My 3000th Post – How to build over 12000 followers for free and why you shouldn’t do this
So here we are. My 3000th Tweet and just Tipping 12,000 followers so I guess I’d better make this a good post about something worthwhile. I know. What about a post that outlines how I got to 12k+ Twitter followers…and why this was a bad idea!
Why I went on a mad Twitter rampage
Back in November 2011 I upgraded from my 4 year old, 1st generation iPhone to a new swanky iPhone 4s. The old phone backed up and seemed to restore ok but to my horror, my saved game on (the excellent) Tiny Tower was lost and all my stats set to zero. I lived Tiny Tower and played it several times a day for over a year. Needless to say I was miffed and needed a new game to play that would satisfy my need to spend an endless amount of time performing repetitive tasks.
So I foolishly decided to play a game with Twitter followers and see how fast I could climb the ladder.
Disclaimer. I know this is stupid and that having lots of followers who follow you back is not a sign of popularity, it does not make me an uber-tweeter or is any measure of success (unless that your desired KPI).
I thought it best to start out explaining some of the fundamentals of this technique. Firstly when you start out the going is slow as Twitter will only let you follow a specific number of people per day and you can only follow a small amount of people more than your limit i.e. up to something like 2000 followers you can only follow 2500 people.
Many of the people who you follow won’t follow you back.
Some sneaky people follow you back and then unfollow you a week or so later.
Any list of a target persons followers will change as they add and remove followers making this list a living, breathing entity.
All of this needs controlling.
Tools you need (all of them free)
Firstly you need to tart up your profile. Do this by:
- Adding your website address into your profile description (yes in addition to in the website box). This will give you lots of inbound links from sites that scrape your profile. Nice!
- Add in some #hash tags into your description
- You could also consider adding a keyword into your name. I didn’t but I’ve seen these types of profile names appear high in search.
- Clear out all of the people you follow who don’t follow you back. You’ll need the space.
Now use followerwonk.com to find someone local in your niche that has a high Followers to Following ratio AKA a high Friend metric.
Save copy the profile name and using Good ol’ Tweepi Free’s Follow Friends function to get a list of the targets followers.
Now click down the list and follow everyone you can until you get an alert telling you that you can’t follow any more.
Tip: At this point its probably worth setting yourself some ground rules. Mine were:
- Only follow UK language profiles
- Try not to follow bots or individuals with the default Egg as their profile image
Wait a week or so and check who’s followed you back and add in any new followers you have accrued naturally. You need to give people enough time to log into Twitter and follow you back.
At the end of this period use Tweepi to unfollow anyone who hasn’t followed you.
The great thing about Tweepi is that you can quickly pick up from where you left off even if you leave it for a few months.
Repeat the process.
If you run out of Tweeps to follow, just pick another target from Followerwonk, or you might want to try following someone who has a high follower to followee profile from those who follow you.
Remember I mentioned those sneaky Tweeps who follow then unfollow you. Every day run the who.unfollowed.me service and check off the people who’ve done this.
At some point you’re going to get annoyed that your Twitter feed is filled with spam. These are usually in the form of:
- People who constantly tweet Twitter follower services. These you manually have to remove.
- People who retweet foreign language tweets. Again a manual process.
As your Follower profile begins to grow there is further trimming you can do.
Open up manageflitter.com and connect to your account. Now select Non-English from the side menu. Click Quick Edit which opens up a really neat drag and drop interface made up of peoples profiles and drag over these users. Now click Unfollow. Go through the pages and do this to every non-english follower.
Do the same for Inactive (sort by last tweet which you click twice to show the individuals who haven’t tweeted in ages or at all) and No-Profile Image .
You’ll find that as your follower count rises, you’ll be able to follow more people which makes the process speed up.
That’s all there is to it.
The Down Side
The problem with doing this is that pretty quickly your twitter feed becomes too fast flowing and as you’ve not been selective about the industries you follow, full of junk that you’re not interested in. The solution I’m afraid is to start a new Twitter account that only follows people you’re genuinely interested in.