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