When I first started using Twitter for my blog, I looked everywhere for a really comprehensive, detailed, and free guide on how to grow my Twitter quickly. I couldn’t find one, so I wrote one! I spent a ton of time working on, tweaking, and perfecting my Twitter growth strategy. It was all worth it because once I finally cracked the code, BOOM over 1,000 new Twitter followers in 3 weeks AND, more importantly, my referral traffic from Twitter increased by over 1600 percent! That’s a crazy amount of growth in less than a month. I was super excited and wanted to share everything I learned about how to grow my Twitter, so others can take advantage and put it to good use! Twitter is such a powerful tool for growing blog traffic, but it’s often overlooked because many bloggers don’t know how to leverage it fully. Not anymore! Check out my powerful, detailed guide and start growing your blog traffic using Twitter TODAY!
A few months ago, I set a very lofty goal for myself. I not only wanted to gain 1,000 new followers on my Twitter account; I wanted to gain 1,000 targeted followers who would be engaged with my tweets and result in referral traffic. I didn’t want just any followers; I wanted followers who were in or interested in my niche AND who would retweet my content and visit my blog. I’m happy to report that I more than succeeded. Not only did I gain over 1,000 new Twitter followers in 3 weeks (surpassing my original goal of doing it in one month), but my referral traffic from Twitter to my blog increased by over 1600 percent!
It was a lot of work, but I did all the hard stuff so that you don’t have to! All you have to do is read and follow this simple step-by-step guide. It’s broken down into 5 categories with actionable steps under each one. Yes, it’s on the longer side, but that’s because I let you in on literally everything I know. I didn’t leave anything out. It’s almost like an e-book, but it’s completely free and available to everyone.
The following guide is one of the most comprehensive, free resources I’ve seen about Twitter and if you follow it exactly, I promise you’ll gain tons of engaged, targeted followers in no time at all! I went from having a little over 200 followers to having well over 1,000. That’s a HUGE change. A lot of bloggers, especially in my niche of food bloggers, seem to overlook Twitter as a valuable source of referral traffic. I have to admit that I was one of them, but the results I’ve seen during the 3 weeks have made me a believer in Twitter traffic.
This guide is not just about gaining 1,000 random Twitter followers who won’t do anything for your blog traffic. It’s about gaining targeted followers who care about your content and will give your blog a tremendous boost. And the best part of my follower strategy? If you implement it once for 3 weeks, it’ll keep working for you even after you’re no longer applying it. I still get at least 10-25 new followers every single day and I haven’t targeted any new followers in months! I just continue to tweet and retweet others on a regular basis, and I’m still seeing growth! My referral traffic also continues to increase each month since I carried out this strategy! Amazing, huh?
So, enough chit chat. Let’s get started! 😉
Step 1: Finding the Right Followers
The first thing you have to do is find the right followers for your account. As I mentioned above, the right followers are not just random people who will follow you. The right followers are people will be engaged with your tweets. The right followers will like and retweet your content, which will ultimately result in a huge increase in Twitter referral traffic to your blog. So, how do you find these people? Use the 5 tips below to compile a list of potential followers and then move onto step 2.
1. Look through the followers of blogs similar to yours
Do you know of any blogs similar to yours? Of course you do! Chances are that people following that blogger’s Twitter account may be interested in yours as well, right? That’s the logic behind this step. Use the 5 tips below to compile a list of 50-75 potential followers and then move onto step 2.
The best Twitter accounts to find followers from will be:
- Ones that are in your niche and have a similar target audience to yours
- Ones that have less followers than you or up to 3,000 followers more than you. The Twitter accounts you look at should be for blogs that are somewhat similar in age and/or popularity to you. Going through the 20K followers of the biggest blogger in your niche would be really time consuming and not very effective. The BEST accounts to look at are ones that are in your niche and are slightly more popular than yours (anywhere from 500-3000 followers more than you) because chances are their audience would be interested in your blog. They just haven’t discovered it yet.
You can also find followers through looking at those who retweeted or liked tweets that are similar to the ones you’ve tweeted.
