Over the past two months, I have made a conscious effort to work to increase Twitter followers on @marc_creighton. These are six things I have found that worked for me.
1 - Find your subject
Most people join Twitter out of curiosity if that is you then you need to get involved in a particular topic. This could be sports, politics or maybe technology. Find a subject that interests you. Now search Twitter for this topic and save your search. The Twitter web client does an excellent job on this, but there are many clients like Hootsuite and Sendible that do a better job. My subjects of interest, social media, and the NHS.
2 - Identify ‘influencers’ for your subject
Now you have your subject; you need to find people who are regarded as ‘influencers’ in this area. An influencer is a subject matter expert (or at least very knowledgeable). When looking for influencers, they do not have to be Twitter superstars’. You will find it much harder to engage with people with thousands of followers as you get lost in their stream. Instead of looking ‘above’ you on Twitter, remember to look left and right.
3 - Engage with people
Engaging with people may sound obvious, but it is the key to increasing Twitter followers. Take a look at what these people are talking about, and join in. There are numerous ways to contribute to the conversation, from a simple ‘in my opinion, it is this’s to retweets and quoted re-tweets.
Compliment people; everybody likes a compliment. If somebody or an organisation has done something that deserves praise, then say so. Engagement is the key to increasing Twitter followers.
4 - Engage with images
One of the things that quickly became apparent to me was that the use of images received better reactions than plain text. Again this a straightforward and obvious step, but it is often overlooked.
I follow what I would regard as an influencer on the NHS by Roy Lilley (@RoyLilley). Now Roy produces a daily email newsletter on all things NHS. Around the time of the Brexit vote, a particular line in his newsletter resonated with me;
The nation may be decided but the NHS is not. We will be needed more than ever.
I took this quote, added it to a beautiful medical-related background (free from Pablo) and Tweeted it. It has been one of my most successful tweets, with seven retweets, nine likes and 2000+ impressions.
5 - Look for people to follow
If you find the content you like from an individual or organisation, then take the time to follow them.
When people follow you, then look at following them back. Some Twitter accounts will follow you and expect you to follow them back; if you do not, they will unfollow you within a set time. Don’t let this bother you or push you into following them back. If their account genuinely interests you, then do follow them.
There are some tools out there that will suggest accounts for you to follow based on intelligent matching algorithms.
6 - Dedicate time to increasing Twitter followers
This is one thing I’d never really done with my Twitter account. Set aside an hour a day to focus and engage on Twitter. While you may not see the results immediately, you will throughout the day or coming days.
During these two months, using these simple tactics and tools and a bit of focused hard work, I grew my Twitter following by 45%.