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Stuart McKeownGrow Your Twitter Follower Numbers With These 40 Proven Tips

  • Monday, December 30, 2013   - Get post updates via email + a special bonus growth hack here

How do I get more followers on Twitter? It could be for your own profile or a company profile that you manage. This is a question that comes around regularly, especially since we spend a lot of our time helping clients drive more engagement on Twitter.

In this post we’ll me looking at all the techniques you can personally implement to drive more organic growth of Twitter followers (outside normal Gleam promotions). There’s a lot here, so buckle up!

Ask Your Users to Follow You

I know this may seem trivial but it is often the best way to kick start your Twitter account. Simply ask users on existing channels to follow you on Twitter.

Good places to cross promote accounts:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Your Newsletter

Here’s a good example of cross promotion at the end of a YouTube video:

Social Cross Promotion on YouTube

Including Follow Buttons On Your Website

Users to your site will often look for ways to follow you on social networks, so make sure you include your buttons in a prominent place.

Twitter Footer Follow Buttons

You’ll often see websites either include these buttons in the header or footer. Being above the fold naturally gets more exposure but it pays to experiment.

Social Follow Buttons in Header

Add Twitter Profiles To Email Signatures

If you send a lot of emails then you can easily get your personal or business Twitter account in front of people by adding it to your signature.

Twitter Profile in Email Signature

Include Twitter Profiles in Company Material

If you have any company material like business cards, pamphlets, customer facing collateral then make sure you have a prominent spot for Twitter & other important social accounts.

Twitter Business Cards

Twitter Business Card

Promote Product or Company Related Hashtags

Hashtags can be a great way to drive awareness around a particular event, product launch or company slogan.

But it’s not always as simple to just create one, you need to promote it, make it align with your marketing campaigns & also choose something that can’t backfire (i.e. asking questions that leave you open to trolling & ridicule).

Use Twitter For Support

In a recent survey by Lithium 72% of customers expect brands to respond within an hour to complaints posted on Twitter.

Telstra in Australia are a great example of a company that responds quickly to issues via Social Media.

ASOS in the UK has an official support channel on Twitter for issues, this helps keep issues off their main account but also shows transparency in how they handle support requests on Twitter.

Include Twitter Follow Buttons on Thank-You Pages

This is perhaps one of the most underrated (and unused) techniques out there. Businesses often don’t leverage their own thank-you pages to grow various social channels.

Upworthy Unsubscribe Page

Include Tweet Buttons on Blog Posts

Blog Posts are usually some of the most Tweetable content that you have. Make sure you make it easy for users to do this when they reach a critical part of an article.

Twitter Fancybox

Allow Users to Share Pre-Filled Tweets

Controlling the content that users tweet about can sometimes really work well. Especially if you gets users to share interesting stats or quotes.

Tweet This Tip

Use Favorites as Testimonials

If you get positive comments or Tweets about your service on Twitter you can favourite them. Twitter has various ways to allow you to use these favourites – one way is to display them on your site as testimonials.


Shopify uses the Twitter API to pull their favourite tweets, then applies custom styles so it looks like a natural part of their site.

Shopify Twitter Testimonials

Add Your Twitter Profile To Your Facebook Page

Woobox has a Facebook app that allows you to add your Twitter profile to your Facebook page. A great way to show Facebook users what to expect when they follow you on Twitter.

Twitter Profile on Facebook

Know What Time Zone To Best Engage

Your Twitter followers are spread out all over the world, knowing the best time to engage them with tweets will greatly increase your chances of being retweeted.

Twitter Heatmap

For example, here at Gleam we’re in Australia – but the majority of our followers are in the UK & USA. We need to ensure we’re scheduling tweets in a way that maximizes our exposure.

Run Twitter Contests

There’s lots of potential contest ideas you can run on Twitter to keep your fans engaged.

Here at Gleam we offer a free platform that allows you to run extremely flexible & engaging Twitter contests. See how Beardbrand grew his Twitter followers by 1500% in just 2 weeks using Gleam πŸ™‚

Here’s a quick Twitter competition demo to have a play around with:

Twitter Example Competition

If you like this competition & think your business can benefit from using Gleam, feel free to get in touch. Or signup below.

 Create Your Own

Reach Out To Influencers

Finding influencers on Twitter that can help promote your product or service is one of the best ways to grow your following. Moz has a cool tool called Followerwonk that can help you find influencers to approach.

Followerwonk

We’ve found that signup rates & adoption from this sort of endorsement far outweighs traditional advertising.

Test Your Profile Picture

Twitter profiles that have a picture on average have 1000% more followers than those without one. This also means that there’s a potential to drive even more followers with the right images, do you add your company logo or try a personal picture?

Twitter Profile Picture

Your Bio Is Your Marketing Message

If you’re trying to appeal to a specific type of user or market then having a powerful bio is extremely important. For example we’re trying to reach people in Melbourne & also trying to connect with growth hackers (since they are getting great results with our product).

Twitter Bio

Engage With Customers

We showed a tweet from an influencer earlier, it just so happened she had been using the Free version of our product. A great way to engage with these users is to give them something πŸ™‚

Use Images Properly

Twitter has recently started placing increased focus on images. They will now show in your followers timeline so you should start taking advantage of increased visibility.