2. Choose followers who are “following” slightly less, about the same, or more than the amount of “followers” they have
If a person has 3,000 Twitter followers, but is only following 350 people, chances are they will NOT follow you. Ideally, you want to target people who are following more accounts than the amount of accounts following them (aka people who have a higher number of “following” than “followers”).
I’ve found that some of the best accounts to find followers from are those that are in your niche AND following a lot more people than the amount following them. If an account has 200 followers and is following 1000 people, I would go through those 200 followers they have and target any that are relevant to your content. If only 200 out of the 1000 people they followed are following them, chances are, a high percentage of those 200 people will follow you too. I’ve found that targeting followers of those types of accounts have the highest conversion rate for following me.
3. Only choose followers whose content you’re genuinely interested in and relates to your blog in some way
Even if you find someone who is following another blogger in your niche and has the perfect ratio of followers to following, they still may not add anything to your audience. If you find a potential follower who fits all the above criteria, but they’re selling power tools and you’re a food blogger, they might not be the best fit for you. This step is more subjective than the others and it’s really up to you to decide who would be a good follower for you. I will say though, it can be really tempting to target someone irrelevant to your blog or business, if you think there’s a really high chance they will follow you. If you still really want to choose them as a potential follower, that’s fine. Honestly, I did that myself sometimes. Just remember they may not add anything in terms of engagement or referral traffic. You generally want to follow people who are either 1) companies, bloggers, or public figures who are in or related to your niche in some way OR 2) people who are interested in that niche (i.e. they follow a lot of other bloggers and businesses in that niche or they retweet a lot of content from that niche).
4. Choose followers who have been tweeting recently
There are a lot of inactive accounts on Twitter aka people who have a Twitter, but don’t actually use it or haven’t used it in a long time. There’s no point in targeting these people as potential followers because chances are they aren’t even on Twitter right now/anymore. Pick potential followers who have been active on Twitter within the past week. The best ones are those who are active several times a day, everyday. They are likely to find your account more quickly and engage with your content consistently.
5. Choose other bloggers in your niche as potential followers as well
While you don’t want your whole list of potential followers to be other bloggers, you certainly shouldn’t overlook other bloggers when choosing potential followers either. Other bloggers in your niche are most likely to retweet your content, which is super important for increasing your referral traffic from Twitter. I’ll go into more detail about that in Step 5.
So to recap, the first step is to choose potential followers that you believe will follow you and add to your audience. The best way to do this is by analyzing what niche they seem interested in, how many followers they have versus people they are following, and how active they are on Twitter.
Step 2: Gaining Followers
Once you’ve chosen potential followers, it’s time to try to convert them into actual followers. There are 4 different ways to do this.
1. The power of the retweet
Retweeting someone is like spending nothing and potentially getting $100. It doesn’t cost you anything and the return can be HUGE! People love being retweeted because it gets their content in front of a larger audience. If you retweet someone, there’s a good chance they will follow you in order to get their content retweeted again. The best thing about this strategy is if they don’t follow you, you didn’t lose anything by retweeting them. In fact, you win something because you provided your audience with some interesting content. Sometimes, even if someone doesn’t follow you, they’ll return the favor and retweet your content, so that’s a win for you too. It’s one of those strategies that really doesn’t have a downside.
2. Liking other people’s tweets
Liking someone’s tweet isn’t quite as powerful as retweeting them, but it can still be a helpful way of gaining attention. If you don’t want to retweet someone for some reason, but you still think they may be a good potential follower OR if you want to like someone’s tweet in addition to retweeting it, by all means, like away! If somone is following a lot of accounts, but doesn’t have a lot of followers, it’s likely that a “like” may be enough to get their attention and gain a follow from them.
