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Build Your Twitter Following

Posted on the 10 February 2012 by Dynamicreality @Carl_ball
Build your Twitter following
So as promised, the second part of the Twitter series focuses on building your Twitter following, you can find the first part here.
Think of your followers as your audience, as when you tweet its only your followers that your tweeting to. So it makes sense that you would want to incease the size of your audience. 
Although you shouldn't be overly concerned with the raw numbers. I've seen Twitter accounts with thousands of followers less influential than those with a few hundred. 
Your aim should always be to build a network of engaging, like-minded people, who will appreciate and enjoy your content.
So let's look at what's important..
Your Twitter Profile
This is what a person will look at immediately before deciding to follow you or not. So its vitally important you get this right. 
Firstly you should have a picture preferably of yourself,  I have no interest in following a twitter egg.
Secondly your bio should convey a little about you, your interests and any potential value you offer. 
A well thought out profile can make a huge difference and will likely attract followers who share similar interests.
Obviously the essence of Twitter is to tweet, if you hardly ever tweet you offer little value and won't attract followers.. So tweet regularly.
The content of your tweets is important, your aim is to offer value within those 140 characters. Now value is subjective, be it humorous, informative, opinionated, compelling or charming. 
People who offer value will naturally attract followers through retweets and general word of mouth.
Welcome new followers to break the ice and convey your open to interaction. If they're promoting something ie a blog or website, take the time to check it out and give feedback. Follow them back if they interest you. 
I don't advocate following everyone back who follows you, remember the aim is to build a network of like-minded people.
Engage with your network, reply to their tweets, retweet if you think it would offer value to your followers.
The word keeps repeating itself and it isn't an accident - VALUE is the key to naturally gaining and maintaining followers. So don't post garbage. As you build your reputation on Twitter, you and your tweets will need to add value 
The more you give the greater the reward and the more followers you will attract. 
Without it the following strategies will unlikely work for you.
Build your Twitter following
So you've got your foundation sorted. You have a great profile, you tweet regularly, your engaging and you can turn 140 characters into gold. 
So now the thing to do would be to find people who share your interests to follow so that they notice you and follow back, allowing you to create a connection.
This is somewhat of a Twitter tradition. Every Friday people give a shout out to other twitter users who they feel are of particular interest and worth following, usually designated by the hashtag FollowFriday or simply #FF. 
So if you have started to build a network of like-minded folk and they tweet a #FF what they should essentially be saying is "These people offer value to me and I recommend you follow them" so go ahead, check out their profiles and follow them if you wish. Most will likely follow you back allowing you to engage and further expand your network. 
Obviously this relies on the assumption the person tweeting the #FF isn't just listing their mates or their recent followers.
Twitter Lists
Twitter users who list you, have basically just placed you into a category of what they feel are like-minded people who tweet similar content.
So it's worth having a look at the list and following people within the list or even the subscribers to the list that you feel are relevant.

Promote your Twitter
Link to your Twitter account from other online sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, your blog/website and your email signature.
Twitter Search
Use the search bar at the top of Twitter to search your interests. What you will find is a list of tweets and people who relate to your search term. Comb through these to find relevant people to follow.
Final Thoughts

The idea is to strategically find people to follow who share your interests or mindset, are engaging and tweet regularly. These people are more likely to follow you back as they also want to expand their network with like-minded people. 
If you want more followers you have to go forth and make connections, provided you have the foundations mentioned above you should be pretty successful.
So what happens when people don't follow me back? This is a sure thing, but don't be quick to unfollow them. 
Instead show your value by engaging with them. If you still have no joy then unfollow them, why should you be subjected to their content if they have no interest in seeing yours. 
The only exceptions are celebrities you choose to keep updated with or accounts that provide valuable news.
Remember, don't be too concerned with the raw numbers! 
There are ways to increase your followers quickly, things like "Follower Churn" which means you follow hundreds of random people, then a week later see who followed you back, those that didn't get unfollowed and the process repeats itself. Any mass following or unfollowing can get your account suspended by Twitter.
There are many online sites that promise to get you more followers and you can even pay for them!!
Although this might look good on your profile, thousands upon thousands of followers. Your influence on them will be small, you will end up with a fragmented network, with little engagement and a devalued twitter account.
At the end of the day the numbers don't mean anything when nobody takes notice.
Best Wishes.

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