A Complete Guide on How to Grow Your Twitter Account organically without spending any money on ads. Everything is covered starting from the Creation of your Account to your Hundreds and Thousands of Followers. In this article you will find information about How to choose your niche, Branding your account, Tweeting Strategy, How to Engage, How to use all the tools provided by Twitter, and also External Tools recommendation for rapid growth.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is an American based micro-blogging and a social networking website. It is created by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006. You can read more about the founders in this Wikipedia Article.
Why use Twitter?
There are many popular social media platforms out there. Then why should you care about Twitter?
Well, Twitter has a highly engaging community. People here are highly active and discuss every damn topic on earth. I heard someone call Twitter the King of Social Media Platforms for valuable connections and ideas and I damn agree with it. I know you are not convinced yet.
Let’s look at some of these stats below as per a recent survey by Oberlo to find out why Twitter is worth your time and is a lucrative platform if utilized properly.
The average demographic of 35-65 is a testament to the quality of the users and that they are not here just for memes and jokes. Most of them have a stable income and money to spend on. Things are changing quickly as more and more young people are flocking to Twitter to make valuable connections, to learn, to build their personal brand, etc.
These days mere online presence is not enough. One has to have a social media presence too. All businesses from small-to-medium-to-big are on Twitter. Twitter is one of their main strategies for online, social media presence. It is a platform to get direct feedback from their customers, and also to sense the pulse of what customers think about their brand and product.
On twitter you will also find and get to network with seasoned businessmen, up and coming authors, content creators, entrepreneurs, marketers, developers, indie hackers, etc..
90% of the user base on twitter consumes content. You have an edge once you become a producer/content creator. You can do a lot of things on Twitter for FREE. You can build your brand, market your products, sell info products and services, make connections, affiliate for others. The possibilities are unlimited.
I think you get the point. In short you don’t want to miss out on the opportunities Twitter brings your way.
Growing your following on Twitter can be tricky and frustrating sometimes. But if you stick to the basics that we will cover in this guide, your journey will be really smooth, enjoyable and most importantly profitable.
In this detailed guide we will cover how to optimize your profile to convert your profile visitors into followers, how to engage with your followers, does and don’ts, secret tricks used by some of the biggest influencers/brands on twitter.
Growing your account on twitter is hard work. That is why we will also introduce some of the best tools out there to automate certain tasks for you which otherwise will be a time killer. So without wasting much time let’s get started with optimizing your twitter profile.
How to setup your winning twitter profile
The profile is one of the most important parts of your Twitter account. It can either make or break the game for you.
You can consider the profile like you would consider the exteriors of a restaurant. No matter the quality of the food, if the exterior is not appealing nobody will visit your restaurant. Your restaurant’s exterior should also match the kind of food you serve. You cannot have an Arabian themed restaurant and serve Chinese food.
The point is if you want to attract followers to your account, you should have a solid Profile. Let’s use this analogy to build your twitter profile. There are five major components in your profile that you should care about. Now before you get started you should define your niche.
Niche: A clear cut defined niche for your account is the first step to a successful twitter journey.
How to fine-tune your Niche?
You need to ask yourself these following questions.
- Who are you?
- What is your expertise?
- What is the purpose of creating this account?
- What do you want to tweet about?
- How do you want to help people?
- What kind of followers do you want to attract?
You will have a fair idea once you answer these questions. If you are still not clear, it is fine, you can always tweak your Profile at any time. So don’t get stuck at this step.
Setting up your profile is all about dropping subtle hints through out all the profile components about your niche.
Take this as an opportunity to showcase your authority in the niche by using all the components provided by Twitter.
Profile Picture: If you are planning for a personal account, I would recommend that you use your own photo. You can also use abstract objects, Famous personalities in that niche as your profile pic. The point is in the end it should in some way connect to your Niche.
For example, if your Niche is about Travel, you cannot have a pic of you sitting in your office with a suit on. A casual photo of you amidst nature would be more suitable.
Header Image/Banner: It is again an opportunity for you to drop some more hints about your niche. Any text or image should reference your niche in some way.
Again taking the example of Travel niche, you can have an image of a landscape as your Header image and some text something like “To Travel Is To Live”. Be creative with this one.
Caution: Be careful about the copyright issues associated with the photos you use.
