13 Tips to Build a Twitter Following for your Blog

If you write, have a blog, or are gen­er­at­ing con­tent for the web then hav­ing a great pub­lic­i­ty engine is cru­cial for suc­cess and Twit­ter is such an engine, if you lever­age it cor­rect­ly then it can be the Internet’s ver­sion of the Town Crier, an essen­tial part of your pub­lic­i­ty suc­cess and hav­ing a large fol­low­ing on Twit­ter is essen­tial. Here are 13 tips for build­ing a fol­low­ing:

 

1 — You don’t have to Know the Person to Connect

 

Customer handshakeMany peo­ple love to build their net­works involv­ing friends, col­leagues, and the peo­ple they know, but you can­not lim­it your­self this way on Twit­ter if you wish to use it as your pub­lic­i­ty engine, there is a prac­ti­cal impli­ca­tion to build­ing a large fol­low­ing. We all need new fol­low­ers, don’t think it is a sign of weak­ness to admit you need new fol­low­ers, even Twit­ter megas­tars, such as Guy Kawasa­ki, Rich Sim­monds, Bri­an Solis, or Kim Garst are con­stant­ly on the look­out for new fol­low­ers and con­nect­ing with peo­ple who can help their cause.

As a writer you’ll nev­er know who may be inter­est­ed in your work which by itself is a good rea­son the extend the size of your net­work, a way of find­ing new readers.

 

2 — Ask People to Follow You

 

Ask­ing peo­ple to fol­low you may seem to be uncom­mon­ly bold, but all it takes is a Tweet:

Hi I am Peter, spe­cial­is­ing in X, Y, and Z. Fol­low me

or per­haps:

I’m Peter and have a blog about X, Y, and Z Please fol­low me

Many will feel this is too bold, but there are times when it is nec­es­sary to sim­ply ask, peo­ple do so when they are look­ing for a job, so why not when pub­li­cis­ing your work? There are also times when self praise is an impor­tant tac­tic to use, show some­thing you have done and it will bring peo­ple in your area of inter­est out to fol­low you.

Do not ever con­sid­er pur­chas­ing fol­low­ers, these schemes are designed to grab mon­ey and do not pro­vide you with any benefit.

 

3 — Follow Those that Follow You

 

Follow us TwitterIt is con­sid­ered cour­te­ous to fol­low back and as a gen­er­al rule you should fol­low all peo­ple back.

There are some excep­tions to this rule in my view: if a per­son has no bio and no pic­ture then in my expe­ri­ence they have no intent to stay on Twit­ter and it is a waste of time to fol­low them; if I find peo­ple show­ing pornog­ra­phy or dirty pic­tures on their stream then I stop fol­low­ing them (this is not a mat­ter of being prud­ish it is because I use Twit­ter as a busi­ness tool); peo­ple whose Tweets are 100% in a lan­guage I do not under­stand are dif­fi­cult to fol­low as you don’t know what they are saying.

 

4 — Follow Social Media Influencers

 

Some­times they are called Social Media Whores (or Smores) because they do not dis­crim­i­nate about who they fol­low or have fol­low­ing them. Con­nect­ing to those hav­ing a large fol­low­ing can open you up to a larg­er group of peo­ple who can poten­tial­ly hear your mes­sage.  You may learn some­thing about Social Media, blog­ging or your sub­ject of inter­est from the things they Tweet about and you should be pre­pared to read their mate­r­i­al. Truth is peo­ple know the big names of the Social Media world (and I am not talk­ing about film, music, and TV celebri­ties here) but those who know how to use this medi­um best, they have made mon­ey using these systems.

Social media influ­encers are peo­ple you should pay atten­tion to and it has been sug­gest­ed that you reg­u­lar­ly men­tion them in your tweets in order to build a wider audi­ence, not a tac­tic I have used per­son­al­ly, but I am proud to have been fol­lowed by some peo­ple pub­licly recog­nised as influencers.

