I love Twitter.
When it comes to promoting my blog, meeting likeminded people, increasing brand awareness, and just about any other benefit that is possible through social media, Twitter comes out on top for me every time.
I know that Facebook is the big boy on the block and Pinterest is growing every month but I have had more success with Twitter than every other social network combined. The fact is this — my success with Twitter is completely disproportionate to my success with other social media networks and the size and age of my blog.
You may be wondering how I’ve managed that. Well, in this post I intend to give you a step by step guide to the biggest causative factor of my Twitter profile’s exponential growth.
My Twitter Story
But before I get onto that, you may be curious to better understand the success I have had with Twitter.
It didn’t come easy. I created my Twitter account in June 2011 and in that year I scratched around for followers. Unlike Facebook, I had never used it before and didn’t really “get it”. By the end of December 2011 I had fought my way to 552 followers.
Then in the New Year — after I had quit my job — I decided to put a concerted effort into my Twitter profile. I reached 1,000 followers on 16th February 2012. I had repeated what had originally took me six months in just 47 days.
And the growth didn’t stop there:
At the time of writing I have nearly 5,500 followers (and you’re all awesome, by the way). My Twitter account is growing faster than that of some blogs 3-4 times my size (if you’re not convinced, just head over to Twitter Counter and do the math).
But what does this do for my blog? Well, statistically speaking, this:
Throughout the life of this blog Twitter has been the single biggest source of referral traffic, driving more visitors to my site than second-placed Facebook by nearly 80%.
But that doesn’t reveal the true positive impact of Twitter. In reality, the reason that I love Twitter so much is represented by tweets like these:
And emails like these:
I get this kind of feedback regularly. What I rarely get is similar messages about people who have found me on Facebook or via Google. Not only do these messages make me feel like I must be doing something right, they also demonstrate that Twitter is a fantastic source of highly valuable traffic.
And what really excites me about Twitter is that all of this is possible for just about any blogger. You don’t need a huge blog to grow a big Twitter following (tweet this). I don’t know of any other social media network than you can leverage so effectively without having a well-established presence.
I am about to reveal the precise strategy I have used to grow my Twitter following. What I am not teaching in this guide is how to engage with Twitter followers and build up a rapport. Growing a big follower base is only worth doing if you actually run an active Twitter account (which in reality, only has to take 5-15 minutes per day). Otherwise, you will find yourself with a whole load of followers who aren’t actually interested in what you have to say.
If you want to learn more about actually using Twitter (rather than growing your follower base), I recommend that you check out this article: How to Use Twitter for Exponential Blog Growth.
Furthermore, if you get too carried away with the strategy below you do run the risk of having your account suspended, or in the absolute worst case scenario, banned. Please note that anything you choose to do as a result of reading this post must be at your own risk.
Introducing Tweet Adder
If you’re desperate to get more Twitter followers and have yet to hear of Tweet Adder, I’m about to make your day. If you have already heard of Tweet Adder but haven’t got around to giving it a real try, I would recommend that you take this opportunity to have a closer look.
In a nutshell, Tweet Adder is a software application that you can use to semi-automate various tasks relating to your Twitter profile. Whilst I am not typically a big fan of automation when it comes to social media I make a happy exception in this case. Why? Because if you use Tweet Adder correctly and responsibly your actions never approach anything close to spamming and there is no downside. You get to connect with a whole bunch of willing people who wouldn’t have otherwise heard of you.
At the time of writing, a one profile license will set you back $55. Tweet Adder is (to the best of my knowledge) the best and most reasonably-priced partner to my Twitter growth strategy, and is worth every single penny. I purchased Tweet Adder many months ago, still use it today, and will continue to use it well into the future.
TweetAdder can do a lot of things, but for the purposes of this guide, we are focusing just on growing your following. This can be done in four simple steps. Let’s get to it!
1. Find Potential Followers
In a nutshell, the key to growing your Twitter following is to find people who might be interested in your blog and follow them. It sounds simple, and that’s because it is. The logic is sound — if you follow people who might be interested in what you have to offer, some of them will follow you back.
So — the first step is to compile a list of Twitter accounts for users whose followers match your target audience. The more relevant, the better.
There are plenty of ways to find Twitter accounts similar to your own — if you have been blogging for any length of time, you will probably already have such a list (in your head at least). If not, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Search for related keywords in Google Blog Search
- Browse Technorati and other blog directories
- Search Twitter by hashtag (e.g. “#gardening”)
- Search Google for “[your keyword] top blogs”
That should get you rolling. Ideally, you’ll have a nice long list of Twitter profiles which you should sort broadly by relevancy (i.e. the most relevant profile comes first). Relevancy is key — the more their followers align with your target followers, the higher follow to followback rate you will achieve.
Once you’ve done that, login to your user account in Tweet Adder and click on “Followers of a User” in the sidebar. Then just enter the first Twitter username at the top of your list (without the @ sign), and hit “Search Now”:
You then may want to go make yourself a cup of tea because fetching usernames can take a while. To be honest, you are not going to want to run through the entire sequence, as too many of the older users will be inactive (more on this later). Fetching around 10 pages or so is usually enough.
Once you have fetched enough pages you can hit “Stop”. You will then be presented with a list of usernames such as this:
All you need to do on this screen is click on “Save All”. All of the most recent followers of your chosen account will then be added onto your list of people to follow in Tweet Adder.
The second step is a piece of cake and is where Tweet Adder begins to show its true value.
Click on “Follow” in the sidebar and you will see a screen like this:
Here you can set how Tweet Adder follows new people from the list you have just created.
