New!Check out Board viewCheck out the new Board viewOrganize and track your social content ideas with the new Board view.Learn more

7 Twitter Habits To Adopt In 2012 To Double Your Followers

Jan 4, 2012 7 min readNews and Trends

So when it comes to Twitter, I recently read a fantastic post from Lance Ulanoff, editor of Mashable about the topic. In his post he head one resolution that went like this:

I want to double my Twitter audience in 2012

He said that he didn’t quite know how to achieve this. Yet having a larger audience that is interested in what he is doing, would be very interesting to him. Heck yes I thought, that’s a wonderful goal to have.

We aren’t talking about mindlessly increasing a number here.

Much more, I mean focusing on enlarging your network. With a broader audience that is subscribed to you, more doors will open for you. You will be in touch with more people and develop both your business and personality a lot further I believe.

So here are 6 easy to implement habits for Lance and anyone else, who wants to expand his Twitter following and make it work more effectively.

1.) Tweeting more often, regularly and to a variety of sources

One of the most difficult, yet most important things to do is to Tweet frequently and regularly. When we performed a study on what triggers more Twitter followers, a few months back, a few facts stood out:

  • Tweet frequently, as a pointer 5-10 great content Tweets per day. Increase it to up to 1 Tweet/ hour if you can sustain it.
  • Tweet regularly, have these 5-10 new content Tweets hitting your Twitter stream every day. Potentially you can slow down a little on the weekend, in our case, we only 2 Tweets per day going out.
  • As a third point, try Tweeting a great variety of sources, not just your own site. We found that higher click through rates and an increase in followers are directly related to a larger variety of links.

A great example of this is Jay Gould, founder of Foundville. Since his complete change in the way he uses Twitter, defaulting to the three above mentioned techniques, Jay mentioned to me that all his metrics have been growing sharply.

Here are his Twittercounter results, since he started to do this, so you can see for yourself:

A great way to make this most convenient to keep your Tweets coming out steadily is to schedule a few Tweets.

There exist plenty of options to do this, like TweetDeck, HootSuite or MarketMeSuite. If you want it one step simpler, you can also Buffer Tweets. They will then be posted at the optimal times, without you having to schedule them individually.

2.) Endorsing others often and thoughtfully – and publicly

Another habit to get into is to start endorsing others often and thoughtfully. It is something that has helped me a great deal to make my follower count and especially retweet rate jump significantly.

The way this works best I believe is through retweeting the best links form your stream with a short comment. Of course instead of retweeting you can also do the same with posts including the authors name.

Someone who does this in a great way is Mike Stelzner from Social Media Examiner:

This helps to add a lot of value for your followers and at the same time, show your support for other people you are following. Making them your advocates is a natural consequence I found. If you can make this your habit to daily send even just 1 Tweet endorsing others, it is a sure fire way to grow your following naturally and build stronger connections.

3.) Gaining focus with your Tweeting topics

A sentence I keep getting back to comes from my good friend Michael Todd (@mqtodd) who goes by the mantra of:

“Pick 3 words/topics that describe you the best on Twitter, and stick to them with your Tweets.”

To me, that makes a lot of sense, it builds trust amongst your followers. This also makes it a lot easier to create a routine for yourself. So in my case, I picked “Social Media”, “Startups” and “Blogging”. Being that focused, also helps you a great deal to become more proficient in that area. One person that is fantastic to observe about this is Dave Larson from @TweetSmarter. (You might have realised, I keep referring to Dave again and again, he is just too awesome not to.) He mentioned to me, whilst he was completely focused on just Twitter related Tweets, he recently expanded to general news and social media updates too, as click rates and retweet rates indicated great results. Playing around with your core topics is crucial to find out what works best for you.