 

5 — Repeat your Tweets

 

You should post reg­u­lar­ly on Twit­ter, Face­book, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Pin­ter­est and there is a lot of val­ue in re-post­ing your mate­r­i­al, as on this glob­al media peo­ple may not have seen your post the first time you tweet­ed it.

It is a good idea to devel­op a pub­lic­i­ty plan for each post on your blog and this should oper­ate for many weeks after the ini­tial pub­li­ca­tion also don’t be afraid to pub­li­cise blog posts which may be a year or two old. By hav­ing a plan then your posts will con­tin­ue to receive atten­tion for weeks or months to come and the amount of effort spent on pub­lic­i­ty can be min­i­mal, per­haps 10 min­utes per day if you use your tools properly.

 

6 — Use Tools to Aid You

 

Drill by blickpixel CC0 Public Domain from PixabayThere are many tools avail­able which help post your work auto­mat­i­cal­ly be pub­li­cised while you are oth­er­wise engaged. I use the Buffer App to buffer posts that I am send­ing out on social media, it allows me to spend 30 min­utes set­ting up Tweets that will be sent out over the next few days, in the mean­while I also inter­act with oth­er peo­ple in my net­work, retweet­ing their inter­est­ing work and com­mu­ni­cat­ing in oth­er ways. Tools should be used to auto­mate an ele­ment of your post­ing. Oth­er tools include:

  • Auto­mat­i­cal­ly fol­low back those that fol­low you.
  • Cat­e­go­rize peo­ple accord­ing to their interests.
  • Auto­mat­i­cal­ly post new blog arti­cles to all social sites.
  • Iden­ti­fy peo­ple who stop fol­low­ing you.

 

7 — Don’t Act like a Machine

 

Hav­ing said that using tools to auto­mate your activ­i­ty is a good idea it is pos­si­ble to appear as if you are a machine, an automa­ton with­out a soul through your posts. This is the neg­a­tive side asso­ci­at­ed with any and all adver­tis­ing cam­paigns peo­ple get bored by your mes­sage and this is par­tic­u­lar­ly true with Twit­ter and can also be seen when using oth­er social plat­forms. Yes you need to Tweet about blog posts but you also need to com­mu­ni­cate with oth­er people:

  • Take time to get to know some of your new fol­low­ers, fol­low their dis­cus­sions, vis­it their blog, join in.
  • Thank them for Likes and RTs
  • Like oth­er people’s posts and look at their blogs
  • Retweet (RT) oth­er people’s posts.
  • Take time to look at the tweets oth­er peo­ple have cre­at­ed and com­pli­ment their best work.
  • Don’t RT things you dis­agree with (espe­cial­ly politics).

 

8 — Clear out the Dead Wood

 

With Twit­ter there is noth­ing as bad as fol­low­ing peo­ple that don’t fol­low you back. There are some that fol­low many peo­ple each day with the express hope that you will fol­low them back, but they are not inter­est­ed in any­thing you have to say so they unfol­low you with­in a few days, their inten­tion is pure­ly about gain­ing fol­low­ers but that they don’t care about what their fol­low­ers think or have to say. These are the type of peo­ple you don’t need in your Twit­ter net­work, they are dead wood and need to be removed reg­u­lar­ly. You need to use soft­ware, like Unfol­lowspy or “Friend or Fol­low” to iden­ti­fy those who unfol­low you and ensure you stop fol­low­ing them. The peo­ple you need in your net­work are those that con­tin­ue to fol­low you.

 

9 — Use Pictures and Images

 

Beautiful Things from Pable

Twit­ter has devel­oped and it is now pos­si­ble to post pic­tures with every­thing you post, indeed it is pos­si­ble to make great use of this capa­bil­i­ty to empow­er your tweets with enhanced mes­sages. Pablo by Buffer, the source of this image, is a great way to cre­ate images with embed­ded quotes etc. Also make sure your blog posts have fea­tured images which can be added to your tweets.

