There is lots of info out there about how to get more followers for your Twitter account. And then there are all kinds of links offering to get you more followers the quick and easy way. DO NOT CLICK THERE.
Personally, I get much more out of quality people I follow, not quantity people following me. Sure, with my corporate accounts we want to reach lots of customers with our message. But even there, we want it to be the right people that we reach.
Geoff Livingston, Allison Fine, Beth Kanter and Kami Huyse started a smart meme on “Ways to Increase Your Twitter Following Ethically” – if you’re looking to build a Twitter presence, I highly recommend it.
They’ve invited us all to extend the conversation: I have a few tips of my own to add.
- Have a goal. Know what you want to get out of people you reach as well as those you’re following. Why are you doing this Twitter thing anyway? Do I have to mention this? Well, yes, from what I’ve read on Twitter it seems I do. Even if your goal is just to communicate with your friends and get news faster. Know that this is your goal.
- Focus. When someone asks you what you tweet about, can you answer them? Try narrowing tweets from your personal account to just a few topics important to you. I recommend that you focus on topics you know best. This way people find it easier to associate you with a topic or two. Your profile and any directory tags should reflect these topics.
- Engage. When someone follows you, check out their profile and see what you have in common. Twitter is about making connections, and that’s a two-way street. Make a conscious decision whether to follow someone back or not. And don’t follow so many people that you can’t manage reading your incoming Tweets.
- Use etiquette. Be positive. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything. Of course correcting false information and participating in healthy debate is appropriate. Give credit where it is due — label retweets as RT or /via.
- Don’t overtweet. This does no one any favors. Taking over everyone’s Twitter stream is just rude, and unless you’re covering a specific event, you need to leave space between your Tweets to allow folks to consider what you’ve said.
- Be patient. Your numbers will come in time. If you have built your audience slowly it will be a much more reliable audience than one that’s been built overnight.