Growth Tip: On the Header image above I have a CTA1, which stands for Call To Action.(I named it CTA1 since we have two Call To Actions)
In marketing terms a Call to Action is a piece of content that is intended to induce a prospective customer into performing an action.
Here our prospective customer is the profile visitor. We want him to click on the follow button. The visual arrow pointing towards the Follow button accomplishes that.
Trust me on this, you will have better conversion of Visitors into Followers with this simple trick.
You can go to Canva and make yourself a twitter banner. Canva has some nice stock images otherwise you can go to pixabay or unsplash to download images related to your niche. You can also use your own clicks.
Alternatively, you can go on Fiverr and have yourself a Custom Banner made by a professional.
Name: You can use your real name or an alias name.
For example, for your travel niche, you can have a name something like “Wanderer” or “Nomad Traveller” etc..
Bio: Till now you have put subtle hints through out. Now it is time state it in words precisely. People want to know what you do and what you have to offer. Get the message across in plain simple words. Be precise and be direct. You can also, use Humor, Authority etc
Pinned Tweet: People who visit your profile will definitely scroll down and see your recent tweets, before they decide to give you a follow. So when they visit your profile consciously/subconsciously judge your account based on:
- Quality of your recent tweets
- Number of Likes, Retweets and Replies you have on your recent tweets.
- How your tweets make them feel
A pinned tweet comes very handy here. You do not have the control on what tweets to show when somebody visits your profile. Twitter will show your most recent tweets on your profile sorted by date/time.
Twitter: Examples of effective pinned tweets
Pin Tweets that inspire
You can PIN a tweet with your accomplishment or an inspirational story about to you. It should give an overall picture of what your niche is and why people should listen to you. Joey brand is Improvement Geek
Pin Your high Performing tweet
@naval’s almost all tweets outperform each other. Here naval has pinned a tweet what he thinks is the most relevant to his niche and this is definitely one of his high performing tweets.
Pin A Tweet Describing What Your Followers Can Expect From You
Below pinned tweet welcomes the potential followers and perfectly summarizes what type of content they can expect on their timeline once they start following you.
This also eliminates the possibility of unwanted followers and the only people that follow you are the people that are interested your content.
Pinned tweet: You can Pin your best performing tweet to the profile. It can look something like this here.
Authority: Authority is established once people start talking about you, start recommending you about a particular topic.
Let us see some well done Profiles
Personal Brands On Twitter
You can set up your profile to reflect what you do. You are the brand when it comes these personal bands. Oliver owns an agency and he clearly states that in his bio. No fluff, precise, to the point he establishes his authority by saying, how many people he coached, he talks about his transformation from a 6 dollar freelancer to a Marketing agency owner.
Florin pop also does same here, he states what he does and establishes his authority by linking to his YouTube channel, Twitch stream. They use their own pics as their profile pics.
Anonymous Accounts On Twitter
Below two gentlemen decided to stay anonymous for whatever reasons. It does not really matter. Anonymous or not, it does not really hinder your growth on twitter. That is what I have seen.
Lifemathmoney account is run by Harsh Strongman(most likely a made up name) but it does not apper on his twitter account anywhere. His brand is LifeMathMoney.
Charles Miller he uses this name(not sure if it is real), is widely loved in the twitter community for his writing style. He also keep his bio precise, clear and to the point
Give Twitter what it Wants, Twitter Shall Give you What you Want
While growing your Twitter account always remember that Twitter is a platform owned by a private company and they are trying to generate revenue. When twitter recognizes that you are helping them reach their goals twitter will help out by putting your content in front of more people.
What are twitter’s goals and how exactly are they make money?
Twitter wants to keep engaged people on their platform so that they can show them ads that the marketers bring in to find leads and customers. As simple as that!
How you can help twitter here?
You can help twitter keep users engaged on twitter by:
- By writing engaging quality tweets
- By engaging with others’ tweets
- By writing long informative threads
- By engaging with the paid promotional tweets
- By using images
It is a bonus for Twitter when you engage with the paid promotional tweets. When you engage with paid promotional tweets you are not only helping twitter keep users on the platform but in fact directly helping twitter generate revenue. Below is an example of
What not to do?
- Spam people
- Use abusing/offensive language
- Put links in your tweets, that will drive users off twitter
Growth of Your Twitter Account: What to expect?
