Credit goes to Joshua’s comment on the previous post for sparking the idea of writing this brief article. Joshua said:
The only way to follow more people is to increase your account followers. But, what can you do in order to increase your followers if you are stuck at one of the Twitter thresholds without dumping a lot of people who aren’t following you? Why don’t you write up a follow on article with that as the focus? I would love to know your thoughts…
The question, “How do I increase my followers if I am stuck at one of Twitter’s following limits,” assumes that the only, or the best way to gain more followers is through following more people yourself.
That is an incorrect assumption. It is a pity that some folks are teaching others that this is the way to gain more followers, because it completely distorts what Twitter is about.
Twitter is a social platform, and by definition, social means interaction.
So, here is the free and guaranteed process to gain more followers on Twitter.
1. Participate in the conversation.
That means, actually read what others (those whom you are following) are saying, and compliment, add to, or comment on what they are saying.
Your purpose for getting more followers is so that they will read what you tweet, correct?
So why on earth would you expect them to read what you tweet, if you are not willing to read what others tweet?
If everyone just wanted others to read what they tweeted, Twitter will morph into one massive megaphone where everyone is shouting and nobody is listening.
2. Induce others to compliment, add to, or comment on what YOU are saying.
You will never accomplish this if all you do is tweet your teeth whitening affiliate links.
You can only do this by thoughtful and helpful tweets, in other words, tweets that make other people feel good, tweets that they find interesting, and tweets that they find helpful.
This step is absolutely required because…
People voluntarily follow others whom they find interesting.
But, not only do they voluntarily follow you, they also voluntarily reply to you and voluntarily retweet your tweets.
And that is where the viral power of Twitter kicks in!
Every time that they reply to you, THEIR followers get to see your Twitter username, and every time they retweet you, their followers get to see your Twitter username and your tweet.
Most people are curious and will check out your profile, if they notice that someone they are following is finding you interesting. And if they like your profile, they will follow you.
Now, does this mean you need to be glued to your Twitter web interface 24 x 7? Absolutely not. You must be physically present for Step #1, participating in the conversation. But, for Step #2 you can easily use the tweet scheduling feature of TweetLater to compose your tweets, and post them even when you cannot be physically in front of your computer. Most people do not appreciate it when one person dominates their Twitter stream with a barrage of tweets. You can use our free scheduling engine to spread out your gems throughout the day.
It is not how you publish your tweet that matters, it is what you say in your tweet that matters. Great content will get reaction, and useless content will silently disappear into electronic oblivion, regardless of how you got it into your Twitter timeline.
Lastly, if your idea of interesting is the posting of quotes, please pry that idea loose and cast it into the outer regions of the universe. Quotes are completely overused on Twitter. Besides, people do not want to hear from Einstein, Twain, or Confucius.
People want to hear from YOU. That is why they followed you in the first place.
Owner of TweetLater.com
I fully agree – anybody who follows these steps will naturally increase their Twitter audience without hitting any limits.
I think that truly value adding to this form of social media should be your primary goal. Quality posts will ensure ensure that your followers actually want to here what you have to say. Whats the point of 10,000 followers who don't really care. Find 1000 who do and then if you have something to sell you have qualified customers. Quality not quantity.
I love your article Dewald! It was quite refreshing and made a lot of sense. It is time someone spoke up about something which is real obvious but is not being focused on among all the electronic clamour when people just tweet and do not listen and interact. Just having a big following is not enough to get any kind of results. One on one interaction is more meaningful than just following electronically a great number is simply ridiculous when you do not get any response from them.
Absolutely excellent, totally agree, one of the things that I like about following Sean Donahoe for example is that when I ask him a question Sean always gets back to me personal and quickly, but also Sean will then tailor a twit in the forum which also addresses what I was asking. This to me is social media, lots of times I don't know what the deal is, and I seek to find out, or, lots of times I will see people putting something out there that I've already researched and found to be false, so it's an interaction. I try to be considerate always, never censorious, and most of all, I like to encourage folks to smile with each other.
Well finally some sense. I cannot understand why tweeters want thousand of followers, can they read them? no, it is just an ego boost. you are absolutely right when you say that Tweeter is more like a megaphone where everyone shout and no body listen. I hope that your blog will be heard.thank you
Yep!I'm listening too. Great points.And this brings many of us who are just looking for the magic number, not realizing quality is better than quanity.It's been a rule for making friends and being a friend for ever.
