How To Get More Twitter Followers And “Automate” Relationship Building

Disclaimer: While the tactics mentioned in this post are effective, they should not prevent you from trying to engage with people on Twitter and other social medias sites. Engagement is the true power of social media. Much more than a number of followers. But nothing stops you from doing both ;).

The first time I ever created a Twitter account was back when I lived in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I logged in, followed 4 celebrities, saw nothing happening and closed the tab. I didn't come back for the next 6 months.

That's how most people live their first Twitter experience (including my friend Kevin with whom I talked before creating this post). It's confusing, frustrating and you can never imagine you could squeeze some traffic out of this nonsense.

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When you turn to many social media blogs, they give you very "bland" tips to grow your Twitter authority like "use hashtags" "connect with influencers" or "add value".

Let's be honest for a second here. This is all terrible advice and if you know nothing about Twitter there is no way you take that kind of tips and get anything done with it.

This is why I put this post together. This is the newbie guide on how to get more Twitter followers for fun and profits.​

If you follow this step by step method you will be able to:

  • Grow your follower based with targeted and engaged individuals
  • Maintain your following/follower ratio within a reasonable limit
  • Engage your audience with viral content sharing on autopilot
  • Drive these targeted fans back to your site
  • Capture these fan's emails and transform them into leads
  • Find and build relationships with the mighty influencers

All of this in just over 10 minutes a day.

Let's get started with the guide! I've separated it in daily, weekly and monthly activities. Simply carry on these activities at the frequency indicated with the (free) tools linked to and you should see things moving pretty quickly!

Daily Activities


These are the tasks you should perform daily. Why daily? Because Twitter monitors and limits the number of people you can follow and unfollow every day. Therefore, to maximise the growth, you must use your quota on a daily basis.

#1- follow 150 targeted people

Estimated time needed : 5 minutes

The best way to attract followers on Twitter is to follow people yourself. Every time you follow people, they get a notification and a notification email if they did not cut them.

That gives people the occasion to check your profile and if they find it engaging enough. Follow you. If you follow the right kind of people, you can get up to 40% of them to follow you back and be exposed to your tweets.​ Usually, you get followers pretty fast using this technique.​

The next question​ you will ask me is: How do I find these great people to follow. Simple. Find those who follow one or more of your competitors. I highly recommend the user comparison function of followerwonk.

Followerwonk lets you compare the followers of the influencers in your industry and extract the ones they have in common.

#2 - Unfollow 100 people who don't follow you back​

Estimated time needed: 1 minute​

While getting 40% follow back is not bad at all, it still means that 60% of people you follow will not follow you back.

​The issue with that is that if your following/follower ratio gets over 1.1 (As in you follow 10% more people than people are following you), your following abilities will be capped and your growth will slow down.

The issue with this activity is to find who is not following you back. There's no way to do that on Twitter.com. But there are a number of 3rd party tools that will help you unfollow people who don't follow you back in under a minute.​

I personally have been using justunfollow. It's simple, to the point and 100% free.​

In a matter of seconds, you can unfollow people not following you back using justunfollow.com

Weekly Activities


The majority of the weekly tasks are the content sharing tasks. Using tools like Hootsuite, you can do this weekly as opposed to having to do it all the time. This is a serious time saver and the tools I'll share with you in this section will make finding content to share a breeze.

#1 - Tweet popular Content & Quotes

Estimated time needed: 20 minutes​

​I call this one riding the Bandwagon. You basically need to find  popular content in your niche that already got shared a lot and add it to your sharing schedule. I personally use Hootsuite for scheduling. It's free and works well.

The reason you want​ to share content that's popular is that it's a proven recipe for success. That means people will retweet it and those retweets will expose you to their followers. Some of these followers will then follow you back.

​But how do you find popular content in your niche ?

There's a few different ways:

  1. ​Just follow the big shots in your niche and tweet the same links they're tweeting.
  2. Use Buzzsumo to find trending content
  3. Let Hootsuite suggest and schedule trending content based on keywords.

