As I mentioned on my monthly goals post, I want/need/plan to increase my twitter follower count. At the time of writing I have just two, down from a high of (if I remember correctly) five. So there’s some work to be done there!
The problem is, I’m rubbish at twitter. Not that I’ve really tried that hard before, but I’m never sure of the best way to engage with people and get that follower count up. Despite my account being over three years old, I’m still very much a twitter newbie. So let’s get educated.
So the first place to start is with the twitter analytics page (https://analytics.twitter.com). Here’s mine.
So my top tweet in March (with a staggering 62 impressions) used a hashtag #snowmaggedon which was a trending topic at the time. But my best one in February was a random reply to someone (I can’t even remember the context) that got 326 impressions, a few likes and a retweet (My first ever, I think).
Interesting, but there’s not really enough data there to be useful. It does show that the best way to use twitter is to engage with other people rather than just talking to yourself, but overall I think it’s best to come back to that later. Let’s go and see what else I can find.
The next place to start is that tantalising ‘learn more about increasing your followers’ link on the analytics page. That was a dud, though – just as I suspected, it just led to a page about promoted tweets. Not to say that’s not a useful thing for businesses, but I’m trying to do this organically. To google, then!
The Forbes link is a useful one, and worth a read. I read all that plus a few other articles, but it all basically boils down to the same advice:
- Tweet often (5 times a day or so)
- Engage with people – reply to them, @ them, retweet etc
- Use images where possible
- Don’t self-promote all the time
- Be interesting!
There’s plenty more to it of course. Things like what words work best, when the best times to tweet are and so on, but I won’t repeat it all here. Just read the article!
Also of note is the first ad link, for twiends.com. That piqued my interest, so I went and had a look. As I suspected, it’s basically a sharing scheme for follows. You follow a few people and then you show up for other people to follow you. I had a bit of a play around with it, and within a few short minutes my stats looked like this:
Not bad for a few minutes work. I suspect if I kept working on that I could easily hit 1,000 followers or more in a couple of days. I stopped it there though. Partly because I ran out of interesting people to follow and was just ending up following random people, but mainly because the new followers I’d picked up were clearly just playing the same game I was. They obviously have no interest in me or my twitter, they’re just there for the follows. There’s going to be little or no engagement with most of them and I suspect I’ll end up losing most of them again in the next week or two. Still, it’s a start and I did actually find some good people to follow. So it’s an interesting experiment if nothing else.
Quality over Quantity
All things considered though, I’d rather have a handful of followers that are interested in what I have to say, rather than hundreds or thousands of followers that don’t care at all. Otherwise it’s just a vanity game! This is why I picked just 50 as a target for followers this month – I knew I could play this game and pick up a whole bunch of followers like this, or even go to fiverr and buy a thousand or so followers easily. But I want to do it properly. The hard way. I suspect half of my twiends.com followers will have unfollowed me by the end of the month anyway, so I don’t feel so bad about cheating a little.
In the meantime, I’ve set up a free account on buffer.com which I plan to use to set up a bunch of scheduled tweets each day, on top of that I’ll do a few manual tweets as well as a few replies, follows etc and see how things pan out from there.