Growth of your twitter account depends on lot of factors. The major one being your niche. If your twitter acount talks about a very specific niche lets say “Dot Mandala”, it is an art form where in you paint on Canvas or a Bottle using dotting tools of different sizes. You will drive followers who already have some idea about what a Dot mandala is. You can drive more people using a different strategy. For example, Dot mandala requires tremendous amount of concentration and accuracy. When you practice Dot mandal, it obviously increaes your focus and concetranation. It is kind of a meditation. All your focus is concetrated on making the dots perfect.
So you can even drive people to your account, by also talking about the aspects of Focus, meditation to drive that traffic also to your account.
Compare this to a meme page on politics or sports. Your account can grow a lot faster and it can attract a lot of following.
Now remember, all followers are not made equal. A dot mandal twitter account with 10k followers is of much more worth than a politics meme account with 100k followers. Don’t be fooled by the number of followers and stick to your niche. The more refined your is niche, the higher the chance of your success rate.
How to Find Your Niche On Twitter
After you create your twitter account and setup your profile according your niche, the next step is that you will start tweeting. With zero followers if you start tweeting, it is like you are tweeting at a wall. You need an audience to engage with your tweets. You need to find similar accounts in your niche.
Make your Profile visible
After you create your twitter account and setup your profile according your niche, the next step is that you will start tweeting. With zero followers if you start tweeting, it is like you are tweeting at a wall. You need an audience to engage with your tweets. That is where the engagement groups come into play.
What are Engagement Groups?
You will need a group of people who will interact with your tweets
Why we need engagement Groups?
Twitter uses ranking signals to determine if your tweets should be shown on your followers'(and followers of your followers ) timeline or not
Some of these ranking signals include but not limited to are:
- Recency: How recent is the tweet posted?
- Relevance: Is the tweet relevant to your followers?
- Engagement: Does your tweet have enough engagement?
- Rich Media: If your tweet has any media? (Images, GIF, etc…)
I will dedicate a separate article to discuss all these signals in detail. But for now, let’s talk only about Engagement here.
Following things can be considered as Engagement:
What is a tweet velocity?
Tweet velocity is the number of impressions a tweet receives over a period of time. For example, a tweet that receives 10 likes in 10 minutes has more tweet velocity than a tweet that receives 10 likes in say 30 minutes.
I Strongly believe that “Engagement + Tweet Velocity” is one of the major factors that determine the success of your tweets.
An engagement group can come very handy to influence both Engagement as well as Tweet Velocity. When you have group of people who like, comment and may be retweet your tweet as soon as it is posted, the tweet gets engagement and as well as increases its tweet velocity.
How To Find Your Tribe On Twitter
Learn To Use Twitter Advanced Search Bar
Use Google to Search For Twitter Bios
You can use google queries to search for the exact text match in the twitter profile. For example if you want to search twitter accounts with “make money online” in their name/bio, you can use the below query
Use third party Apps to Search Twitter Profiles
You can use third party Apps like FollowerWonk to search twitter accounts in your niche. Show a Video below
Spy On The Followers Of Your Competitors and Popular Brands
If you are in the travel niche, you can look at other travellers and popular travel brands/companies that cater to travellers. For example AirBNB, Airlines, twitter accounts. Look at their followers they can be your tribe.
Use Public Twitter Lists To Find Your Tribe
Twitter has a feature called Lists.. You can
Spy on Twitter Lists, the Popular Accounts Are Part Of
Search Google For Public Twitter Lists
How Do Engagement Groups Work on Twitter?
How to form engagement groups?
Curating your Profile And Your Followers' Timeline
I talked earlier about not serving Chinese food at an Arabian themed restaurant. So you need to curate what kind of tweets you put out on your follower’s timeline.
Some of these Guidelines can help you curate your content.
- Stick to your Niche when you tweet
- Have a general theme and base all your tweets around that
- If you are an account talking about Travel, it does not make sense to talk about Dividends and Stocks but it totally makes sense to talk about different foods that you tried during your travel
- If you really want to talk about Dividends and stocks you can put it in a way that relates to your niche. For example, you can tweet about how your gains from Dividends and stocks help you travel all the time and made you free from 9-5 struggle.
