How to Get Twitter Followers

What follows is a collection of rather unorganized thoughts on the topic if growing follower numbers and some of the recent schemes circulating through Twitter that claim to help people grow their numbers.

Today in response to a new ’scheme’ (some are calling it a ’scam’ – it is very ‘pyramid’ like and largely benefits those early into it, mainly the guy behind it) to ‘help’ people get more followers on Twitter I had a conversation with some of my own network on Twitter about getting followers.

A few of my followers asked me how I recommend people grow their follower numbers. It’s hard to put advice like that into 140 characters – so I replied with a few tweets and thought I’d share them here.

“Best way to get followers. Be useful, unique, focused on a topic, interactive and genuine. Don’t spam or get sucked into a numbers game.”


“Best thingt to happen to me as a twitter user was moving to tweetdeck & iPhone twting where I rarely see my follower numbers.”

Someone asked me what I meant by ‘getting sucked into the numbers game’. My reply was simply to ‘don’t work on getting more followers – work on being more useful’.

Of course its easy to say these kinds of things when you’ve been on Twitter for a while and have an established Twitter network – but as I look at my own growth in Twitter numbers over the last years I know that it was when I stopped trying to grow my follower numbers and started trying to connect and be more useful to those who followed me that things really took off.

Here’s what happened – the more useful I was the more those who I’d already connected with spread news about my tweeting. The more I interacted with others, the more those interactions drew others into following me.

Sure – I do look at my follower numbers occasionally and celebrate a few milestones – but these days I look at the numbers more as a barometer of how helpful I’m being with my Tweeting than anything else.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting more followers – but the best way to get them is to focus upon quality tweeting.

Lastly – two words on the ’scheme’ that’s been going around:

1. It’s Spammy – Last time I checked this scheme generated over 3300 tweets from thousands of people – all tweeting the same message. I saw the message at least 100 times from those that I follow today. It annoyed me, it looked spammy, it did nothing but clutter the twitter stream and hurt the reputation of those behind the scheme and those who scheme. In fact when I asked my followers what they thought of it the reaction was almost unanimous – over 100 people responded to me and 2 were in favor of it – the rest thought it was spammy and quite a few talked of blocking those behind the scheme and reporting them as spam to Twitter.

2. Numbers at All Costs Leads to an unfocused group of followers – As I said in the comments of one fan of this system – ‘I really struggle with seeing the worth of increasing followers at all costs and not really worrying about who they are or why they are following you….. in my experience the best followers to get are followers who make a decision to follow you based upon a desire to connect with YOU and a genuine interest in what you tweet about and who you are. Getting random followers who have no interest in anything more than getting more followers not only feels empty (to me) but also leaves you with a pretty unfocused and unrelational list.’

Of course we each will have our own views on this type of thing. I know some Twitter users see things differently – their approach is to get as many followers as possible and make friends later once they’ve got them – my approach has much more been about doing it the other way around.

What’s your approach?

Further Reading: How to Get More Followers on Twitter


  • February 13, 2009

    Thanks for the good post.
    I heartily agree.
    There’s one more thing about tweeting the message of the scheme or anything else that is adn advertisement, such as from magpie. If a person doesn’t lose followers from it, they will lose trust.
    I remember who is tweeting what. Several of the Tweeple I interact with and like have tweeted magpie messages and I watch their tweets less closely and am less prone to interact. I have heard from others in the stream that this is true for them also.
    I only send links or RT what I feel is valuable info. And I follow my followers.
    Finally, an ironic interaction that actually happened today.
    I follow people to check them out. I love to follow, and do follow all followers. And I detest the DM bots that thank me for a follow, which is really just a hello at first.
    Today a DM bot arrives, with a link to s site from a person who declines to follow me. I suspected this was a newbie as the general avatar was used so I checked out the person’s bio and recent Tweets. Usually I will just unfollow anyone who DMs me a TY for a follow with a link and does not follow back.
    Anyway, It was a newbie, who had just tweeted the scheme message of how to get many followers easily. I immediately unfollowed. This person clearly doesn’t want a relationship, just a soapbox and/or ego gratification.
    Again, thanks for the post!
    Judy Rey Wasserman

  • February 13, 2009
    Rob Burns

    I dont see how, unless you have a previous following through a blog, website, product or dare I say brand, that you can build followers by just being ‘useful’. You could be giving a $50 bill to everybody who replied to your tweets and you STILL wouldn’t get noticed unless you force a number of followers. Whether that is by searching for your subject area and following bags of people on certain topics, randomly pick people to follow or whatever you cant rely on people discovering you. Whether you decide to sift through your followers once you are established is another matter.

