MacMost Now 235: How To Get People To Follow You On Twitter

Learn how to build a following on Twitter using a selection of techniques to create an audience that is interested in what you have to say

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at how you can get people to follow you on Twitter. So, if you're interested in building an audience on Twitter there's several things you can do to get more followers. Here's some information from a post I wrote for the new "Guide to Twitter" section at MacMost.com/guidetotwitter.
So the first thing you want to do is go into your settings and look at your account settings. Make sure you are using your real name as a name there, even if your Twitter name is an alias. This way people can find you if they're looking specifically for you. Then check your one-line bio. Make sure it's descriptive, make sure it includes keywords that describe the types of things that you'll be Tweeting about and who you are and what you do. Also look at your More Info URL. It should link to your homepage or blog. If you don't have a homepage or blog then go and create a simple homepage at some web server so that you can put biographical information there, so people can look and find out if you're worth following. Then when you've done that, also look at your profile picture. Make sure that it's something that looks pretty decent and people will see and recognize you if they know you personally, or will get them to want to follow you if they see your profile picture.
So the simplest way to get a specific person to follow you is simply to follow them. Chances are by default they're gonna get an e-mail saying that you have started to follow them and they may go and check you out. It really depends: if they've got thousands of followers then they're probably sick of getting these e-mails and they don't pay any attention to them. If they only have a hundred or so, then they probably check out each and every one. This is when it's key to have a good profile picture and description, so when they check you out they'll see that they want to follow you.
And once you're following them and they're still not following you, one thing you can do to get their attention is reply to them. You can reply to them using the standard method on Twitter or using one of the clients or just by putting "at" and their Twitter name and then responding to a question they've asked. Or you can prompt a new question asking them directly. Now, some people check their responses like that all the time, other people rarely do. So it could be hit or miss. And just because they see that you've responded to something they've done might not mean that they'll actually start following you.
Now, if you just want to get more followers in general, one of the things you want to do is probably Tweet about hot topics. You want to Tweet about hot topics that are a subtopic of what you're gonna talk about. In other words, I would want to Tweet about things that have to do with Macs, but not necessarily politics. But if your topic is politics, then you'll want to Tweet about all the hot topics today. Now look into hash tags. Hash tags are the little things that start with the pound or number sign in front of them and you can actually follow them using the Trends feature with a lot of Twitter clients or at the Twitter site to see what trends people are following. These are things not only that people are Tweeting about and including the hash tag in there, but people are also looking at these hash tags to see what other people are saying. These topics have a following, so if you start participating in the communication about one of these topics, you may start to get followers who are following the topic but not necessarily you.
The really simple and obvious method to get more followers is if you have a good friend, one that you can ask a favor of, who is on Twitter and has lots of followers. You may want to ask them to go and pitch you to their followers. Say, "Hey! There's another cool guy to follow." And you can do that on Follow Friday, which has become sort of a tradition.
And here's a really obvious one, but it's amazing how many times people don't do it. You gotta get your Twitter ID out there! If you've got a blog or a homepage or you regularly post comments or posts at other blog sites, well you've got to include your Twitter ID: you gotta include it in profiles, you gotta include it in posts, you gotta include it on your website. It's amazing how many people have an actually decent Twitter following, but you go to their homepage and there's no mention of their Twitter ID.
Now with all these suggestions the important thing to remember is you should be focusing on quality, not on quantity. It's not that hard actually to get ten or a hundred thousand followers if you really just throw a lot of these techniques out there. But most of these people are not even going to be paying attention to what you're saying and may not even be interested; they just followed you because everybody else was. What you want to do is get a very small group of people that are very interested in what you're doing. And a good way to see if you're successful is when you ask a question you get a whole bunch of responses. There's a whole lot of people out there with tens of thousands of users that probably don't get any responses when they ask a question and there's people with only a few hundred users, when they ask a question they get responses from a large number of them.
That's a quick look at how to get new Twitter followers. Another way to do it is to make sure you post your Twitter ID on your video podcast. Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.