- If you are part of an engagement group and people insist that you retweet their content, be sure that it makes sense to put that tweet on your follower’s timeline.
I also mentioned earlier that when a potential follower visits your profile he/she will scroll down to see the latest tweets. If they see some non-performing and not so good tweets it will subconsciously make an impact on them and they will decide otherwise and leave without giving you a follow.
So it very important that you delete non-performing tweets from time to time.
Sometimes it may happen that some of your good tweets also do not perform well. It may happen because:
- People were not active during that time
- Some other popular tweets at the time took over your follower’s timeline.
So delete those tweets and post them at a later time and see if they perform better.
A Solid Retweet Strategy
Retweet: Retweet is Twitter’s way of sharing tweets with others. If you like a tweet put out by someone and you want to share it with your followers you can use the Retweet feature.
- Your objective here is to get a Retweet on your tweets so that your tweets have more exposure. You should target accounts with followers equal to or bigger than yours. Bigger the accounts better is your exposure.
- Increase the Shelf life of your tweets (Tweets generally have a shelf life of 30 minutes)
One of Our objectives is to get a retweet on our tweets. But why would someone else make an effort to retweet. We have to give them a reason.
The tweet should add value and be Retweet worthy. One more way is to make connections, engage with others tweet and get in the good books by retweeting their tweets.
When you Retweet someone else’s tweet:
- You put out helpful content to your followers. Sure it did not come from you but the tweet reached your followers via you, so they will be happy and will keep you following for giving them something new and valuable to read.
- You are helping the original tweet owner by giving them exposure to new audience(your followers). Good Karma!
- As a result you will get noticed by the tweet owner. So you will be in the good books of him.
- Remember always, when you help someone, they feel obliged to return the favor back in some way.
- In the future, he will retweet/engage with your tweets. Giving you exposure to his audience.
We just talked about a simple Retweet but there is one more way of retweeting. “Retweet with comment”.
Retweet with comment:
Retweet with comment is when you put your own comment on top of the original tweet before you actually retweet.
That comment can be anything ranging from Your take on the original tweet agreeing to it or disagreeing to it and/or adding more value to it.
This kind of retweet is also referred to as “Quote Tweet” in the twitter community. I suggest you do more of Quote tweets than simple retweets.
Additional benefits of Retweet with comment:
- When you quote tweet you are basically adding more value to the tweet and in a way, you are giving a social proof/validation to the original tweet.
- There is a high chance that the original tweet owner will Retweet your Quote tweet, thus giving you exposure to his followers. A win-win for both of you!
- Look for big accounts with high engaging followers in your niche when you do these kinds of quote tweets
- Don’t be discouraged, if you don’t get engagement from them. Keep trying.
- Along the way, you also want to help the smaller accounts by giving them quote tweets and retweets. It helps a lot in establishing your authority.
Shelf Life of your Tweets:
Tweets in general have a low shelf life. When you put out a tweet, after few hours, it is as good as dead. Nobody will see them again since it does not show up on their timeline anymore.
People have an attention span of 7 seconds and users on twitter engage like crazy.
So if your tweet goes unnoticed the first time, it is highly unlikely that they will never see your tweet again.
Most common reasons why your tweets go unnoticed:
There can be a multifold of reasons why your tweets did not do well. Here are the most obvious ones.
- Your tweet was not captivating enough, so they scrolled past your tweet.
- Your followers are in a different time zone and were offline when you tweeted.
- Too many engaged people and it got lost in the sea of tweets.
My guess is that even with a decent engagement on your tweets we can safely say that the average shelf life of a tweet is around 24 hours. Past that it is gone! Dead!
How to Increase the Shelf Life of Tweets:
You can revive your tweets and increase their Shelf life by retweeting them yourself at a different time.
- Better chance of your tweet reaching the followers who were offline when you first tweeted.
- Seeing it the second time it may prompt the user to engage with the tweet.
- One negative point is that if your followers keep seeing the same tweet again and again, it might start annoying them and eventually in result in losing the follower.
Above we discussed about the Quote tweet strategy. People often use this strategy to engage. So whenever you get a Quote retweet on your tweets, we learned that we should retweet it. But wait!
Added advantage over retweeting your own tweet are:
- Brownie points from the person who quote tweeted you.