    Re. the scheme, it will be interesting to see how well it really does. I think there are many twitter elitists who would like to think that the only motivation for the whole thing is to ‘connect with like minded individuals’. But if we are completely honest the demographics of twitter are not the same as Facebook which is truly a forum for ‘everybody’. (Apparently women over 50 are the biggest new group to sign up).

    Twitter is full of active explorers with a writing, pr, marketing or similar background who are either promoting their site, blog or niche interest or investigating its potential for future promotions. Unfortunately the groups of ‘common or ordinary’ shoppers, sports fans, porn seekers, daters, price comparers that populate the general internet may never arrive without a bit of random recruitment.

    The interface is intimidating to the outsider who has got to grips with putting their latest nights out on facebook or their new baby pictures. The idea of tiny url’s and “@joe” is not exactly appealing to the eye. I’m not sure if it will stay that way and once it changes I suspect that most of the die hards will look to the next ‘big thing’.


  • February 13, 2009

    Good post… I have fallen in the group that is looking for numbers so I can be more relevant, get more answers when Tweet a question, etc… but how good is it if the people that follow you don’t have the same interest?

    I think I am going to take a step back look at who I follow and why and who is following me… My goal is to increase mass for sure but to make sure they are one I can benefit from and hopefully provide some benefit for.

  • February 13, 2009

    Basically I tweet stuff I actually want to say – if I find a good article I’ll tell people about it. If I find a good quote, I’ll let people know. It’s tempting to try and artificially inflate the number of followers I have, but in the end it would be pretty pointless if most of them weren’t interested in what I really wanted to talk about.

    I don’t have a massive following, but I know that a good proportion of those who do follow me are genuinely interested in me.

    So I guess my advice would be to be genuine and let those who want to follow you find you in their own time.

  • February 13, 2009

    Good stuff. Found myself playing a numbers game early on; its easy to get sucked into. Provide value and they will come.

  • February 13, 2009

    I was debating whether or not to join that follower pyramid scheme. I really feel I have a message to get out through my activism and I’d like to reach as many people who will listen, if only briefly. Those people who sign up for the scheme do so voluntarily. I haven’t yet signed up out of respect to my current followers. I’m still debating.

  • February 13, 2009

    Another great blog post!

  • February 13, 2009

    I totally agree with you that the pyramid is a scheme. People should not be trying to build their followers list with people that they have nothing in commeon with.

    I wrote a blog about this same thing yesterday. My blog post:
    It’s not about the number of followers…

  • February 13, 2009

    Thought the purpose of twitter was to share ideas and make connections in the first place. Emphasizing the numbers takes away from the value of it. I have seen these spam follow thingies and they are a big turn off. I’m in lockstep with what you’re saying. Make the connection, add value, forget the numbers game.

  • February 13, 2009

    One thing is for sure, If you have irrelevant followers, Thats Useless.

  • February 13, 2009

    Lucky me, I haven’t seen (or don’t think I’ve seen) the “scheme”–or whatever it is–come across my Twitter feed yet.

  • February 13, 2009

    Thanks Darren!
    maybe it is pyramid, but when you starting you’ll add ppl who you do not know yet. later you can sort out interesting ones from them. or I’m wrong…..

  • February 13, 2009

    Absolutely. I have been having great luck spending a few minutes a day looking for interesting people in the EVERYONE stream…making contact, and then following those who seem to be a good fit. The most important thing is to engage personally and be “real” – the more you seem intent on numbers, or the business you are promoting as opposed to the people you are tweeting with, the less likely the appear to follow.

    And those who would use a tool like the pyramid scheme you mentioned (which I wrote about at today ) are exactly the type of followers you probably don’t want…just trying to build their own numbers.


