How to Increase Your Twitter Followers by 10,000 (10K). This is a question that has many answers. Some of those answers I tested out over a series of months, the results of which will be presented below. Twitter is an instant communication and marketing tool. By having a small number of followers (less than 10K), I believed our Twitter account (@FilmBookDotCom – disclosure: I am the Editor-in-chief of FilmBook) was not presenting to the public the follower numbers necessary to make the site seem like a legitimate news entity.
Great sites usually have a great number of Twitter followers. It’s not a direct correlation but the probability of one (great site) affecting the other (its number of Twitter followers) is high. Some people think this way. Because of those people i.e. public perception and other factors (e.g. a desire for increased retweets), I wanted to make sure they thought this (“large number of Twitter followers, probably a good website”) when the came to, glanced at, or read copy on FilmBook’s Twitter account.
I also wanted more people to know about FilmBook.
FilmBook is entertainment news outlet that produces great daily content and I wanted (and still want) as many people to know about it as possible. To that end, I wanted its Twitter numbers (i.e. followers, retweets, likes, and comments) to reflect that quality.
In late June, early July 2015, I decided to make more people aware of FilmBook and what it had to offer by increasing its number of Twitter followers.
How I did so is below.
Before we get to that…
Methodology Behind the 1st 5000 Twitter Followers
When I first started FilmBook’s Twitter account in 2008, very few people knew how powerful the new web application was or would become. Everyone was learning as they went.
Here is how FilmBook obtained its first 5000 Twitter followers.
1.) We posted original content to our Twitter account from our website. This is the most important thing that you can do to attract followers and to keep them following your Twitter account.
People organically followed us because of this.
2.) We placed our Twitter account URL (via a hyperlinked icon) on our website, above the fold, at the top of the page. Through one click, a person was taken directly to our Twitter account.
3.) We began referencing our Twitter account (with a hyperlink) in all of our published articles.
4.) Guy Kawasaki said to follow everyone that followed you. He was right if increasing your Twitter followers is your goal (they are less likely to unfollow you because you have created value in their mind i.e. a followback) but I didn’t know it at the time.
I followed some people and they followed me (and vice versa).
5.) I made Follow Friday Twitter posts and followed (most of) those people back.
6.) I ran Follow/Retweet DVD and Blu-ray contests as well as regular contests.
7.) I joined John Chow‘s Twitter Follower group (this was between 2008-2009. I don’t believe the group is still active.)
That got us at or around our first 5,o00 Twitter Followers.
Methodology Behind the 2nd 5000 Twitter Followers
Method 1 – Follow
I knew that if I followed people that some would become curious about who had just followed them (Twitter notifies you whom follows you and provides a back-link to them) and would click-through to that Twitter account.
Reconnaissance and Following the Like-minded
I found and bookmarked Twitter accounts that produced similar content (that was key) to our Twitter account. After doing that, I did three things: 1.) I followed people that retweeted their content, 2.) I followed people that ‘liked’ their content (something I didn’t do in the past) and 3.) I avoided following the administrators and writers for that website / Twitter account.
Admins and Blocking
I didn’t follow administrators because I didn’t want to alert them to my presence or of what I was doing. This experiment required that I be given a “free hand” and “wide berth.” When I first began this and was indiscriminate in my following, an admin blocked me from the Twitter account whose followers I was cultivating.
Twitter only lets you see a fraction of the retweets and likes that highly retweeted/liked posts receive. The rationale behind following people that have ‘liked’ a Twitter post of this nature is that some of the people that retweeted the post also ‘liked’ the post as well. By following them, I followed a percentage of the retweeters that I couldn’t see and didn’t have access to.
I had read an article about following and unfollowing people. At the end of the article they mentioned “rinse and repeat.” I was already following and unfollowing new followers on a small scale, but after reading this article, I increased the volume.
I would wait a few days then used four Twitter unfollow websites to unfollow three hundred people (three of the four only let you unfollow one hundred non-followbacks a day for free – you had to pay if you wanted to unfollow more than that. The fourth was unlimited but laborious to use), three hundred people that had not followed me back (non-followbacks).
The result: it worked. The number of followers of the Twitter account used in this experiment gradually increased as did the number of retweets, likes, and comments on our published articles for that Twitter account.
As soon as I saw that it could be done (Twitter Analytics helped with these insights), I went full throttle with Rinse/Repeat.
At certain milestones, like when we hit 7,500 followers, I sent out a tweet thanking our followers while linking to our Google+ and Facebook page.
— FilmBook (@FilmBookdotCom) September 1, 2015
Method 2 – Event Tweeting and Creating Value
The 2015 New York Comic Con was probably my greatest moment with the Rinse/Repeat experiment. During the con, we were in attendance and live tweeting from the event everyday of the con.
— FilmBook (@FilmBookdotCom) October 8, 2015
The volume of tweets, because of live tweeting, quadrupled. The would-be followers saw a high volume of content: our regular tweets, image tweets, and Periscopes. High profile Twitter accounts like Nerdist, The Vulture, Ash vs. Evil Dead, etc. took notice and retweeted some of our tweets.
Other people took notice because we were using the hashtag for the con and for TV shows and films in attendance. This had been planned in advance (the con coverage, not the Rinse / Repeat experiment).