Guy Kawasa­ki has sup­port­ed the idea of using pic­tures to build a Twit­ter fol­low­ing as long ago as 2008 and has even used pic­tures of sacred cows in Mum­bai to gain fol­low­ers, it is a case of being bold and adven­tur­ous and some­times a lit­tle daring.

 

10 — Links should be used for 90% of your Tweets

 

As a blog­ger one of the major rea­sons you are using Twit­ter is as a part of your pub­lic­i­ty dri­ve, it is a way to tell peo­ple about the lat­est posts you have cre­at­ed, but it should also be a way for you to high­light arti­cles in your spe­cial­ist area pro­duced by those you respect. You must not spend all your time on Twit­ter adver­tis­ing material.

Spend time inter­act­ing with peo­ple, look for peo­ple ask­ing ques­tions about your area of exper­tise then respond to their ques­tions (often here a link to a blog post can explain what to do or help solve their challenges).

 

11 — Avoid the Mundane

 

Peo­ple don’t want you to say “Good morn­ing” at the start of your day, or “Good night” when you are going to sleep. The same is true if your flight has just been delayed — you may care as may your spouse or the per­son you will be meet­ing, this is irrel­e­vant mun­dane infor­ma­tion and will switch many fol­low­ers off. We have a mobile phone, email and SMS mes­sag­ing for that kind of mes­sage, use the appro­pri­ate tool not a mass com­mu­ni­ca­tions tool. There are secu­ri­ty impli­ca­tions of giv­ing out too much information.

Tweets about the mun­dane turn peo­ple off (unless you hap­pen to be a TV or pop celebri­ty). We all have our chal­lenges and it is true that peo­ple in our net­work can help solve them — we have all heard sto­ries about peo­ple have oth­ers res­cue them because of tweets sent out to peo­ple in a spe­cif­ic local­i­ty, but this is a rarity.

 

12 — Show your Passion

 

Painting a picture by changingcourse comShow­ing a pas­sion and excite­ment about your spe­cial­ist sub­ject should shine through in your writ­ing and is vital to suc­cess as a writer in any genre. Blogs posts are gen­er­al­ly short being 750 to 1250 words in length on aver­age. Tweets on Twit­ter are lim­it­ed to 140 char­ac­ters (includ­ing the hyper-link) and can have a pic­ture, real­ly just enough for a head­line, but they should show your pas­sion for the sub­ject at hand.

 

13 — Be a Subject Expert

 

In Twit­ter peo­ple are inter­est­ed in a wide vari­ety of things and not all will be shown in their bio. If you start tweet­ing about antique cars then you will start to gath­er fol­low­ers who have some inter­est in that sub­ject, you may even be added to lists for antique car col­lec­tors, this is good because you are being asso­ci­at­ed with oth­er peo­ple hav­ing sim­i­lar inter­ests. This can help you and your blog to grow. If you tweet about antique cars and have a blog about that sub­ject then it will draw peo­ple in, you should show your pas­sion and exper­tise.

While talk­ing about antique cars it is pos­si­ble that there may be many oth­er sim­i­lar inter­ests, those inter­est­ed in the his­to­ry, those inter­est­ed in restora­tion, those inter­est­ed is a spe­cif­ic brand, and many oth­er groups. It is also pos­si­ble to be an expert in antique cars with­out know­ing any­thing about the restora­tion process and it is pos­si­ble to be an expert where restora­tion is the only thing you know. Truth is that experts also have dif­fer­ent inter­ests and there is room for all types, what makes you tick?

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a cof­fee as a thank you for dis­cussing how Twit­ter can enhance your blog’s pub­lic­i­ty. All images used here are either cre­at­ed or owned by Peter Giblett, come from a roy­al­ty free image col­lec­tion pur­chased by the writer or have been sourced from a pub­lic domain loca­tion, such as Pixabay.

 

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5 Replies to “13 Tips to Build a Twitter Following for your Blog”

  1. Nancy Czerwinski says: Reply

    Peter, great arti­cle and tips! I love fol­low­ing authors because I’m a big fan of all dif­fer­ent kinds of books.

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