With over 320 million users, Twitter is a traffic goldmine.
But it can take a lot of time and effort to build a big enough following to drive meaningful amounts of traffic.
We’re talking years of dedicated effort.
I thought I was doomed to buying followers from Indonesia, when thankfully I discovered a method that shot my Twitter following through the roof in a matter of weeks.
In this article, you’re going to learn how I doubled my Twitter followers in just 75 days (and how you can do the same thing).
Not only that, but you’ll also learn how to put the whole process on autopilot.
What You Will Learn
- How to get followers on Twitter (for free)
- How to attract targeted and engaged followers in your niche
- How to drive traffic from Twitter
- How to attract people who follow the influencers in your niche
- And how to automate the entire process using 3 tools
First off, let’s quickly break down why you should even care about this platform.
Check out these stats:
- 46% of Twitter users use it at least once per day
- Twitter has over 320,000 million users
- 74% of people who follow small to medium sized businesses do so to get product updates
- 52% of users say they have bought a product they first heard about on Twitter
- Twitter is my #1 source of social media traffic ;)
Jokes aside, there is a ton of opportunity on Twitter and some dead simple ways to harness it. Especially when you have learned how to drive traffic to your blog using Twitter.
Better yet, you can automate the entire process to build your following and Twitter traffic on autopilot, and actively sharing your content and attracting shares adds social signals to help you to increase Google rankings.
You can also attract indirect backlinks from the increased exposure.
But I know what you’re thinking:
What about share counts? Didn’t Twitter take those away?
Yes, they did.
And I can show you how to get them back in less than 10 minutes.
How to Get Your Twitter Share Counts Back
Using this method, you will be able to get the last 7 days of your Twitter shares back and all of your future ones.
Head over to NewShareCounts and type in your URL:
Click “Sign in with Twitter” and follow the on-screen instructions. This is how NewShareCounts tracks your Twitter shares.
Next, it gives you instructions to get your share counts back for the official share button, SumoMe, Shareaholic, AddToAny, Jetpack, Mashshare, and all of the other major sharing plugins.
Most of them involve pasting a code in your site’s HTML and shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes.
My Personal Twitter Stats
Now that you’ve got your share counts back, let’s take a look at my results from this Twitter growth case study.
First off, Twitter was my #1 source of social media traffic over that time period, and I only published one new piece of content:
Using the manual method I’m about to show you, my Twitter account grew by 2,790 followers in 4 months:
Using the automated method, my account grew by 3,891 followers in just 75 days, doubling a following that had taken me the previous year to build:
That’s a growth rate of 51 followers per day, or 18,615 per year.
The average number of Twitter followers per user is 208.
But follower growth is just a vanity metric. What really matters is traffic (displayed earlier) and engagement.
Since both methods allow you to build a targeted following, my reach and engagement rates increased as well:
My reach grew by 208%. And those followers are targeted to my niche:
Both methods were highly effective for building an engaged following quickly, and I only used two main methods to drive people back to my blog (both automated).
Let’s break down the manual method:
How To Get Followers On Twitter Free
Here’s the theory behind both methods:
When you follow a number of people, a percentage of them will follow you back. These are typically the most active users.
If you follow people who are in your industry — AKA people who follow brands and leaders in your niche — the most active of those users will follow you back.
These people are engaged, active, and likely to be interested in what you offer.
This is one of the most scalable ways to build a targeted following on Twitter.
The manual method involves using a tool to follow and unfollow accounts as fast as possible, without tripping up Twitter’s spam sensors.
Let’s get started:
The tool we’re going to use is Tweepi.
First, head over to Tweepi and sign in with your Twitter account (it’s free).
Your dashboard will immediately show you some key data about your account:
First, click “Follow Tools” at the top and “By @user’s followers”:
Then choose a popular account in your niche whose followers would be interested in your content and what you have to offer.
Choose carefully, because this determines how targeted your followers will be and how well they will convert.
If you’re unsure whether someone has the type of followers you’re looking for, go ahead and sign up for a free Followerwonk account.
