People often ask me for tips about growing their following on Twitter. They wonder if I bought any of the over one quarter million followers in my Twitter family. The answer is a resounding, “No!”
The Twitter rules prohibit using sites to automatically add followers. “Twitter reserves the right to immediately terminate your account without further notice in the event that, in its judgment, you violate these Rules or the Terms of Service.”
I manually follow someone when I see a tweet I like in his or her tweet stream. At times, I’ll follow one or more of those listed in the “shout out” tweets that include a batch of recommended names, since others seem to find those people engaging and valuable. Likewise, I believe it’s better when people follow me because they find meaning and value in the content I provide – not because they work for a company that sells followers.
Grow your following organically by producing sharable tweets that people want to pass along to their own followers. When your tweets get re-tweeted and, thus, your twitter handle shared, it acts as an advertisement for you. This free, word-of-mouth buzz will help you attract new followers.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I schedule some of my tweets. I find this is an efficient way to reach all time zones.
Remember, though: the more followers, the more responsibility you have. Yes, it’s great that people are enjoying and distributing your content, but, you also need to reciprocate to remain human and practice what you preach.
I will follow almost everyone back, unless they give me a reason not to. I also try not to follow the bots, the eggs, the birds and the sexy (too much skin or TMI) avatars. (Some do slip by, and I will un-follow if I catch them later.)
People who are no longer active, or who consistently post spam will also be un-followed.
Sometimes, when I pick a particular person to follow and then notice pages of egg or bird avatars on their follower list, I believe the account may actually be a bot. I could be wrong, but when I see 100 of these avatars consecutively, I perceive it as a red flag.
That said, while originally never followed eggs, birds or non-picture bios, I started to notice many of those individuals began re-tweeting me, and so I altered my personal following procedure. It could be the individual may not yet have had a chance to load a nice picture for their account, or is concerned with privacy and has chosen to remain more anonymous.
Because I’m somewhat selective in these ways, there is a discrepancy in my following-to-follower ratio.
When it comes to buying a bot to attract followers, I don’t see the point, because the products of those efforts are not going to re-tweet posts or talk to you. If, in the off chance they do start a conversation with you, I assume I am communicating with a bot rather than a human. What good is that?
At the end of the day, if you’re consistent and stick with your daily following process or method, in time, your account will grow. This has proven true for myself and I believe it will for you, too.
You own your social media accounts. They require time, attention, and nurturing. We each have our own personal preferences on what to tweet, post, share, or pin. Buying followers can get your account deleted, not just suspended — deleted. This is just not my style.
Photography by @MomsofAmerica