Make how to follow and retweet you right from your website very obvious.
6. Create content people want to share
Make sure your content is valuable to people and worthy of being shared! This is the number one way to make sure that you actually keep the Twitter followers you have worked hard to attract. If your content is interesting, people will naturally want to share it with their friends, many of whom will follow you as a result.
7. Make your Tweets stand out – be funny, poignant, or otherwise unique
If your Tweets are like everyone else's, they are just not going to stand out from the rest. There are some inspirational quotes that everyone uses, some articles that everyone shares, etc. Do not be just like everyone else. Otherwise, people will ignore your Tweets.
8. Keep your Tweets short to make them retweetable
Make it easy to share your Tweets by making them short enough to retweet without having to be heavily edited. You especially do not want the “via @yourusername” to be cut off the retweet – that takes away the value for you!
9. Do not overuse hashtags or @usernames
This is one of the things that causes the biggest loss of followers. (This and over promoting, which I will get to in a moment). Actually, this is usually a subtle form of over-promoting, and it makes your Tweets much less enjoyable to read.
Use no more than two hashtags per Tweet. Don't append a long list of usernames to a single Tweet (especially on the memes like Follow Friday). Most do not follow someone just because they came through on a #FF Tweet. Okay, maybe the bots do.
If you want to keep and get more Twitter followers, keep the hashtags and @usernames to a minimum so you don't appear spammy.
10. Use good manners – respond to @mentions
By responding to people who have tweeted to or about you, you are showing basic manners of conversation. You would not ignore someone who is talking to you in person so make sure you are not doing this on social media. Twitter really is just a great big ol' conversation! So make sure you are treating it that way.
11. Do not use too many abbreviations or make it too hard to understand
Do you greet someone by saying “Hi, how R U 2day?” Well, maybe it sounds the same, but you get the point, I hope. Twitter abbreviations make you look less professional. Find a way to be concise and use complete words when at all possible in your Tweets.
12. Share others' content
It is like the golden rule – treat others the way you want to be treated. If you want others to RT you, take the time to share their content too. Make sure it's valuable to your own followers, but be as generous in promoting others' content as you would like them to be with yours.
13. Make your content easy to share
But – make sure you are also producing lots of great quality content of your own. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to share someone's content and discovered only retweets of others' content. Make it easy for people to share your original content.
14. When you share others' links, include a brief comment on why
Do not just RT someone without including a brief comment. This will help your followers know why you think it is worth sharing with them.
15. Do not over promote yourself! Use the 80-20 (or 90-10) rule
This might be the best tip of all. Make your content valuable. Don't over promote yourself.
Some people go by an 80/20 guideline, others by a 90/10 rule. Either way, promote yourself no more than 20% of the time. Make sure you are providing content that is valuable to your audience at least 80% of the time (and maybe more).
Whew! There's a lot of great info here. I am sure you will find several tips to help you gain and keep more Twitter followers who are interested in what you have to offer.
Interested in more information about Twitter? Check out my post about Twitter marketing ideas to drive more traffic to your website.
What is your favorite way to build your following of quality people on Twitter? Leave a comment below!