3 Effective Ways to Build a Twitter Following

In most things in life, size isn’t everything.


And people might have told you the same when it comes to Twitter – it’s the quality of your followers that matters, not the quantity.


Well in my view, that’s not true. Quality in itself isn’t enough, you need quantity too.


That’s because of the very nature of the medium. There’s simply such a volume of material that it’s difficult to get noticed. If you want your content to have a chance of going viral, then you need a decent following.


And that’s really the purpose of Twitter from a marketing point of view.  It does allow you to identify influential individuals in your industry – for example, travel journalists and bloggers – and build an individual rapport with them. And it does also allow you to identify your ‘tribe’ – in this case, those interested in travel and tourism – reach them and interact with them to modify, deliver and amplify your own messages.


But how do you find your tribe and ensure they’re following you?  Well, the easy bit is the 2nd bit – if you follow them, by the law of reciprocation, many will follow you back. Identifying them is the hard bit.


Here are a few tips and tools to help you along the way.


1. Find Your Tribe via Hashtags


‘Tribes’ congregate around hashtags. All you have to do is identify the hashtags that your tribe is using, search for that hashtag on Twitter or via your Twitter client (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck etc) and then follow those that are posting using it.


For example, type the hashtages #travel, #ttot (travel talk on a Tuesday), #cruise or #honeymoon into the Twitter seach and see what you find.


2. Find Your Tribe Using Their Bio


People’s bios are a great way of telling the sort of things they’re interested in. But, how on earth do you search people’s bios quickly and easily? Well, you use a tool called Twellow.  Twellow allows you to search for a keyword and then it will search Twitter accounts for people with that keyword in that bio. So you might search for ‘travel’, or ‘holiday’ or ‘cruise’, or even for a locality or town if most of your business is local.


Twellow will list the results from most followed users to least followed, so you start by following those most likely to be able to amplify your message. And if you sync your Twitter account with Twellow, you can follow people in Twellow – no need to flick back and forth between web pages.


3. Find Your Tribe By Who Else They Follow


I manage social media for a flight comparison site.  How can I build my following?   By finding and following the followers of other flight comparison sites.


That sounds complicated until you discover Tweepi. Tweepi is a wonderful tool that enable you to find out who’s following other accounts and, if you sync Tweepi with your Twitter account, to follow them.


It’s also rather handy for flushing out those who you’ve followed by who didn’t follow you back – useful when you’re reaching follow limits – and following those who have followed you but you haven’t yet followed back (remember, they could use Tweepi to flush you out too).


Unfortunately, these tools don’t do all the work. You still have to go through a manual and time consuming process of following people one by one. But at least you know who to follow.


Of course, another way of building a following is creating effective tweets that are more likely to go viral. But that’s a subject for another day!