  • February 13, 2009

    I think it is a double edge sword. If you are just starting a new blog or twitter account, those beginning followers can be very hard to come by. By joining in on the whole idea…you are subscribing to the fact that most of your new followers have little to know interest in what you really have to say…but some might that you would have not reached otherwise.

    There is the whole social proof aspect of having a large following as well. In the end…it really costed you one tweet…

    The jury is out on how this will be received by the general Twitter public or if it will even work correctly. It does bring up very interesting discussion on the validity of certain types of Twitter followers.

    My favorite part about Twitter is conversing with people that read my blogs, so if they aren’t an attentive audience…then they probably aren’t much use to me…but what if you get a couple of great followers out of the masses…

    Great debate for sure…thanks Darren!

    Robb Sutton

  • February 13, 2009

    Spammy spammy spammy. Don’t do it folks.
    Build your follower base like we all have, one by one. Besides…if it works so well why does garymccaffrey only have 6k followers? SHouldnt he have 10M by now?

    Let’s all stop recycling this MLM tweet.

  • February 13, 2009

    I don’t really have a goal of getting new followers. Over the 4 months I’ve been on twitter, I’ve slowly been following others that I find interesting. Once every few weeks, I go through my follow list and take out those who I haven’t found interesting or who annoy me for some reason, and I look for new folks to follow. I use to find folks who live in my immediate area or with who I have shared interests. I those twitterers who I find very interesting to see who they follow. I usually end up adding between 10-20 new folks a week that I follow. I also check out whoever follows me to decide if I’ll be following them (which is usually about a 50-50 shot, because you can usually tell those who folow you just to get a follow back).

    After 4 months, I am following 335 and have 453 following me. Out of those 453, I’d guess that maybe 1/2 to 3/4 are mutual follows (I follow some who don’t follow back, and have some followers that I don’t follow). I’m pretty happy with those numbers.

    My point is, though, that I never set out to attract followers. I follow people I find interesting and interact with those folks. The followers found me and followed me on their own. I never had any kind of campaign to get followers. As a matter of fact, I still kind of scratch my head in wonder that 453 listen to what I have to say on occasion.

  • February 13, 2009

    Rob Burns – while I agree that it is easier to grow followers if you have some other online (or offline for that matter) network or profile to leverage – I think its still possible to grow your follower numbers quite well on Twitter by being useful.

    It’s certainly slower but being useful can happen in your replies to others – which can stimulate replies to you from them which helps spread the word of your tweets. I’m aware of a few people who have grown their follower numbers into the thousands in just a few months by being genuine, useful and interactive – they’ve worked hard for it – but its paid off.

    Neil Callanan – I think many of us (yes ‘us’) got caught up in numbers early on. For me I got sucked into letting my numbers make me feel good or bad – so unfortunately it came about my ’self worth’ – which is a recipe for disaster. These days follower numbers are more a measure of whether I’m engaging ppl or being useful or not and less about how I see myself (hope that made sense, i think i need another morning coffee).

    Gert – that’s certainly the approach of some – me, I’d rather 100 focused followers who want to interact with me out of a genuine interest than 1000 followers who followed me because they wanted followers themselves.

    Rob Sutton – ‘it really costed you one tweet’ – I’m not so sure. From what I hear, to get lots of followers you need to tweet it lots of times…. at least thats what some in the scheme are telling me. I’ve seen some people tweet that same freaking message 10 times in 24 hours. Unfortunately for those doing it they’ve lost me as a follower.

    Jodith – I love your attitude and I love your tweeting :-)

  • February 13, 2009

    I have found everyone has a different perspective on how to get followers on Twitter, I wrote on my Blog on how I went from 6 followers to 1400 in 14 days by following those with likeminded BIO’s and tweets, how often they posted just to name a few.
    Darren touches on some very valid points but in the end, adding value and being a servant on Twitter will bring you followers because you are giving to the community. The moto to live by is; How many people are better off because you lived.
    Thanks for writing on the topic, perspective always good.

  • February 13, 2009

    I have not tried to grow my followers at all, it would put too much pressure on me! LOL I enjoy just posting updates and confessions and try not to notice who is looking!