You can ignore the “Send Follows Now” area — we’re interested in “Automation Settings”. The figures you put in here will largely be dependent upon the size of your account. For instance, I would never recommend that a smallish account (say 500 – 3,000 followers) send 300 follows per day. Twitter won’t bat an eye if I do it, but may take note if a smaller account does.
Fortunately, the maximum follows number becomes largely academic because the real key is that little checkbox at the bottom.
When it comes to following people on Twitter, I have one very simple rule — never follow more people than you have following you. It looks spammy and will affect the way people perceive you. As you can see, I personally have Tweet Adder set to stop following when my following to follower ratio reaches 0.98 to 1. So if I had 100 followers I could only follow up to 98. If you were to check my Twitter account right now, you would see that I follow less people than I have followers.
Therefore, the size of your account typically dictates the daily volume at which you can follow new people. If you have a brand new account I would recommend that you start with a very low number of maximum follows per day (say 10), and work really hard on attracting new followers through other means. That will provide the fuel with which you will need to start growing your Twitter account at a faster rate with Tweet Adder.
Ultimately, it is up to you. The more people you follow, the greater the chance you have of being suspended by Twitter (it is likely that you will get a slap on the wrist first, rather than a full ban, but don’t just take my word for it). It’s balancing act.
As for the Time Delay setting I recommend that you use a little math here:
Active Period / Maximum Follows = Time Delay
Your active period is simply the amount of minutes per day that Tweet Adder will be open (and therefore able to add new follows). So if your PC is on 10 hours per day, your Active Period would be 10 * 60 = 600. Divide that by your Maximum Follows (say 100) and your average Time Delay should be 6 minutes. Therefore, you could set your Time Delay range from 4 to 8 minutes which would mean that you would get through your 100 follows per day. The further apart your follows are the better (although I wouldn’t worry too much about this).
Once you’re happy with your settings, just hit the “Automation” button at the top of your screen. It will switch to “Automation On” and you’ll be up and running!
Alright, so that’s your following sorted. You may now be wondering how on earth you build a sizable following. Aren’t you going to fill up your follows quickly with inactive accounts and spammy profiles?
The answer, to a degree, is yes. However, there is a solution — Tweet Adder’s UnFollow function. Its settings screen (accessed via the “UnFollow Users” link in the sidebar) is very similar to the Follow function:
Again, you can ignore the “Send UnFollows Now” area — let’s get straight onto the good stuff.
First of all, you need to set the maximum number of unfollows per day. I would recommend that you set this to be identical to the number of automated follows. With that same number in mind, your time delay should also be the same.
It is unlikely that you will need to use the checkbox option for stopping unfollows. Unless your account grows at a spectacularly fast rate you will always be in a position where your number of follows aren’t too far off your number of followers.
Finally — but no less importantly — you will want to specify two things:
- Who is unfollowed
- How long you wait after following them to unfollow them
The logic here is simple. You follow someone then wait a few days for them to follow back. If they don’t, you unfollow them so that you have made room for a fresh follow (that may result in a follow back). By this method you’re never following anyone who isn’t following you for more than a few days, which theoretically gives you endless opportunities to follow new people. I personally feel that 3 days is long enough for an active Twitter user to decide whether or not to follow back, but again, you may wish to rely upon your own personal preference.
I recommend that you select “UnFollow nonreciprocal follows that were followed using Tweet Adder” from the drop down menu. This means that any people you manually follow — via the Twitter website or any other Twitter app — will not be automatically unfollowed by Tweet Adder. I like to follow certain people, regardless of whether or not they follow me, and this feature allows me to do just that.
4. Rinse and Repeat
This final step is extremely important — you must not miss it out if you want your Twitter account to grow quickly.
There is one key thing that Tweet Adder can’t do for you — it can’t spot inactive or spammy accounts. So for instance, an inactive account can have autofollow enabled, which will gain you a new follower, but will not in reality actually be of any benefit. Similarly, you can follow spam accounts who follow you back but again offer you nothing.
The first thing you should do to combat this is keep an eye on your growth statistics. You can use Twitter Counter for this. Just check your account week by week, and look out for a slow down in the number of follows you are receiving on a weekly basis. As soon as you spot a slowdown, clear out any existing users from your “To Follow List” in Tweet Adder, and add fresh users from another Twitter profile. The following week, you will almost definitely see a notable uptick in the number of followbacks. Alternatively you can choose to preempt this — I add a fresh “batch” of people to follow to Tweet Adder every Monday morning.
The other thing you should do is unfollow inactive and spammy Twitter profiles with ManageFlitter. This is a freemium web-based app but you only need to use the free option. Just sign in via your Twitter account and you’ll see a screen like this:
The two functions we are interested in are “No Profile Image” and “Inactive” — both available in the sidebar. “Inactive” Twitter users are those who have not tweeted in the past 30 days. It is fair to say that they probably won’t be much of an asset to your blog. Twitter users with no profile image (i.e. just the infamous Twitter egg) are usually spam accounts. I say usually rather than always — it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to make the exception.
Once you’re ready to zap some redundant follows, just click on each icon in turn and you will be presented with a list of all relevant follows. On that screen, click on the “Quick Edit” link, select all of the profiles and hit “Unfollow”:
You will need to repeat this process if there are more than 100 follows as ManageFlitter only includes 100 per page.
I typically clean house like this a couple of times a week. You could do it every day if you wanted to, or once a month — it’s entirely up to you. Obviously, the more regularly you keep on top of it, the quicker your account is likely to grow.
