Originally posted: No matter how you might have resisted it–or wished you could avoid it–in 2013 you must have a social media presence to be taken seriously. This means you’ll need a Twitter account, a Facebook account and probably a Google+ account at some point. Twitter is the easiest to get started with, so let’s tackle that one first.
Twitter is fun! Twitter is annoying! Twitter will drive you mad!
And if you’re obsessive-compulsive like me, Twitter will feed the beast. The best thing to do after the first weekend of obsessively monitoring your twitter accounts for 48 hours straight (you’ll find you’ll somehow have more than one account at the end of that weekend), is to make a plan for
1) getting followers
2) tweeting relevant content
3) monitoring your accounts
This is the beginning of a series on tools that will help you with these three things, and how to ensure your followers have a good user experience following you.
Whether you like it or not, the number of followers you have reflects on your credibility. If you’re following 2000 people and you have just 10 followers, you won’t look like a brand worth engaging with. Also, if you have under 100 tweets, people won’t take you very seriously.
This is all a problem when you’re first starting out, because we all start at 0. The best approach is to start tweeting immediately, 5-10 times a day or more, and start following people with the hope that they will follow you back.
It’s hard going at first. Your first 500 followers will seem to take forever. But there’s help! There are a lot of services, tools and methods to help you find followers, some more reputable than others.
Monitor Your Followers
Start by monitoring your account with one of these handy tools. If you know what’s going on with your Twitter account, you’ll be able to better asses how well you’re achieving your goals.
Twitter Counter – Cool tool. On the landing page you put in your twitter handle and it will return interesting stats. Like how many followers you’ve gotten in the last week, your daily average, and follower predictions for the next 8 and 15 days. More features if you pay a fee.
Fake Follower Checker – Type in your handle and find out how many of your followers are fake, inactive, and good. (Proud to say, mine are 1%, 5%, 94%). Pay a monthly fee to monitor and also block spam.
Qwitter – Will tell you who stopped following you.
Unfollowers.me – Will give you a breakdown of who’s following, who you’re following, and who isn’t following you back. This is handy for unfollowing bots, people who don’t tweet, people who tweet in a foreign language, and people that aren’t following you. (See below for why you might not want to follow someone that doesn’t follow back.)
Followerwonk – Will search Twitter bios to connect with anyone. Compare Twitter accounts to find overlaps and target new influencers. Breakout your followers by location, bio, who they follow, and more; Contrast your relationships with your competitors and friends; and match your activities to gains and losses in followers to give your followers what they like best. Plus follow and unfollow in-app to hone your social graph like a razor’s edge, all for a fee.
Follow Back Tweeps
There’s a number of #followback Twitter accounts, which claim if you follow them, and follow everyone following them, those people will follow you and you’ll get more followers. Ya follow?
This reminds me of those chain letter (the old ones that came via snail mail) which said if you send 1$ to the person at the top of the list, and add your name to the bottom of the list, in a month you’d end up with $1000 dollars.
Maybe it works…?
Just Follow People You Like
My method, and I know it is groundbreaking, is to find people who interest me and follow their followers. I figure, anyone following Dave McClure or 500 Startups is interested in startups and entrepreneurs. So I follow them, and many of them follow me back. I went from about 120 followers to nearly 1000 in one week this way.
Be warned, though, that Twitter monitors aggressive following and unfollowing. The definition is fuzzy, but essentially, if you follow 2k tweeps, then unfollow 1500 the next day, they will suspend your account. So the best approach is to follow about 500 people that are interested in the same things you’re interested in. Give them a week or two to follow back, then slowly unfollow those that are unresponsive, never tweet, or tweet a bunch of crap that you don’t care about.
Repeat this process over the next few months, and you should have 10k verified, interested and interesting followers.
Also, be polite, and always
- Don’t unfollow followers
Set up your service to automatically followback anyone that follows you. The point is not to look like Justin Bieber with 10 million Followers and 1 Following. The point is to have an engaged, interested group to talk to and promote your business to.
Or You Can Buy Followers: 10k, 20k, 40k, 60k, 100k
Yes, you can actually buy followers. Most will be bots or fake followers that only pad your numbers. Read this for a discussion on this topic.
WARNING: Doing this is officially against Twitter TOS, so do it at your own risk. And people who are suspicious will use the tools above to call you out. Which can lead to embarrassment, humiliation, and fear of ever looking at your Twitter account again.
Next up: Tools to help you tweet relevant content. There’s an app for that.