- Less annoyed people as they don’t see the same tweet again and again instead they see a quote tweet(apparently A Social validation for your tweet) and thus encouraging more engagement.
- And as promised an increased shelf life of your tweets.
and just enter your twitter handle. It will show you the demographics of all your followers. That way you will get a fair idea of on what time you can get the best engagement.
So what is the solution you ask? There are applications for exactly this reason!
I highly recommend that you check out Hypefury. It will play a key role in growing your twitter account.
Twitter is one of the first platforms to support Hashtags. Read this interesting story of How Hashtag was Invented.
Hashtags are quite a powerful tool. They can get people to converse about a topic at a global scale.
Your potential following is limited to a network of your current followers and their followers and maybe a little more than that. I like to call this network the REACHABLE NETWORK.
But with Trends and Hashtags, we are trying to tap an audience outside of your current reachable network.
What is a Trend In Twitter?
If enough people start using a particular hashtag in their tweets in a short period of time, it forms a trend. Trends can be very powerful if used in the right way. #blacklivesmatter hashtag was trending across the globe and it started a movement like never before.
I will not talk about it from the moral standpoint here. I will just go the over some of the statistics of the Hashtag.
The #blacklivesmatter hashtag was first used on Twitter in July 2013. Since then it has been used more than 50 Million times.
And on May 28th with the highest unique mentions in a single day with 8.8 Million mentions
- Companies often try to trend certain hashtags when they are about to launch a product as part of their media campaign.
- Even the movie production houses do that to keep the audience talking about their upcoming movies.
- As part of personal brand building, you can also start a Hashtag/trend to get people curious about your account.
- The catch here is that, in order for a hashtag to trend, within a matter of 10-15 minutes, there should be hundreds of tweets from different accounts using the hashtag. It should be timed well and strategically executed.
How to trend a hashtag - A case study
Here I want to talk about the time I tried to Trend a Hashtag globally. The hashtag I tried to trend: #proudofmoneytwitter
A little background about this hashtag:
Twitter has these virtual communities. If you are in a circle of accounts talking about crypto currencies, you are said to be part of a virtual community called “crypto-twitter”, if you are in a circle of accounts talking about Wealth, Hustle, Freedom from 9-5 job, then you are said to part of “money-twitter” community. People on “”Money Twitter” are quite passionate about this community they are part of.
I was part of two twitter groups with over 70 people. My thinking was that if we start this trend, the rest of the Money Twitter community will join in.
<<insert the Tweet screen shot>>
But unfortunately we failed to trend the hashtag
reasons and lessons from failure to trend a hashtag
It was a combination of a multitude of reasons. Here are a some I could figure out:
- Many people in the group were not so keen.
- Some people participated, half an hour or an hour late.
- No big accounts participated
- The group had people from different time zones
- Global trends are far more difficult than country specific trends
- When people from the same country tweet, you have better chance of trending the hashtag in that particular country.
- I was too ambitious starting a global trend in my first attempt
If and when I attempt this in the future, I will post my results here.
So if you are small account, it will be difficult for you to start a new trend.
Are trends useless for small accounts then? Absolutely not! There are still very useful. There are other ways that we will talk about now.
take advantage of already trending hashtag
You can take advantage of an already trending hashtag by using them in your tweet. That way your tweets can reach a bigger audience.
how to find and use a trending hashtag
How to find:
Twitter lists current trending hashtags in your country. You can find them
- By clicking on the “#Explore” tab on your web version of Twitter.
- On mobile, by clicking on the search icon at the bottom.
You can find global trending hashtags by googling for “Global Trends Today”. You can also use Hashtagify to find popular hashtags that you can use in your tweet.
How to Use:
Let’s look at a few experiments that I did with trending hashtags. We will see what works and what does not.
I saw that #WalterWhite (Popular character from the hit show Breaking Bad) was trending. Being an ardent fan of the show, I could come up with the below tweet.
Important points to Note Here:
I had less than 200 followers at that time but look at the impressions. They are just too good.
Let’s look at an example of one more tweet where I used a trending Hashtag. This time the trending Hashtag that I targeted was #earthday2020.
This time the tweet did not get the engagement that I was expecting. Low engagement and low impressions.
What can we learn from the above experiments?
- If you look at the first tweet, it had an IMAGE and the second tweet was just a TEXT.
