Do you want more Twitter followers but you’re not sure how to make the ‘magic’ happen?
For a long time I struggled to make any progress. But eventually after trying a lot of different tactics I was able to make serious headway.
And I want to show you how to do the same thing.
In this post I’ll show you how to setup your account so it stands out, how you can leverage your blog to grow your following and give you actionable tips for smarter tweeting.
All of which will increase your reach, get more eye-balls on your profile and help to grow your own targeted Twitter following.
Are you ready to start growing your Twitter following today?
Note: Since this is a fairly long post, I’ve added an infographic that provides a quick and easy to digest list of the tactics I discuss in this post.
You’re welcome to save this infographic for future reference, or embed it on your own blog (with credit) if your audience will find it useful.
Use the table of contents below to navigate your way through the post. Enjoy!
What can Twitter do for you?
Twitter has the potential to drive traffic to your blog, get more eye-balls on your content, promote your products/services and increase your influence on the social web.
You will also get the opportunity to connect with other users and form deep connections that will be beneficial to you in a huge way.
Twitter can also help get your blog posts indexed quicker by Google – there are numerous benefits.
So, if you want to learn how to leverage Twitter’s 330 million monthly active users to build an audience – keep on reading…
A few words on Twitter best practice
There are numerous services offering to sell followers but you should never buy them or use any other tactic that will result in an un-engaged audience.
Despite the social proof that having a large following can convey – it’s not worth it.
Having 200,000 followers that don’t engage with you has the potential to look even worse.
The complete list of tactics to boost your Twitter following (infographic)
Here’s an infographic that shows the full list of Twitter tactics in a more digestible format.
Below the infographic you’ll find everything explained in more depth but you may want to save this for future reference. Want to embed it on your own blog? Just save the infographic and upload it to your own site with a credit link back to this post.
How to setup your Twitter account
You need to add some personality to your Twitter profile; otherwise your profile will just look like every other profile out there.
Your Twitter profile should clearly emanate what you are about.
A bland profile won’t help you, so there are a few things you should do to stand out:
#1 – Add a unique image
Your profile image should be an image of yourself when possible; people like to know who they are talking to.
If you’re managing the Twitter account for a brand where various people have access to the Twitter account, it’s good practice to tag individual tweets so people know who they are talking to.
You could go a step further and create a header image with names & faces of those who use the account. If that isn’t an option you could link to an about page on your website which lists everyone – you could then link to individual Twitter accounts so people can get to know the people behind the brand.
#2 – Create a unique header image
Adding a header image is a great way to make your Twitter profile stand out.
Here’s how mine looks at the moment:
The image wasn’t made specifically for Twitter, I’ve used it for various purposes but it seemed like a good fit once Twitter released the custom header feature.
I had this image created by a guy on Fiverr but you can create your own easily using a tool like Canva.
I particularly like Canva for this because there is a ‘Twitter Header’ template which is the perfect size for this (1500×500 pixels).
For an example from a brands perspective, I particularly like how the Buffer team are rocking their custom header:
#3 – Write an engaging bio
This is way more important than most of us realize at first.
Your bio is an opportunity to tell people what you do and what you’re about – it’s a great opportunity to people why they should follow you.
Charissa Moore’s profile is a great example:
Let’s break it down a little further:
The first part is all about what Charissa can do for you:
“You can make triple the income + get more clients by using my words!”
The second part conveys what Charissa is all about:
“I love verbs, cupcakes, & airplanes. Host of #blisschat. Vegetarian. CEO – House of Bliss”
The great thing about this is that by conveying the right message you will attract the right followers; likeminded people with shared interests that you can connect with in a more meaningful way.
#4 – Customize your color scheme
Adding some color is a great way to add flare to your profile.
You could take this a step further and use similar colors to the design of your blog. This will keep your branding more consistent.
Sticking with Charissa’s profile as an example, here’s how it all looks:
The colors used and the overall feel helps to give a consistent experience between Charissa’s blog and Twitter profile.
How to gain more Twitter followers using your blog
Your blog can be one of your best assets for gaining more Twitter followers but there are certain things you need to be doing for that to happen.
#5 – Add a follow button to your blog
To grow your following you need to remove all barriers to entry and the main barrier to entry is finding their way to your Twitter profile.
The easiest way to do this is to add a social media button or follow widget to your blog.
I particularly like how Brian Dean does this on Backlinko.com, he provides a great introduction packed with social proof followed with a simple call to action; Follow @Backlinko:
One thing that stands out to me here is that using a follow button in this way won’t immediately take people away from your website.
This is great because as bloggers it’s important to keep visitors on our blogs for as long as possible.
How to do this yourself:
If you’re using an official Twitter button, you’ll just need to add this code:
<a href="http://twitter.com/adamjayc" class="twitter-follow-button" data-show-count="true">Follow @adamjayc</a>
If you aren’t using an official tweet button, you’ll also need to add the following code:
Note: don’t forget to change the Twitter username and more detailed instructions can be found in this tutorial by WP Beginner.
