How To Gain The Right Twitter Followers

By Katrina Collier

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How do I get thousands of Twitter followers, fast?

This is usually the first question I am asked when I start talking about Twitter. And it's the hardest thing for a new tweeter to understand as it's not about the number, it's about the quality of followers.

Using myself as an example, I teach companies to use social media to hire their people. So I am looking to have Twitter followers who work in HR, Recruitment, Talent Acquisition etc. because not everybody will be interested in articles aroung social recruiting, hiring, social media etc.


If I analyse my followers on Followerwonk this is indeed what I have created:



Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn gaining followers on Twitter is a little more complicated. You need to gain their trust first.

When I am followed by someone new, this is what I do:

  1. I look for a profile picture - I don't like to follow eggs or logos
  2. I read their bio - are they interesting or are they selling me something?
  3. I compare Following to Follower numbers - are they following lots with few followers?
  4. I scan their tweets - are there RTs, articles of interest, genuine conversations or is it simply broadcasting? 




After all that, I decide if I will follow back or simply ignore them. It may sound harsh but it's true. Do you do similar?


How to gain the right followers.


1. Have an objective

  • If you're looking for a job, think about your target industry or sector, who would your likely boss be, what would they be interested in reading about. What is your area of expertise or your passion? Yes, you can mix the two.
  • If you're looking for recruits, know who you are looking for, be yourself, offer job seeker help and have plenty of insights to share about your company the real ones, not the polished PR management speak that few believe. [You may like: The Essential Guide to Recruiting on Twitter]


2. Set the scene

  • Use a great profile picture, where you look friendly and approachable. It's Twitter so you can have a bit of fun but remember that it reflects on you. 
  • You have 160 characters available for your bio so let people know what you're about. Personally, I think the best ones are a mix of personal and professional. 
  • Make a splash with your cover photo - share something that will start a conversation. 


3. Share great content

  • Remembering that you're gathering a following of the right people - what do they want to hear about? Share articles, insights and opinions on these topics. 
  • You may want to read my earlier post, 5 Tools For Social Media Management, where I talk about keeping blogs & news of interest organised in Feedly and scheduling updates with Bufferapp to make Twitter easier.


4. Find people to follow

  • Now you have great things going on in your feed, find some people to follow. My absolute favourite tool for this is Manageflitter which allows you to search bios.
  • When you follow someone they are notified, and with steps 1 to 3 complete, they’ll be more likely to follow you back. 


5. Engage

  • Don’t worry if they don’t follow you immediately, there are plenty of reasons why people won’t. For example, I have been known to add people to Lists rather than follow back as I find it easier to keep up! :)
  • You can however gain their attention by answering a question, or retweeting one of their posts and adding your own comment, or giving a Favourite to one of their Tweets (though a retweet is more powerful!) 


This process isn’t fast but it will build you a great following of the right people


Any tips you'd add?


If you are in HR or Recruitment, come follow me @KatrinaMCollier


KatrinaCollier-PhotoKatrina Collier is the founder of social recruiting & candidate engagement training company The Searchologist. An experienced full cycle recruiter and globally recognised leader in social recruiting and candidate engagement; she trains HR & recruiters to source on social media while inspiring them to #BeHuman and robot-proof themselves with a candidate first approach. As well as keynoting at leading HR & Recruitment industry events like SourceCon Europe & USA & SOSU Sourcing Summits globally, she is also co-host of The #SocialRecruiting Show, Founder of DisruptHR London, an Ambassador for Retrak Charity & co-organiser of #ConnectingHR London. Discover more at The Searchologist



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