- You need to stand out if you want to compete amongst the rest of the tweets on a trending topic.
- Always use visual elements like an image, a GIF or a video
- Don’t target all the trending hashtags.
- Look for hashtags that can be related to your Niche
- For example, my account talks about wealth and hustle, so the Walter White tweet made complete sense whereas the Earth Day tweet did not.
- When we use a trending tweet our objective is to attract an audience that is outside of our current network. But it does not mean you forget your current following.
- If your tweet is irrelevant to your niche, in an attempt to gain followers outside of your network you may end up losing a few current followers.
- Too many hashtags make your tweets look spammy and advertise.
- Don’t use more than 2 hashtags per tweets.
- Hashtags have to be relevant to your tweet
- Use the hashtags either at the start or at the end
- Hashtags might make your tweets lose the aesthetic value, use them carefully and make the tweets look pleasing to the eye
Shortcut ways to Grow Your Twitter Account
There are always shortcut ways and back door entries to growing your account. I will discuss some of them here. I will provide my opinion of them and I leave it up to you if you want to use them or not.
Follow for follow Trains
This is a very simple and basic tactic often used by many accounts on twitter. If You Follow Me <-> I will Follow You back. You can easily grow your account to any size you want with this method. But everybody here in this chain just want to grow their following. Nobody cares about you. Nobody will engage with your tweets.
I suggest that you don’t take this route in the traditional way. You can approach these follow for follow trains from a different angle.
How to use Follow for Follow trains on twitter in the right way?
- Do not blindly follow anyone on these follow trains.
- Go to their Profile, check out their bio, header, their recent tweet activities
- If it is something that interests you, follow them.
- Since they were on a follow train, they are looking to grow their account and make connections.
- Use this opportunity to DM them, introduce yourself and try to make a genuine connection. This way you are more likely to get engagement on your tweets.
Buy Shoutouts and Retweets From Bigger Accounts
This is a controversial strategy and frowned upon even by twitter. But it happens all the time. If you have money to spend and don’t have time to grow your account from the ground up, you can approach some of the bigger accounts in your niche for a shout out and retweets.
Be careful with who you approach and how you go about executing this strategy. Look for influencers with a genuine follower base.
I have never used this strategy myself but I have nothing against it. If you are a genuine person with good intentions and you want to reach more people and you are taking the help of an already established account in exchange for money, I feel it is a win-win situation for both the parties.
Mr. Beast got famous on Youtube because of giveaways. And Bill Pulte (@pulte) became famous because of his philanthropic work and giveaways on twitter.
There are good ways of executing giveaways and there are bad ways of executing giveaways.
For example, look at the below tweet where this person is giving away $250 worth of PSN, on the condition that they will follow him, give a retweet and tag a friend. Let’s analyse below why this is a badly executed giveaway, and it does more harm than good to your account.
What Kind Of People Will This Tweet Attract?
This kind of tweet will only attract freeloaders and they will give you a follow expecting a chance to win and more importantly they won’t care about who you are and what you do and they will forget about you as soon as the giveaway is over.
This is not the kind of audience you want and also the genuine audience will think of you as a SPAM account.
Now let’s look at this tweet by Lawrence. Here he proposes to help someone by paying their rent. Let’s analyse below why this tweet is a good idea.
If you see the tweet carefully, he does not mention anywhere “Follow me”.
What message does this send across? Lawrence is not after followers but in fact he is here to reach out to someone in real need.
What kind of people will this tweet attract? Genuine good people will happily retweet and will feel happy that they played a part in helping someone.
In this case people are actually curious about who is this guy. They are not in it for the money but instead they want to know more about Lawrence and they follow him to know more about him and his content. With this giveaway he will not just gain followers but followers who are his Fans now.
Now this is the kind of following you want and should strive to get.
This is the most stupidest idea ever. Don’t even think about it. I am not going to waste time by telling you why it is not a good idea
Buy an Account with Decent Followers
This is again frowned upon by twitter but then again it happens more times than you can think of. If you want to avoid the initial struggle and are thinking of buying an account with a good number of followers, carefully choose the account.
Just a reminder, follower count is not a good measure of the quality of the account. Look at the consistency of engagement rate.
Just to clarify, PerfectSocialMedia does not provide any such services.