Taking the time to build up a strong following on Twitter is worth doing. More followers will increase the visibility of your Tweets across a wider audience. A large following is also a crude indication that can help demonstrate your authority in your niche. This increases the likelihood of people ReTweeting and clicking on your Tweets.

To really succeed on Twitter, you need to attract the right kind of followers. People that are truly interested in what you have to say. A large list of engaged followers is a powerful force. They might comprise a loyal fan base keen hear about your new products, or keen supporters of regular content from your blog.

But how do you build up a large community of the right kind of followers on Twitter? To succeed, you need to be patient. It takes substantial time, effort and commitment to grow a list of avid followers. You need to put in the work.

You also need to do some thinking. This will help you develop a clear strategy. Who are you trying to reach? What content will you use to get their attention? How will you motivate people to follow you? How will they benefit? These are just some of the questions that you need to consider.

You also need to understand how Twitter works and understand best practices. Many are unique to Twitter and are not obvious to people new to the network.

To set you on the right path to achieving a large and engaged following, I share my 17 top techniques for increasing your followers on Twitter.

1. Give people a reason to follow you. Focus on sharing great content that is useful and interesting. For example, you could provide a link to a helpful article you have found. Your content also needs to be relevant to your niche and targeted to their needs. Rather than Tweeting about yourself or your cat, Tweet about things that affect your target audience and focus on delivering value to them. But you can’t just produce one great Tweet; ensure your content is consistently interesting and engaging.

2. Tweet regularly, but don’t overTweet. People don’t want their feeds to be constantly bombarded with your Tweets. So, aim to have a regular flow of Tweets throughout the day, every day. Hootsuite is great for scheduling your Tweets ahead of time.

3. Captivate people with your bio. Create a concise yet interesting Twitter bio that clearly tells people who you are and what you do. You can also tell people why they should follow by indicating the kind of topics that you Tweet about.

4. Interact with your followers. This will help you develop a more personal connection with them. If they like what you have to say, they will probably follow you too. Reach out to others and respond to them by using by the @reply method.

5. Participate in Twitter discussions. It’s a great way to be seen by other users and influencers in your niche. They are also a lot of fun.

6. Provide exclusivity. Offer freebies, special offers, discounts and contests exclusively to your Twitter followers. These can be excellent incentives for attracting new followers.

7. Apply to get verified, if you’re a well-known or influential figure in your niche.

8. Follow others. And they will often follow you back. The probability of them following you back is increased by the fact that this is often done automatically. Use Twitter search to find good people to follow in your niche. Also take care to follow people who engaged with your Tweets as they are your potential advocates; following them will encourage them to follow you back so they can continue to receive and ReTweet your other content.

9. Get listed. Try to get on the Twitter suggested users list and on the popular lists in your niche. This comes down to sharing high quality relevant content.

10. Consider donating. People like to make a difference to an important cause. So, consider Tweeting that you will donate $1 to a worthy charity for every new Twitter follower gained over the next week.

11. Be creative. Doing something different always gets you noticed. So, consider creative ideas for content and to promote your Twitter account. What are other people doing in your niche? What could you do differently to set yourself apart? Once you have thought of an original idea, test it out and see what happens.

12. Keep up to date. Read reliable sources of newsworthy content in your niche. Share the most interesting insights on Twitter by Tweeting the headline or a snippet and including a link to the full article. Feedly is great for keeping up-to-date with your favorite publications. Others will be motivated to follow you to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, and influencers will notice you for sharing content from their publications. Top tip: Read the content before sharing it to ensure the information is accurate and up-to date.

13. Add links to your Twitter profile on other platforms. Add links to your Twitter account on your website, blogs and other social networks that you belong. If you have a strong following on Facebook or LinkedIn, use it to promote your Twitter page and vice versa. Also add your Twitter URL to the signature line in your emails. This is especially effective for growing followers if you have a large subscriber list.

14. Be active on Twitter during peak times. Sharing content at optimum times for your target audience increases chances of it being seen by the people you are trying to reach. Consider where your target audience is located and adapt your sending times accordingly. If your audience is global, ensure a steady flow of Tweets to accommodate different time zones.

15. Include relevant #hashtags in your Tweets. This means your message becomes categorized so it can be accessed by individuals searching through the site for specific topics. These people are actively interested in the topic so be sure to include keywords to attract the right audience. Ritetag is useful for hashtag research. If they like the content, they will be motivated to follow you to hear more Tweets from you on that topic. They might also ReTweet the content to their own followers who are interested in that topic.

16. Be recognizable. Display your unique style and personality on Twitter, and convey this consistently. This will help people to instantly recognize your Tweets in their feeds. Using a distinct voice is a good way to do this.

17. Provide variety. Mix your own content with content from other sources, including content from key influencers in your niche. Ensure useful content such as tips and guidance outweigh promotional content. Use a range of media, including video and photos.

This article has equipped you with lots of tactics you can implement to grow your Twitter following. Before getting started, you need to create your own plan to grow your following. For this, you need to stay focused on what matters to you and your audience. Everything should be targeted to the needs, interests, and motivations of your audience. Consider this in every decision you make: what content to include, how often to Tweet, and when to Tweet. You also need to consider your own resources, including the amount of time, commitment, and effort you are willing to put in.

During the implementation stage, you will continue to find out new things. If a something works well, do more of it. If a technique doesn’t work, then adapt it or don’t use it.

Good luck and let me know how you get on in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter @laucocos for more top social media tips and much more.

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