Thought provoking article. I'm new to twitter and find the constant spam followers to be a turn off. I will apply your tactics which should lead to real people following. Thanks!
Your article has been a great help steps are simple and easy to understand.
Great post, Dewald! I'm a new & huge fan of TweetLater.com – I think it's a wonderful tool! *RT* (Making progress on learning the system too!)
I've been saying this for some time: if you're not reading your followers' Tweets, you're missing out on stuff. Whether you consider Twitter as a social or even as a business channel, people have ideas, links and other contacts that they are willing to share. I sometimes laugh at the eagerness to get thousands of "followers" when it's patently obvious they are just numbers at that stage. It's not as if you're getting paid per hundred followers, is it? In my case, it gives me access to all sorts of gossip and photos taken by people on the spot. Love your followers!
Adarell, I,ve just joined twitter. Your suggestion,s seem,s like some positive tool,s that I will put into practice, Thank,s
Dewald, you are exactly right. Posting meaningful content, interacting with people in one's timeline, and retweeting are great ways to get the most from and give the most to twitter. I'll also add that tweetups are a great way to deepen the connections and give others more reason to share your name with their networks, too.
Thanks @mobienthusiast this is great to read about, its a nice sort of history of your way of looking at how things work. Appreciate you taking the time to let us know.
I completely agree! This is exactly what I have been saying. The two best ways to increase your Twitter following is simply by being more active and intriguing. Use the @reply feature more and get others to @reply, RT and recommend you. This will produce higher quality followers than any automated service.
I am new to social media and have been led by different schools of thought over getting followers and list. It is refreshing to read these comments and helps me focus on relationship marketing . I was confused with the barrage of advertizing I see, and it is awesome to finally find a likeminded person who is being real. Thanks for the comments above they have cleared my mind.
I have been on Twitter for less than a week now and trying to get started! and understand the process. Your comments are exactly what I needed to hear. It reminds me that when I really listen to others and try to help them instead of seeking my own benefit first, that everything else seems to fall into place. Thanks for slicing through the confusion.
Great article, we are fairly new to tweeter and have had thousands of people follow us. It is impossible to read all their tweets now. Can you choose whose direct tweets you get without deleting followers? This way we could focus on replying to the more relevant users. Thanks
You should try our new Channels feature. That is exactly what you can do with it. You can view the tweets of selected Twitter users. It's under Monitors, Channels in the menu.
Hey thanks for explaining all this; there is so much conflicting info out there its hard to know which to follow but good to know that following my intuition is in keeping with everything you've said here… teeth whitening… enough already… quotes unless its Tony Robbins quoting himself had enough of that too…add value, add value, add value… you guys have added immense value to my understanding of Twitter so I'll keep popping back to educate myself further..
Excellent, this information is a gold mine:) Finally some Twitter advice that makes total sense.
awww finally someone with common sense. Thanks for posting. Also this is so much easier than trying to reverse engineer people and followers. I'd 200 who actually want to hear from me over 2000 who only spam.
a great article making some really valid points.
I do disagree with one thing though (and perhaps I misunderstand you text), where you say:
"Every time that they reply to you, THEIR followers get to see your Twitter username, and every time they retweet you, their followers get to see your Twitter username and your tweet."
The first bit is incorrect (although a year or so ago it was true).
Allow me to paint a scenario:
1) @jane has two followers: @steve and & @rubin.
2) @Jane and @steve follow @joel, @rubin does not
If Jane replies to joel (by starting a tweet with @joel) then ONLY @jane & @steve will see it (plus @joel obviously). @Rubin will NOT because he does not follow @joel.
That last sentence is the crucial one.
So, to get back on track with what you wanted to achieve i.e. to allow the viral spread of tweets (in this scenario to make @rubin aware of @joel so that he might find him interesting and follow him) then different techniques are required: we want @jane to do one of the following:
1) retweet something by @joel (using the new or old methods)
2) mention @joel (i.e. tweet something containing/about @joel but NOT starting the tweet with @joel)
Sorry if this is a bit of a brain melter but it is a really important point.
The whole thing with social media is people are missing the 'social' aspect of it. If you treat facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc, just as a platform to shout about yourself, you lose. Conversation, retweeting, commenting, INTERACTING, that's the key. Good points in above post. There are so many tools you can use and it gets down to helping other people and the way to do that is viewing these platforms as a two way street.
BTW, it's the same with blogging. offer good information and people will follow you there, too.
I love this post! Thanks you for saying it.