If you want to add a follow button without a follower count, you can use Twitters button resource page to generate one.
#6 – Add a Twitter share button to your blog posts
I’m still seeing a lot of blogs that don’t have share buttons so make sure you have one so your readers can tweet your posts easily.
The important step here is to ensure that your Twitter @username is included in your tweets, like this:
Most social sharing plugins have this option, I currently use Social Snap because it’s got some awesome features and the buttons are eye catching too.
It’s a premium plugin which costs $24/year (cancel anytime). I’ve tried a bunch of others and this has some other incredible features that will help you.
See this post for some alternative social sharing plugins for your WordPress blog.
#7 – Setup Twitter cards
Once you setup Twitter cards, whenever someone shares a link from your blog, it will look like this when you read the summary:
This is eye-catching and will increase engagement which increases the likelihood of gaining more followers.
For WordPress users, setup is easy. Especially if you are using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast because you will find the option to add Twitter cards in the social settings:
Once activated, you will need to follow the ‘Twitter Card Validator’ link to get your Twitter Cards approved.
If you aren’t using WordPress, Twitter has some documentation that will give you a step by step guide on how to get started.
#8 – Link to your Twitter account in your author bio
Adding a link to your Twitter profile in your author bio is an easy way to get more followers.
You may notice that I don’t do this in my author bio.
This is because I’m currently focusing more on growing my Google+ following right now.
It’s also worth considering this tactic if you’re contributing to other blogs within your niche – it can be a great
Before you do this, consider the impact that this will have on your other goals. For example, I prioritize building my email list before my Twitter following. So I tend to link to landing pages in my author bio’s on other sites to build my list.
For more details on why I do this, check out my post on goal setting.
#9 – Link out to influencers in your blog posts and let them know about it
There are people in your niche/industry who have direct influence over your target audience. They have large audiences of their own and you can tap into them.
The next time you publish a blog post, try linking out to some influencers and letting them know about it.
You can notify them via Twitter, Google+ or email – I tend to find Twitter can work quite well.
Looking at Twitter specifically, there are a number of ways you can structure your tweets. Here’s a great example by Brian from Okay Marketing:
One of the reasons this works so well is purely because of how flattering it is – I immediately headed over to the post and scheduled a retweet.
To find influencers to connect with, check out my post on influencer research tools.
#10 – Embed tweets in your blog posts
If you want to draw attention to any particular tweets, embedding them into your blog posts is a solid way to boost engagement.
First you need to get the code to embed in your blog post. To do this, click the ‘more’ button next your tweet and click ‘Embed Tweet’:
You’ll then get the exact code to add into the HTML of your blog post.
#11 – Add tweetable quotes within your blog posts
A super quick way to grow your audience on Twitter, and on your blog is to use ‘click to tweet’ boxes within your blog posts.
You may have seen one of these earlier on in the post. Here’s another one:
Clicking on the box above will open up a Twitter window, giving you the option to share a quote (and this post) with your followers.
Want to add this on your own blog?
If you use WordPress, you could use the Social Snap plugin like I do. It’s a paid plugin that adds social sharing buttons and a bunch of great features (including ‘click to tweet’ boxes).
There are several design styles for these boxes, and you have the option to create your own with CSS.
A great free alternative is; Better Click To Tweet.
If you don’t use WordPress, you could use ClickToTweet.com. It’s free but only provides you with a link – you’d need to create the snazzy box yourself.
#12 – Start using Triberr right now
Triberr is a social platform that puts your content in front of other blogs and multiplies your reach.
While other networks are supported, the platform focuses around Twitter.
Triberr is full of tribes of bloggers; you’ll find everything from tribes of social media bloggers to tribes of travel bloggers.
Start off by registering an account, add your RSS feed and start following relevant tribes.
Tribe chiefs will have the option of promoting you to a full member, when you’re a full member your blog posts will go into the tribal feed of other bloggers in that tribe. This gives them the option to share your blog posts.
You can also create your own tribes and invite other users, giving you a great opportunity to grow your own community.
Important note: Triberr is a platform that thrives on reciprocity, other people share your content and you share theirs.
If you take away one tip from this list and implement it, let setting up Triberr be that tip.
Using Triberr has been one of the smartest decisions I have ever made.
Other tactics to increase your Twitter following
The tips below all focus around how you use Twitter as a platform – they’re well worth considering.
#13 – Avoid sending multiple tweets in a short space of time
Sending a lot of tweets in a short amount of time will only cause more people to unfollow you.
If you’re using different tools to send out tweets, it can become a bit of a juggling act but if you’re mindful about it and try to space out your tweets when possible – that will be a big help.
There are tools like Buffer which can be a big help.
Instead of hitting the tweet button, add your tweets to Buffer and they’ll be published at a schedule of your choosing.
#14 – Stop sending automated DM’s
This can work as a tactic to generate traffic or cross promote your other social networks when done right but the side effect is that you will lose followers.
Most people hate receiving automated DM’s.
And automated DM’s which include a URL to the service used to send them are even worse.