Then click the “Analyze” tab, plug in their Twitter handle, and choose “analyze their followers”:
After it’s done analyzing, scroll down to “Bio word cloud.”
This will give you a good idea of what niche/topics their followers are into.
You can also look at how many followers their followers have, how active they are, what languages they speak, how recent their latest tweets are — a bunch of cool data.
Once you’ve found an account whose followers you’re interested in, paste their handle into Tweepi.
Nailed that target audience.)
This will pull up their followers, filtered by most recent. Click the “Followers Count” heading to filter it by most to least followers.
To follow someone, simply click the “Follow” button on the left under their handle:
Here’s the nifty thing about this:
When you click “Follow” on someone, the page automatically scrolls down so your cursor is over the next person’s “Follow” button.
All you have to do is click click click multiple times to follow everyone on the page and move on to the next one.
The 2 Types Of People You Must Follow
Twitter is not just a numbers game. According to SocialMediaExaminer building a relevant Twitter following comes down to four key concepts:
- Find and follow relevant people
- Share content that will be interesting to your target audience
- Engage with your crowd
- Promote your Twitter profile through other channels like for e.g. Quora, Facebook, Linedin or Pinterest
Your effort should focus on practising strategic following vs. random following.
Follow people in your niche, folks who are using certain keywords in their bio and more importantly, people who follow the ones you follow.
For example, you could use Twitter’s Advanced Search Feature to see who who has used the word “blogging” in their bio and within a 50-mile radius of your city. This is ideal for local businesses as well as for anybody ranking clients or their own sites with local SEO.
Now, there are two types of people you should follow regardless of your business model or the industry you’re activating in:
Top Expert Bloggers In Your Niche
Interacting with these people will put your name on their radar and onto the radar of their followers.
A little known secret: give honest compliments and personalize your Tweets. Like for instance:
“@username, John I like your bio because…” or
“@username, Mary – I like your article ___. It helped me understand…” or
“@username, Dean, I enjoyed reading your latest post. It made me realise how important ___ really is.”
Always give reason why and briefly explain your compliment, as you’ve seen above.
Identify the top bloggers in your niche, the ones who write frequently and consistently like once a week. Some use to write on a daily basis like Seth Godin, the inventor of permission marketing.
Glen @ ViperChill, in contrast, only writes once a month or every 2 months, but his posts are lenghty and drive hundreds of comments on average.
Subscribe to your favorite top 10 bloggers’ sites in the niche and add their links in a tool like FeedDemon. You’ll be able to get live alerts when new posts are published.
This way you’ll be amongst the first to share your comment on the published article, get your name out there and drive traffic to your Twitter profile or web site of choice.
Top Influencers In Your Niche
You should be building relationships with influent bloggers and non bloggers to promote your website. They have large Twitter followers. Each person like this can benefit your business in ways you cannot imagine yet.
I would say to make an habit to engage with as many influent bloggers and individuals on Twitter, 24/7. The more you reach out, the more folks will return and reciprocate — by following you, joining your mailing list and making comments on your content (don’t you have a blog yet?).
When you reply to someone you should personalize your response with the user name not just with the “@” symbol. Also, if you want their followers and your followers to see the response, ensure you add “.” before the @username symbol.
Ask these influent people how they do certain things from within their business, practice or profession. Like for example, you may want to ask questions about:
- Their blog’s strategy
- Their social media “secrets”
- Their negotiating methods
You get the idea.
How To Fly Under The Radar
Here are some guidelines to make sure you don’t trip up Twitter’s spam radar and get your account suspended:
1. Don’t follow more than 100 people per day.
I usually stick to 80—100 to stay under the radar.
2. Don’t follow a lot of people with WAY more followers than you.
Most of the people you follow should have follow numbers similar to your account. Give or take a couple thousand is fine.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t follow people with massive followings. Just don’t only follow these people.
3. Pay attention to the “Follow Ratio.”
If this is high, it means they’re following a lot less people than are following them, so they’re less likely to follow you back.
