Building a Twitter following is a must for bloggers and self-publishing authors
Using Twitter as a means of promoting your books is now almost a must. Twitter is a great social network for many people now for marketing and book promotion.
Along with Facebook, of course, these are the two best social networks for building your follower count and attracting attention to your writing.
While gaining a lot of Facebook Likes to your Page usually means paying for Facebook advertising, increasing your follower numbers on Twitter can be done easily for free.
But attracting new followers, and hence, potential new readers or book buyers takes a little bit of work.
If you are not taking action to continually build your number of followers on Twitter, you really should take some action now to correct the situation.
The good news is that it is very easy, and if you enact the following step-by-step procedure, take your time and be methodical; you will grow your followers on your Twitter account every day.
The two keys that will grow your following on your Twitter account are to follow new users who share a similar interest to you and to unfollow inactive Twitter users and those who do not follow you back.
Now, you might be a little hesitant about unfollowing users, but you will not risk your Twitter account being suspended for unfollowing. Twitter, in fact, has no unfollow limits.
However, although Twitter doesn’t explain this very well, it does have a policy against what it calls churning, which can lead to account suspension.
Churning is the process of following and unfollowing a lot of Twitter users very quickly, or over and over again. You can read Twitter’s best practices for more detail.
So let’s get started on my twitter tips for making your Twitter account work better for you, and help you sell more books or get more visitors to your blog.
But before we do, it might be a very good time check that your account is up to date.
Check your Twitter profile image and your Twitter bio to make sure everything is fresh, new and interesting. Perhaps even upload a new header image to brighten things up.
Start by cleaning up your Twitter account
Before you start following new users, you should do a spring clean of your account.
You want to achieve a ratio balance of your account, which means having more followers than you are following.
This doesn’t mean that you need a huge ratio difference. But if you are following 1,000s of users more than are following you, it will look like your account is a bit desperate and might dissuade people from following you.
As long as your follower count is slightly above your following count, you have a good ratio.
Go to your account and click the Following tab. Now you will see all the users you are following in the order you started following them.
Scroll down the list, and you can easily see who is following you by the grey box Follows You, next to their username. If there is no grey box, they are not following you.
From this list, you can unfollow users who are not following you back.
Don’t go crazy, but scroll down quite some way, and then start unfollowing. Doing a little bit every day is better than doing a huge number in one day. Keep to 100 or less per day.
Tip! I find the iPad app is great for this as it scrolls much faster than the desktop version.
Once you have cleaned out your account, you can start to look for people worth following.
The key to getting real users to follow you is to search for people who share a common interest with you.
In my case, my interests are writing, books, blogging and content marketing, so I look for authors, writers, bloggers and content marketers.
The easiest way to find people in your area of interest is to find Twitter accounts of thought leaders on your topic. Go to their profile pages and click on the Followers tab in the top menu under the header image.
Now you will have a list of all their followers.
From each list, be very selective, and only follow some users who REALLY share an interest with you. The more common interest you have, the more likely they will follow you back.
If there is no profile image or header photo, don’t bother following. If there is no bio, definitely don’t follow.
Tip! Stick to a maximum limit of 25-30 for each large account you are using to find new people.
Twitter can lock your account if you follow almost everyone in a list so don’t get greedy!
Don’t do too much! A little each day is the best way to grow your followers.
Develop a routine each day of following say, 100 new people, and don’t forget to go back and unfollow a similar number from as far back in your Following list as possible.
A good rule of thumb is to wait at least a month before unfollowing any account.
Give people time to follow you. People who follow back often only do it from time to time, so give them a chance.
Rinse and repeat. Twitter is one of the best social media platforms for building your connections. But it takes time and a little patience.
Set aside ten minutes every day to do your following and unfollowing and your Twitter account will start growing steadily.
Once you have your account balanced and growing, you can start on another way to grow your followers.
Following back is the quickest way to increase your Twitter following.
To do this, go to your Followers list and look for people who are following you, but you are not following.
Be selective again, and only follow back those who you believe to be genuine accounts that share an interest with you and are clearly not spammers.
You want to keep your new followers, so make sure you are Tweeting great content.
You can schedule Tweets of your recent blog posts, or share posts that you think will be of interest.
You should also make sure you are being communicative. Reply to tweets, add comments, share, like or even get into a few Twitter chats from time to time.
You don’t need to go overboard, but a little time invested in being active and communicating with people on Twitter is a great way to attract new followers.
Before you know it, your Twitter account will be growing, and so will your potential readership, blog visitors and book sales.
Don’t rush into trying to build your Twitter account. It will be a continual work in progress for you as part of your book promotion.
Just make sure that your Twitter profile, and especially your Twitter bio are both up to date and appealing.
Doing a little every day will bring you a steady stream of new followers if you make it a part of your daily routine.
Remember to clean your account first, then start following a small number of users every day and allow at least a four weeks before you unfollow any users who do not follow you back.
This has been my routine for years now and has helped me build a Twitter following of over 150,000.
Once you see your Twitter account growing, you will be building a wider targeted audience for your comments, blog posts and your promotional book posts.