Finally, you will want to make sure that you keep on top of the number of users left to follow in Tweet Adder — you can see that on the Overview screen:
If the number is getting low, you will want to top up by sourcing new follows from your list of related Twitter accounts. I personally have an ever-growing list which I cycle through. By the time I’m done with the last user the first one has attracted enough fresh new users to make coming back to them a viable move.
Above is the strategy I have followed to grow my Twitter account steadily through 2012. There are few (if any) internet marketing products I have tried that have been as effective for me as Tweet Adder and I would heartily recommend that you take a closer look if you are interested in growing your Twitter account.
Creative Commons image courtesy of shawncampbell
Deacon Bradley says
Hey Tom! I recently just started using this myself and LOVE it! At first I felt a little weird, but I soon realized it’s only automating what I was trying to do anyway. It does have a lot of spammy features like auto-DMs and auto-replies, but I don’t use any of that.
I’m curious, what are your settings for how many people to follow / unfollow each day?
Tom Ewer says
Yeah — you have to get over that “hmm…is this spammy?” hump up front, but once you do, you’re golden. Because like you say, quite simply, what I’ve outlined above isn’t spammy. It’s just an automated way of seeking out likeminded people on Twitter. It’s only spammy if you never interact with those people, and I just about always reply to @mentions on Twitter.
I’m currently on 300 per day for both follow and unfollow — I only bumped that up from 200 last week though.
Hey Tom! What a great find you have here.
I love twitter. I absolutely love it. I have met friends there, found work, and made contacts that resulted in more work. This is something that Facebook has never, ever done for me.
At this point, I’m trying to get into the book blog field–I want people to start reading my book reviews (and as a one-woman show I can’t review more than one or two a week) and use my site a reading resource. The problem with a lot of book tweeters, however, is that authors just automate they ads for their own books and don’t really interact. I’d love to find active, interactive book readers *and* writers to share reviews and thoughts with, and eventually start growing my following a bit more. I don’t have delusions of being the next Book Riot, but I have a keen insight about the topic and I’d like to share it with more people.
I would probably use the automated search filters to find tweeters who are interested in my topics–books and writing–and follow them. I’m not too much of a fan of automated DMs or thank-you-for-following-me messages, so that part I would skip. I like the auto-follow functions with a maximum number of follows per day–you can have it so it looks natural, especially if you’ve set up good research filters and the follows are a good fit with your own topics. I hate when I get follows from people who seemingly have nothing in common with me!
Thanks again for sharing this great tool!
Tom Ewer says
Sounds like you’ve got a good plan there Anabelle! Thanks for the suggestions 🙂
Jeffrey Trull says
I’ve actually been using Tweet Adder for a while and have been pleased with the results! I’m not sure I’ve always been using it the most effective way, so I’ve implemented a few of your suggestions just now!
Tom Ewer says
Hope it helps Jeff!
This sounds like a really awesome way to reach people.
I’d like to use tweet adder to help identify a list of burned out professionals and help them transition…probably through a list of #hashtag strategies and list strategies you provide above. I’m at @BenFanningCoach.
Tom Ewer says
I’m curious about your hashtag and list strategies (not something I major on) — can you tell me more?
Hey Tom, From your reading your post it looks like you can search in Twitter on the certain pain points of the people you’d like to help then automate connecting with those individuals with Tweet Adder.
When you search the pain point you’d like to connect with it looks like the ideal situation would be to find a relevant hashtag because the likelihood of following and getting a return follow would be much higher.
Hope that makes more sense. Just thoughts inspired from your article. I’m not an expert but really enjoying learning about it and how it can be great tool. Thanks!
I think Tweetadder is an amazing piece of software, especially for people like me who are that “scratching and clawing” stage to add followers. I’m close to 200, which seems hilarious in comparison, but to be honest, I get excited each time I get an email notification about a new follower. More than one in a day? Wow, I’m ecstatic.
That being said, I just haven’t thrown myself in to Twitter full-force. I KNOW its powerful, I KNOW I should, but for some reason, probably because I’m not that used to it, I hestitate to do so. I think Tweetadder can change this, as it seemed to with you.
My main purpose of using Tweetadder is to not only grow my following but also grow my hashtag, #10MMC, which is the challenge I have on my blog for readers to earn 10 million cumulative frequent flyer miles. We’re at 7.5 million in 17 weeks, but I’m hoping that with Tweetadder, we’ll be able to knock off 10 million in under 10 weeks! You can find me @PackofPeanuts!
Thanks for all the great information and the chance to win a copy of Tweetadder!
Tom Ewer says
I like the branding on the #10MMC hashtag — but how exactly do you go about “growing” a hashtag, and what benefits does it bring (and how would you use Tweet Adder to help you on that front)?
My thinking is that TweetAdder will help me grow my follower list using the methods you mentioned, such as automated following of people who are already following similar people to me (travel blogs, frequent flyer blogs, etc.).
With more followers and a bigger Twitter presence, I’m hoping that my 10 Million Mile Challenge will grow more on twitter. Currently, 90% of my entries come through direct emails, which isn’t a bad thing. I just see a lot of growth potential on Twitter since it’s such a small proportion.
Overall, I’m hoping that I can bring people who are already earning frequent flyer miles (but not entering the 10 Million Mile Challenge because they don’t know about it) to my site, and then join the 10MMC, by gaining them through TweetAdder.
Nick Thacker says
GREAT article! Seriously. I’d hear of TweetAdder a LONG time ago (when I got started blogging), and I never really understood it — the concepts made sense, but I never saw enough social proof to believe the strategy worked. Hearing your story and seeing the stats, it seems like it really will be a cool thing to try out.
