Saturday, 12 December 2009

How to get 1000 Twitter followers by doing nothing remarkable and not being an expert in anything

*Edit: this post is really just an excuse to show off this wicked cool GIFThis week my Twitter follower count ticked over the big One Thousand mark. What does that mean? I guess, 1000 Twitter users, either people, spammy marketers or robots, thought that what I have say is worthy enough to greet them in their Twitter feed throughout the day.

I am really thankful that of those 1000, many of them are friends and colleagues who wanted to connect online, and am kind of blown away as to how fast my Twitter activity has grown over the past few months.

They are really basic, but here are some reasons why I think you're following me and some tips to get more followers yourself.

Be yourself
Kinda lame advice, but personally, I only ever follow faceless feeds when they provide really useful information. It would be hard to compete with them from your personal account. Plus, I don't think people want to follow robots, they want to connect with other people. So, be a person online. Have opinions, share your thoughts, rants and raves. Just be careful not to over do it.

Don't be afraid of mistakes
Despite how some people might present themselves, no one is really an expert at social media. Microblogging is still pretty new for all of us. It's rules are changing all the time, so don't be afraid to try new things. What's the worse that can happen? People might start a hashtag about it:
Okay, so, that was embarrassing. If you do fuck up: apologize, learn from your mistake and move on. The internet moves fast, your disaster will be old news in a day or two. Besides, you'll probably end up better off. You'll have learned what not to do and you might meet some interesting people throughout the episode, as people like controversy and gossip.

Vary your interests
I work in technology PR, but if I only tweeted about technology PR I would not have found half the cool people I now follow on Twitter. I'm an avid nature lover, with a passion for loud motorcycles, vegetarian recipes, tattoos, comic books and zombie movies, and every now and then, I tweet about it. Sometimes, people end up following me because of it.

Expand globally
My Twitter blew up when I crossed the Atlantic. A new city, a new country with so many new people to learn from. But really, online there is no reason why geographical boundaries should dictate who you connect with. Go ahead and make some new friends in far away places.

Learn, share and prepare to be shared
This is hopefully why you are on Twitter in the first place. Few of us want to hear broadcasts about your breakfast. Instead, interact with other users, retweet them or let them know what you think. Share something neat, cool and useful. And when you do tweet, craft your message so it is easily retweetable, leaving space for the "RT @You:" Also, don't wait for others to find and follow you. Be proactive about it. Find cool people, follow them and say hello.

Be my follower 1001 here: @DanHowe

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