Tips For Growing Your Twitter Following

Authors seem to want a huge number of Twitter followers with no thought given to which followers make the most sense for their purpose. But as in any kind of marketing, you shouldn’t aim for all carbon-based lifeforms. Instead, you should focus on the type of followers who are likely to buy your book.

I have three Twitter accounts. One is for my business, My Creative Team, which is an ad agency. This account has been active since 2008. I have another one for my book, Moving to Charlotte, and one personal account. The latter was languishing until recently. I decided in September of this year to make it my author account and to start growing it in order to help publicize my new book, Born Creative.

On September 15, the day I published Born Creative, this account had 285 followers. Now, I wanted to grow my following but I wanted to grow organically and strategically. So, I defined the people most likely to buy my book and then I started identifying Twitter accounts which could reach those folks.

Since I enrolled Born Creative in KDP Select and didn’t intend to produce a paperback, at the top of the list of people likely to buy were those who had Kindles. I also wanted people whose interest included books, creativity and self-improvement.

So, I used Twitter’s search feature to find accounts with these attributes. I also determined which accounts had large and active followings. My number one account has been @AmazonKindle. Think about it – people following this account are clearly going to be interested in ebooks.

Let’s focus on this account to see how I grew my account by roughly 15 highly-targeted followers per day to more than 1,600 in about six weeks. Not a huge number, but growing steadily and strategically.

Here’s where it gets interesting. I signed up for Tweepi.com, which helps you make sense of your Twitter account. It provides tools to allow you to see – and unfollow - people not following you back.

First, I loaded all my followers and began unfollowing those not following me back. Then, I used Tweepi’s tools to sort followers by attributes such as having no avatar, having not tweeted within the past 15 days, not being English speakers, and number of followers. There are a number of other attributes, but these are the primary ones I used.

Next, I used the follow tools. I placed @AmazonKindle into the search box on the “Follow @User’s followers” page. Again, I used the sorting tools and began following these people. You can automate the process by purchasing the pro version, or as I did by using the free version and downloading the Tweepi plugin for Chrome. The free version limits you to following 500 accounts per day and unfollowing 200 per day. This is a good thing because you should try to keep your number of followers and those you are following at about the same level.

Now, once weekly, I go in and weed out any people I’m following that didn’t follow me back. Then, I can add some more followers from @AmazonKindle or other accounts.

When I started the process, politics was the top interest of my followers. Books did not even appear. Today, “books” has moved up to number three on the list of interests, pushing politics down to number four.

I suggest you give this strategic approach a try.

About the Author:
Harry Hoover is a 1976 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where he studied Radio, TV and Motion Pictures. He has been a radio and newspaper journalist, a daily call-in talk show host, a managing editor and a color commentator duties for football and basketball.

Harry has been in government public information, as well as in PR and advertising agencies. Today, he and his business partner own My Creative Team, a marketing agency formed in 2007 that makes Fortune 1000 companies look good. Harry and his wife, Terry, a mystery author, live near Lake Norman where they are often visited by their son, daughter and grandsons.

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