We’ve seen some brands using these for coupons (including printable ones), sale announcements, new product releases & high quality images of models.

Join In Conversations With Other Brands

The conversation below between Tesco Mobile in the UK & a number of other brands went viral as they all started bouncing off one another. Don’t be afraid to converse with other brands & turn it into an advantage.

Here’s another conversation between Oreo & Old Spice where they exchange Christmas presents.

Use Hashtags At Conferences

If you’re at a conference often they have hastags, this is a great way to get exposure to people with similar interested & drive new followers. Ask questions, tweet interesting materal & just ask people to follow you πŸ™‚


Include Your Twitter Profile On Presentations

If you’re actually presenting at conferences then putting your Twitter handle on the start & end slides is a great way to get exposure to hundreds of people. Again, don’t be afraid to ask them to follow you.

Twitter Profile in Presentations

I’ve seen some presenters that will giveaway prizes to users that follow them during a presentation. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit.

Include Twitter Follow Buttons On Company About Us Pages

You would be surprised how many people view your about pages, use this as an opportunity to drive more followers on Twitter. I’ve found that personal profiles work much better here.

Twitter Follow Buttons on Company About Us Pages

Retweet The Good Things

If someone posts something good about your business or about one of your products, retweet it, favourite it. This not only helps turn that user into a brand advocate but it also acts as positive reinforcement for any existing followers about your brand.

Keep It Positive

No-one likes to hear a constant barrage of negative tweets, whilst we all like to vent on Twitter from time to time you should try to keep it positive rather than negative.

This is equally as true when responding to any negative tweets or feedback that are directed at you by other users or customers.

Follow Your Own Followers

Twitter is about engaging with users, don’t be afraid to follow the users that actually follow you. Don’t forget that they will get a nice email message when you do πŸ™‚

Twitter Follow Email

Create Lists & Follow The Users

We started creating a list of social media people in Australia.

Social Media Australia List

This works even better if you can build a list of groups that already exist, then get the users to promote the list.

Tweet To 3 New People Every Day

You’d be surprised how well this can work, simply make it a action every day to find 3 new people that compliment your business. Then send them a Tweet.

You’ll reach 1,095 new people every year – not only might they follow you but it could open up some partnerships or exposure to their followers.

For example, we help users with visibility of their contests via Twitter. Which normally results in a Retweet.

Add Twitter Profiles To Guest Blogs

Twitter Signature

Get A Celebrity To Retweet You

This a huge way to get exposure to lots of existing fans (if those are the sorts of fans you want exposure from). Check out this retweet below from Justin Bieber after someone tweeted about his new album.

Use Trending Hashtags Wisely

You’ll see lots of users try to jump on the trending hashtag bandwagon, it can be a valid strategy provided you can add value – otherwise you may end up annoying existing followers.

Here’s an example of a trending hashtag that we tweeted about, since it was pretty relevant for our business.

Cross Promote Hashtags

You can use Hashtags on multiple networks like Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest. So think about a multi-network approach where you get users to use it everywhere.

Victoria's Secret Hashtags

Ask Your Followers Questions

Users love to engage, asking a question is by far one of the best ways to get users to interact with you. Do it more.

Use Vine or YouTube Videos

Videos now have a promiment place inside the Twitter feed, users can play them without having to leave. Videos are a great way to drive much more interaction & Retweets.

Give Twitter Followers A Coupon Code

If you run an online store then Twitter is a great platform to syndicate coupons out to your followers. We have quite a few merchants that combine the coupon codes alongside a contest to really amplify their reach.

Leverage Partnerships

If you have a product that a certain type of demographic want then reach out to those people to see if you can get exposure to their Twitter followers. Often they’ll do it in kind, some might have advertising rates – just make sure you ask πŸ™‚

Use Promoted Tweets

Promoted Tweets are an amazing way of getting traction currently, read this Growth Hacker post on how Sean Ellis managed to get 1000 clicks on his Promoted Tweet for just $25.

Have Multiple Staff Accounts

Quite a few businesses break their twitter staff out into a hierarchy, featuring the main company account with individual staff accounts. This helps improve exposure, plus also allows individual employees to build their own personal following (whilst still being attached to the company).

MediaTemple Multiple Staff Twitter Accounts

Tweet Stats & Interesting Content

Goes without saying really, but this is the kind of stuff that people love to retweet – whether it be interesting facts, statistics or jokes. Try to liven up the Twitter feed of your followers instead of the usual boring articles or blog posts.

Reward Your Followers

Keep your followers interested in your company, reward them regularly. Not only will this help bring new followers on board, but it will increase the interactivity you have & the engagement your profile carries.

Use Favourites As A Marketing Platform

Users get push notifications, desktop notification & emails when you favourite one of their tweets. If you can find the right type of user that fits your product then this type of marketing activity can be incredibly powerful.

The key to this technique is to have a really strong bio & message that hooks the user to find out more.

Twitter Favourite Marketing

We’d love to hear in the comments about more successful ways you’ve grown your Twitter fanbase.

Stuart McKeown

Stuart McKeown is one of the Co-founders here at Gleam. Shoot a Tweet to @thegyppo if you liked this post ☺


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