I’ve been a huge fan of using Twitter to grow a readership, and over at LiveHacked.com I write about using an “In-List” to connect with other like-minded Twitter peeps. Using TweetAdder’s “search” functionality, combined with the ability to keep an ongoing list of people to follow, seems like an amazing asset that I’d LOVE to get my hands on!
I’d plan to use it to grow the overall audience of my site, and since I’m huge on connecting and engaging with people through @replies, DMs, and such, I think this would be a huge boon to my Twitter productivity.
Finally, one of the main things holding me back from it was not knowing the “rules” regarding following/unfollowing people. Your post really helps with that, though, and I think with a copy of TweetAdder and your post, I’d be able to safely get started growing my Twitter followers!
Thanks again for your awesome post, and I hope you’ll consider me for the “Grand Prize!”
Tom Ewer says
Thanks for sharing your suggestions — some interesting stuff in there!
Brian Sommers says
I like this and I’m looking into is more.. I would def. use this to seek abstract art collectors/buyers.
Tom Ewer says
I think that’s one of the beauties of Tweet Adder — you really can root out specific stuff.
Sophie Lizard says
Hey Tom, thanks for this!
I’ve never used TweetAdder & mostly follow people I’ve found through retweets I liked. Then I use SocialBro every now and then to remove people who haven’t been active in months.
I’ve just checked out the TweetAdder site, and it does sound interesting. I’m realising that I’ll soon need to automate or outsource more of these tasks so that I can spend my time actually *interacting* with people.
Being able to autofollow people who’ve tweeted key phrases like “freelance blogger” or “blogging jobs” would be handy. I also like the idea of searching out people who tweeted *to* a specific user.
Full disclosure: if I win a free copy of TweetAdder, I’ll use it to follow quite a few of your followers. 😉
Katya Barry says
Tom, what a brilliant tool! I’m cancelling all my Monday night plans and spending the next few hours tackling the magic of Tweet Adder. Thanks for the tip, will have to update you on how I get on. You’re a diamond!
Tom Ewer says
No problem Katya 🙂
Mary Schiller (aka Maggie Waters on Kindle) says
Tom, thanks so much for introducing me to this tool. The part that really interests me is the way to search for potential followers without going buggy. Seriously, that “search results” page in your post made me jealous. I want one!
My situation is a little different in that I’m not necessarily looking for people to follow my blog — although that’s great, too — but for people who are interested in the kind of fiction I write, including readers and reviewers. It seems like Tweet Adder would work very well for my purposes, too.
If I don’t win the free copy, it’s going on my Christmas list. Thanks again.
Tom Ewer says
You certainly don’t need a blog to get good value out of Twitter (obviously) 🙂
Tom, thanks for another great post.
I’ve been quietly slogging away with Twitter in a low-key way and last week was pleased to reach my 100th follower! Ok, so I know that I have a long way to go to really establish myself and a following (but those followers I have are brilliant) and although your post makes me realise how much farther I have to go, it maps out a clear path that I could take, so that I can actually enjoy the journey and all of those interactions on the way. Many thanks for introducing me to Tweet Adder and ways to make the most of my Twitter experience, instead of my usual experience of being a twit 😉
Tom Ewer says
My pleasure Kat! 🙂
Samantha Brown says
What an informative post (as ever!). The step-by-step guide you discuss is what I do every morning, manually. Tweet Adder would free up so much of my time. I like the idea of being able to search for what has actually been tweeted. I have a new client (I’m branching out in a bid to not go back to the employed world, by offering consultancy services on the things I’m learning while building my own blog and niche sites) who wants new clients in a few different, specialised areas. These people don’t usually have blogs or websites, but they are on Twitter. Manually searching for a phrase that’s been tweeted is time consuming, as I’m only after UK based people and I have to go through the whole world (kind of). Tweet Adder allows you to filter by location, which is perfect for me!
I’d super duper love to be a winner (sadly I don’t win many competitions) and I promise to give them an excellent (but always honest) review for their site/Twitter. But even if I don’t, make sure you have an affiliate link and this can be the second thing I use you for 😉 – although contrary to my tweet earlier, I *may* have used your BlueHost link too, as I felt my addition may make a difference to you, rather than using an established blogger [who was the reason I found you but at $40k just from BH last month, I don’t think he needs me]).
Tom Ewer says
I think I know who you’re talking about…;)
I also started out doing it manually, but (as you know) it takes an insane amount of time! Also, selectively unfollowing people manually is an absolute nightmare.
There’s nothing wrong with selling consultancy services by the way!
Samantha Brown says
I know, but consultancy goes against the whole passive residual income thing. I’m going to try writing for others, following your guidelines, soon 🙂
Tom Ewer says
Passive income takes time — consultancy is something you can put into place immediately. It’s a great business model!
Bon Crowder says
I’m still trying to recover from my stomach bug, so I’m probably going to come back to this in 1.75 days and give a more considered and insightful comment. But just peeking at Tweet Adder, here’s how I’d use it:
1. Get it (free of course, because I’m going to win)
2. Install it and log in (since they email installation key immediately, I’ll have no delay)
3. Follow your instructions step-by-step. Many of which I’ve not read completely because I know I’ll just do what you tell me to once I get the software. (I’m not much of a “read the synopsis of the book” girl when I know I’m planning on reading the whole thing anyhow.)
4. Gain a bazillion twitter followers and continue to engage. (Speaking of which, #mathchat is starting now, so I’d better hurry!)
5. Increase my views on Math Is Not a Four Letter Word so I have a way-cool mountain range google analytics graph like yours (mine just looks like stupid Austin, Texas right now).
6. Impact the world so that children can be positively influenced in math and grownups will stop being proud of saying they’re bad at math.