4.) Limiting your time on Twitter to 60 minutes (or less)

Here is a funny one! Now, you want to double your Twitter audience and my suggestion is to limit your time to do this? Yet, when I personally started to do this, I realised that you can be much more focused and concentrated for a limited time, rather than spending hours and hours on Twitter. It is also very powerful, as it gives you a chance to do things that in return will get you more Twitter followers. Say, you could for example be spending the time instead to write a great blogpost, do a podcast or any other form of productive procrastination. Someone who does this incredibly well is Michael Hyatt (@MichaelHyatt). Although I am not sure, whether he has a time limit, I know that he is a super busy man, spending a very focused time on Twitter. He provides great content day in day out and responds to all Tweets. Just observe his habits and you will learn – I did so!

Now, here is an interesting one for you. Joel (@joelgascoigne) recently pinged me on Skype and said something like the following:

Hey Leo, I have been testing something recently. Instead of making all my Buffered posts Tweets with links I am doing something else. I am posting one, that isn’t a link, but rather a quote or thought I had. I found that these types of posts get a lot more retweets compared to others and trigger quite a few new followers.

We discussed a few ideas, why this might be the case. These are some of the reasons we came up with:

  • You are not leading people elsewhere, they already receive the full value on Twitter. So if they like it, they can retweet it and don’t have to click through to something. It feels like a smaller deed then retweeting a link, so more people do it.
  • The time effort is much less, your followers don’t have to read a whole article, but can spend a few seconds and decide to retweet.
  • You aren’t crossing any platforms, so it feels much more natural to keep something circling inside Twitter without any interaction of other Social Networks or blogs.

These are just a few things we came up with, I am sure you have more ideas, why they perform better? The results from Joel are pretty convincing. Here is a comparison of a few tweets, with and without links:

The interesting thing is that we could also observe a follower jump, as it is your face circling amongst a lot more followers through native Twitter retweets.

6.) Use the new Twitter follow button

This is something that many people have talked, written and Tweeted about. Yet, there are way too few usages of the new Twitter follow button out there I believe. Heck, even here on our blog, we need to place it there still! Follow @bufferapp// <![CDATA[ !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="//";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); // ]]>

The new Twitter follow button makes it so easy and straight forward to get you followed it is really amazing. Placing it on my own blog is bringing me 100 new followers whenever I write a new blogpost.

A great example, that owns this technique is Gregory Ciotti (@GregoryCiotti). Greg wrote a full blogpost about getting more exposure with the Twitter follow button. He mentions some fantastic tips about placing it in the right places of your blog, to get most new followers.

It’s something I haven’t regretted since I followed his advice for my own blog.

7.) Create a list of Twitter mentors to observe

As my last tip to help you double your Twitter following in 2012, I suggest you create a list of your top Twitter users you want to observe. I have done this a few months back and it was extremely powerful to have such a list of great minds you can check in with every so often.

If you do this, it might even be a great opportunity to turn it into a blogpost about Twitter mentors. The reason I think this works is that there is always more to learn. And observing these personal favorites will remind you to keep a high quality of your Twitter presence.

It is also a great way to retweet selectively and keep in touch with authorities you are looking up to.

Ok, that’s it. I hope some of these tips might help you to adopt a few new habits to make your year on Twitter the most powerful one in 2012.

Do you think some of these new habits could be useful for you?

Brought to you by

Try Buffer for free

140,000+ small businesses like yours use Buffer to build their brand on social media every month

Get started now

Related Articles

social media news
News and TrendsOct 23, 2023
Monday Social Media News Roundup: Week of October 23rd

Get the latest updates in the social media industry and creator economy – with a side of Buffer flavor.

Instagram’s New Features
News and TrendsOct 18, 2023
9 New Instagram Features and How to Use Them

From AI stickers to Broadcast Channels, here's everything you need to know about Instagram’s latest features, with a step-by-step guide to using them all.

monday news roundup october 9 to 13
News and TrendsOct 16, 2023
Meta's AI Celebrities, TikTok's Legal Tussles, And Gen Z's Love of LinkedIn: Monday Social Media News Roundup

Get the latest updates in the social media industry and creator economy – with a side of Buffer flavor

140,000+ people like you use Buffer to build their brand on social media every month