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An artist's musings about art, location-independence, personal discovery and digital technology

Want to gain 500+ Twitter followers organically in 30 days for free? Here's how

 

 

I've been carrying out a number of experiments. Both on my very own Twitter handle and on the handles of my clients. Because of this, I can say (without missing a beat) that it's possible to gain new followers fairly quickly and organically - for free. The "fairly quickly" bit is only possible if you are willing to do a couple of things.

 

Before I go on, please allow me to make one thing clear. This post is about growing a Twitter following organically. That's the keyword. Organically. It doesn't include buying (or gaining with this person or that person) fake followers or even "real" ones. None of that. I've also mentioned the word "free", meaning there's no need to spend actual cash here. It's more so a game of math (and human psychology) than it is anything else.

 

Necessities

 

Here's what you'll need:

 

1. A singular mission or focus topic for your Twitter handle

 

This is necessary because it will guide you when searching for accounts to follow and figuring out which of them are likely to follow back. If a singular mission is a challenge for you as it has been for me (believe me I've tried), pick a number of main topics and find one defining thing that will tie them all together.

 

2. The Mass Follow extension for Twitter

 

This extension is for Google's famous browser and can be found on the Chrome Web Store. It'll help cut a lot of time and hustle from the Following and Unfollowing processes. 

 

3. A tracking mechanism such as a Google Spreadsheet

 

This is mainly for record keeping. You will be experimenting so you'll need to track the numbers somewhere. A Google spreadsheet is what I chose. You can choose anything else that tickles your fancy, as long as it's easy to access and is, at best, synced online.

 

The 7 tactics

These are the things you'll need to do every day or almost everyday to actually see some results. I've divided them into two:

1. Be smart about it.

2. Be human about it.

 

 

Be smart about it...

 

1. Following Accounts

 

 

It goes without saying that if you want to get new followers, your account will need to follow others as well. From what I've noticed, you need to follow about ten times or more of the number you want to gain each day or so.

 

To gain 10 or so, follow about 100-150. A safer bet though, in terms of Twitter's description of "Aggressive Following" is to keep it at about 100 or a little less. The other tactics I'll mention will add some momentum for the eventual results. 

 

Whatever number you decide on needs to be in line with Twitter's rules of not being able to follow more than 1000 accounts a day. Twitter will suspend your account if they smell something fishy. Try not to be fishy.

 

The Mass Follow extension will be helpful here. Use relevant keywords to find accounts worth following.

 

Once you have the relevant keywords, figure out all the related ones from whatever crops up in the initial searches. Here's an example. If you want to follow entrepreneurs in Africa, you may initially type "entrepreneurs, Africa" in the search box, using the People tab. From the results, you'll realise that keying in "founders, Africa" or "founder, Africa" will add to your outcome.

 

Play around with the words in your search. Everyone has their own way of saying they are an entrepreneur on their bio.

 

For best results:

 

  • Avoid following accounts with an egg or those without a bio. It means they are not active on Twitter anyway. Avoiding them reduces the chances that Twitter will deem your activities as fishy. The settings for dodging such accounts are included in the extension.

  • Focus on people-centred keywords. "Founder" in the search box is more likely to retrieve actual people than "Entrepreneurship". The latter will bring a lot more organisation/company accounts which are not very good at following back. Remember, you are following a whole bunch of accounts so that they can follow back.

 

2. Creating or managing Twitter lists and adding accounts to them

 

Twitter lists are magical. They are perfect for grouping accounts related to specific topics and they are perfect for your Followership strategy.

 

Someone will want to follow you in return if you show them that you see them. Following them is one way. Adding them to a list is an even better way. If they get that little notification that you've added them to a list, they are more likely to respond the way you want them to. 

 

Lists create a win-win situation. Especially for accounts you've already followed. The people you add to them are more likely to check your profile and follow back. And if they don't, you'll have them in an organised folder that'll allow you to follow their tweets even after you unfollow them.

 

3. Unfollowing accounts

 

Why would you unfollow accounts, you ask? Well, you'd do it because those accounts haven't followed back. 

 

As I said, it is all a game of math. If you keep following accounts without unfollowing the ones that don't follow back, you'll skew your Follower Ratio. It's always better to have more followers than it is to have a lot of accounts you are following. You want to keep that ratio as close to 1:1 as possible if the accounts you are following are more than your number of followers.

 

As a rule, Twitter allows accounts to follow 5000 accounts total. Once this number is reached, there will be limits to the number of additional accounts you can follow. The limits will be based on your ratio of followers to following.

 

The Mass Follow extension has settings for the Unfollow feature. 2-3 days is good enough time for people to decide whether your account is cool enough to follow back. After that time period, get rid of the dead weight. Anyone not reciprocating your Follow needs to leave room for the accounts that will.

 

For best results:

  • Be sure to also unfollow possible-to-live-without verified accounts. They are the other type of accounts that are not very good at reciprocation.

 

4. Returning the favour i.e. the follow back

 

If you are going around unfollowing people who don't follow back, then you better be covering your bases - especially if other accounts might to do the same thing to you.

 

The few accounts that end up following you without any focused Following efforts should be followed back. Especially if they seem decent. Returning the favour is your way of saying "thank you". It might complicate your math, but hey, it needs to be done.

 

For best results:

 

Do this every day. You don't want to lose any current followers due to delayed reciprocation.

 

 

 

Be human about it...

 

5. Commenting on relevant tweets

 

To add some human element to your account and to tap on that human psychology of needing to be seen, you should be commenting on relevant tweets every now and then. Keyword: Relevant.

 

Commenting will reinforce and complement any other tactics already mentioned and it will allow you to connect with others.

 

The details of how many you need to do depends on your experimentation. You could make it selfish and only comment on accounts you want to connect with or you could make it interesting by commenting on random accounts with awesome tweets. These random accounts could be your newest followers if all goes well.

 

For best results:

 

Make the comments meaningful.

 

If I have to explain what I mean by "meaningful", you might need more social media "humanity" than I could ever handle in this piece. Sorry, I can't help with that. Not now at least.

 

6. Liking tweets

 

Liking is the simpler version of commenting. It's quick and easy. Use it generously. Both for selfish and interesting reasons. Whatever works.

 

7. Posting something!

 

None of the above tactics will be very effective if your tweets are invisible.

 

People like following and engaging with people who have something to share. Make sure you do.

 

The posts should all be connected to your singular mission. What is it that's pushing you to want to share with your community of followers? Do you have some kind of plan? 

 

Twitter is a fast moving world. Tweeting once a day is not enough. Tweeting three times a day is not quite enough. Tweeting seven to eight times is ideal. That's the best way for your followers to catch at least one of your tweets during their busy days.

 

For best results:

  • Use the peak times (weekdays: 9am and 9pm) for the content you'd want more people to see.

  • Make use of hashtags

  • Have a relevant bio and a non-egg profile photo

  • Sprinkle replies and retweets in between your native posts. Variety is beautiful.

Here they are again:

 

1. Following accounts

2. Creating or managing Twitter lists and adding accounts to them

3. Unfollowing accounts

4. Returning the favour i.e. the follow back

5. Commenting on relevant tweets

6. Liking tweets

7. Posting something! i.e. a good number of somethings

 

I have personally used these tactics to grow a client's Twitter followers from 79 to 750 in a month and a half. 

 

I hope they'll help you see some results on your account(s) too. Let me know how it goes. 

 

And remember, be smart and human about it.

 

 

 

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Thanks for going over whatever I'm going on and on about above. I appreciate you! For feedback, please drop me a line here

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