And please note, this is the one giveaway, ever, I’ve wanted to win – and you make it performance based, not random based. Would be great if I wasn’t functioning at 2.738% of my normal self. *sigh*
Thanks for the info. And the inspiration.
Tom Ewer says
It’s an admirable effort for someone operating at only 2.738%, although I’m not sure you’ve totally grasped the concept of the competition 😉 (either that or you’re going to blow me away in 1.75 days ;))
Bon Crowder says
Aha – I think the rub (now that I’m at 50% – got a little protein in me)… the rub is that the spirt of the competition and the instructions of the competition are in conflict.
Spirit: “Tell me what kind of amazing thing you can do with Tweet Adder that I haven’t even thought of.”
Written instructions: “Tell me what you think about the software and how you would use it.”
My first response was in direct alignment with the 2nd part of the written instructions. Now I’ll attempt to attack the 1st part (what I think of it) and the spirit (something I could do with it).
What I think: Holy cow, it’s pretty intimidating what it’s capable of. But like any robust program/app out there, if I focus on only a few things at a time it’s do-able.
What I could do with it: I always like when a searching device gives Boolean operators (yep – that’s math too). Tweet Adder lets you search by just about anything, but more importantly, lets you do anti-searches. It lets you use AND, OR and NOT (via a minus sign).
So I would utilize that on my tweet chats to search by hashtag and systematically pull out the people I already follow, or already engage with a lot. I would also search commonalities between different educational chats.
THEN, I would let Tweet Adder create tweets for me with the Unique Tweet Generator. I often sit down and churn out 10-20 versions of the same tweet to distribute throughout a week to hit my whole followership. But if Tweet Adder did that for me that would be a great time saver!
And using Tweet Adder’s Current Trends feature, I might even stop trying to keep up with my dang Google Alerts!
Tom Ewer says
I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the spirit and instructions of the competition. Did you really think that I wanted a bunch of people posting instructions for using the program? 😉
Having said that, you’ve made some good suggestions there. The competition’s heating up 😉
I’m so with you. In my reduced state I read the literal instructions and, my enthusiasm not being compromised, I followed the literal instructions without thinking. That “early entries get more consideration” really hit me in the reptile brain.
Eh, who’m I kidding. I’m working workin with a reptilian brain anyhow.
Regardless, I’m looking forward to getting my copy of Tweet Adder. Either soon and free or when iTunes pays again.
Come to think of it, it might be cheaper just to buy it. This blood, sweat and tears payment is tough.
Cubicle Free Man says
Hi Tom, This post made my day – I am not kidding. I have just been trying to work out how to ignite a number of my sites and I keep coming back to the same answer – be social (of course twitter is big part of that). The problem I was faced with is how do I possibly manage to grow these accounts simultaneously and do anything else. It looks like this may be the answer as tweetadder has “Multiple Twitter Account Management” as a feature. Awesome! Cheers, Quinn
Tom Ewer says
Indeed it does Quinn — you have to pay a little more for additional profiles, but the cost per profile decreases dramati
Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon says
I’m sorry to be the negative person in the room but I really don’t think that Tweet Adder is a good investment. While it sounds good in theory, it definitely isn’t as good as it sounds in reality. First off, it is pretty much like gaming Twitter’s “system” – let’s ask all the people who tried to game Google with mini niche sites and spammy link building how that’s working out for them 😉
Secondly, like you mentioned in the post, you definitely run a risk of being banned not only if you go overboard but even if you don’t. I used Tweet Adder for 2 accounts VERY minimally and they were both suspended and I had to email them to ask for them back. Twitter is currently in legal battles with Tweet Adder as well as similar software companies and I’m sure once that’s over with, Twitter will be even more strict and the owners of accounts who have used them at all will be penalized in some way.
Finally, while you may get away with being able to use it without the above problems, you better pray that you never come across any bugs or the software breaks on you. If that happens to you, unfortunately you’re out of luck due to the HORRIBLE customer service (if you can even call it that). Essentially, they give you the run around for a few weeks, ignore you, and then when you follow up proceed to use profane language, insult you, and threaten you. And I thought calling India was bad lol…
Like I said – sorry for the negative comment. I just feel the need to warn people about Tweet Adder as I really don’t think it’s the right move – and I learned that the hard way. Maybe it was just an isolated incident, but I would seriously doubt it.
Thanks for letting me vent 😉 Keep up the great work man!
Tom Ewer says
Please feel free to vent away — even if everything you say runs contrary to what I said 😉
Let’s see if I can address your points in turn.
I disagree that Tweet Adder is “gaming” the system in the same manner as black hat SEO, if for no other reason that once you have those users, there’s no taking them away (in my opinion). The very fact that you never actually got your account deleted could be considered proof of that. And even if users were somehow removed, you can’t take away the relationship you have established with those people. Getting them to follow you on Twitter was the opportunity to form a relationship — a mass Twitter de-follow wouldn’t necessarily mean that you would lose all your followers.
As for the risks — I have used Tweet Adder for four different accounts, from 0 – 5,500 followers, and have had no problems, apart from one suspension. The cause of that suspensions was complaints relating to relevancy. Basically I was adding people on location alone, for a local business — so I was adding loads of people who would have no interest in that particular business. The suspension wasn’t caused by Tweet Adder per se, but actually my poor following practice.
As for the legal battle you reference, I haven’t heard anything more about that since April. I’m not worried about it. I doubt very much that Twitter will suddenly penalize people who have used Tweet Adder (if they would even be able to tell something that specific).
As for the customer service, obviously you’ve had a really bad experience. All I can do is counter that with the great experience I had with customer service on the two occasions that I contacted them.