Hootsuite finds relevant content for you to share so you don't have to.

#2 tweet your content in between

Estimated time needed: 5 minutes​

What's the point of growing your Twitter influence if it doesn't drive traffic back to your site ? Use the Hootlet by Hootsuite to navigate your site and auto schedule content that already got some success once a week.

You can also prepare excel spreadsheets with your schedule and upload them to Hootsuite if you want a reusable template.

With the hootlet installed on Chrome, you can share and auto schedule stuff as you browse. Just navigate your site and click the button. That's it.

#3 monitor questions you have content for

Estimated time needed: 5 minutes​

While a lot of people use Twitter to promote their content (like you're doing), A lot of people use it to poll the community and seek help as well.

This represents an incredible opportunity for the authority site owner as you will probably have content that can help these people.

If you use the Twitter search or Hootsuite, you can​ run queries like I did in the screenshot bellow to find people asking questions about a specific topic, help them and earn a new fan (and follower very often).

Query breakdown: Pinterest = topic, ? = question, -http = does not include a link.

#4 Setup content auto sharing for those you want to build a relationship with

Estimated time needed: 3 minutes​

I was hesitating to share that one because​ I'm actually using it for Authority Hacker.

If you want to build a relationship with someone, showing them your support by sharing their content and mentioning them on Twitter is a good way to keep nudging them on the fact that you're keen on helping each other.

By doing this, they will know who you are by the time you get in touch with them personally.

​The issue is it may be complicated to track 20+ blogs of people you want to build relationships with and sharing their content.

That's why I automate it using RSS feeds and the associated function in Hootsuite as you can see in the screenshot bellow.

Don't overdo this one and make sure their RSS feeds are clean before auto sharing but for blogs that publish once a week or less, it works like a charm.

Simply update that list once a week and you're good to go ;).​

Monthly Activities


This set of task is more strategic but can lead to big wins. If someone with 100,000 followers and following a few people follows your account. You're in for a treat when they reshare your content.

You also have the opportunity to build a relationship with them through direct messaging.​

#1 Add influencers to flattering public lists

Estimated time needed: 15 minutes​

​That one is a little sneaky too. But it works. On Twitter you can create lists that allow you to group people under 1 folder. When you add someone to a public list, that person will receive a notification like the one on the screenshot bellow:

What's very interesting is that Twitter shows the name of the list to the people you add to these lists. This is a unique occasion to send a wink to influencers and show them how important their work is by naming the list something extremely flattering.

​By doing this, you will get on the radar of bigger Twitter personalities and they will be more keen on following you back and eventually re sharing your content.

In order to find influencers in your niche, simply use Buzzsumo's influencer research. They also have the option to add people to lists directly from their interface.​

You can add influencers to your faltering lists directly from the Buzzsumo interface.

You can then use the RSS Trick to keep showing your support and slowly win them over on autopilot ;). Then just set a reminder to outreach to them in 2 months and they'll probably know who you are already.

That's it! This all adds up to just under 11 minutes per day dedicated to Twitter and you can get close to 2000 new targeted followers monthly and give everything you create some instant visibility.

I've created a short guide of more advanced tactics for those who want even more growth. Just enter your email bellow and it will be emailed to you instantly. You will also be enrolled in my new free authority SEO course.​

FAQ

How can I interact genuinely with people if I end up following thousands of people ?

Why don't I just buy followers ? That'd be easier

Isn't mass following and unfollowing frowned upon by Twitter ?

How much traffic can I expect from Twitter ?

Can you give us an example of personal win you got from Twitter ?

Gael Breton
 

Hey I’m Gael, one of the guys behind Authority Hacker. I make a living working from my laptop in various places in the world and I will use this website to teach you how you could do the same.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 44 comments
Ankita - July 3, 2014

Amazing tips. I’m in the B2B space and so glad that I can totally implement these. I only discovered your blog today and I think it’s a gem!

Reply
    Gael Breton - July 3, 2014

    Hey Ankita,

    Glad you liked it. Feel free to browse the site, it’s almost only composed of practical tutorials like this :).