    I do not want to be one of those tweeters that tweets every blog post, it is annoying and gets overlooked when it is so often. I have occasionally posted a blog post, but only ones I really loved or had a good reason to share on twitter, you know what I mean?

    The whole idea of the scheme is silly to me, like you said in comment #17, I would not like to have followers just for the sake of the number, it would be like stealing, you didn’t work for it so you can’t enjoy it!

    ((love the new blog by the way!))

  • February 13, 2009

    I kind of think like Jodith…right now I’m just working on being interesting…the rest will come.

  • February 13, 2009

    I am totally with Jodith. She described in excellent detail a wonderful twitter strategy.

    I, too, scratch my head a LOT at the number of people who follow me. And I’m only in the 200 range… but most of those have come over the last 1 1/2 – 2 months. I have no idea how they find me, but I just keep doing what I do. I don’t know that I am particularly useful, but I do believe that I am building relationships.

    Thanks for the encouragement to not pay attention to the numbers.

  • February 13, 2009

    Thanks for sharing Darren. Like a lot of things in life- mindset is huge. If your attitude is in the right place, there will be benefits. Come to Twitter as a learner- be willing to ask questions. Open yourself up to learning from others. There will of course be times when it’s necessary to take charge. Being useful… we need to elaborate on what being useful looks like on Twitter? and by what standards? I’ve noticed that folks tend to find me- when I have time I check them out, read their profile or site and learn more before following back.

    What tools are helpful to finding out which of your followers are no longer active? For example, I need to un-follow those that are no longer maintaining their accounts. :) Cheers!


  • February 13, 2009

    Twitter is pretty unique in 1 way.. That is that people have to physically opt in to follow you. However until they start tweeting, you are never sure what will come down the line.

    The way to get followers and to keep them following is to when Twittering Be: informative, interesting,unusual, personal, engaging, sharing, consistant, considerate, respectful, knowledgeable & promotional.

    And give it time..


    Mark Shaw

  • February 13, 2009

    I take the approach with Twitter that I follow people who I know or who look interesting or as I come across them (or a combination of all three). Found another dozen this way today. I don’t auto-follow but will check the profiles of those following me and follow back if I like the look of their profile and their Tweets.

    Every now and then I’ll check my Followers Followers or who they’re following and pick up some new interesting people from there – either coming across people I already know or finding people who are doing something a little bit different. I send a DM to most of my new followers – manually, not automated. Somewhat standard but if they don’t know me it’s a starting point. I don’t necessarily follow back but may change that as I see them in the Twitter stream or come across them again.

    I saw the Twitter gathering ‘tool’ and it looked just like one of those old fashioned chain letters – send this to 10 people, add your name to the bottom of the list and you’ll receive £100 in the post … so avoided it.

    I’m not playing the numbers game on Twitter or elsewhere in my networks. Like you said – I’d rather 100 focused followers than 1000 who actually weren’t really interested.

  • February 13, 2009

    I wont follow unless people have updated with something sensible – if you are spam, don’t follow me!

    That seems to be a good rule because I can get quite annoyed if it is just some account linked up to me to spam me with links about unsociable things etc…
    What do others think?

  • February 13, 2009

    As usual your insights are right on. There really isn’t much reason to have followers who aren’t interested in what you share. Without a common interest what would any of those involved gain from interacting ? Not that there would be much interacting anyway!

    Ideally, Twitter will eventually provide users with ways to connect by niche. Until then it is often wise to use more than one Twitter account if you have multiple interests. I use Twellow to find those who are interested in a particular niche and have an account specifically for interacting with those Twitter users.

    What I could really use is a Twitter app that allows me to see, Tweet, and track the accounts separately from one place – an app that keeps me logged into each account for easy switching between them. THAT would be the perfect Twitter solution for me.

    If Tweetburner would track twurls without requiring us to stay logged in that almost offers the needed functionality – at least for Tweeting and tracking. If anyone knows of a solution I’d love to hear about it.