From memory, yours is the only negative comment I’ve ever read about Tweet Adder. In fact, it sounded so familiar that I double checked and noted that you voiced the same concern on my SPI guest post. Personally, I think that you may have been victim of (a) perhaps some non-optimal following practices, and (b) a terrible customer service experience.
Kent Faver says
Thanks Tom for such a detailed, awesome tutorial. I checked into Tweet Adder a couple of years ago, and got a bit scared by the mention of proxies and adding so many followers ar once. This gives a new perpective on it, which is very intriguing! Thanks again.
Tom Ewer says
No problem Kent 🙂
Actually you are right, I also found your blog through Twitter, so apperently that thing really works 🙂
What can I say? I have been struggling with my blog since quite a while aready and can not boast with the results you have.
I quit my full time job in order to concentrate on my novel I am writing so for a while I will not be able spending money on magic products …
So good luck to us all! 🙂
Andreas Fairnie says
I have been planning to have a twitter account opened.It sounds like a good opportunity to reach out to people After reading your post and the comments and i am now earger to have my account and try the exiciting features offered by twitter and the new tweetadder.
I had been anti social media for years because I saw how much time people wasted updating their status or playing games like Farmville. I saw no need to tell everyone what I was doing all the time and vice versa.
My first taste of social media was Twitter. I chose Twitter because many influencial people within my favorite sport, horse racing, tweeted real time information that would otherwise not be available and could be beneficial to fans of the sport.
I followed all the big names in the U.S. horse racing industry and slowly picked up followers along the way. What I had not thought about was how beneficial it would be when I decided to start my first blog, teaching people how to handicap and bet on horse racing, later that year. Almost all of my traffic early on was via Twitter.
In addition to the traffic to my blog I also developed many relationships that still exist today. Twitter allowed me to connect with people all over the U.S. that had the same interest as I did in a sport that today is far from the mainstream.
At the beginning of 2012 I set a goal of getting to 1,000 followers (from about 200) and so far I am almost halfway there. I pick up a few people each week but not at a rate that will help me reach my goal. I had heard about the strategy you mentioned above, although it involved doing so manually rather than via Tweet Adder, but the effort involved did not seem worth the time. I have a two month old and a three year old so my free time is rather limited and is mostly spent working on content for my blog and a few other small projects.
With Tweet Adder I believe my goal would not only be reached but surpassed. Tweet Adder would allow me to connect with many others within my niche that I would either never be able to reach or would take months to do so. It would help grow my audience and help me to share the knowledge I have with others.
Most importantly it would push me further down the path to self-employment. I am in the process of creating a membership product that would greatly benefit my audience. Every additional Twitter follower would be a potential customer and a potential spokesperson for my product.
If you choose to send me a free copy it would be greatly appreciated and if not I will almost surely pick up a copy of my own.
Thanks and keep doing what your doing.
Tom Ewer says
Thanks for sharing your story — always appreciated 🙂
I’ve been using an iphone app called My Manager to do a similar thing. Although it is not as automated as tweet adder (i.e. you have to manually select batches of people to follow and unfollow) it is a fair bit cheaper and for someone starting out on twitter, as I was, I found it to be useful for cranking up my follower numbers a fair bit. Your readers might find this app useful if they want to start using the ideas you’ve outline above but don’t want to plump $55 for a full tweet adder license just yet. My Manager can only go so far though, so after reading your post I’m defo ready to start playing around with Tweet Adder.
The way I would use the software is as follows:
In addition to your method above, I’d also like to do some combination keyword searches to start following relevant tweeters. For example, as someone who has recently move to Malaysia to start a business, I’m interested in meeting other webpreneurs who are in and around Malaysia. So, I’d use a combination of keyword and geographical targeting to find users tweeting about relevant topics to me (lifestyle design, internet business, web marketing, travel, asia) who are also located in South East Asia.
Something I’d also like to do but I don’t think Tweet Adder (or any other company) does this yet:
I used to use Buffer a lot to queue up some of my tweets so I always had relevant tweets going out at peak twitter usage times during the day. This was all well and good when I was UK based and interested in talking to other UK based marketers. But, now that I am a bit more international, I have followers from lots of different time zones. What I’d like to be able to do is to queue up tweets that go out at peak times within the timezones that I have the most followers in. So, the software might be able to tell that I have 60% followers in the UK, 20% in USA and 20% in Asia (for example). It would be cool if at the click of a button, the software can tell that those timezones are my hot spots and tweets are automatically scheduled to go out at lunch-break time in those time zones. Just a thought really, not sure if Tweet Adder or anyone else is doing that yet.
Tom Ewer says
I love your idea for using Tweet Adder, and I love your feature request too! Not sure it’s possible, but an interesting one for sure.
You have pretty much convinced me to sign up for this, just not sure whether to get the 1 or 5 license version.
Can one realistically manage more than one big twitter account?
Tom Ewer says
Well it’s just a matter of time ultimately. If you are efficient with social media, it only has to take a few minutes per day to manage each active account.
Great article, Tom.
I’ll be launching my blog Bright Little Socks soon, so I’m doing my best to get the word out on twitter to make sure that there will actually be people reading it once it goes live.
I have exactly 200 followers right now (hurray!). I’m using timely.is to schedule the tweets, but other than that I’m pretty much a newbie.
I’d love to use Tweet Adder to … start ruling the world. Just kidding (kinda…).
I’d use it to test your exact strategy to see if it’s any good. I’ll let you know if it’s foolproof two months in! 🙂
Tom Ewer says
You’ve got 200 more followers than I had when I launched my blog, so you’re doing alright 😉
Steve Rice says
Wow, Tom, this is such a useful post.
