Twitter hasn’t had the easiest time adjusting since going public.
Facebook and messaging apps have been crushing the social media platform on paper.
It seems grim to be doing anything on Twitter, right?
That’s a bit of an overstatement and underestimation of what Twitter really can do.
Just because it’s not growing doesn’t mean it’s anywhere near dead.
Twitter isn’t a ghost town. It has over 313 million active monthly users!
Those users and their tweets are being viewed 1 billion times.
Participating on Twitter is a lot more fruitful than you think.
It’s an audience that can’t be ignored.
I regularly tweet and use my Twitter account to promote my blog posts and other content.
I’m up to 266,000 followers.
It’s an audience worth paying attention to, even if only a small percentage can see any given tweet.
Of course, you have to build a following, and Twitter is a much different experience for those who don’t have followers.
Buying followers in a common practice, but it doesn’t work the way you think.
Third-party services often sell fake followers. These may look impressive, but they don’t work.
You’ll also get banned from Twitter for buying fake followings.
To succeed on Twitter, you’ll need an engaged following that responds and retweets your content.
Here’s how to buy those followers the right way, without taking any black hat shortcuts.
Why a Twitter following matters
When you start on Twitter, you’ll have no followers.
You’ll just be sending tweets into the empty abyss.
According to Pew research, 24% of online American adults use Twitter.
These users come from a broad range of demographics and interests.
And Twitter’s not the only social media service these users have.
Over 93% of Twitter users also use Facebook, 65% use Instagram, 54% use LinkedIn, and 48% use Pinterest.
Put another way, half of Instagram and LinkedIn users and a third of Facebook and Pinterest users are on Twitter.
This means you can often match data between social accounts to gain a full picture of your visitors and customers.
I’d go so far as to say social media is the most important digital marketing media to focus on through 2020.
Usage of social media has steadily increased across the board, according to another Pew Research study.
A majority of adults use social media, so it’s a great place for public outreach.
Twitter is used for a variety of purposes, even to discover businesses.
Hootsuite recently reported 66% of users discovered a new small- or medium-sized business through Twitter.
So, while it’s not as popular as Facebook or Instagram, Twitter’s social platform can’t be ignored.
Curious how to get followers on Instagram instead?
Check out my post on how to gain 300 Instagram followers a day!
Otherwise, understand there are only four ways people can see your tweets.
1. They follow you. Tweets are typically public, and the service will recommend tweets to you based on content, geography, and other considerations.
Still, users typically only see tweets from people they follow and choose to.
Remember not everyone access Twitter directly from the website or app.
These app interfaces make it much more difficult to be seen unless you’re posting relevant content.
2. Someone they follow retweets or responds to you – My tweets reach much further than just my followers.
Many of them retweet my content to their followers too!
Each of these accounts has followers that may not follow me.
For example, clicking through to @CoffeeShopBlogg’s Twitter account, we can see they have nearly 5000 followers.
It’s an audience I couldn’t reach on my own, and that endorsement increases my audience.
It can also increase my follower count.
People are much more likely to trust your information when presented by a third party.
3. You target them with a promoted post – You can follow people for a follow-back, but that only gets you so far.
Use promoted posts to reach an audience when you’re starting out (and even when you’re a large corporation with a huge following).
Here’s one from GlassesUsa.com that appeared in my Twitter feed today.
I’ll dive deeper into how to customize promoted posts further down in this article.
There’s one last way to have your content read on Twitter.
4. You use hashtags – Although #hashtags predate Twitter, it popularized them long before Instagram and Facebook made them mainstream.
By posting about trending topics and using hashtags in general, you greatly increase your chances of being discovered through user search.
If you’re interested in learning more, I have a great article about tools to increase Twitter engagement.
For those still with me, we’re moving on to the scourge of fake followers.
Avoid fake followers
According to a recent audit, nearly half of Donald Trump’s 36.3 million Twitter followers are fake.
He’s not alone!
