Here’s a simple tactic to explode your Twitter following, with HIGH-quality followers, all without resorting to nasty follow-back or auto-favoriting…
1) Identify Influencers Within Your Niche
You may already be well acquainted with the big-shots in your industry. If you are, jot down their Twitter usernames somewhere.
If you don’t already know your industry, you can do some research and find relevant influencers with a tool like BuzzSumo.
Head over to BuzzSumo’s Influencer Search and type in a keyword pertinent to your niche.
In most cases, you want to exclude companies, so uncheck that filter. We want to deal with real people here (sorry brands).
Jot down the Twitter usernames of 5-10 influencers to start.
Follow these influencers, maybe add them to a private Twitter list, and try and interact with them occasionally. I wouldn’t get over-zealous about it though. You don’t want to scare them away.
2) Get on the Radar of Those Twitter Influencers by Going after Their Friends
This is the real key to this tactic.
It’s not always easy to get noticed by influencers.
They are constantly bombarded with people constantly fighting for their attention, so they tend to ignore most people, really only interacting with people in their existing social circle, their “friends”.
These are the people we want to get followed by first.
It’s easier to capture their attention, and when your target influencer sees you being followed by and interacting with his friends, he’s much more likely to follow you.
He’ll notice you in his feed, appearing in more one of his social spaces. You’ll grow in familiarity to the influencer. Top it off with some light interaction with him, and you’re in a good place.
The goal of this step is to have people inside the “mutual friends” section of what I call the “FrienDiagram”.
I want to take a step back for a moment and explain why we’re targeting influencers and how it can help build your Twitter following…
- Influencers tend to have a lot of followers.
- People listen to what they say.
When people see an influencer interacting with you, people end up following you as well, just because you have improved your visibility on Twitter.
Furthermore, what ends up happening is your accrue influencers as followers, and other influencers (some of which had the original influencers as friends) and they follow you. It’s all very cyclical.
If you dump it into a node-graph, it might look something like this:
— Paul Shapiro (@fighto) March 12, 2014
The above image was generated with Gephi, which is a highly recommended program if you’re working with Graph Theory at all. Those dense, interconnected areas equal gold.
There’s a bit of serendipity at play, but it works.
I’ve built up my own personal Twitter account this way, as well as a myriad of client accounts.
Note: Under no circumstances, should you put all your eggs into this one basket. You need to combine this with other tactics and have an actual strategy. For example, you best be Tweeting quality content that your audience and these influencers actually care about!
Now back to the how-to portion…
Now that we have a list influencers we are targeting, we need to find their friend.
Go to twtrland, and input the name of the influencer you’re targeting.
Note: You can also use twtrland to find influencers.
Then click on the “Network” tab.
Then click on “Conversations”.
You can also just drop the influencer’s Twitter username into the URL structure:
This will give you a list of people your influencer has interacted with the most. These are his friends.
Again, you’ll want to write down the names of 5-10 of these “friends-of-influencers” for each influencer you are targeting.
Take all your influencers, and their friends, and add them to a private Twiter list.
You can use Electoral to make this a bit easier.
All you need to do is compile the usernames into a list, one name per line.
So, sign-up for Electoral and choose “Build List” on the upper right side of the page.
Create a new list.
You can name the list whatever you want. Just make sure you set it as private.
Choose “Add Users in Bulk”.
Input the usernames of your influencer targets and friends of the influencers, one per line, without the @ symbol.
Click continue and you will have created your list.
To access your list on Twitter.com, click your avatar on the top right corner and select “lists”.
(on the official mobile app, go to the “Me” tab and click on the little cog icon near the avatar and select “lists”)
Now log into Twitter on a daily basis and engage a little bit with the people on the list. You’ll start amassing Twitter followers.
If you want to take it a step further, choose one of the influencers as your main target and head over to Followerwonk.
Go to the Analyze tab, type in the username of that influencer, select “analyze users they follow” and hit “do it”.
Scroll down a bit to “Most active hours for users influencer_name follows”.
You can know sync this schedule to Buffer.
Make sure you’re scheduling tweets frequently and you’ll have better visibility among the influencer’s friend.
You’re on your way to picking up some very high quality, influential Twitter followers.