We had reviews for TV show episodes shown at the con ready before the con ended published on our Twitter account.
— FilmBook (@FilmBookdotCom) October 9, 2015
We created value for our new Twitter followers, our old Twitter followers, and for the curious that came to our Twitter account for the first time. Our account views (people visiting our Twitter account) were the highest they had probably ever been during the 2015 New York Comic Con.
Method 3 – Follow and Retweet Contests
During the 2015 New York Comic Con, I ran Follow/RT Blu-ray contests. The response from the increased number of followers was incredible.
— FilmBook (@FilmBookdotCom) October 9, 2015
These Twitter posts were previously averaging 5 to 10 retweets. Once I started Rinse/Repeat and the number of followers increased, so did my number of retweets and follows for Follow/RT Twitter posts.
That was the first time we hit and/or surpassed the 100 Retweet mark for a single Twitter post.
— FilmBook (@FilmBookdotCom) October 9, 2015
After the con ended, there was some Twitter follower fall off (some came only for the constant con coverage).
I continued Rinse/Repeat.
Method 4 – Publish Diverse Media
We began posting polls, gifs, and images on a more frequent basis, giving more value to our followers while showing potential followers what we had to offer if they followed our Twitter account.
— FilmBook (@FilmBookdotCom) October 20, 2015
Because of the all of following we did, our Twitter profile was receiving more views per month than ever before (remember what I said about the curious?). On some days, I followed over a thousand people and a percentage of those followed me back. The more I followed, the higher my followback percentage was on that day.
More Follow/RT Blu-ray contests followed and Rinse/Repeat continued until I reached 10K followers.
Twitter sent the announcement to my phone.
It was surreal reaching the goal.
I continued Rinse/Repeat until we were well over 10K to account for people that would inevitably unfollow us. Once we had reached 10K, I made the announcement tweet thanking our 10K followers.
— FilmBook (@FilmBookdotCom) November 21, 2015
I tapered off with Rinse/Repeat after reaching the goal, then stopped all together.
I also, within a three-day period after stopping Rinse/Repeat, unfollowed everyone that was not following back our Twitter account, around five thousand people.
This dramatically changed the perception of our account to a person visiting the Twitter account for the first time (or someone considering using the account as a news source).
Before unfollowing those five thousand people, we were following over eleven thousand people (via Rinse/Repeat) and were followed by over ten thousand people. After unfollowing the non-followbacks, the over eleven thousand dropped to over six thousand. Now we had more followers than people we were following and the Twitter account was in the five digit, K-class.
This was months ago.
If I had continued with Rinse/Repeat up till now, I would very near to 18K Twitter followers, possibly 20K followers.
1.) Posting constant, consistent, and original content is your best source new Twitter followers, especially now in 2016, with some many people on Twitter, searching for instant information (use #hashtags so that your content shows up in those searches). With Twitter’s new upgrades, people can be brought to your content even quicker. Rinse/Repeat would have been pointless if we did not have high quality content for people to read and share on Twitter account on a consistent basis.
2.) Rinse/Repeat works.
3.) You have to unfollow people (non-followbacks) on a regular basis during Rinse/Repeat. The reason I unfollowed people was because Twitter limits how many people you can follow in a given period based on the amount of people following you. If that was not the case, I would not have unfollowed anyone. It would have helped me avoid following people multiple times, which happened often.
3.) Follow/RT contests gains you followers but not necessarily followers that will retweet your non-contest tweets, the stable of your Twitter account (I assume). I found this to be a fact but that does not mean they are invaluable. Quite the contrary. Your contests will appear in multiple Twitter feeds thus you will receive free advertising. You gain new followers and your profile amongst contest retweeters will increase because of them.
4.) Following people that Retweet, Like, and Comment on the types of articles that you tweet will increase the retweets, likes, comments, and impressions your tweets receives over time if those people follow you back.
5.) Avoid following the mods / administrators / writers for a website’s Twitter account that is attractive to you when you employ Rinse/Repeat. You will get banned from the site account they work for if you are not careful. I did. Unrelated, Twitter denied me access to my account at one point because they thought that I was a bot (the numerous follows / unfollows in a single day [or during multiple days] triggered it). When you Rinse/Repeat heavily, people will notice. Do it at a moderate pace and watch who you follow. If they have moderator / administrator / writer / editor-in-chief in their profile for the website’s Twitter profile you are in, do not follow them.
5.) Before you follow someone, make sure you have posted items that represent value to that person in your Twitter account. Example: if you are following people that have retweeted and/or liked a particular movie trailer, make sure you have that movie trailer and others posted on your Twitter account before you follow them. Some will become curious. Once they click-through and see that you have content that they are interested in, some will follow you back.
6.) The number followbacks you get is linked directly to how many people you follow. The higher your follows, the higher your followbacks will be. Remember though, only a percentage of the people that you follow will follow you back.
7.) If you follow and unfollow the same person multiple times, some will block you and you will not be able to follow them anymore.
8.) When you post content that a follower is not interested in on consistent basis, they will unfollow you.
The experiment (how the second 5000 Twitter followers were acquired) was successful and I acquired the amount of followers that I set out to obtain.
What are your thoughts on writing consistent content, Rinse/Repeat, Twitter followers, and/or Twitter?
How do you attract new Twitter followers?