Ten ways to organically grow your Twitter followers

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There are plenty of ways to artificially bump up your Twitter following. But for the rest of us – who want to attract actual followers who care about our content and become part of our networks and long-term sales pipelines – there are still plenty of ways to proactively accelerate Twitter follower growth. Here are ten ways to get you started.

1. Add your Twitter handle to all outward-facing communication
They can’t follow you if they don’t know where you are! Start adding your Twitter handle to business cards, your Web site, PowerPoint presentations, sales collateral and more. Anytime you reference your business, include your Twitter handle as another way for others to follow and engage.

2. Tease your recent tweets on your Web site or blog
There are a variety of plug-ins to feature your last 3-4 tweets in a sidebar of your blog or Web site. This not only features the fact that you have a Twitter account to follow, but gives prospects a sample of what you write about without having to click. You’ll increase your conversion to followers quickly this way.

3. Retweet others
If you find an article worth sharing, find someone else who has already tweeted it and retweet their original post. For example, most articles online have social sharing boxes that indicate how many times something has already been shared. Click the number next to the Twitter box and you’ll get a list of those who have already retweeted the article. Scan the list for someone you want in your network and retweet their post. At least one in three times, that person will follow you back because they noticed what you did and liked your content in return.

4. Respond
Twitter is a two-way street, and one of the fastest ways to get others’ attention (and increase your Klout score at the same time) is to reply to what others have said. Give a brief comment, let them know you agree, offer a counter opinion and/or link to another related article, etc. People like to follow others who are more likely to engage them in an online conversation moving forward.

5. Write a better bio
Following another Twitter account is a relatively low bar – lower than, say, adding another RSS feed to your Google Reader or including a new acquaintance to your LinkedIn network. But potential followers will still likely give you cursory review before clicking the “follow” button, and that often centers on what you’ve written for your bio. Have you included keywords that make it clear what you care most about, and what you likely tweet most about as well? Do you sound like an interesting person, including and beyond what you do for a living?

6. Use hashtags (occasionally)
If you use 2-3 hashtags in every post, you’ll scream “spammer” to potential followers. But if you’re attending a conference, for example, post related content in your Twitter account using the conference’s hashtag. That way, anybody else following conference-related tweets (both fellow attendees as well as those following from afar) will see you and can follow more quickly.

7. Participate in (or start) TweetChats
These are regularly-scheduled conversations between like-minded people on Twitter at a given day and time. These “Twitter Chats” often use a hashtag so that others can easily follow the conversation. Find a regular chat that’s relevant to your job or industry and check it out. Don’t be afraid to just watch and “listen” the first time to get the hang of how it works. You’ll likely find some very interesting people to follow who might just follow you back. And the next time they do it, start adding your voice and opinion to the mix. Great way to have others find you.

8. Engage Twitter users with high Klout scores
Much has been written about whether Klout is truly a good, independent measure of a Twitter account’s value and relevance. But despite arguments about algorithms, users with Klout scores of 50 or higher generally represent feeds that are held in high regard and are actively followed by others. The more these high-Klout users get to know you, the more they’ll engage with you and retweet your own content. And this, subsequently, increases the likelihood that their followers will follow you.

9. Thank and congratulate people & companies on Twitter
The next time you want to send a quick email to someone congratulating them on a promotion, or notice something great a local company has done, send them a note of thanks or congratulations publicly on Twitter. They’ll love that you’ve given them kudos, and done so in a forum that others can see as well. And they’re more likely to thank you back with a follow.

10. Curate great content
At the end of the day, other Twitter users will follow you back if you consistently produce great content. Most of that content should come from others. You can use services such as Timely and Buffer to queue up great content to post on your behalf throughout the week, so that your account is constantly featuring hand-selected and filtered content in the areas you’re most passionate about. Great feeds attract the most followers. Take the time to create and curate great content, and the rest will take care of itself.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.

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