  • February 13, 2009

    I’ve been trying out twitter for a little while now and I’m in the Caribbean where there are hardly any Tweeple. My blog talks about life in the Caribbean from my personal experience trying to get fully self employed and use the new opportunities of the internet – which from the Caribbean isn’t easy! Not many people immediately spring into view as followers who would want to know about that, but heck, give me a small number of people I can interact usefully with any day over thousands of tweets to wade through.
    I got one of these RTs today, looked at it and chose to ignore it. It’s so tempting to get sucked in to doing things that might bring you to the elusive megabucks income from blogging but I believe when it comes down to it, in the longer run, you’ll still have to provide good content or you’ll sink right back into the ocean of internet noise. Not based on studies, that opinion, but the more I look around, the more clutter I see on the internet – is it just me, or is that not annoying when you’re trying to find good content?

  • February 13, 2009


    You pointed out where I would draw the line. I am not going to repeat ANYTHING over and over again. That is just plain spamming. I don’t care if it is one of my blogs, Facebook, Twitter or any other media…repeating yourself over and over again is going to put people off.

    Robb Sutton

  • February 13, 2009

    These “Anti-Twitter” schemes are sad, not that the numbers matter, but I got over 100 followers in my first 3 days without any tricks, just communicating like a real person, blogging about Vermont, oil painting theory and technique, and a little bit about food and life. Twitter is amazing and addictive, so far the best platform out there. Thanks Darren for helping to navigate through all the possibilities. I look forward to your daily advice.

  • February 13, 2009

    I saw this “scheme” when the originator only had a little over 500 followers. I found it an interesting experiment if nothing else and so I got involved to see what would happen. (Perhaps I got about 2 new followers from it.. LOL)

    Anyway, the interesting thing here is all the talk about spamming. As I understand it, the scheme has to use the Twitter API in order for it to work as there is a tweet sent when you join the scheme. As far as I know, you have to have approval to use the Twitter API in an application and as such, if that is true, then Twitter itself has condoned the application driving this. By all means, correct me if I’m wrong, but it makes it all the more interesting doesn’t it.

    All the best,


  • February 13, 2009

    I’m picky about who I will follow. I try to follow those mainly within my niche. My follower numbers naturally increased as I continued to find more within that niche. I was completely surprised though at how my following number increased as soon as I customized my background. It went crazy! Such a simple thing.

  • February 13, 2009

    Internet Strategist – I would love to find something that 1) allows me to manage multiple accounts at the same time and 2) isn’t a CPU hog.

    I enjoy multiple niches (hence my multiple blogs), but not all of my niches are necessarily compatible (let’s face it, most folks discerning religious life in the catholic church aren’t all that interested in my pagan musings). I’d love to be able to separate out identities if I could manage them easily, just so I don’t put off folks who follow my administrative support blog who are really put off by my tarot readings.

    What can I say, I have eclectic interests *shrugs*.

    Still, overall, having everything tangled up in one account doesn’t seem to be hurting me too much. But I do like to be sensitive to the needs of my various readers.

  • February 13, 2009

    Right on! Check out my new Twitter unFollow policy. you may like it :-)

  • February 13, 2009

    Given the fact that the Magpie scheme dominated much of the Twitter stream for awhile before (apparently) dying a quick death, I think the Twitter game/scheme will quickly disappear as well.

    I also feel that what one person may consider to be spam may be another person’s idea of self-promotion, with tiny url links to their own blog posts within the Twitter stream, perhaps with RT’s to their own blog posts throughout the day. Some may think that practice is rather spammy, if not downright selfish.

    Anyone who has used the RT feature to showcase and link to their blog posts may be considered by some to be somewhat spammy too. What may be spam to you or me may not be spam to another Twitter user.

    Now that my follower numbers have surpassed 1000, I can tell you from personal experience and close observation that the more followers you have (however you get them) DOES help get your twitter questions answered more quickly.

    You’re more likely to receive RT’s that others not following you will see because there is a larger audience, who may then begin to follow and engage/interact with you. DM’s become especially beneficial as follower/followee numbers grow.

    One thought on being “genuine, useful and interactive”. There is nothing more irritating than to promptly answer and @ reply to other Twitter users questions and requests for information, only to find your own questions or requests for information go unanswered. I have found that the more followers you have, actively engage and interact with, the higher chances your own Tweets/questions will be answered by at least one of your followers within a reasonable period of time.

