It is easy to forget the ‘social’ element when we talk about social media. We have all, at one time or another , watched our follower / friend / like numbers going up and wished there was a way of increasing them. In the case of Twitter we are given suggestions of people we might like to follow but they are based on the profiles of people we are already following and I have found that many of those accounts have been inactive for a long time or rarely follow back – and if you want to be social it has to be a two way street!
However, I have discovered a way to increase the number of people I am interested in following and who are likely to follow me in return. This way, not only do I discover interesting new accounts that are relevant to me, the people behind these accounts actually seem to interact a lot more – putting the social back into social media.
So what did I do? There are no cheats, no purchasing followers or help, nothing against the terms of service or against the spirit of twitter – just plain common sense.
Before You Start:
- Take a look at your Twitter profile and make sure it is up to date. People generally feel more comfortable following an account that has a profile photo (I know I do) so if you haven’t already, replace the generic egg with a picture of you.
- If you are a blogger or company, check the link to your site works.
- Read your profile from the point of view of someone who doesn’t know you. Would you be interested in following you?
- It may sound obvious but check the spelling!
- You don’t have to have a header or a personalised background – but it certainly gives the impression that you care and are an active social media participant.
Building Your Following:
Step 1. List the accounts you enjoy following
Put together a list of those accounts you talk to or see chatting or a regular basis. This is a great starting point because you want to connect with the people who are already social – not just those who have high follower numbers themselves
Step 2. Check out the accounts you follow
Next, make a list of the accounts that you follow but are not necessarily talkative themselves.
Step 3. List the accounts you aspire to be like.
If you are a craft blogger list the top craft blogs. If you are a contest fan, list the other top contesters etc.
Step 4. Look at their followers
Now you have a big list of accounts look at their profiles and click on their “Followers” button. Be careful not to choose “following” – you do not want to blindly follow the same accounts that other people do!
Step 5. Start Following people
Follow the first 50 – 100 accounts on the follower’s list. These will be the latest people to have followed and are therefore more likely to be currently active. Personally, I choose not to follow those accounts that are obviously spammy or trying to sell you something – these tend not to be especially social.
Step 6. Enjoy your new social media connections
If you have followed these steps the people you have followed will see that they have you as a new follower and hopefully follow you back.
The Theory On Why It Works
If you have chosen new people to follow according to the steps listed above, those accounts are more likely to be interested in the same things you are. For example, when I am followed by a family focused blogger I always follow back to see what they have to say. A new follower who lists in their profile that they have an interest in Autism is someone I am likely to chat with. An account belonging to someone I am a fan of – a guaranteed follow back from me!
Keep The Ball Rolling
Now you have gained all of these new followers make sure you are worth following. Welcome them to your following family, ask them about themselves and their interests and engage with their tweets. Virtual friendships are just the same as face to face ones – the best are a two-way street!
I would love to hear about your experience building your twitter following and if you would like one more follower I can be found here @RedheadedPatti