“So, like, how many Twitter followers do you have?”

This question is a tempting one for brands to brush off, isn’t it?

Here’s the thing, though: you can’t dismiss your follower count on Twitter as a total vanity metric.

Not only does a higher follower count mean more influence in your industry, but also signals that your audience, leads and customers are interested in your content.

According to social media statistics, nearly half of all marketers cite Twitter as their go-to network for engaging with customers. Fast-moving and so simple to use, Twitter is arguably the easiest social following to grow from scratch.

But how do you get those followers in the first place?

Interested in how to engage with the followers you gain? Sign up for this upcoming webinar with experts from Twitter and Sprout Social as they discuss Social Customer Care in 2018!

How to Get More Twitter Followers in 8 Steps

In this quick guide, we’re going to break down exactly how to get more Twitter followers in 2018.

No bots, no spammy tactics. Just eight actionable steps you can take ASAP to attract valuable, flesh-and-blood followers. Whether you’re after more leads or just want to get the attention of big names in your industry, the following tips are totally fair game.

A Better Way to Manage Social

Request a Demo

Thank You for Requesting a Demo!

Someone from our sales team will contact you shortly.

1. When in Doubt, Tweet More Often

Versus the likes of Facebook or Instagram, Twitter requires a more aggressive content strategy.

According to data by CoSchedule, the “sweet spot” is anywhere between three and seven tweets per day to maximize engagement. Some brands tweet as often as 15 or 20 times per day, though, so context and competitive analysis are important here.

But given how quickly the platform moves, brands can always err on the side of posting more often rather than being reserved.

The key is to not only promote yourself. The good news? The possibilities for filling up your content calendar are seemingly endless.

Tweets from your followers. Relevant industry articles. Buzzworthy stats. Breaking news. Personal updates. The list goes on and on.

Filling up your Twitter feed with fresh content lets potential followers know that you’re active, engaging, and well, worth following.

With the help of social scheduling software, you can regularly queue up content without having to constantly tweet in real-time. This effectively allows you to attract new followers around the clock.

Scheduling tweets ensures that you can optimize your Twitter presence for more followers

2. Time Your Tweets to Perfection

And speaking of timing, blasting your tweets while your target audience is sleeping won’t help you gain new followers.

According to Sprout’s own research on the best times to post on social media, brands typically see the most engagement during weekdays in the early and late afternoons.

best times to post on twitter

While these numbers might vary depending on your time zone and audience, timing your tweets can help your account gain some much-needed exposure.

Figuring out how to get more Twitter followers doesn’t mean sitting in front of the screen for nine hours a day, either. Ideally, brands should schedule tweets to hit the times where users are more active and tweet in real-time at intervals throughout the day as well.

Not sure of when you should Tweet? Sprout’s ViralPost automatically schedules your Tweets to be sent out when your audience is most likely to see and engage with them.

sprout social viralpost

3. Post More Visual Content

As you probably know, tweets containing visual content receive more likes, shares and retweets than those without them.

As such, brands should strive to couple their tweets with some sort of accompanying image. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with solely text-based tweets, images are better poised to stop serial scrollers and encourage them to take a look at your post.

Even something as simple as a colorful blog post preview like this one from Slack can do the trick:

Coupling your tweets with GIFs or memes has become common practice, as illustrated by Beardbrand:

Meanwhile, infographics are shared three times more often than any other type of image on Twitter. If you’ve got some compelling data to share with the world, go for it. Here’s a great example from Forbes:

And signaling the strength of video content marketing, this medium is six times more likely to be shared than a typical text-based tweet. Quick-how-to’s and listicle videos like this one from Hubspot are all the rage right now:

Whether you’re looking to inform or entertain your audience (or both), filling your feed with visual content can help bring new followers into the fold.

4. Harness Your Hashtags

Think of hashtags as a way to make your posts searchable, almost as a form of SEO for your Twitter account.

According to data and best practices on how to use hashtags, tweets with at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement than those without them.

Statistically, tweets that feature hashtags get more engagement; however, brands should be wary of weighing down their posts with too many of them.

Tacking on a couple of hashtags to any given tweet is a quick way to increase the likelihood of new followers finding your account. Plus, doing so only takes a couple of seconds and there are plenty of hashtags to choose from.

For example, you can use industry hashtags such as #SEO or #contentmarketing which are ideal for your professional content. Here’s a good example of an effective single hashtag tweet:

And here’s an example of a tweet containing two industry hashtags which don’t distract from the content of the post:

To inject some personality into your feed and to avoid sounding too suit-and-tie, you can also play with popular community hashtags such as #MondayMotivation:

Additionally, you can piggyback on event-based hashtags as well (think: hashtags awards shows, sporting events and anything else topical):

The only caveat with hashtags is that you don’t want to go overboard. Posts brimming with hashtags look spammy at a glance and are otherwise distracting.