A site called Twitter Audit lets you check any celebrity account to find out how many are actual people.
Katy Perry is the biggest account on Twitter, with over 102 million followers.
Only approximately 43 million are real.
Now, these numbers are debatable, but the existence of Twitter bots and fake followers is not.
They’re very real and often used in very interesting ways.
Tay’s AI was eventually shut down and deactivated, highlighting one danger of bots and fake followers.
Another is they can get you banned.
Twitter makes a business promoting posts and connecting real users with each other.
While it accepts bots used for functional purposes, its terms and conditions strictly prohibit buying or selling fake engagements of any kind.
Being reported for spam while having too many fake followers increases the likelihood you’ll be banned.
Fake followers don’t do anything, so they lower all your engagement numbers.
Don’t let these black-hat scams bring your brand’s social media accounts down.
The official way to purchase followers is through Twitter itself.
Using Twitter follower campaigns and sponsored tweets
You can’t directly pay somebody to follow you, but you can pay Twitter to recommend you to them.
Through a follower campaign, you can promote your account to non-followers through their Home timeline and Who to follow panel.
It’s an opportunity to reach new people.
In fact, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery increased its follower count by 3000% using a follower campaign.
Much like Facebook Ads, these campaigns can be easily set up within the platform.
There are four basic steps to get this done.
You’ll want to repeat this process several times to create focused ads that reach the right audiences.
1. Select an audience
The first step is selecting an audience for your campaign.
You can target specific geographic locations, genders, languages, interests, device, followers, and more.
Twitter recommends only using one segmentation at a time, but I disagree.
Feel free to experiment with different combinations for the best results.
For example, say I was targeting people interested in blogging in the United States.
I can then specifically target female bloggers if I’m looking for mom bloggers.
Different messages resonate with different audiences, so every segmentation counts.
2. Browse tailored audiences
Twitter offers tailored audiences to make things easier.
It’s like equalizer presets on your stereo system, optimized for specific purposes.
Tailored audiences can be used to remarket to people who have visited your website, used your mobile app, or just upload your customer list.
This is helpful for zeroing in on people already familiar with your brand who just haven’t followed you on Twitter yet.
You’ll greatly increase the ROI of your Twitter ad campaigns using Tailored Audiences.
Try one today!
3. Craft a great tweet with a CTA
Once you have your audience selected, you need to craft a compelling tweet that will convince them to follow you.
This is the tweet that shows up in people’s Home feed, and you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Give people a reason to click the follow button.
It’s also a great idea to include a link to your website.
You can replicate this success with a Twitter campaign of your own.
Just be sure to include that CTA. It’ll help optimize your budget.
4. Set your campaign budget and dates
Once you have your campaign set up, the final step is to set a budget.
The average marketing spend on social media is between $4000 and $7000 per month.
This is three times the budget in 2009.
Much like on Google and Facebook, the price to reach audiences depends on the criteria selected.
Twitter has a great FAQ about budgeting basics on its Twitter for Business website.
What’s great about followers campaigns is you’re only charged for the follows you acquire.
You won’t be charged for impressions, replies, retweets, or clicks on your links.
This makes a follower campaign ideal for businesses with a limited ad spend budget.
It’s also why I recommended adding a link to your website in your CTA. It can save a lot of money and increase your ROI!
While I’m on the subject, there’s no need to stick to Twitter for buying followers.
Although you can’t explicitly pay for followers, you can use your existing web channels to “buy” real Twitter followers.
Use your existing web channels
If you have a blog, odds are you have social sharing buttons to let readers easily share your content across social media channels.
Here are a few examples of tweet button styles.
You can also update the tweet text when your posts are shared from other users’ Twitter accounts.
Other users tweeting your content is an invaluable marketing technique.
You’re “buying” followers in this case through spending on quality blog content.
I have a great video about when and where to use social sharing buttons.
This is the first place to start earning Twitter followers.
But it’s certainly not the last.
