Twitter is more than just a networking platform—it’s a tool for generating leads. However, finding the right followers and content to share, setting up partnerships, and using Twitter correctly to get engagement is challenging. That’s why we asked 21 industry pros for their top tips on how to get Twitter followers and boost engagement.
Here are the top 21 social media strategies to earn more Twitter followers from the pros:
1. Require Business Partners to Follow You
Mike Catania, Chief Technology Officer, PromotionCode
If you’re looking to grow your Twitter followers quickly—and ethically—make following your account on Twitter part of a sign-up process. Part of our strategy is mandating that stores that want to list their coupons on PromotionCode follow and tag us on Twitter. It’s worked very well with no blowback at all. We’ve picked up several thousand followers this way.
2. Don’t Start Tweets With @ Sign
Cynthia White, Freelance Business Writer, Dear Cynthia
If you want to signal someone, use the @ sign and their Twitter name in the middle or at the end of the tweet. When you start tweets with the @ sign, the only people who see the tweet are the ones who follow you and the ones who follow the person you’re talking to—I mean the intersecting set, not your followers plus their followers. You want people to see your tweets and conversations to grow your following.
3. Tag a Brand
Krista Ulatowski, Owner, Kucumber Nutrition Communications
If the brand admires your post, you may get a retweet, resulting in more eyes on your post—and ultimately, more followers. Engage them by tagging them instead of simply tossing Tweets into the Twitterverse.
4. Join Twitter Chats
Lucy Arkay, Marketing Consultant, Arkay Marketing & PR
Twitter chat is a great way to begin building relationships, and if you’re looking to up your engagement, there’s no better place. You can find a Twitter chat sometime during the week for virtually any topic you’re interested in. If you want to join and share, you can, and if you want to just soak up the learnings, that’s fine, too.
Allie Potts, Sales Editor, Fit Small Business
Creating content and managing your Twitter account takes time. If you want to save time or are not interested in participating in Twitter, then you can find a Twitter manager to take over the daily routine of posting content and responding to followers. A freelancer Twitter manager—sourced through a service like Fiverr—can cost as little as $5. Learn more about the Twitter managers available through Fiverr.
6. Ask Followers to Tag Friends for More Engagement
Michael Anderson, Founder, Passport Explored
Tag five people who you interact with regularly, ask them a question, and then ask them to tag five more people. What will happen is these first five people will answer your question and they will each tag more people. Eventually, your original tweet will see high engagement as more people are tagged and answering the original question.
7. Give Away Freebies
Chane Steiner, CEO, Crediful
This is a big one if you run a company or are selling products. Everyone likes a free gift, and this is sure to boost followers quickly. The rationale is that nobody wants to miss out on offers, so by being generous, you are sure to bring in lots of followers. The added bonus is that by offering freebies, you are sure to increase your own sales at the same time.
8. Set Up Google Alerts
Sanem Ahearn, Head of Marketing, Colorescience.com
Set up Google alerts to find out what your audience is interested in and what they’re sharing the most. These alerts will update you about topics of interest, making it easy to share new content with your followers. This handy tool will do all the leg work for you and present the most relevant topics to capture the interest of your audience.
9. Follow the Rule of Thirds
Nikki Corbett, Owner, President & Lead Editor, Precise
It’s best to follow the rule of thirds when it comes to social posting. Promote or talk about your business one-third of the time. Share other content and educate one-third of the time to help establish yourself as an expert in your field. The other one-third of the time, you should converse or entertain.
Evan Tarver, General Manager of Marketing Vertical, Fit Small Business
Keeping up with the changing landscape of Twitter—hashtags, follows, mentions, and content creation—can be a full-time job that many business owners find frustrating and unproductive. If growing a Twitter following is vital for connecting with clients or customers for your business, then hiring Twitter experts at a company like Hibu is your best choice. Find out more about the Twitter services offered by Hibu.