3. Following people
This is the most direct and obvious way to get someone to follow you. If you choose your followers based on the criteria outlined in step 1, you’ve picked people who have a very high likelihood of following you back, if you follow them first. This is the most effective way to gain followers, but there is a little bit of a downside. With the two methods above, you don’t have to follow anyone in order to gain a follower. With this method, you’re gaining a follower and also gaining a person that you’re following. The only reason this matters is that a lot of people like the number of people who follow them to exceed the amount they’re following, so they look “more popular”. You have to decide if this matters to you or not. There’s also always the risk of people following you and later unfollowing (more of this later), so may you want to download an app like Crowdfire to keep track of who unfollows you.
4. Doing all THREE of the above
The most powerful way to gain a follower is to do all 3 of of the above or any combination of 2. If you retweet someone, like their tweet, and follow them, they’re even more likely to notice you.
So to recap, take the list of potential followers you created in step one and choose which of the 4 strategies above you want to use to encourage them to follow you. Feel free to use a different strategy for each potential follower depending on what you think will be most effective for that person.
Step 3: Who to Follow Back (and Who to NOT Follow Back)
Another important aspect of gaining targeted followers is who you choose to follow back. As your Twitter grows, more and more people will start to follow you first, even if you’re not targeting them. Generally speaking, you don’t want to follow back every single person who follows you first. It’s kind of pointless if following back won’t help you blog or business.
You’ll more or less want to follow back anyone who owns a blog or business in your niche because following them, liking their tweets, and retweeting them could help your own account and blog. It’ll get you noticed by their followers and will encourage them to retweet your content, as well. That being said, there are definitely some followers who are not really worth following back.
Below are 3 types of followers, you generally do not want to follow back. The exception to all 3 of these is if you are genuinely interested in their content. In that case, you should follow them back regardless.
1. People who will follow and then unfollow
A lot of people follow a bunch of Twitter accounts and then unfollow them to gain followers without adding a bunch of people to their “following” list. I’m not a huge fan of this practice—I think it’s slightly cheating, but a lot of people do it. If someone with 30 K followers who is only following 2,000 people, follows you, they are most likely going to unfollow you in a few days. So, unless you’re genuinely interested in their Twitter account and don’t mind being unfollowed by them later, I would NOT follow them back. It’s not going to do you any good.
2. People who have a really high ratio of following to followers
If someone is following 1,200 people, but only has 150 followers, you don’t really need to follow someone like that back unless you’re really interested in their account. Usually, someone like that will continue following you, regardless of whether you follow them or not. Plus, oftentimes, they may be someone who doesn’t own a blog or business, and is just genuinely interested in your content! That kind of follower is the best for referral traffic.
3. People who have nothing to do with your niche
If a blogger or business follows you and they have nothing to do with your niche, 90 percent of the time they won’t be engaged with your content. Not really worth a follow back.
Also, remember, if someone is truly interested in your content and wants to be following you (this is the ideal follower), they won’t unfollow you just because you didn’t follow them. The golden rule of this guide is that you follow people you think would be genuinely interested in your content and/or whose content YOU are genuinely interested in.
So to recap, you should only follow back accounts that you are genuinely interested in, who will keep following you, and will be likely to engage with your content.
Step 4: Your Tweets
In order to maximize your potential for tweet engagement and referral traffic your tweets should:
- Contain a link to your content
- Contain a high-quality photo that you attach to your tweet (not just the little thumbnail that comes with the link)
- Contain 2-4 hashtags, preferably within the content (but don’t put so many that the tweet gets all cluttered with hastags and people can’t read it!) Here’s a good example of a well composed tweet:
You should also tweet at least 4 times a day in order to get your tweets noticed. It’s best to tweet different content each time to mix it up as much as possible. Always pin your most “important” tweet (the one you want the most amount of people to see and retweet) to the top of your Twitter page. Try to change it up every few days, so people have new stuff to retweet and like from you. People are generally in a rush and don’t want to spend a long time looking for your tweet. Make it easy for them by having the content you want shared right at the top! Hint: My pinned post is usually my most recent blog post or a post that’s relevant to an upcoming holiday or event!
So to recap, you should tweet at least 4 high quality tweets everyday and pin your most important tweet to the top of your page to maximize engagment and referral traffic.