    Numbers aren’t everything, but numbers are something.

  • February 13, 2009

    I agree with you Darren

    Being useful to attract followers makes much more sense. Especially if they in return show
    an interest in say your business, or products. They will already like you, and it’s a good possilbi;lity they trust you.

    If your just building followers and they dont know you, That’s like having people come into your store all day long and not buy anything. What good is a million followers than.

    Gary McElwain

  • February 13, 2009

    I totally agree with you. The number of followers is not much of a matter but rather how you connect. If you connect well, more people will come and follow you for sure

  • February 13, 2009


    besides my close friends and associates I get most of my follows from either
    my blog or people I follow interacting with me
    to a lessor degree I get follows because of the people I follow.

    at the moment I am trying mrtweet, time will tell


  • February 13, 2009

    I really appreciate the timeliness of this post. I was actually just thinking of unfollowing all spammy messengers. I probably won’t this time, but if it happens again who knows.

    I am still relatively new to Twitter, but as you said I have found that my numbers patience has paid off with really quality followers (mostly) and honest, sincere networking. I question the motives of anyone who would settle for less than that….

  • February 13, 2009


    Agreed. Having 5000 followers but you send them cr@ps is unethical, IMO.

    My measurement for ‘usefulness’ in Twittering is not on the number of followers, but on the number of @replies I have – a.k.a. the amount of convos we have with other Twitter users :)

  • February 14, 2009

    I’m sorry…but some of you hold the people you follow on Twitter to an impossible standard. If you really are going to unfollow so quickly for passing along a blog post or getting excited about hitting a goal they set for themselves…then I wouldn’t want you following me anyway.

    jer979…I read your blog post…and that is ridiculous! Are you really serious about this?

    “If someone put out a tweet (a message) telling everyone how many followers s/he has or how many more s/he needs to reach a certain milestone, I will stop following.”

    If you are…you need to never post or look at another stat on your blog or Twitter ever again.

    Now…come on guys…I completely understand not wanting to be spammed because no one wants to see the same thing over and over again. But if you are following someone who engages with their audience…has a loyal following…and actively participates…are you really going to think totally different of them over one tweet?!

    I am not condoning using Twitter as a spam outlet…but I do put my blog post up there because some of my followers actually prefer using Twitter as a way to stay up to date with my content.

    I also celebrate hitting certain goals I have set for myself on the number of followers my Twitter account has, my rss feed has and my newsletter has. Any responsible businessman sets goals that are achievable and celebrates when they are accomplished.

    I think a couple of you need to get off your moral Twitter soapbox a little bit and stop using this “pyramid” as a reason to spout off how righteous you are…just my .02.


  • February 14, 2009

    One last thought…

    Just because you may never get a reply or comment from a follower doesn’t mean they aren’t listening. There are a lot of people that follow your Twitter accounts, blogs or other social media…that love you content and will never participate. Try to remember that when you see your followers list.

  • February 14, 2009

    am whit you in teh sense that people juts fallow you becuase you are usefull or because thet see something good, of course leaving aoput spam users.

  • February 14, 2009

    -a random college kid nobody who happens to be interested in user experience design

  • February 14, 2009

    I tend to do what I do in “real” life. I have lots of topics I’m interested in and I like a variety of people. I follow people who have knowledge in the areas I’m interested in. I also follow people who are just plain fun because I need that in my work world. I follow people who are pleasant and kind. You’ll see that I follow some business women so that I can offer support based on my experience in the business world.

    What would make me unfollow? Swearing – I find it unnecessary and boring. I’m not crazy about people who just throw out quotes all day or people that seem needy.

    How do I grow my list? I find a leader in a certain field and read their websites or blogs. When they mention people they admire, I follow them.

  • February 14, 2009

    Sorry about the cryptic post above. I thought the AJAX edit would add that line at the end, instead it deleted the post and replaced it with that line (perhaps the edit functionality should be more clear, I spent about 15 minutes writing a post and now its gone).

