How to Increase Your Twitter Followers

Many of my friends who are new to Twitter ask me what they can do to increase their Twitter Sphere of Influence or followers for those of you using Twitter for the fun of it.
Many people will tell you to follow as many people as possible when you first join Twitter, some people will automatically follow you back whether they know you or not because it’s the polite thing to do.  This is somewhat risky as you might get pegged as a Twitter spammer.
Others will tell you subscribe (aka pay a fee) to a service that will help you increase your followers.  Honestly, this really isn’t necessary and is a complete waste of money.  I prefer a more personal approach.

Let’s say you’re interested in the latest iPhone applications or that you’re a fan of the reality TV show Big Brother.  You can type in either of these search terms in the search box located on the right of your Twitter home page.  Some say you should type your search phrase like this #iPhone or #Big Brother.  Honestly I have search both way and haven’t noticed any big difference in the displayed results.

Now that you’re at the results page of your search you can click on the Tweeters name, read what they’ve been tweeting and follow them if they’ve peaked your interest or move on the next result.  This technique is a great way to meet and interact with new people; this approach also enhances your Twitter experience.
Have you been on Twitter for a while, but you’re not getting many new followers?
There are a few things you can do to increase the number of people following you.  It’s time to take a look at the people you’re following.  Click on the “following” link to go to the list of people you’re following, these people are listed in order from most recently added to last.  If you look to the right of their name you’ll see a little pull down box, click on that, if you see “direct message” in the list that means this person is following you back.  Give the people you’ve recently added time to follow you back, not everyone checks Twitter as frequently as you and I.
Down at the bottom of the page you’ll see a next button, keep clicking that until you reach the names of people you followed a while back.  If you don’t see the direct message option in the pull down next to their name, now you have to make a choice to continue following them or not.  Here’s the thing if you’re following more people than are following you (ex: you’re following 50,000 & only 500 follow you), you might be making yourself unattractive to potential followers.  I typically stop following people who appear to be spammers, who aren’t contributing to the community, and finally those who haven’t following me back.  I typically give the people who haven’t followed me back 5 months to reciprocate the Twitter love.
The biggest way to increase followers is to tweet (post) useful messages, if people can learn from your tweets they’re more inclined to follow you.  I like to post random things about my day to my friends and followers so not every tweet needs to be informative, but posting informative message is a sure way to increase your followers.  Don’t be a spammer just to advertise your blog, your MLM opportunity, or your get rich quick scheme.  Be helpful, and people will follow you and thank you for what you bring to the Twitter table.
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