I am, like you used to be, a bit of a fraidy-cat when it comes to twitter. I’m not terrified of it, but I just know that I’m not using it as effectively as I could. I know that great relationships can come from it–as this has happened unintentionally to me on occasion–but I wish I were more disciplined in the use of it.
When I first started on twitter, I was following anyone and everyone, but soon found out how impractical and detrimental this practice was. But I didn’t know what to do.
In the last year or so, I tried a technique similar to the one you outlined, in an attempt to connect with people who’s interests lined up more closely with mine. This worked on a small scale, but took a TON of time.
I love what I see of Tweet Adder because it helps you to organize and automate this process. I like the fact that I can still connect with the people that I want to connect with but can automate the initial contact in order to help me meet more people more quickly.
A few things I love already about TA after perusing their site–the variety of options they give you for implementing your social media strategy. It makes it easy to connect around keyword, locations, etc. Seems very versatile.
If I’m lucky enough to snag a copy of this software via your giveaway, I’m gonna jump right back into twitter and really try to start building a true following there…because it really is about making human connections.
And in that regard, it’s just “back to the basics!” like anything else in life.
Tom Ewer says
Quite right Steve. The great thing about Tweet Adder is you can responsibly use certain automated features without it tainting the organic nature of a good overall social media strategy. At least, that’s what I think 🙂
Steve Eason says
This is fantastic. I wasn’t aware that something like this existed. It’s a testament to the Tweet Adder team for realizing the need and coming up with a solution. Great work!
As for myself, I just launched a new site helping others to understand and learn how they can build a business online. One of my main focuses here at the launch has been helping people understand and learn how to use social media to grow their traffic and ultimately their business. I just got done pulling a guide together about Twitter, however I realize after reading this that there is more I can add to the guide. Back to the drawing board.
Personally I would take your exact recommendations and put them into action to build up my account onTwitter (@IngeniousIncome) and try to reach and help as many people as I can. I’ve recently posted my thought process. I’m passionate about improving other people’s lives. Helping others gives me great satisfaction and if this helps me accomplish that even faster and better, then I must take advantage of it.
I did see mention in the comments above about how this might be gaming the system. Everything you described above is something I can do manually if I wanted to spend all day doing it. Using a tool like this, responsibly, helps me get more done in a day. It helps me to be more efficient and help more people.
Thanks for bringing this tool to my attention. I wish you all the best.
Tom Ewer says
You’ve nailed it there. Someone earlier made a reference to using Tweet Adder being like black hat SEO. The massive difference is that building links is building links, no matter how you paint it. On the other hand, following people that you think will be interested to follow you is a perfectly reasonable thing to do (in my opinion), and can be done manually. Automating that process doesn’t have to be “bad”, if the end goal is still to connect with people organically.
Chris Walker says
A great post, as ever. Thanks.
I’ve started to get into twitter since reading your guest post on SPI. I’ve been dabbling with this strategy for a little while, and have seen some growth. My only problem is that the process of manually going through the steps can be quite time consuming. I only have a small following at the moment so it’s not too bad, but implementation of this strategy isn’t really scalable without a tool like Tweet Adder. Little and often is fine for now, but I really can’t see myself doing the same thing when I need to be following many more people every day.
I’d really love to kick off this strategy on another twitter account (before a product launch for something I’m working on), but don’t want to divide my time across two accounts at the moment. I’m currently sitting at less than 10 followers (it’s brand new) and really need to get going with it soon. Automating the process would make it a whole lot more appealing, leaving a bit more time for me to get on with the real work of getting the product ready!
I’ve just checked out the features page for Tweet Adder and it looks like there is a whole lot more available than I first realised. For my new account, in addition to the process you discuss here (which I think would form the backbone of my strategy), I’d try to focus on a particular niche of followers in the UK. I reckon I could do some exact match keyword searches, in addition to UK location to narrow the pool down to potential customers.
It looks like a great tool, and this has been a really helpful post. Just keep adding…. just keep adding…
Tom Ewer says
Agreed. I soon got bored of doing the above process manually, and I certainly wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have Tweet Adder. It is a huge help.
I used something like TweetAdder a few years ago and it seemed to work well. Would be really interested in seeing how effective it still is.
Mike From Maine says
I also use Tweet adder and it’s an amazing tool. It puts your Twitter marketing on auto pilot and saves you so much time.
Arwin Adriano says
Hi Tom, Nice way to automate your twitter followers though that save time I suggest that it is still important to have real interaction with your followers and I think that was the best strategy to maintain real targeted users.
Tom Ewer says
I take it you didn’t read the disclaimer in the post above? 😉
I have about 2300 followers. What would you recommend for the max number of follows per day? and unfollows per day?
Do you typically follow and unfollow that number in the same day? I’m a little scared of this lol.
Thank you in advance for you time and helpful reply.
P.S. I found your site through a guest post on wpmu, linked to your google+ and then to this page!
Tom Ewer says
I don’t think it would be wise of me to make any specific recommendations, but I can tell you that I was following/unfollowing 200 people per day when my account was around that size. I would go with whatever makes you comfortable, and be sure that you’re following people who are likely to be interested in you!
An excellent review on Tweet Adder!
I was wondering, isn’t the paid version of ManageFlitter the same as Tweet Adder?
Samuel from Internet Dreams
Tom Ewer says
Not really, there are key differences. For instance, Tweet Adder can’t remove people based upon whether or not they are active on Twitter. ManageFlitter meanwhile can’t enable you to follow x number of people per day, spread out automatically
Imran Hunzai says
Great read. I have over 2k followers but the traffic coming from WordPress is almost negligible. I will surely follow some of the tip that you have mentioned in the article.