And besides, spamming isn’t necessary when you know which of your hashtags attract the most followers. By taking advantage of Twitter analytics, you can dig deeper into the top-performing tags for your particular brand.

Twitter analytics reports can teach you more about high-performing hashtags for your account

5. Master the Arts of Tagging, Retweeting & Replying

Getting more followers on Twitter doesn’t have to be a time-sink: it just means making the most of the time you spend on the platform.

Sure, you can and totally should schedule tweets to optimize engagement. But at the same time, you don’t want your Twitter account to look like it’s completely run by bots.

You need to get in the trenches with your followers, customers and industry leaders alike. Regularly engaging with other users via tagging, retweeting and replying immediately lets new followers that you’re human and gets more eyes on your brand.

For starters, let’s say you’re replying to another brand’s tweet to try to get their attention. Writing out a detailed, thoughtful response will score you more potential followers than a brief one-word reply.

Another smart way to get other brands interested in your account is by shouting them out. Tagging other brands as a compliment is a popular tactic to show some love to others in your industry.

In turn, they might give you a shout out as well.

Likewise, being tagged in a tweet can help you tap into new audiences by understanding who else is sharing your content. If you want to be tagged by others, you should do the same yourself.

And despite only taking a couple of seconds, retweeting your fans and followers can help introduce you to new ones, too. Check out how much love oVertone‘s retweet of a customer received:

Retweeting followers and customers shows potential followers that you're willing to engage with them

These small pieces of your content strategy contribute to the bigger picture of attracting followers. Any combination of tagging, retweeting and replying don’t have to take long but are essential to letting those potential followers know you’re active.

6. Optimize Your Profile for New Followers

Considering that up to 15% of tweets are suspected to be bots, brands need to do everything they can to prove they’re human. In addition to a diverse content strategy, there are a few subtle steps to make your profile friendlier to new followers.

Optimizing your profile involves three straightforward steps:

  • A clean profile photo. According to the psychology of social photos, an unobstructed facial photo is ideal if you aren’t using a high-res brand logo.
  • Relevant tags, industry keywords and location information. In short, your profile should be “complete” through describing what you do, your title, what companies you work with and where you operate.
  • A taste of your personality. Giving your followers a sense of who you are is always a plus.

Check out how Ann Handley‘s profile ticks all of these boxes:

An optimized profile picture on Twitter proves that you're not a bot

Rand Fishkin has a similarly clean-cut profile, and also throws in a mention of how often he typically posts:

Letting your Twitter followers know what to expect from your account is a nice touch

Brian Honigman not only has a sleek cover photo to boot, but also tags Forbes and NYU to boost his credibility:

A clear cover photo not only makes your profile more attractive but proves you're not a bot

Simply put, fine-tuning these pieces of your profile help guarantee a positive first impression with new followers.

7. Find Followers Within Your Network

Here’s a simple, straightforward tip for gaining some new followers and making yourself more visible in Twitter’s search in seconds.

If you’re like most people, you’re hesitant about uploading your contact list to any social network. However, syncing your contact list to Twitter can help you tap into your existing network of people most likely to follow you.

Importing your email contacts is a smart strategy for finding Twitter followers

If your synced contacts are on Twitter, your account has a higher chance of showing up as a suggestion under the “Who to Follow” section. Depending on the size of your contact list, this can score you a lot of new followers with very little work on your part.

8. Funnel Followers from Beyond Twitter

The last piece of winning more Twitter followers means promoting your profile beyond the platform.

Let’s take a quick look at how Lootcrate advertises their Twitter account and other social profiles throughout their site and marketing campaigns.

For starters, they include a link to their social accounts on-site next to their opt-in form. There are tons of social button plug-ins out there via WordPress if you’re interested in doing the same:

Including a Twitter button on-site gives your visitors a quick point of contact

They also include social buttons at the bottom of their marketing emails:

Putting a follow button for Twitter in your email signature gives your contacts another avenue to get in touch with you

Oh, and they also have a link to their Twitter account tucked away in their Facebook “About” section:

Linking your Twitter to your other social profiles helps funnels more users to your profile

Considering how commonplace Twitter is for marketers in general, there’s no shame in plastering your profile wherever you can to help encourage new followers.

And on a final note, Lootcrate also provides a good example of how bloggers can encourage readers to get in touch via Twitter. This is especially valuable if you frequently guest post on other sites and want to turn those one-time readers into long-term followers.

Twitter is a quick and easy way for readers to get in contact with an author of a blog post

And that wraps up our list!

What Are You Doing to Grow Your Twitter Following?

Growing your Twitter following doesn’t happen by accident. A combination of planning your content, engaging with fellow users and optimizing your profile is key to attracting new followers.

If you’ve been struggling to figure out how to get more Twitter followers, start with these steps. Many of them only require a small commitment of time but can make all the difference in terms of new leads, customers and exposure for your brand.

And on that note, what kind of traction are you seeing on Twitter these days? Anything special you do to bring in new followers? Let us know in the comments below!