how-i-gained-5000-twitter-followsSo you want to grow your Twitter account but aren’t really sure where to start? I am outlining the simple steps I took to gain 5,000 real Twitter followers in less than 6 months.

First and foremost, before growing your account, you will need to ensure your profile is complete. Make sure you have a profile picture, cover photo, full description and website/blog link. You can integrate #hashtags into your profile if desired.

Next, it’s time to generate quality content. The average life of a tweet is only 15 minutes. To make an impact on Twitter, that means you need to be posting 10-15 times PER day! If you are manually posting or scheduling these posts that can be very time consuming. I have an easier way 😉

First, identify a few accounts that inspire you. I have a list of 10 accounts that I really LOVE reading content from. It’s important that these accounts are active on Twitter (posting multiple times per day) and have a like-minded view with what you want to portray to your followers. I have creating a “LIST” on Twitter for these accounts. If there are specific accounts that I really want to follow me back, I will ‘star’ them as a favorite so that I get notifications every time they post. After liking or retweeting nearly every post over the course of a week, it’s typically enough to get you noticed and receive a follow back.

It is suggested that ideal Twitter accounts have a 80/20 rule. New content or posts from you should be 80% of your feed with 20% retweets. I love using Roundteam to automate my retweets. They offer a free service in exchange for a promotional tweet. I pay for the service for a whopping $3/month and have a few extra features.

For native tweets, I use two different programs. First, I utilize Hootsuite‘s RSS feed feature. You can input an RSS feed for a specific blog and then control how often it posts within a 24 hour time period.

IFTTT is another GREAT free program that can automate a variety of procedures to make your life easier! For the purpose of this post, we will focus exclusively on Twitter content, though this can also help with Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.

To use this for Twitter, I recommend you find great blogs with working RSS feeds. What is an RSS feed you ask? RSS (Rich Site Summary; originally RDF Site Summary; often called Really Simple Syndication) uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information: blog entries, news headlines, audio, video.

Most websites and blogs have RSS feeds. Though some make it difficult to find. The easiest way to determine if a site has an RSS feed is to simply add rss or feed at the end of the URL. So for example, www.kaylapeloquin.com is my site, my RSS feed is www.kaylapeloquin.com/rss. Some sites are super nice and have a little icon near their social media sites that links to their RSS feed.

When I choose blogs to post from I look for three things:

  1. Regularly Posted Content (at least once per day)
  2. Valid RSS feed
  3. Like-Minded Content

Once you have found a blog that meets these three requirements head over to IFTTT. Create an account, and then under the top right circle icon you would click “CREATE”.  The user face is pretty simple. Choose RSS as your IF (you’ll have to type RSS into the search bar) and then select TWITTER as your THAT (also type Twitter in the search bar). You will need to link your Twitter account. It will prompt you and is SUPER easy!

You have a few options, I recommend clicking the Create a New Tweet option. If the site you’re pulling from has great images you can also select the Post New Tweet with Image option. I like to add the Title and URL to the formula (see the video below). Once everything looks correct, select CREATE. You can always turn off recipes or update them in the future if needed.

If you are a blogger working on a WordPress platform, I also recommend using a plugin for re-posting your archived blog posts. Revive Old Post is great and gives you the opportunity to continuously re-promote your content to your growing Twitter following. I believe they also have a free version of the plugin too 😉

bloggers-guide-to-gain-2Now that you have regular content posting automatically to your account, it’s time to grow your fan base faster. Just by having consistent content, you will have a stream of organic growth, but to grow quickly, you’ll need to follow/unfollow accounts. Now before you freak out, it’s not as menacing as it seems.

I look for accounts that have an equal amount of followers/followed ratio. This means that most of the people will follow back. I have a three topic rule, three pinpointed topics that I try to keep my content focused on. I only follow those who match at least one of my three topics, thus keeping my Twitter feed relevant and focused. I follow new people all throughout the week. I actually follow people during commercials while catching up on my favorite TV shows. Over the weekend, I unfollow anyone who has not followed me back. I use the app Crowdfire for this because it also works with Instagram. However, Twitter actually shows you who is following you back. If you want a free way to check, login to Twitter on a computer (not available via mobile) and go to your following list. It shows on each account if they “FOLLOW YOU”. You can simply click the follow button to unfollow anyone who isn’t reciprocating.

Twitter can mark your account as spam if you are too aggressive with following or unfollowing. I have read that the threshold is 1,000 per day, but I would recommend staying well under that. The most I have ever followed or unfollowed in one single day is 500.

I am also a member of several Facebook blogging groups. They do Twitter follow trains. After participating in one or two per group, you’ll get a couple hundred more followers. However, I don’t think it’s beneficial to participate in every single thread 😉

My favorite groups are:

Ultimately, your Twitter will will grow based on the amount of time and energy you invest into it. Do you have any other tips for growing Twitter? I’d love to hear them!