    Gael

    Reply
Mark - July 3, 2014

Same. I use the tools mentioned in similar ways. Great article

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lorenzo grandi - July 3, 2014

Nice hacks! Will try some in the future ;)

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Dan White - July 4, 2014

Hey Gael, Some excellent points here. Followerwonk is a fantastic tool, especially as it can tell you the best times to post your tweets to Twitter when your followers are most active.

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Gael Breton - July 4, 2014

Hey Dan,

Thanks for dropping by. Yeah, Followewonk is great. But for optimal times of posting, both Hootsuite and Buffer do it automatically now.
Buffer does it by plugging into Followerwonk and Hootsuite has their own in house thing.

I also suggest you schedule the share of each post 3-4x to cover most time zones and people. On Twitter it’s totally fine as the stream goes down so fast :).

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Voyager Networks - July 4, 2014

Good tips, I really liked the time estimates you gave. Very neat.

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Renzo Strijker - July 5, 2014

Great post Gael, I gave up the marketing activities by Twitter, ended up nowhere. With your tips I sure give it a shot again. Thanks man, awesome.

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    Gael Breton - July 5, 2014

    Thanks Renzo, glad you liked it. Let us know how it goes and give it a bit of time and perseverance. That’s the kind of thing where investing 10 min/day for 2 months will make a huge difference.

    The good thing about building a social following is that it’s basically forever ;).

    Gael

    Reply
yskan - July 21, 2014

Great guide of building a Twitter followers base. I have used several other techniques but this one might be better then those others.

Thanks a lot for sharing these tips!

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Mohan Raj - August 10, 2014

Great blog post. Keep going.Initially i thought its another WordPress Blogging Blog. But you’re different :)

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James - September 28, 2014

Gael,

Thanks for this! Heard you on the NoHatDigital podcast too (thanks for that), you seem to always be giving out tons of great info! I’m definitely going to be spending more time over here.

I invested 10 minutes on Twitter after reading this and increased my followers by 50 in about 36 hours! Would have taken me a month (or LONGER) going down the path I had been heading.

Reply
    Gael Breton - September 28, 2014

    Hey James,

    Yeah I was frustrated with Twitter for a long time so I tried so much stuff, this method is by far the most efficient and doesn’t take all day :). Glad it’s working for you!

    Gael

    Reply
Kas - October 15, 2014

Hi Gael,

Some great tips here. I started following some of the things above and within 4 days getting over 40 hits to the site.

One thing I wanted to ask in case I am overdoing it. I setup about 30 tweets a day to go out every half hour. Is that too much?

The tweets are mainly for my site split into about 60% informational posts and the rest product reviews.

Does this sound ok to you?

Thanks for really great info on the blog.

Kas

Reply
    Gael Breton - October 15, 2014

    Hey Kas,

    Yeah it might be a bit too much. Try to tone it down to 8 tweets/day unless you have a very big site.

    Reply
Marvin - October 19, 2014

Hey Gael!

Awesome post as usual! Heard about your site on the NichePursuits podcast and have been following ever since. keep it up!

Cheers,

Marvin

Reply
Brent - November 26, 2014

Gael,

I know I’m commenting a good deal after this was published but wanted you to know I’ve gone back to this post a few times for tips/tricks on twitter. I follow the guys over at Niche Pursuits and enjoyed your podcast interview over there.

Thanks for the tips and am really impressed with what you’ve built over at healthambition.com

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Paul - November 28, 2014

Hi Gael, I’ve been using this guide but I find followerwonk to have one missing future which is…

To filter out people you have previously followed and then unfollowed when they did not follow you back. Don’t you find this a problem? Since then you’re basically re-following a large chuck of users often, which I imagine can make you seem like a spammer to them.

So I just use justunfollow now to do the following also, since they do have this feature (you do have to pay for that feature of theirs though).

Reply
    Gael Breton - November 28, 2014

    Hey Paul,

    Yep, you’ll have to pay for a software that does that for you. Justunfollow is a good one.

