"How do I get thousands of Twitter followers, fast?"
This is usually the first question I am asked when I start talking about Twitter. And it's the hardest thing for a new tweeter to understand as it's not about the number, it's about the quality of followers.
Using myself as an example, I teach companies to use social media to hire their people. So I am looking to have Twitter followers who work in HR, Recruitment, Talent Acquisition etc. because not everybody will be interested in articles aroung social recruiting, hiring, social media etc.
If I analyse my followers on Followerwonk this is indeed what I have created:
Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn gaining followers on Twitter is a little more complicated. You need to gain their trust first.
When I am followed by someone new, this is what I do:
I look for a profile picture - I don't like to follow eggs or logos
I read their bio - are they interesting or are they selling me something?
I compare Following to Follower numbers - are they following lots with few followers?
I scan their tweets - are there RTs, articles of interest, genuine conversations or is it simply broadcasting?
After all that, I decide if I will follow back or simply ignore them. It may sound harsh but it's true.Do you do similar?
How to gain the right followers.
1. Have an objective
If you're looking for a job, think about your target industry or sector, who would your likely boss be, what would they be interested in reading about. What is your area of expertise or your passion? Yes, you can mix the two.
If you're looking for recruits, know who you are looking for, be yourself, offer job seeker help and have plenty of insights to share about your company the real ones, not the polished PR management speak that few believe. [You may like: The Essential Guide to Recruiting on Twitter]
2. Set the scene
Use a great profile picture, where you look friendly and approachable. It's Twitter so you can have a bit of fun but remember that it reflects on you.
You have 160 characters available for your bio so let people know what you're about. Personally, I think the best ones are a mix of personal and professional.
Watch out for the new profiles being rolled out too! You'll be able to make a real splash with your cover photo in coming months.
3. Share great content
Remembering that you're gathering a following of the right people - what do they want to hear about? Share articles, insights and opinions on these topics.
You may want to read my earlier post, 5 Tools For Social Media Management, where I talk about keeping blogs & news of interest organised in Feedly and scheduling updates with Bufferapp to make Twitter easier.
4. Find people to follow
Now you have great things going on in your feed, find some people to follow. My absolute favourite tool for this is Manageflitter which allows you to search bios, followed closely by Topsy where you can search for tweets, influencers and more.
When you follow someone they are notified, and with steps 1 to 3 complete, they’ll be more likely to follow you back.
Don’t worry if they don’t follow you immediately, there are plenty of reasons why people won’t. For example, I have been known to add people to Lists rather than follow back as I find it easier to keep up! :)
You can however gain their attention by answering a question, or retweeting one of their posts and adding your own comment, or giving a Favourite to one of their Tweets (though a retweet is more powerful!)
This process isn’t fast but it will build you a great following of the right people.
Katrina Collier is an independent voice on social recruiting; speaking, training and writing about the use of social media for hiring and job search. She shows companies proven methods for effective recruitment on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and a range of small and niche sites. Companies learn to find the right people on the right sites. Katrina teaches job seekers how to use social channels to gain attention and open opportunities. When not training, Katrina is a regular conference and event speaker and writes avidly about social recruiting & social job search.