How to Get Twitter Followers: Be Followable

By Kevin Strasser

not-following-back-on-twitter-feature

A common question I hear is how to get Twitter followers. There are many methods, but the first step is to avoid things that may repel potential new followers.

In this post we examine common mistakes that make it hard to get new Twitter followers.

New Twitter followers are ripe with possibilities. These new connections may turn into new partners, customers, vendors, employees, or even friends.

Or at the very least getting new Twitter followers can help amplify your message.

But what about when people chose not to follow you back? Often people are busy and not following back for reasons having nothing to do with you.

But sometimes it is about you?

I often review new followers at @KJStrasser and follow back accounts that are relevant or interesting to me. But there are accounts that I don’t follow back — even when targeted to my interests.

Why is that?

People on Twitter often do things that push me away.

That is what this post is about.

Let me be clear. This article is the real deal. These are real accounts that have followed me — but I chose not to follow back.

Detailed below are the reasons why:

Bad avatars keep you from getting new Twitter followers

TribeBoost statistics show that the most effective avatars are nicely cropped images of your face. Logos, cartoons, and other types of avatars do not perform as well.

It is simple psychology. People are attracted more to other people; we connect more easily to faces on Twitter than logos.

Organization accounts typically use logos instead of pictures of a person. That is understandable and reasonable. But your logo should be clear and professional.

Some logos do not render well as Twitter avatars, so instead use something else or take an element out of the logo.

This much unused blank space is not effective:
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Bad Logo Avatar
Below is an avatar from a recent follower. This avatar isn’t attention grabbing. I don’t know what it represents or means.

Maybe it is a famous statue?
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Weird Avatar
Here is a Twitter avatar from another SaaS CEO.

I would have followed back, but his blurry Twitter avatar image makes me wonder about him. Why not take an extra moment to upload one that is not blurry?
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Blurry Avatar

Having a good avatar helps you get new followers on Twitter.

A Missing Twitter header image may lower your Twitter following

Maybe you like the way the simple color background looks, but this might make you look like a Twitter amateur or worse.

It also might suggest that you are lazy or don’t care.
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Plain Twitter Header
A tax company targeting me makes sense. I do keep my CPA busy. But this Twitter profile does not display professionalism.

Speaking of my CPA, let me give my man Josh some love. His Twitter header looks great:
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Good Twitter Header
Which account displays more professionalism to you? Is it even close?

How to get Twitter followers: Avoid ugly header graphics

You have just a few seconds to get someone’s positive attention on Twitter. Pick a header image that is sure to please the eye.

While taste is subjective, edgy or bizarre homemade graphics are risky and turn off some.
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Ugly Header

Header graphics that scream, “buy my crap!”

We all want to increase sales and find new customers. But it pays to be discreet about such things. Being subtle is almost always the winning move with your Twitter branding.How to Get Followers on Twitter: Salesy Twitter Header
Think about your brand carefully, be classy, and don’t go overboard on selling. Having a nice header will certainly help you gain more Twitter followers.

For tips on good looking Twitter header graphics this is a good post.

High Twitter following to followers ratio may keep people from following you back

If you are following a lot more Twitter accounts than are following you, it can cheapen your image. You look less authentic, less authoritative, and thus less interesting.

A high Twitter following to followers ratio can make you look desperate to get new followers on Twitter. Desperation is never attractive.

This account looks good otherwise and has a nice custom Twitter header — but the Twitter following ratio does not convey authority.
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Bad follower ratio
It is best to more carefully pace your Twitter following, so don’t go overboard like this.

Not enough Twitter followers

I have a client who told me recently that she “will not follow anyone with less than 2,000 followers.” I am not that harsh, but Twitter following numbers do paint a picture.

If you are branding yourself as a social media influencer — or (like below) as a company that will grow Twitter audiences — you should look the part.
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Not enough Twitter followers

It may be frustrating to hear that you need more Twitter followers to gain more Twitter followers…but it is true that accounts with a higher Twitter following have higher follow-back success rates.

A Twitter bio that is a hashtag haven

Maybe it is just me, but when I see several hashtags within a Twitter bio I get turned off.

Hashtags in bios are fine, but when I see several of them (or nothing but Twitter hashtags), it comes across a bit tacky or unrefined.
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Too Many Hashtags

A bio that does not describe what you do will prevent people from following you back on Twitter

Your Twitter biography is a great opportunity to tell the world what you do.

Use keywords that people may be searching for on Twitter.

Make it clear what you do, who you are, what you are interested in, what you tweet about, etc. You should be using all of this space!

This may be a great account, but the bio is not helping.
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Bad Twitter Bio
Just listing the term “social media” is vague and lazy.

Always use the entire Twitter biography area to the fullest. Tell us why we should care and you’ll get more followers on Twitter.

No location information is a lost opportunity

This one can cost you in a few ways. Anyone searching explicitly for people in your area are not going to find you.

Many of us follow accounts due to them being local. I typically will not follow a restaurant from a town miles away, but I will follow a local one.
How to Get Followers on Twitter: No Location
This account has no location. If Andrew lives near me, I would certainly follow him back. But I don’t have a clue where he is.

Your Twitter feed matters

Here is a recent follow. Would you follow back?
How to Get Followers on Twitter: No Tweets
Aisha should have at least posted a few retweets

Before you start aggressively following people on Twitter, you should first put out several tweets that can give people an idea of what to expect from you. Show some value.

Tweeting the same thing over and over is not a recipe for Twitter success

I know there is a rule of thought by some to repeat tweets. If you choose to do that, at least spread things out a little and do not repeat the same tweets back to back.

When I see something like this, I am not following back.
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Repeating Tweets

Tweets are mostly sales offers

We want to talk about our value props, but don’t do it all of the time. This is a recipe for failure.
How to Get Followers on Twitter: Sales Tweets
Most of the time you should be engaging in conversations, talking about other people, and trying to be helpful or interesting.

It is OK to sell. But for every sales directed post there should be about ten posts that are not about you.

Conclusion

We all want to get new followers, some even say we need more Twitter followers. The first step is to avoid mistakes that prevent people from following you back on Twitter.

Improve your Twitter feed and profile to avoid these Twitter roadblocks, increase your Twitter following rate, and gain Twitter followers more rapidly.

PS: Did you realize TribeBoost can help you get new Twitter followers? Sign up today.

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About the Author

Kevin is the Founder and CEO of TribeBoost.