I'm sure you've already seen the many thousands of similarly named articles all over the internet. They all promise that they have the secret to unlocking millions of followers instantly. The reality is that it's unlikely that most people will get such results. As with anything in life, it takes hard work and dedication to build up a large and engaged following.
And really engagement is what's important. What's the point in having millions of followers if only a fraction of them engage with your content?
If you're reading an article like this, you're probably trying to build up your personal brand. Maybe to promote your blog? Or your YouTube channel? Or your freelancing gig? Or your startup? Whatever your motivation, ultimately you are trying to get more people to engage with your brand.
If you go to my Twitter profile, you'll see that I have just over 1000 followers (at time of writing - hopefully more now! 🤞). You might think that this isn't enough to write an article like this. Of course, there are many, many accounts that have way more followers than me.
So why am I writing this article? Well, I have been actively trying to grow my account for about 2 months. I started with a pretty much dormant account with about 400 followers, and over the past few months have been able to build it up to over 1000.
So to gain 600 followers in 2 months from pretty much 0 engagement is a win for me. And if you're reading this article with a twitter account of less than 1000 followers, I think this would be a good achievement for you too.
Once you start building engagement, it's a bit like a snowball effect too. It starts off with lot's of effort to gain those 600 followers in 2 months to start with. But then it becomes easier to get more followers in a shorter period of time. You just need to maintain engagement.
Now that I've given you a bit of background, here are my tips to get more followers on Twitter:
Ultimately people will want to follow you if you post content that interests them. So make sure you write content that is relevant to the audience that you are trying to engage with.
So as a tech/dev account, tweet about tech/dev stuff! That might be something interesting that you read. Or an opinion you have about a particular language/framework.
I find that asking questions is a really good way to get lots of engagement on your posts and to get to know your followers better. Some things I like to ask are: What have you been working on? What's you favourite X and why? Why are you learning coding?
Another really popular format on Twitter is threads. This is where you chain multiple tweets together so that you can write something much longer than the 280 character limit. Threads are a great way to bullet-point a particular topic or write a micro-blog. It's much easier to get people to read your content if they don't have to leave Twitter to see it, so you can use threads as a way to summarise a blog post. If people like your thread, they're much more likely to click through to your actual blog.
In order to get more engagement, you need to be seen and people need to remember you. If you post regularly then it's more likely that people will see your tweets in the search results. And if they see your tweets regularly, they might just follow you.
Different social media platforms have different measures of what "frequently" is, but on Twitter I would advise posting multiple times per day. This might seem like a lot but this doesn't have to only be original content. You could post links to helpful sites you've found or interact with other Twitter users (see below).
Similar to posting frequently, retweeting, liking and commenting on posts is a great way to get noticed. Not only will the original author be notified that you interacted with their post (meaning that they're more likely to engage with you), but other people will see that you have too.
Make sure that you are retweeting, liking and commenting on posts relevant to your brand. Firstly this helps retain your existing followers, since they will see content that will be relevant to them. Secondly, if the original author is posting similar things to you, they might be interested in following you too.
Use as many hashtags as are relevant (and you can fit in one tweet). The more hashtags you use, the more likely someone will see your tweet in a search. Of course, the emphasis here is relevant. People will only follow you if your content is relevant to what they want to see.
Another great thing about hashtags is that there are a lot of Twitter bot accounts that will automatically retweet any tweets containing a particular hashtag. Some of these bot accounts do have a decent number of followers, so it is a good way to get your tweet in front of more people.
It is quite common on Twitter for people to follow you back if you follow them first. Of course, you only want to follow people that you think will be interested in your content, otherwise they will soon unfollow you again.
A good way to find other account that are relevant to yours is by searching for particular keywords. Another way to find people is to go to an account similar to yours, but that already has lots of followers. Chances are that their followers will also be interested in your content too.
This tip, although quite powerful, needs to be used in moderation. If Twitter detects that you are following hundreds of people at a time, you might get your account banned. Also, it doesn't look good to visitors, if you have a very high following/follower ratio.
So there are 5 tips that I use to help grow my Twitter following. At the end of the day it boils down to: 1) post relevant content, 2) engage with the community. Hopefully these tips will help you to grow your Twitter following and engagement.