Tom Ewer says
No problem Imran 🙂
Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections says
Great info! Sometimes I feel so lost about Twitter. I see my audience growing, but at such a slow rate like you first had too. Thanks for explaining the way it really works.
Tom Ewer says
No problem Melissa 🙂
Sun Tsu says
One thing I don’t get. the part where you say:
“your followback rate will drop dramatically if you are following a whole bunch of inactive accounts that will never follow you back.”
Isn’t this what unfollow in TweetAdder is designed to address? What really is the problem with having spam accounts following you. I just consider that they boost my numbers with no real downside even if they never bring me any direct benefit.
I’m curious to see if I’m missing something here…
Tom Ewer says
Upon reflection that sentence is terribly worded and you should ignore it! I’ll go back and change it now.
My point was this — if you follow inactive and spammy accounts then you’re not gaining anything from it. Far better to unfollow them (using a tool like ManageFlitter) so that you have more room to follow genuine people. In a way these accounts are actually beneficial, because if they still follow you after you have unfollowed them you have more “wiggle room” with which to follow genuine people!
Hope that makes sense 🙂
I have been wondering for the past weeks if to buy or not TweetAdder…
Did it really bring value to you? The new followers you got this way really did interact with you, mentioned you, read your content, RT you, … and found some value in what you had to offer?
I’m just a little bit afraid to fool myself into thinking that all the followers i’m going to get will not be that much targeted…
Tom Ewer says
In short, yes. I have had more people than I can count who have specifically emailed me saying “I found your site after you followed my on Twitter…” For me that’s the litmus test that proves that TweetAdder is working.
Whilst there is no doubt that you’ll get a lot of “junk” follows, that’s not really relevant. What’s relevant is the quality follows that you get, and you do get plenty of them.
Ok great! You convinced me. I just acquired a new Mac so let me set it up and I guess i’ll install TweetAdder – using your link as a way to thank you for all your useful content an your kind words!
Hey Tom –
I would have never bought TweetAdder without your ringing endorsement and this post was just the tutorial I needed. I’m following your Rx to the letter. Looking forward to growing my followers!
Tom Ewer says
Best of luck!
You convinced me. I just acquired a new Mac so let me set it up and I guess i’ll install TweetAdder – using your link as a way to thank you for all your useful content an your kind words!
Just used your link to purchase Tweet Adder 🙂 Thanks Tom 🙂
Tom Ewer says
Thank you Nicolas! 🙂
Very detailed article, Tom! Thank you for all the efforts you put into this article!
I am using TweetAdder for just over 2 months and my account is approaching 900 followers now. I did the calculation quickly, With my speed, I can only get to about 5K within one year, so I was interested to read through your article – I promise I read every single word of it, and see how you can get a double result of mine.
Now I spend about 2 hours every week to schedule my tweets for the following week and try to keep my ratio of “following” and “followers” as close as 1:1.
I just checked out the tool “manageflitter” that you mentioned in your article. I never heard it before, but it looks like a good tool – I just used it and unfollowed more than 300 inactive Twitter account! Great recommendation!
Keep up your hard work and I will come back to your blog often, buddy!
Tom Ewer says
No problem Sibo! Good to read you’re having success with TweetAdder 🙂
What should I use now that TweetAdder is making everything manual (unfollow, follow etc)?
Tom Ewer says
Still TweetAdder! Stay tuned; I’ll be doing a comprehensive post on this soon 🙂
Kyle Thielk (@kylethielk) says
I’ve been working on an open source that replicates a lot of TweetAddr’s functionality. Requires a bit more setup since its self hosted and requires a set of Twitter API keys. Feel free to check it out: https://github.com/kylethielk/twitter-findtofollow/
Tom Ewer says
Interesting…thanks for sharing!
Julia Claire Campbell says
Just bought TweetAdder and got ready to follow all of your instructions – but it’s a completely different version. Grrr. Not your fault, but frustrating nonetheless, because now I have no idea what I am doing! Thank you for inspiring me to purchase it though.
Julia Claire Campbell says
And I just realized that after I purchased it, Auto Follow and Unfollow are not available in 4.0 to comply with Twitter TOS. So, it’s pretty much worthless. Can you update your blog post to reflect this? Thank you.
Tom Ewer says
That’s no problem Julia — I am working on a new post for the new version, so stay tuned 🙂 Sorry if you felt misled by the post 🙁 I don’t think TA is worthless and I still use it myself to equal effect.
Serkan Yilmaz says
I use http://followerfilter.com for Searching User- Tweet RT and Favorite listing and deletion – Unfollower finding an deletion. Even the site is new, it works well!
Site also allows you to see any twitter user’s (included yours) unfollowers, followers and followings without login.
Of course it’s free and unlimited!
Anuj thakur says
The best tool ever for managing the Twitter is https://wizugo.com/ and there are no second thoughts about it. After using it for 4 months now, I must say, it has contributed a lot in adding the followers and boosting my earnings too.
Firstly, it is absolutely amazing investment especially when it comes to the artificial intelligence that it uses to tweet the relevant items, find and show the right content which will be popular with my target audience. And to top it all, the great help it offers in scheduling the tweets automatically and what I need to do is just feed my preferences once a week and it does the rest of the job. I love that I don’t have to create multiple Wizugo accounts to manage multiple Twitter accounts. I can manage them all at one place.
Thanks for sharing such a great, very informative and useful article to Twitter followers improvement tips.
Keep it up.