Ways to Increase Your Twitter Following Ethically is an interesting title in its own right, because there are so many people seeking to create huge followings on Twitter. Many have been decried for questionable methods. Doing so in a manner that’s community oriented and not spam-like is at the heart of the social media ethos.
So this list of 12 suggestions (as compiled by Allison Fine, Beth Kanter, Kami Huyse and I — a.k.a. Zoetica) is a conversation starter on how to do that.
Ethically is an extremely subjective word, so please comment if you feel we are off. Our goal in creating this list is to provide the knowledge we have to the people who have asked for it, and to trigger a discussion about intentional community conscious ways to build your following.
We hope other successful Twitterers/bloggers will continue the conversation in a meme, and spread this more mindful approach towards Twitter followings. In that vein, we have blogged this publicly, and I would like to invite Ike Pigott, Lauren Vargas, John Haydon, Allyson Kapin, Shashi Bellamkonda and Shonali Burke to continue the conversation.
1) Have conversations with influencers. If they reply, it’s likely to garner a few followers with similar interests.
For example, if you are into good government discussions, a great place to start is
Micah Sifry and his techpolitics list: @Mlsif on Twitter.
http://twitter.com/Mlsif/techpolitics. A second place is commenting with Congressional Twitter feeds. You can find those feeds here http://tweetcongress.org/
2) In addition to following lists and having conversations, actually follow these people. Some will follow back! We recommend that you don’t simply unfollow if they don’t follow back.
Per #1, try to engage them in a conversation. See if you like their Twitter feeds. You may want to keep following them regardless of a reciprocating follow baack.
3) Add your account to Listorious so people can find you. Other Twitter directories like Mr. Tweet can help, too.
4) Create your own lists of people you find interesting. This
compliments the people you enjoy following, and encourages them to follow you back.
5) When you tweet content, make sure it’s not all about you and tweet
interesting items and valuable information (See my post last week on my five preferred kinds
of tweets). Also consider Beth’s What Gets Retweeted Most Often?
When tweeting, we recommend a 3:1 ratio, three tweets about another person or organization
to every one about you. Some advice from Beth for Nonprofit
Executive Directors/CEOs/Presidents who Tweet can be found here.
6) Introduce your Twitter followers to each other so they can garner
more value. This is what Beth and Allison call Network Weaving.
7) Participate in hashtag # referenced conversations or start your own
conversation using a hashtag (#) for an event. These are
usually being tracked by several folks and can lead you to larger
followings with people that have similar interests. Monitor key
words and phrases and respond appropriately.
8) Promote your Twitter address on other properties, online (Facebook,
LinkedIn, Google etc.) and offline (business cards, for example). Integrate Twitter into your outreach whenever possible.
9) Use the same name across your properties. For example, I try to be geoffliving
wherever I can. Some call this personal branding, I just call it common
sense. People associate a name with a handle and will naturally look
for you by that handle in wherever they are.
10) Design your twitter profile to get more followers. Check out Darren Rowse’s six tips here.
11) Use Twitter’s native tools to find people you know in Facebook and your
email accounts that might already have Twitter accounts and follow
them, then let them know that you followed them
12) Tweet often, also use tools like HootSuite or Cotweet to schedule some
tweets and be present, but be available for follow up.