The title says it all really, so let’s just get straight to the tips! Some of these you can do the moment you finish this article, some will take you a little more time or effort, but all of them are free to implement yourself.
Oh, and just before you get started, please click here to follow me on Twitter and I’ll follow you back :)
1 – EMAIL LINK
Add a ‘Follow me on Twitter’ link to your email signature. People who know you personally or already engage with your company are more likely to follow you on Twitter.
2 – INCREASE FREQUENCY
Increase the frequency of your tweets. The best number of tweets per day is apparently over 20, but that is probably overkill for most of us. There is a correlation with the number of tweets and the number of followers.
3 – 120 NOT 140
Being retweeted can help boost your followers so make sure you leave room in your tweets for the person retweeting you to add their comments. 120 is a good maximum even though Twitter allows for 140 characters.
4 – BE CHARITABLE
Donate an amount of money to a worthy, topical cause for every new Twitter follower you get before a certain date – then tell everyone on Twitter you’re doing it of course. Everyone wins :)
5 – EMAIL MARKETING
Make sure you include a clickable link and call to action to follow you on Twitter in your email marketing.
6 – WEBSITE CALL TO ACTION
Make sure your website includes not only the Twitter logo (that, when clicked, takes your visitor to your Twitter profile of course), but also includes a hyperlinked ‘call to action’ (such as: Follow me on Twitter). Add a benefit as well for extra brownie points (such as: Follow me on Twitter to keep updated with the latest social media tips).
TIP: Hyperlinked means the text can be clicked. Linked text should ideally be blue and underlined, such as does telling someone to ‘click here’ work?
7 – TIMING
Tweet when more people are on Twitter. Watch the people you follow and see when they are more active. Until you get a feel for your followers, I’d suggest tweeting at morning, lunchtime and around dinner time. Trial different times to see when you get the most clicks, retweets and replies.
8 – CHECK YOUR BIO
Have you 1: completed your bio? and 2: included your keywords in your bio? A completed bio gives people confidence and builds trust, making them more likely to follow you, and including your keywords describes at a glance what you tweet about, attracting more people who share your interest and therefore are more likely to follow you.
9 – USE FACEBOOK
Post a status update on Facebook asking your Facebook friends and fans to follow you on Twitter.
TIP – BE ORIGINAL
Avoid just repeating the same content on Twitter and Facebook or there’s no point for people to both follow you and be a fan.
TIP – TWITTER FEED
You can also add a Twitter feed tab to your Facebook profile, like this one.
10 – USE YOUR KEYWORDS
Use keywords that are relevant to your topic, products or services in your tweets. Look back at your previous tweets and you may find you use your keywords a lot less than you think you do.
11 – DON’T SPAM
Twitter is about inbound marketing. You’ll have a lot more success with it if you don’t spam everyone with an endless feed of sales pitches. A good rule to follow is 1 in 10, with 1 in 10 tweets being direct marketing pitches and the other 9 being content of interest on your topic/s. Remember you can create that content (tweeting links to blog articles you’ve written is great).
12 – ASK QUESTIONS
Ask questions in your tweets to start a conversation. When people reply to you in their Twitter feed, your Twitter username will appear in their feed that their followers will see. This is especially effective when chatting to others with a lot of followers. Their conversation with you adds social proof.
13 – FOLLOW OTHERS
Follow others on Twitter who have a lot of fans and follow those more likely to follow back. Check first if their following and followers levels are relatively equal (or if the people they follow is higher than those who follow them) which tells you they are more likely to be polite and follow back anyone who follows them.
14 – USE HASHTAGS
Look for the common hashtags being used that relate to your topic/s and use them in your tweets. Don’t go overboard with this though. Search for the topic you’re going to tweet about to see if / what hashtags are being used. New to hashtags? This Mashable article is well worth a read: How to get the most out of Twitter #hashtags
15 – SEARCH
Use Twitter search, such as search.twitter.com (there are a few Twitter search sites out there), to find people talking about the same topics you are and follow them. Remember the people that follow them are also more likely to be interested in the same topics.
16 – GET LISTED
Add yourself to popular Twitter directories, such as wefollow, and list yourself under the keywords that best describe what you tweet about.
17 – SPECIALS
Use Twitter to regularly promote specials or offers only promoted via Twitter, then tell everyone about it using Facebook, email marketing, your website, your email signature …
18 – ADD YOUR PHOTO
Give your business Twitter account a face. If your profile photo is a logo or other impersonal image, change it to a photo of yourself instead.
19 – KEEP IT RECENT
When deciding who to follow, remember a lot of people join and leave Twitter within a few months, so focus on following those with a good history of tweets as well as recent tweets to build a community of people active on Twitter.
20 – TRENDING TOPICS
When you notice a trending topic that relates to one of your topics, take note of the hashtag or topic keyword and add your tweets to the conversation.
21 – WATCH YOUR WORDS
Another tip for increasing your chances of being retweeted is keeping an eye on the words you use. Here are the top 20 most retweeted words and phrases (and the least retweetable words as well), with some of the most popular words and phrases including: please, retweet, you, social media and how to.
At the end of the day, as you’ve probably realised after reading these 21 ways to get more Twitter followers, there simply isn’t a magic secret that guarantees you thousands of followers on Twitter overnight.
It is all about listening, creating and communicating. Take the time to learn all you can about getting the most out of Twitter. Be relevant and add value at all times.
Like most social media, you’ll find organic growth is the best kind anyway, especially when using Twitter for business. It really shouldn’t be a popularity contest! Having fewer followers that are highly engaged with you is better than thousands of followers who never read your tweets.