    Reply
Paul - November 29, 2014

Yeah so I did that, works fine for me so far, about same amount of followers follow me back doing it that way. Only problem is … that’s still only 10 of every 150 people that follow me back.

Do you have any idea why the # of people that end up following me is so low?

I did put a good amount of time into setting up an attractive profile, but still, the re-follow rate stays very low :/

I sent you my twitter profile via the contact form, would be great if you could have a look at it and diagnose the problem maybe. I really would like to make this work.

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Paul - December 10, 2014

Thanks for getting back to me Gael. The problem was indeed that the audience I was attempting to have me follow was Filipino. I guess they’re not online that much…

Yesterday I copied 200 followers of a big international blogger and instead of a 8% re-follow rate I got 45%. That’s great…

One thing I noticed though is that the 8% of Filipinos that followed me interacted a lot more with my tweets then the 45% of international audience. I know this is because all Filipinos are familiar with the vacation destination that I write about, and the international audience not so much. But irregardless for now I just need numbers and that’s working now :D

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Matt Hagens - December 18, 2014

Gael – Any idea if Hootsuite offers desktop notifications? I’ve searched around and don’t think they do which would be a real bummer.

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The Cub - January 4, 2015

Hi Gael – this is a great post, and one that I have recently been using and seeing some good effect growing my new social following. All of the tools mentioned above are great for automating on a small scale, allowing you to reduce time spent RTing from relevant sources and I’ve found particularly useful using the FollowerWonk intersect you get a decent level of followers following you back as it’s very targeted.

With all of these products they have great premium features that are just begging to be paid for! ;) If you grow your following and blog presence so that you are building a good source of income then some of the premium features are well worth it to allow you to automate even more efficiently (auto unfollowing if not followed back within X days, post from more RSS feeds than 2 etc).

Finally, Tweepi is a good free alternative to Moz’s FollowerWonk!

Thanks for sharing!
– The Cub.

Reply
    Gael Breton - January 5, 2015

    Yeah, agreed on the payment thing but as much as possible I try to get people started for free and let them upgrade after :)

    Reply
Guillaume - February 12, 2015

Very cool article Gael! A lot of good infos! Do you have or know anything similar for facebook growth?

Reply
    Gael Breton - February 12, 2015

    Hey Guillaume,

    Sadly, Facebook is very much pay to play. There are ads tactics to grow massive pages fast but the only real growth tactics on Facebook are relying on ads.

    Reply
Jordan Ring - August 8, 2015

Great Advice!

I have tried this for myself over several months, and I am now close to 10,000 twitter follows. The advice here works, and it works well. Gael truly knows his stuff! Thanks again!

-Jordan

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Fernando - August 19, 2015

Hey Gael,

You lost some pictures in this post :)

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Michael - September 15, 2015

for #3 there is a great tool > Warble Alerts

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Anand - February 4, 2016

Hi Gael, Really a brilliant idea to grow twitter follower from zero. The tools mentioned had made the work quite easy.

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Wumi - May 14, 2016

It’s an eye opener, I will definitely go ahead and utilize these tips. I just shared this post to google+

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Thomas - August 5, 2016

Followwonk now only allows you to see an account’s follower for non-premium users. Justunfollow is now called crowdfire, which has rather restricted features unless you subscribe to the premium features. The question-and-answer trick seems good, better give it a try.

Tom

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Julie - January 13, 2017

Hi there,

Thank you for the kick up the butt about building Twitter followers. The account I have had under my own name has hovered around 700 for years. Applied a few of your tips and BOOM! just reached 1000. My new account for my website is at over 180 followers in days. And these are (in the main) high quality and relevant.

FWIW, I decided against an expensive dashboard for managing the process but the lowest option at Crowdfire is cheap as chips and perfectly adequate for a 10 minute focus on new followers, unfollowers, fans and scheduling a couple of tweets. (I have nothing to do with CF, just find it useful and am passing on the love).

So thanks for this no-nonsense actionable and effective guide. Great job.

Reply

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