If you’re not a celebrity, getting people on Twitter to follow you back is notoriously difficult. This is especially true if you look as if you’re trying to sell something, so don’t. It’s funny, really, because we all try to sell something on Twitter – if not a product or a service, then we’re trying to sell ourselves, our ideas, our personal brand. But the unspoken rules of social media say that even though we’re all there to sell, we must pretend as if we’re all there to innocently engage with one another and have meaningful conversations.
I may sound cynical, and I guess I am, but it’s not entirely true that it’s all about marketing and selling. People do engage in conversations through social media, and those conversations and connections can be very interesting and rewarding – but in the vast majority of cases, the reason most people and businesses are on Twitter is that they have something to sell. Very few use Twitter solely for recreation.
In this respect, Twitter differs from Facebook, where people do spend time just having fun and interacting with friends. So, it’s difficult to get people to follow you on Twitter because even though most of them are there to sell, they’re suspicious of anyone who’s trying to sell to them.
The second reason it’s so hard to get Twitter followers is that old high school mentality of looking popular. Most of the people on Twitter want to follow fewer people than are following them. So you don’t just follow anyone back. When you’re picky about whom you follow back, most of the people you don’t follow back will unfollow you, but some will stay, and so after a few months you will have more people follow you than the number of people you follow and you will look like a cool kid!
Don’t despair, though, and definitely never resort to buying Twitter followers – those are worthless because they couldn’t care less about what you have to say, and they tend to gradually disappear over a few months after you’ve acquired them.
If you can afford it, by all means use Twitter Ads – it’s a legitimate and effective (if expensive) way to grow your Twitter followers.
If you can’t afford Twitter Ads, accept that building an audience on Twitter for your product, service, book or blog is going to be painfully slow, and just keep going, producing good content, engaging in conversations, patiently following relevant people, giving them a few days and then unfollowing those that haven’t followed you back.
Eventually, if you’re a real person or a real company that provides real value, you will find your audience, and while that audience may not be huge, it will be engaged and interested – and this is exactly what you’re looking for.