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Today marks seven years since I first signed up for Twitter.
I must confess I originally hated Twitter and didn’t see its value. It wasnt until August 2010 that I started using the platform seriously. Now, its one of my favorite social media platforms to use.
With close to 40,000 followers all of which I attained organically many have asked me the secret to having this kind of following. Let me spell it out for you easily: this wasnt easy. I invested a lot of time in fact, too much time into growing my Twitter account over the years. Thanks to the help of some interviews, sharing/telling my family story, grassroots involvement, and article writing, I started to build rapport in both conservative politics and the outdoor/shooting sports realms.
How can you grow your following without any cop-outs? I list seven tips below:
1) Do not buy followers. Period.
First rule of thumb: Never EVER buy your followers. It’s a tacky move and it makes you look desperate. And if people are following your account closely and notice a huge spike in your follower count, they’re going to grow suspicious. There are several free apps that can determine the authenticity of your Twitter followers including Twitter Audit. Heres how I matched up:
Now there will always be fake accounts on Twitter even if you don’t purchase them. That’s unavoidable. But the percentage I have is where you want your account to be.
2) Specialize in several niche topics to craft unique online voice
Social media has a lot of competing voices. If you fail to distinguish yourself from the competition or add a dash of uniqueness, your account will fall flat. There are lots of conservatives, libertarians, Republicans, anglers, hunters, and small business owners on Twitter but some stand out from the others. Why? If you’re famous, well-known, or verified, your account will garner more attention. If you’re an up-and-comer in any politics, small business, or the outdoor/shooting sports industry, fear not there’s space for you on Twitter too!
How I’ve managed to grow my account and attract attention (for better or worse) is using my family history to tie in tweets about conservatism. Moreover, I’ve posted online-appropriate pictures of my fishing and outdoor adventures since I’m not always blabbering about politics. (Show that you’re multidimensional!) People seem to enjoy my mixture of politics, culture, fishing/guns, and travel posts.
How can you figure out your niche? Figure out what you like could be politics, sports, firearms, tech/digital and pick two or three areas to specialize in. Become an expert and voila—more people will flock to your Twitter account!
3) Know how to have a balanced follower-to-following ratio
You should aspire to have a Positive Ratio on Twitter. What does that mean? You should plan to have more followers than those whom you follow. Why? Heres how TechCrunch breaks it down:
If a person has more followers than they are following, they’re probably a good person to at least consider following. If they are following more than they have more followers, the opposite may be true.
Since the beginning of Twitter, people have been complaining about hugely positive ratios: “He only follows 10 people,” and the like. The implication being made is that if a lot of people follow you, but you don’t follow a lot of people, you aren’t a “true” Twitter user. That talk has lessened a bit with some of the celebrities now on Twitter who can’t possibly be expected to follow millions of people, but plenty of users still bitch about followers/following inequalities.
But the fact of the matter is that a person can only follow so many people on Twitter before the idea of following starts to become meaningless. Because Twitter doesn’t have built-in relationship filters or the ability to search only those people you are following (both of which FriendFeed and some other services with Twitter-functionality offer), if you are following thousands of people, the likelihood that you’re going to get a meaningful experience from any single follower is pretty small.
That’s the unspoken Golden Rule on Twitter. See how I balance my follower: following ratio?
Hope it makes sense!
4) Dont simply promote yourself on your account
I’ve done my best to do a combination of original tweets, retweets, and posting about or praising others on Twitter. I don’t like drawing too much attention to myself, which is why I post fewer pictures of myself on Twitter. (You can follow my pictures on Facebook and Instagram just don’t abuse the like button.) Throughout the seven years I’ve used Twitter, I’ve seen how valuable cross-promotion and retweeting are to not only building rapport with others, but it humanizes one on such a medium known for being superficial at times. There are too many self-promoters on Twitter; don’t become one! Find a balance between original content and sharing other people’s content.
5) Dont pick stupid fights with people
Circa 2011-2012, I used to entangle myself in worthless arguments with people on Twitter. While in the short-term it was interesting to raucously debate others, I’ve learned it adds to your tweet count and produces no value unless its thoughtful debate with prominent people or affirming conversations with friends/allies. However, to ensure your time is spent wisely on Twitter, dont entangle yourself in arguments. Hit Mute. (Only use Block as a last resort.)
6) Dont beg people to RT or share your article
When I started my account on Twitter, I used to be guilty of this very act. Over time, I realized how annoying this tactic of begging for a RT or share is to more established Twitter users. It comes off super spammy. As my Twitter usage grew, I learned not to annoy influencers or big wigs on Twitter unless tagging someone relevant to an article or a discussion.
How to avoid sounding desperate for retweets on Twitter? Put out good tweets and content to garner the attention you want. Someone somewhere may be paying attention. Spammy filters are sensitive on Twitter and you may be blocked if you abuse your privilegesSo tweet strategically!
7) Be positive
In the age of social media, theres so much negativity from everyone regardless of their political persuasion. The bickering gets old, REALLY old, after a while. Why not insert some positive tweets? It doesn’t hurt. Plus, people respond well to positive things.
I’ve learned that posting about my hobbies and things apart from politics has humanized me more on social media. (In real life, I’m quite chill but social media may suggest I’m only political.) A neat GIF, video, or picture can go a long way. Be sure to incorporate some good graphics every once in a while!
Did you find these Twitter tips useful? If yes, chime in below!
- Posted by Gabriella Hoffman
- On January 12, 2017
- 0 Comments