Is Twitter Really about Lots of Followers?

I came across an article on how to get more Twitter followers. It includes some pretty obvious tips such as follow people back if they follow you, retweet, and use hashtags.

To me, the more intriguing issue raised by the article is the importance of followers, and how obsessed we should be with having lots of them.

Everyone talks about social media being about engagement and conversations (These are wildly over-used words in my opinion). Twitter is also about sharing resources and content, and using search to quickly find information. This is what makes Twitter so compelling and interesting.

Nowhere in this equation is the importance or need for lots of followers. If followers is a key consideration when using Twitter, you have misguided sense of how to use and approach Twitter.

The “trick” is attracting more followers is not things such as following people back just because they follow you, or retweeting for the sake of retweeting. If you want more followers, focus on doing a great job using Twitter.

Here are my “tips” to attracting more followers.

1. Create a steady flow of tweets that highlight interesting or compelling content (blog posts, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, videos).

2. Take the same approach tip #1 when retweeting. This not only provides great content to your followers but it encourages the original Twitter user that their tweets are interesting and valuable.

3. Make it easy for people to follow you. If, for example, you write a blog, install a Twitter subscription button, as well as a retweet button. If people like your blog posts, make it easy for them to become a follower.

The common denominator is not to be blatant or overly-focused on attracting new followers. It is more important to generate content that people find interesting enough that they will want to follow you.

To paraphrase W.P. Kinsella’s “Field of Dreams”, if you build [a strong Twitter presence], they [followers] will come.