You can add Twitter follow tabs throughout your web properties to greatly increase follower counts.
Here’s how to add Twitter follow links to a few popular web platforms.
Add Twitter to Facebook – Although Facebook and Twitter are competing platforms, there are third-party apps that let you add Twitter content to Facebook.
One is the Involver cloud-based app from Oracle.
With your Facebook page logged in, click the free install button for the Twitter application.
You’ll be taken to your Facebook page, where you can give permission to add Tweets to Pages.
After authorized, enter your information in the Involver app.
It’ll ask for general business contact information that’s used for internal purposes.
Once Facebook and Involver are set up, you’ll be prompted to authenticate your Twitter account.
You can then add your Twitter content (along with a follow button) to Facebook.
For a shorter version, simply paste your Twitter profile link into your Facebook page.
This lets you cross promote between both audiences to optimize your content.
Provide incentives for your Facebook followers to follow on Twitter by offering a sample giveaway or sweepstakes.
Add Twitter to WordPress – Every blog post I publish is promoted on my Twitter account automatically through Buffer.
I do this because I blog so often, it’s necessary to schedule social posts separately.
Of course, you can publicize posts directly from WordPress by linking your account.
It’s also possible to embed tweets (including the promoted tweet from your follower campaign).
This is done by simply copying and pasting the URL into the WordPress visual editor (without the hyperlink) like this.
— Neil Patel (@neilpatel) August 19, 2017
There’s also a Twitter follow button you can add to your site.
Add this button to your homepage or any landing pages where you’re already running Google ad campaigns to increase conversions.
You’re not buying followers directly using any of these techniques.
You’re adding a Twitter follow to your conversion goals while including more engaging content on your site.
It’s a great way to increase your Twitter follower count.
But we’re not done yet.
There are two other great ways to allocate your marketing budget on gaining Twitter followers.
The first is through influencer marketing.
Hiring guest tweeters
I’m a fan of influencer marketing.
DJ Khaled is one of my favorites to watch. He’s affectionately known as the king of social media.
His Twitter account alone has 3.5 million followers.
Instead of buying followers, you can reach DJ Khaled’s audience directly by hiring him as a guest tweeter.
Guest tweeters are commonly used to spread information and share audiences.
Like any celebrity or influencer endorsement, these tweets come at a cost.
On Twitter, DJ Khaled’s 3.5 million followers would cost around $30,000 to reach.
You can likely negotiate half that price to have him take over your Twitter account for a few hours.
The ROI could be worth it if you get enough Twitter followers.
Keep in mind that while the followers gained from this type of marketing campaign are expensive, the LTV of each follower gained is potentially great.
There’s one last method to buy Twitter followers I’ll discuss before sending you on your way to try it yourself.
Grow your Twitter following through email
Email is still one of the best places to get conversions.
It’s an effective method of communicating in bulk to targeted lists of recipients.
According to MailChimp, the average click rate for links in emails is just under 3%.
One of the best places to increase those conversions (and gain Twitter followers) is in your email signature.
Here’s a short video on how to increase conversions through your email signature.
A Twitter follow button or even just a link to your Twitter profile account is enough to gain extra followers.
You can go a step further by offering a free trial, sample, or discount in exchange for a Twitter follow.
Sampling has been proven to increase conversions by up to 90%.
For maximum benefit, you can gamify it by offering tiered rewards for every social account they follow you on.
This way, you’re pooling all your social media spend into one campaign.
Twitter is a unique social network that grew popular alongside Facebook and survived the rise of Instagram, SnapChat, and messaging apps.
This microblogging site has started revolutions around the world and is one of the main sources of information in the modern world.
Hollywood, marketing, and media outlets all incorporate Twitter and hashtags into their content.
Even if you’re not on Twitter, millions of professionals in every industry are.
If you’re not using Twitter, you’re missing out on an easy way to raise brand awareness and provide a healthy ROI for your brand.
How have you increased your Twitter following and monitored your account for fake followers?