I’m going to talk about some different follow methods in relation to the type of Twitter account a person has.
It’s typically said that the best way for anyone to follow is to find targeted followers for a niche, whatever it might be, and that this is far more important than the number of followers a person has. While I think there’s a lot of truth to this, there’s a lot more to the issue than this, and people tend to ignore the rest of it, rejecting it offhand.
1: Following targeted users
I’ll start with the main one. I’ve found it very effective to use a Twitter client, in my case, Tweet Adder to find targeted users, and following by keyword to be the best of its methods. Be aware that the number of results you get here is an indication about how appropriate your keywords were. Many thousand results, it was probably too broad and your response will be poor. Imagine yourself as a customer tweeting about a subject matter, what would you search for? Then add ‘-http -https -www -com’ to remove competition, import the contacts and follow away.
You can also use Twitter clients to follow users by bio keywords. Be careful with this tactic, because if the keywords are too general, you won’t find targeted users. Another big problem with this approach is that a lot of people that might actually become converting customers, won’t mention the type of products they buy online in their bio. You’re more likely to just find other marketers this way, which is why I don’t use this tactic.
Sometimes I follow the followers of a user found in Twello, the Twitter yellow pages. If you do this with a client like Tweet Adder, be sure to select only users with 20,000 followers or less, any more than that, and the sheer numbers tend to cause follow problems. This tends to work quite well at building followers, because if these people were willing to follow the user you chose, they’ll most likely follow you if you chose the user well.
Tweet Adder Follower Search
Twitter clients will mostly also let you follow users by location, keyword, and location + keyword I have heard great success stories from people that combine location and keyword to promote their local business. This is going to work best in large cities in the developed world, because these are the places with the most people clustered together that will have the technology to use Twitter. If I lived in New York, I’d be all over this tactic, I’ve tested it out as if I lived in New York, and you get tones of targeted results, and you’ll follow people that might go one better than buying from you online, and, if you have a store, come and buy something from you in person! Tweet Adder will give you an edge with this tactic, because it’s one of the only clients to let you follow by location + keyword and location + bio. Granted the latter if mostly going to return results for local competition, but this is very useful way of checking out how much of the competition are tech savvy enough to use Twitter.
2. Following everyone back
This kind act of reciprocity will encourage people to not just add you, but perhaps check out your link as well. If you follow all back, there are several way to get some extra exposure for yourself. If you put ‘I followback’ in your Twitter bio, people using Twitter directories such as Twello will often search for ‘followback’ and you might get a trickle of new followers passively.
You’d be wise to also add some follow back hashtags to your time-line when they’re relevant. I use #followback #ifollowback, and #instantfollowback if there’s a lot of space. People will use Twitter clients to search the time-lines for these terms to find new followers, and you’ll gain this way. It’s not a bad idea to try this yourself.
If you follow all back, check out TeamFollowBack , as their tactics are interesting. If you retweet certain of their posts, they’ll give you a shoutout later that day, depending on the user, this could be to between 20,000 and 140,000 people!
TweepML is also another great source of follow backers and the site will follow whole lists automatically. It follows them quite quickly though so perhaps risks ‘aggressive following’, one of the approach that can get your account suspended.
Some of the followback lists on TweepML
The biggest problem with the following all back tactic is that you’ll end up with a lower percentage of targeted users, especially if you go that step further and decide to build your numbers quickly by following follow backers. If you do this, listing becomes more important, be sure to filter out the major players you want to follow in your niche into a list. Then you can use a Twitter client to watch the time-line for this list.
Spam accounts are drawn to follow backers, but I don’t check my DMs, I ask that people @me instead, which doesn’t just get past the spam, it adds activity to your timeline which encourages people to follow you. Let’s also not forget that following back is using some of your daily follow allowance on accounts that might be spammers, or just be random people of no benefit to you.
Ultimately, I think following back can be worth it, when engaging with it in the ways I mentioned. I follow back on my main account, but not my other, it depends most of all on the subject matter of the account, if it’s really general, like twitter tips, following back is more likely to yield results.
3. Free follower services
You should always be very suspicious of third party applications that want your Twitter password, especially in the case of ones that don’t hide your password when you enter it such as those services that offer 100 free Twitter followers. If you decide to use any of these free follower services, change your password often, use a password manager such as the free software LastPass which can generate random combinations of lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters for you. Then you need only remember your master password for every website you use that requires a password, and it will automatically enter the complex passwords it generates for you.
If you’re worried about third-party applications you’ve used that might have phished you, be sure to check settings-connections and remove any of them that you don’t use and especially any you don’t recognise! Then run full virus scans.
Yes you go to various places and get 100 free followers, but if you do, they’ll add a few promotions to their site to your time-line for a couple of weeks, which tells all your followers that you feel you need to take shortcuts and don’t care about the type of people that follow you. There are free linking services such as Free Lead Magnet which involve following 20 people, then passing on your unique link. The idea being that it can spread virally, with your name included in the follow list 5 levels deep. The problem is that too many people break the chain. If there was one respected service for this, perhaps it would work well, as is, I read that it usually doesn’t.
4. Paid follower services
These are just a rip off! Typical prices are $2,50 for 1,000 followers and $2,500 for 25,000 followers. They pay each of the people involved in these schemes a small fee to follow whomever pays for the service. I suppose the upside is that these are real people rather than bots. But the issue here is more than them not being targeted, because most of these people probably won’t even check out your Twitter page at all! So it really is just a number, although at least numbers can encourage other users to convert. I wouldn’t try this anyway, it’s more satisfying to do it yourself.
5. Following users on the top 100 list by follower count
I just want to briefly mention this tactic. The idea is to go to sites that list the top 100 Twitter users by follower count, such as those on the Twitaholic list, then follow a decent number of them in the hope that other people that are following these users at the same time will follow you just because you like the same celebrity. Then, you unfollow these users and re-follow them after 15 minutes or so to get your position refreshed. I’ve tried this for the top 20 users at the busiest time on Twitter, midday in America (1900-2000 GMT) and it didn’t work well for me, so I can’t recommend it. But maybe if I had tried it with a human name for my user name, it might have worked better. Anyway, can’t recommend this.
There are several major arguments for having a large number of followers. For example, Twello lists users in order of follower count, so having a lot of followers in combination with several bio keywords that people might search for will pay off and get you new followers, it’s a snowball effect! But these will largely be just numbers.
An approach combining finding targeted users and following back can work wonders if you retweet the right people, build regular retweet relationships, and add the right hashtags, but it is fraught with risks, spammers, untargeted followers, wasted follow usage. Tailor your follow approach to your account and its objectives.
If you’ve got a minute, check out my Tweet Adder review, it’s the best Twitter tool and could net you a lot of money on Twitter!