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5 Ways A Simple Twitter Chat Trick Brought Me Thousands Of Followers

Oct 21, 2011 5 min readTips / How To

Engagement can be quite a trick on Twitter. Do it right, and you gain followers. Do it wrong, and even people who already follow you will unfollow you.

I’ve been on Twitter for years, and I’ve learned that there is a hidden trick to engagement that most people don’t think of. It’s really, really simple, and it’s brought me thousands of new followers over the years.

It’s simply this: put more information into your conversations on Twitter.

For example, if you can tweet to a friend “Here’s the link on  how to install the new Twitter app for iPhone: [link]” …do it! Don’t just tweet “Here’s the link: [link].”

You don’t have to do it all the time, but the more you do it, the more your conversation tweets can do double-duty, and bring you new followers.

Skeptical? Let me prove it to you!

Here’s how such a simple thing as leaving more detail in your tweets will bring you more followers:

1. Help People Searching For You Find You

Putting more information in your tweets makes them show up in search for the words you use. In other words, if you’re chatting about a TV show, use the name of or hashtag for the show sometimes, and other people searching for tweets about the show will find you.

There are two ways to do this, and both are fine:

CONVERSATIONAL: “On American Idol last week I liked…”

Easy, natural…conversational. Also okay, but less natural is to say “On #AmericanIdol last week I liked…”

Just as good is to use a convention that is unique to Twitter: adding a relevant hashtag at the end. So you could say:

HASHTAGGING: “On the show last week I liked […] #AmericanIdol”

What I like to do is be conversational in the first tweet, then sometimes use a relevant hashtag in follow up tweets.

You don’t need to do this all the time, but be sure to do it some of the time. For example, you might want to do it only once or twice in a longer conversation with just one person.

2. To Get People To Recommend You, Get Them To Engage With You

Be more open, less private.

When people can see what you’re talking about, they’re less likely to feel you’re having a semi-private conversation that they aren’t welcome in. And everything you can do to seem more welcoming will get you more Twitter followers.

Including information makes it easy for other people to join your conversation. They can jump right in.

An open conversation can lead to someone making a humorous comment, to which you can just reply “lol!’ if appropriate. Takes almost no time, yet can help you gain a follower. And you’ve certainly gained someone that can then recommend you as a real, engaged person.

Also, you’ve become more memorable to that person. People we talk to always stay in our memories longer and stronger.

Be more open!

3. Get NEW Followers By Engaging With EXISTING Followers

Similarly, people who are visiting your profile to consider following you can see at a glance when you’re talking about something that interests them.

This is really, really important: there is no way to see who visited your Twitter profile. When someone, thinking about following you, stops by to read a few of your tweets and then decides NOT to follow you, you’ll never know. And you’ll never know what it might have been about your tweets that just cost you a follower.

It could have been because they couldn’t really tell from your tweets what your interests are. Lots of people want to follow people with shared interests on Twitter. Of course, your informational tweets linking to a website will usually make it clear what the topic is. But why not make your conversational tweets also reveal what your interests are? Add information to them and they will.

This should really stick in your head: Talking to your existing followers can bring you new followers, if you do it right. So get out there and engage with people!

4. Reach Many People By Helping Just ONE Person

When your conversations are easy to understand, other people can be helped by them. This is particularly true when you’re helping someone solve a problem, or sharing informational links.

But I’ve had people tweet me that they learned something by reading conversations that I’ve had that I had no idea were informational to them.

This is particularly true when you’re having a tweeted conversation about something you know a lot about. Just the act of talking about something you’re very knowledgeable about can be helpful to other people. For example, they can learn about terms they might not have heard of before.

Someone was telling me why they had landed in #TwitterJail the other day, and when I used “Twitter Jail” in my reply, one of my new followers asked about it and it became a teachable moment to educate them about Twitter limits. So add some information when you’re helping someone, and you never know who else you might be helping – and gaining as a new follower.

5. Get People Recommending You And Adding You To Twitter Lists

Perhaps best of all, the people you actually engage with on Twitter are much more likely to recommend you to their followers.

You’re actually gaining people who will go out and get followers for you!

Some services keep track of how much you engage or share on different topics. Don’t make the mistake that so many people do of using keywords to describe your topic only when you are sharing information links. Use topic keywords all the time! This gets you added to more Twitter lists, because to both automated services and real people it’s clear what exactly it is you are engaging about.

People also feel more comfortable recommending you as knowledgeable about a topic when your tweets clearly mention the topic more often.

6. Bonus! Let Buffer Help You Add Information To Your Tweets

The way I do this from is I have installed the plugin for my browser (I use Chrome) that makes a Buffer button appear below each tweet. When I click it, it puts a copy of the person’s tweet in a box for me to edit.

So if they said “Tell me about why Twitter has a limit that everyone calls Twitter Jail,” all those words would appear in my buffer tweet box, and I can simply delete the first few words and tweet back ” Twitter has a limit that everyone calls Twitter Jail because…”

So using Buffer makes this much easier for me. You could achieve the same thing with a browser plugin for adding comments to tweets, or if your app has a “reply with comment” option.

What About You?

For the past four years I’ve seen new people following me over and over because they are engaging in conversations that I started with someone else. It has brought me thousands and thousands of new followers over the years. But what about you?

Do you use this method in your Twitter conversations? How does it work for you? Do you have a question about to make this work for you? Leave your comment or question in the box below

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