How I Got So Many Twitter Followers
(This is based on when I was mainly promoting my small online fashion boutique on Twitter, but can work for all sorts of small businesses, blogs and websites!)
I am often messaged and emailed asking how I got so many Twitter followers. My follower numbers may seem impressive, but I have worked hard for them every day on Twitter for three years now. There’s no quick fix and it’s taken me a long time and a vast amount of effort! In this blog post, I’ll explain what works for me.
I take part in hashtag hours every day aside from a Saturday. These are a great way to network, chat to others, and lots of participants may follow you. There are several lists of hashtag networking hours on the internet and it’s a case of working out which ones you like, which ones work for you and which are relevant.
I take part in some female business networking hours, Mum networking hours, business networking and also some local networking hours. Each networking hour has its own format, so it’s worth watching the hashtag and seeing how it operates. You can also simply ask the host or introduce yourself as a newbie in the hour to find out more. Some let you post promo tweets for example, with the aim being to retweet each other as much as possible. Others don’t like self-promotional tweets and have a topic or questions which everyone discusses.
Even though there are no hashtag hours on a Saturday, I will still be active retweeting others and replying to queries as much as possible. So Twitter for me is a seven day a week job! I can easily spend anywhere from 2-7 hours per day scheduling tweets, tweeting, interacting and taking part in networking hours.
There are also several retweet hashtags and accounts which I use every day to increase my reach when promoting my small online shop. These can change, but some of my current favourites are:
#kprs #womaninbiz #fpsbs #eshopsuk @ukbusinessrt #atsocialmedia #flockbn #ukhashtags #87rt
Retweet hashtags come and go, so it’s worth keeping an eye on whether you are being retweeted using these and reviewing them regularly. Spread them out too for better visibility and reach. It’s also nice to return retweets to the retweet account owners too as much as you can. If you win some ‘Twitter awards’ you may also gain access to exclusive hashtags for retweets too.
Now my numbers are so high I do get followers regularly without trying, around 100 per day. Whether they have stumbled across one of my tweets, or I’ve shown as a recommended person to follow or they’ve seen me using a certain hashtag, I just don’t know, but I guess I tweet so much I’m easy to stumble across. But as much as I get tons of new followers per day I can also lose nearly as many. My numbers steadily increase so I am always gaining more than I lose.
This could be people closing accounts, losing interest, not getting a follow back from me or getting sick of all my tweets and retweets! I do tweet a lot. I’m active in several hashtag hours and I also use retweet hashtags throughout the day to showcase my items for sale or blog posts. To those with a few hundred followers, maybe even 1000, these tweets could flood their newsfeed. But for those who follow a few thousand, my tweets can start becoming a needle in a haystack. I have tweeted a lot less to test different numbers of tweets per day and the less I tweet, the less sales, website traffic and engagement I get.
My numbers really boomed when I started running giveaways. The best days to promote these are #winitwednesday and #freebiefriday - I got 600 new followers in just one of these days once! They aren't necessarily going to be customers as it's a lot of compers, but I hope if they like the prize then they may just spot something they like in my promo tweets.
Also, the more followers you have, the higher you show in search results which in turn can gain more followers.
Engaging with followers is important. I reply to every comment I receive. From a customer point of view, I've asked a question to a couple of brands and not got a reply so they've lost a sale from me.
When I have time I also try to find and follow accounts which have similar interests to me and who I'd like to retweet - small UK businesses, crafty people, bloggers, healthy food, natural beauty, etc. It's great for filling my feed with interesting stuff, but also around 30% of users will follow back and could become customers, retweeters or even friends! But take your time and be careful not to follow hundreds at once as Twitter could think you're a spam account.
I’m not sure if you've seen it in the news or heard it on Twitter, but they are going to change the way their newsfeed works and introduce an algorithm. I've no idea how this will affect tweets and businesses, so hopefully it won't make all our efforts go unnoticed (like when Facebook made big changes to pages a couple of years back, grrrr)! We'll have to wait and see.
Oh, I also enter award days on Twitter. These boosted my numbers and allowed me to take part in exclusive hashtag hours. For example @theopaphitis runs a #SBS award which you can enter on a Sunday between 5-7.30pm I think. It took me around a year of entering, but once I won I joined a great community and I even have many #SBS customers now.
The #queenof and #kingof days are also good to enter with @adg_iq and @adg_moore which I think are on a Thursday or Wednesday, they'll tweet about them on the day or just ask them! If picked as a winner they will retweet when you use the relevant # and send out promo tweets weekly about you.
There are many more and once you start networking more on Twitter I am sure you’ll come across them.
One word of advice though – don’t get hung up on the numbers. It’s better to have 100 engaged followers/customers, than hundreds of thousands of followers who never interact with you or show any interest in your business. Also, a huge amount of people on Twitter are inactive. Many set up an account and don’t ‘get’ Twitter so don’t return. For others it’s simply not the right social media platform for them. Or I’m sure there are many other reasons. I bet around half of my followers are inactive now.
The one thing I strongly advise against is buying followers. I’ve never tried it, but it would be a waste of money to have a bunch of followers who are fake. There is no benefit. You can check an accounts fake followers at fakefollower.com (My real followers are 97% - there are always some bots that follow all accounts)
I could go on and on, but I'll leave it there for now.
I wish you the best of luck with your Twitter account and please feel free to ask me any more questions. I’m not an expert, but happy to share my own experience of this amazing platform.