Step 5: How to Use your New Followers to Increase Engagement and Referrals
You have your 1,000 new followers and you post a high quality tweet 4 times a day, so now what? If the end goal is to increase referral traffic to your blog, then you need to proactively engage with your followers and other people’s content. Here are two key ways to do this.
1. Retweet, retweet, retweet
This is where the power of the retweet comes in handy again. I already talked about this a bit in the gaining followers section, but I want to re-iterate it here because it’s super important. Like and retweet other people’s tweets, so they will like and retweet yours, especially if that person has MORE followers than you. It’s a way of expanding your reach way past the number of followers you have. What makes Twitter so powerful is that it enables you to share your content beyond just the people who follow you. Getting as many people as possible to retweet your content is the key to drastically increasing referral traffic to your blog from Twitter. It will also result in new followers that you don’t even have to target because the retweet led them to your account! You could gain new followers, subscribers, or visitors to your blog from someone else’s Twitter account because they retweeted you. Expanding your reach on Twitter is not just about the number of followers you have– it’s also about the number of people who retweet you and the number of followers THEY have. The more retweets you get, the more new followers and referral traffic you will get. It’s that simple.
So how do you get those powerful retweets? The best way to encourage people to retweet you is by retweeting them first. Experiment with different people and see who returns the retweet favor. If someone retweets you after you retweeted them then you should continue to retweet them. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful a retweet is for driving traffic to your blog because it gets your blog out in front of far more people than just your own followers. I usually get the most referral traffic to my blog from Twitter right after an account with a large following retweeted my content. Retweets allow your blog to be seen by tens of thousands and potentially MILLIONS of people! So, use it!
Something else to keep in mind: Make sure you retweet high quality, relevant content from other bloggers, so you’re giving your own Twitter followers strong content to engage with. The better quality your own tweets and your retweets are, the more Twitter followers you’ll have and the more they’ll look forward to your content.
2. Set up a direct message for new followers
Set up a direct message that sends your website link to new followers. Other than retweets, this is the number one way that I’ve been able to drive new traffic to my blog via Twitter. You can use to a service like Crowdfire to send a direct message to every person who follows you. You may think no one reads these messages, but, believe me, they do. Not only does it drive more people to my blog, but also, about 1/3 of the time, people actually RESPOND to the message and it gives me a way to engage with potential readers DIRECTLY. Do not underestimate how powerful this is.
Your message should be simple and straightforward. I’ve gotten automatic direct messages from other bloggers before that were SO long that I stopped reading as soon as I saw it. In order to grab someone’s attention and ensure they’ll read your message, your message should be short, sweet, and to the point. Don’t forget to include a link to your blog! To give you an idea, here’s mine:
Note: Please don’t spam people with direct messages. ONE message to new followers is enough.
So to recap, you should retweet high-quality, relevant content from other Twitter accounts frequently, so that they will retweet you back. The more retweets you get, the more new followers and referral traffic you will get. You should also set up a direct message encouraging new followers to visit your site. Your message should be short, to the point, and non-spammy.
So that’s all folks! If you’re reading this last paragraph, then congrats! You now have everything you need to grow your Twitter instantly. You should use this strategy to target approximately 50-60 new potential followers each day for the next 3 weeks in order to reach 1000 followers. Not all the people you target will follow you back, but as you grow, you’ll find that more people are finding your account and following you first, so it all evens out to about 50 new followers for your account each day. As you move ahead in the 3 weeks, you may not need to target as many people because more people will follow you first. Adjust the exact number to fit your goals and needs. This does take some work, but like I said in the intro section, my favorite thing about this strategy is that it keeps working even after you stop using it. All you have to do is implement this strategy for 3 weeks and your Twitter will continue to grow even without targeting any new followers (but you still need to tweet and retweet consistently). It’s that powerful, but you have to follow every single step EXACTLY for it to work. So, get to work on growing that Twitter and blog traffic growth will follow!
P.S. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll be sure to answer it!
P.P.S. Check out my Twitter here. 😀
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