#15 – Tweet more (within reason)
Tweeting for the sake of tweeting is never a good idea and neither is tweeting so much that your followers get sick of it.
You don’t have to settle on an optimum number of tweets as that really varies on a number of factors – look more at a ball park figure.
There is a balance to be found here and the key is to tweet enough to
In Buffer’s guide to social media frequency, Kevan Lee goes through some important points on how often you should post.
#16 – Engage with other users
If you aren’t engaging with other Twitter users, you’re going to struggle to build an engaged following.
There will always be a limit to the time we can spend engaging with other users but it’s well worth putting the time in to schedule engaging updates and respond to your @mentions.
#17 – Follow people who value what you have to say
A popular strategy people have used to get more Twitter followers is to simply follow other people who have similar interests.
This can work well but the chance of someone following you back is low.
Instead try following people who already know who you are and value what you have to say.
You can do this by simply heading over to Twitter. Then type the URL to a recent post of yours into the search box.
#18 – Ask for retweets but use sparingly
Studies have shown that asking your followers to retweet can help increase your retweets by up to 4 times.
More retweets is a great thing because it expands your reach and with each retweet you have the opportunity to gain more followers.
Just add “Please retweet” at the front of your tweet.
This has the potential to work purely because you are including a direct call to action for your followers but it’s important to note that some people on Twitter do find this annoying.
#19 – Vary the type of content you share
Variety is important on Twitter.
Just sharing an endless stream of links won’t help anyone.
Try shaking things up by sharing other types of updates like quotes and engaging questions.
If you want to get even more engagement try using a tool like Pablo by Buffer to create images for your quotes in seconds.
And within minutes you can make shareable quote images like this:
And since Pablo is made by Buffer, scheduling via their main app can be done in the click of a button.
Why bother with visuals? According to a study by Dan Zarrella, images are 94% more likely to be retweeted.
#20 – Leverage and optimize hashtags
Including relevant hashtags in your tweets is a great way to get more eyeballs on your tweets.
The problem is that most hashtags won’t help you at all, so the key is in finding which of them are worth using.
This is where tools like RiteTag come in.
RiteTag makes the process of finding and optimizing hashtags easy thanks to its handy color coded system:
There’s also a database of 10,000,000+ hashtags for you to search through – complete with engagement metrics and other statistics.
RiteTag’s pricing starts from $10/month but you get a 30 day free trial to take it for a spin.
Need more help getting your hashtags right? Check out our complete guide to Twitter hashtags.
#21 – Pin your best stuff to your profile
If you’ve got something to share that can be valuable to your audience, try pinning it to your profile.
Whenever someone visits your Twitter profile, they will see this pinned tweet which is a great opportunity to give your followers something great.
I tried this recently to promote one of my resource posts and in doing so I have tripled the engagement that the tweet originally received:
Including an image is an important part of this and ensuring that what you’re sharing vibes with your target audience.
#22 – Share the content your audience is interested in
Keeping your updates as relevant as possible is a sure-fire way to get more traction on your tweets (and expand your following).
People who want to learn about a specific topic will follow you to learn about that topic.
You can further hone in on what content your followers are interested in by using Simply Measured, they also offer a free Twitter follower report that shows 10,000 of your latest followers.
It’s specifically this part of the report that you should look for:
There are other tools that can give you more insights on your followers such as Twitonomy.
#23 – Share other people’s content and tag them
One of the key steps to gaining more followers is to help people out and share their stuff.
Sharing other people’s content and tagging them is a sure-fire way to get on their radar.
This is an important step in cultivating mutually beneficial relationships. The more you help other people out, the more likely they are to help you out.
#24 – Take part in Twitter chats
Twitter chats are a great way to develop meaningful relationships on Twitter, get to know people and get more followers.
Think of them as a Twitter party where people get together to talk about a specific topic at a specific time.
TweetReports.com has a Twitter chat schedule which you can use to find Twitter chats, or a quick Google search for [topic]+”twitter chat” can give you a head start.
There are also dedicated platforms like TweetChat.com which are designed to help you manage Twitter chats easier.
#25 – Schedule your tweets to be published when your followers are online
Optimizing the times which you share content is the key to getting more traction and increasing your reach.
Free tools like Tweriod will enable you to find out exactly what times your followers are most active on Twitter. You can also use Followerwonk to analyse your following too, it’s a paid tool but comes included in a Moz Pro subscription ($99/month).
Once you know when your followers are most active, you can start scheduling your tweets. You could do this manually but it’s a lot easier to use a scheduling tool like Buffer.
The awesome thing is that both Tweriod and Followerwonk have a one click sync option that will configure your Buffer schedule automatically.
Growing a Twitter following takes time, and effort. So it’s easy to understand why some folks look for shortcuts.
But the truth of the matter is that a following is pointless if it isn’t real. And there are tools that highlight accounts with fake followers, so for those who go down this route, the impact on their reputation can be a big problem.
So, use these tips to start growing a natural, and engaged audience. The results can be incredible.
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