How to Grow a Targeted Twitter Following

Mar 23, 2012   //   by Kristi Hines   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  22 Comments

If you’re like me, you might be a little wary of automated solutions that allow you to grow your Twitter list exponentially, but also have the potential of getting your account shut down. So instead, I thought I would share with you my simple strategy for slowly and steadily growing your Twitter followers.

This isn’t about getting a huge number of just any Twitter followers, but a smaller concentration of Twitter followers that will be interested in your content.

Tweet Links with Author’s Twitter Handle

If you read and tweet blog posts a lot, chances are you are using the Tweet button on the post or an app like Buffer to schedule your tweets. But one thing you might be missing out on with either approach is adding the blog post author’s Twitter handle to your tweet. Let’s say you were tweeting a post off of Mashable, for example. It’s not likely that @Mashable will notice your tweet considering they have dozens of posts daily that are getting tweeted around 1,000+ tweets each.

The people who might notice your tweets, however, are the authors of those posts. Simply click on the name of the author to get to their author page.

There, you will find a link to their Twitter profile.

When you tweet the post, be sure to include the author’s Twitter handle in the tweet and also follow the author.

Does this work all of the time? Of course not. But if you’re already tweeting a blog post, you might as well take the extra moment or two to find the author’s Twitter handle and include them in on the tweet. As a bonus, if you do establish a good relationship with a regular author on a major blog, you could ask them to introduce you to their editor to get a great guest posting gig for yourself!

Follow People Who Tweet Your Posts

Do you notice the same person regularly tweeting your posts? Simply follow them and thank them for tweeting you! This personal interaction may get them to follow you back if they are not following you already.

Follow People You Converse With

Do you get the occasional Twitter question from someone who isn’t following you? If they’re talking about your niche or industry, be sure to answer and follow them. They’ll likely take notice and follow you back since you’ll be fresh on their mind!

Monitor Keyword Discussions

Not sure where to find new followers? Try this approach. Search for a particular keyword on Twitter to see who is talking about it.

You can save your searches on Twitter itself or, better yet, save this search in a Twitter management tool like HootSuite so you can continuously monitor it.

Whenever someone asks a good question, answer it and follow the person. Since you’re helping them out, they’ll likely view you as an authority and follow you back for more information!

Include Hashtags

Last, but not least, make sure you get the most exposure for your tweets by simply adding a keyword hashtag to them. You know things like #seo, #socialmedia, and #blogging are popular. But if you’re not sure about others, use Tospy Analytics to search hashtag ideas to see which ones get the most usage.

Beneath the graph, you can see the types of tweets that are shared with that hashtag and the number of influential users that use it.

By doing this, the people who follow that hashtag will see your tweet as well as the people who create papers and other content based around the hashtag.

How Do You Grow a Steady Following on Twitter?

These are just a few ways to build a slow and steady following on Twitter that shouldn’t backfire and get your account penalized. What other methods do you use to build followers?

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Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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  • Elena Anne

    I totally agree with you. If you want a twitter following that is going to keep following you they need to like what you are doing. If you build relationships with your followers you will have more long term followers that care about you because you care about them.

  • Michaela says:

    This is such a great post! Tagging actual authors of posts (vs. just Mashable) is something I need to remember to do more often, thanks for the reminder!


  • Josh

    Some great tips and I’m definitely going to start monitoring keywords as it seems like a good way to find people to build a relationship with.

    By the way, its nice to hear that there are other people using hootsuite out there. Seems tweetdeck is the current rage.

    – Josh

  • Ana

    Slow and steady wins the race…

    One thing that I was always reluctant to do is to follow too many people. I just get overwhelmed seeing too many tweets in my timeline.

    I know I can create lists and all, but then I forget to check them.

    Other than that, definitely love and use most of these tips, Kristi!

    • Kristi Hines

      Over-following can lead to information overload on the tweet stream. That’s why I like following authors of sites I read – the blogs I follow are in my industry, so I know the authors will likely be discussing things I’m interested in. πŸ™‚

  • Carrie Simpson says:

    I find it really hard to steer clear of tools that help you to grow your Twitter following automatically. I mean, we are all attracted to the easy button solutions in life, right?

  • George says:

    I really loved this post! I’ll be pinning it on pinterest!

  • Lacey12 says:

    Everything is in the process, if you really wanted to gain a lot of follower you need first to built up a kind of tricks were you can make your name be known with most of us… Success is a matter of tricks/ strategies…

  • This posting has been remarkable helpful. Maybe that’s because I know so little about Twitter, but I haven’t been using hash tags and I’ve had the account for six months!

  • Jamie Northrup

    Great tips Kristi, I found that using hashtags and using people handles are the best ways, specially if you can help people directly.

  • tbaoo says:

    great piece .. it’s heart warming to have my crazy tweeting habits confirmed as having some real purpose .. thanks kristi ( p.s. i’ll have to include you in my twitterfeed as well )

  • nicole says:

    Great tips, I know this kind of strategy is very effective that can bring a huge help for getting the beautiful change on the stuff…

  • Audrey says:

    What a great strategy, I know that these several tips can bring a huge help to all of us…

  • Trisha28 says:

    Thanks for sharing with us this great idea, this strategy is cool and I know it will bring huge help to all…

  • Sandra92 says:

    I do love to pin it with my friends, truly indeed post that surely bring the best…