How many followers do YOU have on Twitter? Probably a little way short of the big punchers like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry – all of whom are around the 30 million mark.
You may not feel you’re competing with them, but have you ever been tempted to bump up your numbers by paying one of those companies advertising on the Internet?
The Guardian quotes the New York Times as saying you can now buy 220,000 for just £260.
Well don’t, unless you want to waste your time and money. As with most things in life, there really is no substitute for proper graft, as the numbers you add will be just that. Numbers. They certainly won’t be people who read your tweets, increase your influence or go on to do business with you. They will probably comprise a whole load of fake accounts.
After all, why would anyone willingly start following someone with whom they have no connection or shared interests? And that – after all – is what Social Media is all about. Connecting.
How many Twitter followers are “real”?
It might gratify you to know that according to Status People, a UK company quoted in a recent Guardian article and who specialise in filtering out ‘fake’ accounts and those that simply follow for the sake of it, less than a third of Lady Gaga’s followers are real or ‘good’ accounts. The same goes for UK big hitters like Wayne Rooney (30%) and even the sainted Stephen Fry (36%).
Of course, no one is suggesting that these luminaries have bought in their numbers – they don’t need to. Simply that because they don’t tend to worry about who follows them, all sorts of accounts will.
There is an art, as well as a science to increasing your Twitter following. And it comprises finding like-minded people, or those in related sectors, and developing relationships that add genuine value to your social media marketing.
How do I increase my Twitter following?
Here are our top 10 tips on having a following that’s worth its salt.
1 Decide what sort of people / organisations you want to follow and encourage to follow you.
2 Make sure your profile reflects that – that it’s sharply written, has key words in there and adopts the tone of voice and ‘persona’ that echoes your values. Having a distinctive avatar can also help.
3 If you’re just starting off, you can find other individuals and organisations that are in your ‘zone’, and pick out people following THEM that interest you.
4 If you don’t want your inbox filled with mindless chatter or sales spiel, check out what they tweet first.
5 Make sure they are the sort of tweeters who DO follow people back – check the followers to following ratio.
6 Make sure you have some tweets on your account that are genuinely interesting – people will check you out before they follow back.
7 Keep tabs on who you follow and who does / doesn’t follow you back (you can use a handy site like fllwrs.com to do this).
8 Don’t let the ratio of following/followers get too out of kilter – too far one way or the other and you will send out the wrong signals.
9 You can ‘gee’ people up after a couple of weeks by unfollowing then following them again. If that fails, unfollow them permanently.
10 Remember that the REAL work is done in maintaining and developing relationships with your followers – retweeting, thanking them for follows and RTs, taking an interest in what they have to say and so on.
Of course all this takes time and commitment. But you will end up with a Twitter account that has real value. Quality matters more than Quantity – and that will also reflect in your Klout score.
And if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, remember there are always very handy experts like Content Frog happy to do the work for you…