11. Create Quality Twitter Graphics
Rachael Jessney, Managing Director, Atelier Studios
Use tools such as Canva to create high-quality social media graphics that can help to make your posts more eye-catching, visually appealing, and more likely to get shared.
12. Find the Right Hashtags
David Leonhardt, President, THGM Writers
Use the right hashtags in your tweets—and “right” is not what you would think. The key is to find hashtags followed by a community of interest. Those might not be the most tweeted hashtags, but they are the most followed. Hint: People follow hashtags they are passionate about more than hashtags with practical appeal.
Stacy Caprio, Search Marketing Manager, Conversiono
To get followers on Twitter, try running a contest where everyone who retweets your contest tweet and follows you gets entered into a drawing for a prize, such as a product or service from your business. This is a great way to get followers quickly who are also in your target audience.
14. Experiment With Tweets
Caio Bersot, Content & Social Media Specialist, Energyrates.ca
You should reserve a portion of your Twitter posts for tests of a specific hashtag, longer posts, or a different tone. Users want to follow accounts that publish engaging, unique, and quick content on Twitter. The safest path isn’t always the right one. If you use the same strategies every week, it will probably turn against you.
15. Tweet Consistently
Tiffany Schreane, Advertising & Marketing Expert, FIT & BMCC
Post content as often as possible. People generally won’t follow or engage if they feel your page is dormant. Whether you choose to use Twitter for humor, business, or informational content, just make sure your messaging is consistent with your brand.
16. Follow Accounts Similar to Your Own
Nicole A. Meyerson, Marketing Consultant, Parity Club
Find other Twitter accounts whose audiences are similar to your own. Then, follow their followers and engage with their tweets. Retweet or “heart” clever tweets, and reply to tweets and start a conversation. The more engaging you are with your content, the more followers you’ll gradually acquire.
17. Know Your Purpose
Anjana Wickramaratne, CEO, Inspirenix
If you are trying to grow on Twitter, you have to have a purpose. It can be to gain more exposure, to sell your products and services, or to build a community around you. How can you find out what techniques will work for your purpose? You just have to do some research on your competitors or similar profiles and implement the strategies that they use.
18. Follow Smaller Accounts With High Engagement
Tasmin Lockwood, Content Writer, Radial Path
Follow not just the accounts with huge followings, but accounts with a healthy number of engaged followers. This way, you’re involved in a community and have conversations with real people instead of throwing out your opinion to someone with 45,000 followers. Smaller accounts and their followers are more likely to engage with you, which means you’ll get more mentions and comments will be pushed up in the thread.
19. Post Content Before Building a Following
Linda Pophal, Owner & Consultant, Strategic Communications, LLC
When building an account from scratch, first make sure you have some content posted. I’ll usually post for two to three weeks before trying to actively build followers. Why? Because it’s difficult, if not impossible, to build followers if you have no content to draw them in or a way to indicate how you will provide value.
20. Use Conferences & Trade Shows
Emily Carlson, Marketing Lead, RANTIZO
Leverage trade shows or conferences to gain new followers. Trade shows and large conferences often use a branded hashtag for their event. You can search by that #hashtag to engage with other attendees. Typically, if they are at the same event, they will be interested in what you have going on and follow as a result.
21. Respond to Mentions Quickly
Gregory Golinski, Head of Digital Marketing, YourParkingSpace.co.uk
You should respond when people @ mention you on Twitter. According to recent studies, people expect brands to respond to mentions within four hours. If you don’t respond to these mentions, you risk losing followers and potential customers.
Bottom Line: How to Get Followers on Twitter
With over 300 million users, Twitter can be a difficult place to stand out from other businesses seeking engagement. That’s why we gathered these top 21 tips from the pros about how to get followers on Twitter. In short, cover the right content and use the right real estate hashtags to increase exposure to potential customers. Once you’ve built your following, it’s time to work on retention and growth. For this, read our tip list on employing Twitter marketing strategies that grow positive brand awareness and engagement.
For more information on how to employ successful social media marketing on Twitter and other channels, read our ultimate guide to social media marketing.