Look for follow ratios between 70% and 150%, to maximize your returns.
That’s it! Just follow about 100 people per day, which usually takes no more than 5 minutes, and a percentage of them will follow you back.
However, there is a second part to this:
Unfollowing people who don’t follow you back.
To keep your Follow Ratio normal, it’s smart to unfollow these people. Odds are, if they haven’t followed you back after a week they’re inactive anyway.
Tweepi used to have this capability, but it was removed at Twitter’s request.
I suggest signing up for a free account at ManageFlitter and using their Unfollow tool:
This entire process takes less than 10 minutes a day, it’s 100% free, and it’s an effective method for growing your Twitter following.
Using this method, I gained 2,790 followers in just 4 months.
And it scales up as your reach increases and more people retweet and share your content.
So if you don’t mind some mindless clicking every day, you can grow your following pretty quickly.
However, time is my most valuable asset, so if I can automate something and it fits my budget I usually do it.
Small adjustments to your routine can lead to BIG changes over time.
The next method is the automated method. It costs $25 per month, but it saves you time and it’s more effective than the manual method.
Let’s get to it:
The Automated Method to Increase Your Twitter Followers
I love automation.
And I love it even more when automating something actually yields better results than doing it manually.
That’s what happened when I discovered Social Quant in this post by Tim Felmingham.
Social Quant is a service that automatically follows and unfollows people for you, exactly like the manual method.
Except they use an algorithm to do it 24/7, and you can control how effective the algorithm is through the keywords you tell it to search for.
Based on the keywords you input, Social Quant will scan Twitter conversations and analyze the accounts that used those keywords. Then it will decide whether they’re valuable accounts to follow.
“Using the power of Big Data, our hard-working algorithms listen to all conversations throughout Twitter and if one of the keywords you’ve selected when you set up your Social Quant account is mentioned, we will analyze the Twitter account that used that keyword to determine if it seems to be a valuable account to follow.” — Social Quant Team
It also tells you which keywords are most effective and which aren’t, so you can make strategic decisions about the keywords you input.
Let’s break down the signup and keyword selection process:
First, head over to Social Quant and sign up for their 14-day free trial.
(You’ll probably gain at least a couple hundred new followers with the trial.)
Then authorize the app to access your account.
It will ask you who you’re trying to connect with and whether you only want to follow people who follow you. Here’s what I select:
Next, scroll down to the section where you input your keywords.
They suggest including 20-30, but I’ve had success with 35+ as well.
Don’t worry too much about your specific keywords just yet, because you can change them anytime you want to later on based on how they’re performing.
Just know that your account’s growth is dependent on the keywords you choose, so make sure they’re related to your target audience.
Here are a few I might input:
You want to base your keywords on four things:
- Topics your target audience is interested in
- Their profession (or how they identify themselves)
- Accounts and people they follow
- Hashtags they might be using
If your audience is interested in cats, electronics, sports, personal development, or anything else — choose keywords related to those interests.
If they call themselves bankers, or marketers, or stay-at-home dads, again, put those keywords in there.
Then identify a few accounts whose followers you would like to have and the hashtags your ideal followers use, and input them.
After 20-30 of these keywords, you’ll be off to a good start. After a couple days you’ll be able to check the data and make adjustments.
When you’re done, click “Update” and Social Quant will email you a link to your dashboard.
(Note: Mike Kawula, their CEO, is a super nice guy and always gave me quick answers to my questions.)
Here is what your dashboard will look like:
You’ll be able to see how long you’ve been with them, how many followers you have, your account’s percentage growth, the number of keywords you’re using, and a graph of your follower growth.
Below that you will see the most important data — how your keywords are performing:
You will see your best/worst converting keywords in the last week and all time. This is based on the percentage of people who followed you back using that keyword.
Social Quant suggests that you remove any keywords that convert at less than 10%. This is a pretty good rule of thumb, but you will also find anomalies.
Like my best converting keyword of all time converts at 8.8%:
So base your decisions mostly on the number of people each keyword is converting rather than the conversion rate.
