Twitter has sustained a fairly rapid growth since its inception. The opportunity to connect with like-minded people, form new business contacts, and increase authority in a market is nearly unmatched on other platforms. The catch is that to take advantage of the opportunity, you need followers.
The easiest way to get new followers is to follow, who will in turn follow you back. This is fine in some cases, but not really what most people want.
To show authority and influence, you don’t just need more followers than you have now, you need to have more people following you than you follow yourself. Getting Twitter followers without following back is difficult, but it can be done.
Here are the best ways to build a following on Twitter.
Twitter is both a broadcast medium and a platform for engagement. If all you do is tweet the same stories or lame jokes as everyone else, there is nothing to differentiate your account from the millions of other accounts on Twitter.
Be the first to break a story whenever possible. Keep a folder dedicated to a particular topic in the RSS reader of your choice and check it early in the morning and late at night for new stories.
Use a scheduling service to tweet them out at the time of day they are most likely to be read by your target audience. Should someone notice that tweet and think the story is interesting, they may retweet it to their followers. In time, this will earn you new followers as people will see you as someone they should follow for breaking news within a market.
Mention Others In Your Tweets
One of the best ways to get the attention of others is to mention their Twitter name in your tweets. While it is impossible to get all of the people you mention to actually follow you back, some will if you pique their interest.
An example would be to keep an eye on the various discussion forums in your market. If a well-known person in your industry is active in a discussion with a bit of controversy, mention the discussion thread and reference that person’s activity using their Twitter name.
By being in tune with what is going on in a fairly significant event, and singling out a specific person, you have the chance to catch their attention and earn a follow.
Add Social Sharing Plugins That Include Your Twitter Name To Your Website
Nearly everyone has a blog, whether it is a personal or a business blog. Nearly all of the reliable social sharing plugins for content management systems like WordPress have the option to include the Twitter name of the person who made the post.
Include this user name so that whenever someone chooses to tweet your post, it will be attached with the link. Should people like the content they find at that link, they will have the chance to follow your account as well.
Also, when tweeting your own article, ask your existing followers to retweet it on occasion. Don’t abuse the request for a retweet, as it will eventually turn off your followers and may encourage them to un-follow you.
At the end of articles, ask for a Tweet. Since the plugin on your site will include your Twitter username, this will go out to their followers and hopefully net you a few new followers.
Take A Stand
This ties in with the above point on being interesting. Along with tweeting and retweeting the same content and rehashed comments and jokes, being a cheerleader is equally as bad.
Don’t be afraid to take a different stance on a topic than someone else. Being controversial just for the sake of stirring up controversy can badly backfire, but if you believe that an opposing viewpoint is the best viewpoint, don’t be afraid to speak up.
Enter into conversations with your views and be prepared to back them up. Even if others do not agree with you, there is a chance that they and their followers will choose to follow you just because you’re not afraid of being different and have the guts to let people know about it.
Finally, since Twitter is a social site, it is important to actually be social. Don’t just broadcast new content or wait for a chance to jump in and be controversial. Mentioning others does not count here.
Take the time to search Twitter for people with similar interests and comment on their posts. Reply to questions and try to give a helpful answer.
Be useful and the type of person that others would want to interact with. Even though the above points have centered on being different, it is important to make sure others can relate to you.
Getting Twitter followers without following back is tough work and takes time, but the pay-off is worth it. The reward is often a loyal audience that actively looks forward to your tweets and helps to spread your message.