    Basically, I think one of the big problems with all this is impatience. Businesses, tweeps, and social “experts” want results fast. Like Darren I am skeptical of the value of thousands of “followers” produced from such a scheme: does any body have some hard cold data showing gobs of new sales or registrations from this scheme? I also think it comes at a cost: namely credibility; makes you look a bit too concerned about followers (I like to follow people who focus on providing value).

    I’m just some random college kid who likes to think about user experience design (among other things), by no means a “big name”. After a few months on Twitter I’m surprised to already have hundreds of followers (growing every day). So it is certainly possible. In my experience, if I provide quality tweets and try to help people out (focused mainly on my niche), the followers come. No, it isn’t quick and easy but it isn’t impossible either.

    Thanks for another great post.

  • February 18, 2009

    I love having lots of followers (and following lots too – my ratio is almost 1 to 1), but not because I care about the number, but rather I enjoy being connected with such an interesting and diverse group of peeps. It’s amazing how you can ask a question and get an answer – maybe a dozen answers! It’s like Good Samaritan-ville 24/7. And, for that reason, having a wide variety of different types of people connected is incredibly useful.

    One thing that seems to be the elephant in the room is this – Twitter is permission based and truth is none of us have much control over who chooses to follow us nor, in my opinion should we care (excepting spam fake accounts – they get blocked). That’s the joy of it and to some maybe the rub of it. To me, it’s not my choice to decide if I’m worthy or to decide what type of person “should” connect with me. My job is to be me and let people choose – build it and they will come. I use a mix of self-promotion, referrals to other people’s links, insights, compliments, amusements, jokes, engaging in conversations about a wide variety of things, asking questions, and sometimes even throwing my hat into a political controversy now and then (oh, yeah, and I mention the official meat of Twitter, bacon) LOL! :-) . I stay civil, open minded, and I let people be whatever they choose to be. The best I can tell, that’s the only way that my hippie minded, guru loving liberal point of view could have so many political conservatives and Jesus loving pastors following me (their words, not mine). I don’t really know what I say that is a draw, but rather I just be me and let them be them.

    I am often curious (and perplexed even) when I look at profiles as to why some people follow me, but hey, they did, so they’re welcome. And, since I know people are people, when someone I am following does something that irritates me, I examine the entire relationship value, and, in true permission based system style, I unfollow if I want to. No harm, no foul. It’s not a divorce, it’s just an unfollow. NO biggie. I feel safe to make the choice and empowered to make it. To me, that’s part of the fun.

    As far as the scheme goes, you don’t need it. Heck, I tweeted about how to opt-out from auto DMs ( and the link got hit 400 times in a day! Major RT action and I picked up over 100 followers. Being of service, plugging in, having fun and keeping it real has worked very well for me. I’m gonna stick with that.


  • February 20, 2009

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s the same with email campaigns… really…. how often do you want pitches in your inbox? The emails that provide great advice / tips / down to earth details get opened and adored more than “buy this” or “get in now” or “you suck… I am richer!”…. you get the point… ;)


  • March 9, 2009

    I totally see the whole picture now. It is important to really just be active and help others figure out how they can get more results.

  • March 25, 2009

    Its really great discussion, that went of in the comments section!

    Well, I have been following back everyone in my list who follow me on a regular basis. May be thats why I see people following me more over a period of time. Since, many twitterers are looking for people who follow them back.

    Even though, for this I have to review all the new followers whom I am following back and filtering those on a weekly basis. Those who are of no interest to me, and are twitting about there non useful products or advertisements which I have no relation to.

  • May 7, 2009

    I am trying to get more followers, I know I need to be more interesting but how do you even get seen in the first place? Like following trade networks

  • June 22, 2009

    I agree with @GanjaBlue. For activists it came really lean either way, bc if you follow people you feel are interested in your cause by their avatar/name/tweets theres a decent chance they follow you.

  • July 20, 2009
    anthony garvey

    Charles – I joined Twitter six days ago on my birthday and while the avalanche of followers have yet to descend, you have to believe if your content is original and engaging enough, it will happen.

  • August 22, 2009

    At Charles and Anthony, also try retweeting and using hashtags to follow trending topics. That works.