Next, open up the keywords page in a new tab (so you can refer back to your conversion data).
Here, you can choose which keywords you want to delete and which you want to add in.
After you have gathered enough data (let the algorithm run for a few days before making adjustments) delete the keywords that aren’t converting enough followers for you and add more in.
If you’re stuck on new keywords to add, Social Quant suggests keywords for you:
After this, your Twitter account’s growth will be 99% automated. All you have to do is head into your dashboard every few weeks to a month and spend 10 minutes adjusting your keywords.
This tool helped me gain 3,891 followers in 75 days. That comes out to 1.6 cents per follower ($0.016/follower).
No matter which route you take (the manual method or Social Quant) you’ll gain a ton of followers in a short amount of time.
But the trick is to funnel those followers over to your website where they can convert into leads and sales.
So let’s break down two automated (my favorite) ways to drive traffic from Twitter.
Two Automated Methods to Drive Twitter Traffic
These methods to drive traffic to your website pair perfectly with the Twitter growth strategies described above.
They involve automating content delivery to both new and existing followers.
As your followers continue to increase, they’ll get exposed to more and more of the content you’re sharing out.
Let’s break these methods down:
1. Set Up An Automated Direct Message
Everyone knows how annoying automated Twitter DMs can be. They usually start with “Hey! Thanks for following me!!” and end with “Go like my Facebook page.”
The key to an auto DM that gets responses like these:
Is to provide value in the message and minimize the personal nature of it.
Too many DMs ask for something in return immediately, like signing up for an email list or liking another account.
They also include the person’s name or Twitter handle. Usually this would be a smart idea, but since SO many automated DMs include the person’s name, it has become the standard.
(It actually turns people off.)
But if the right people start following you and you deliver something that might be valuable to them, there’s a strong chance they’ll actually check it out, join your email list, or buy your products.
Here’s how to do this:
Here, you can create automatic messages that go out to each new subscriber. You can create a single message that goes out to each one, or you can create multiple messages that get sent out randomly.
I’ve created multiple:
Each one follows a similar pattern:
“Thought you might like to check out [Insert Valuable Content Here].”
I’m slightly trying to fool them the with the “Thought you might like…” part that it’s a personal message, but you really can’t fool anyone with “-via @crowdfire” appended to the end of it.
However, when they see it in their messages they’ll only see the first couple words. This will entice them to check it out more than a fake “thank you for following” message.
And once they see you’re delivering value rather than asking for it, and it’s on a topic that interests them, they will click through.
So take your best piece or pieces of content and create messages like these to send out.
Now each new follower will have the opportunity to visit your website — on autopilot.
2. Automate Sharing Your Content
Finally, you want to stuff your Twitter feed with valuable content. The more content you share, the further your reach and traffic potential.
Twitter is inherently crowded so you need to do everything you can to stand out. Part of this is sharing a load of content.
First, sign up for a Buffer account if you don’t have one already. Then take your best pieces of content and start scheduling tweets for each one:
If you run out of content to share, simply re-share the content you already scheduled but create a unique tweet for each one, like so:
Schedule as many tweets as you can, and that’s it! You could even use Matt’s TweetAttacksPro tutorial for some more unique angles.
The more followers you build, the greater your reach will be. So take as much advantage of that as possible by scheduling out your content multiple times.
To strike a balance, you should also share out content from other people, and create tweets with the sole purpose of building relationships and showcasing your personality:
Want to know how important a goal is to you? Ask yourself what you’re willing to give up to achieve it
— Michael Karp (@_MichaelKarp) April 18, 2016
(Native posts like these also tend to get greater reach.)
Wrapping It Up
I actually didn’t like Twitter at first, but now I know how to get followers on Twitter easily – I love it.
Mainly because I found simple ways to scale my follower growth, but also because it’s an excellent place to build relationships with people.
The relationships I’ve built there have led directly to social shares, subscribers, book sales, and clients.
There’s a lot of opportunity to be harnessed on Twitter, and now you have some dead simple and scalable ways to take advantage of it.
Have fun :)