  • October 18, 2009
    One Meat Ball

    I’ve been on Twitter for less than six months. I have 62 followers, all but one I “met” through Twitter. (“I don’t wanna meet you, I just wanna Tweet you!”) About 10% are people I follow reciprocally. I try to leave messages that are philosophically intriguing. Sometimes I’ll quote jazz artists or famous writers or lyricists. Sometimes I’ll quote myself! A lot of my tweets are somewhat snarky but there’s so much of that floating around Twitter, I think I’m going to try and be more upbeat and positive and see if that increases my following. Maybe I’ll start my own religion — oops, there I go again!

  • November 4, 2009

    This is interesting information. I agree that we should’nt get into the numbers game and focus on posting useful content.

  • December 16, 2009

    I Say Following Everyone Back That Follows You Is A Real Must- Do!

    If You Do It Builds Your Reputation And People Want To Follow You To Get Followed Back.

    So Follow Me:

    Because I FOLLOW BACK!

  • December 19, 2009

    I have also found that the more detailed your Bio is (or as detailed as you can get in 160 words), the more targeted followers you will probably have. If you’re into a particular hobby or a career, include that in your Bio. Of course, following people (or companies) that you want to be followed by sometimes helps.

  • December 31, 2009

    Thanks a lot, very good explanation…

  • January 5, 2010

    so u mean , just be real! normal and useful for info?
    i’m using twitter for contact with friend who i have and maybe meet new friend.

    well it all happen in all social network i guess, people obsess with add alot of people for friends even u barelly dont know who , same thing like in twitter with followers, but the truth is why u need alot of stranger in ur social network if u dont contact and know them :)

    thnks for the good post

    p.s. im still new in twitter and need to figure out how it works and to observe, lol

  • January 15, 2010

    Great tips. It shouldn’t be a numbers game because as you said it gets spammed and users are less interested and less focused. You should just focus on having targeted connections on Twitter.

  • February 10, 2010

    Nice…Quality not quantity. Such is life.

  • February 17, 2010

    I agree 100%. So many people are caught up on the number of followers they have, that they are creating personas which are totally out of their characters ultimately burning bridges with actual friends.

  • February 18, 2010

    Many people go for brute force in trying to maximize # of followers, with not much eye on quantity. What’s more, most don’t have much of an idea about other simple, more effective things they can do to make Twitter a far more valuable business tool.

    In case it helps, I created a list of some useful ways I use Twitter – like Hashtags for example –

  • May 23, 2010

    I have a high number I’m following compared to the number I follow. Some might look at the numbers and claim I’m simply trying to get people to follow me back however, the reason I do this is that I’m wanting to hear about the latest trends and innovations. I want to follow people who tweet about them, and I want to know the latest information quickly. As you say, it’s not about the numbers.

  • June 5, 2010

    Really useful tips. Thanks. I have a question, I used a sofware to get followers on twitter and now that software tweets by its own. what shall i do to prevent it?

  • July 3, 2010

    I like to follow people who are real and interesting; people trying to use Twitter to sell a product disturb/annoy me.

  • July 6, 2010

    Thanx, this article is really is inspirational! :D

  • October 24, 2010

    Useful and proven techniques.. These tips are working for me.
    One of the proven technique is to follow for follow. Thats what i do :)

  • November 30, 2010

    this is inspirational. but it takes alot of time..

  • December 14, 2010
    I am new to Twitter so I’m trying to learn the ropes. Are you saying that if I send good tweets and retweet other relevant tweets, then the followers will just come on their own? (Let’s discount the spammers that follow to promote their goods, then unfollow if I don’t follow back or express interest.

  • December 14, 2010

    Great article. It does take time if you’re starting out.

  • January 25, 2011

    I appreciate the discussion; I was laid off over a year ago from a 10 year marketing background & my husband & I decided to open our own business. The first a consignment boutique which has turned my passion into a hobby. I am new to Twitter and my overall goal is to increase my new business presence and obtain new customers. As well as find useful information from similar businesses. Since I am on my own, I do not have a marketing budget and want to get the most out of the social media. Ultimately, I want quality shoppers who will come to my business & shop.

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