Why You’re Not Getting Twitter Followers (and How to Change That)

What once began as a home for 140-character observations on life, has morphed into a powerful marketing tool to promote your work, engage with your audience and grow your fanbase.

If you can’t recall the last time you got a Twitter notification, though, you may be doing something wrong. Below are a few common mistakes you may be making on Twitter and how to fix them. 

Problem #1: You’re not following anyone

Unless you’re Edward Snowden, you probably won’t get away with following one single Twitter account. Following other accounts shows that you care what others have to say and aren’t solely concerned with your own following.  If someone visits your page and sees that you aren’t following anyone, they’ll probably assume that you are only interested in using Twitter for self-promotion and may decide not to follow you.

Now this doesn’t mean that you should follow every single person who follows you, but you should look into users with shared interests and follow anyone who seems to be a leader in a topic that you or your audience is interested in. Check out a handy automation tool like Narrow, which will allow you to automatically follow users and like tweets based on your interests. 

Problem #2: Your tweets aren’t relevant

I get it–your toddler said something so funny, you couldn’t help but share. Or maybe you feel extremely passionate about a certain presidential candidate and want to use Twitter as your soapbox. Well unless you write children’s books or work in politics, you should probably save these comments for the dinner table.

When you post content that’s not relevant to what you create, you not only risk confusing your followers–you could very well lose fans who may not agree with your worldview.

At a loss for what to post? Consider joining a content curation generator like Feedly, where you can generate a feed of new content based on certain keywords. At Patreon, we follow topics such as creator marketing and inspiration. When we come across new content that we think our followers would find useful, we share it; if we don’t feel confident that it’s valuable to our audience, we don’t.

If you’re constantly sharing highly relevant content with your followers, they’ll begin to trust you as someone they can turn to for exactly the content they’re looking for.

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Problem #3: You’re not tweeting enough

If you want anyone to take notice of what you’re posting on Twitter, you should probably be tweeting three to five times a day. This may seem like a lot compared to Facebook or other platforms where once a day can even seem like a lot, but the truth is, your followers will miss most of your tweets, and so you need to make this up by posting more frequently.

It may seem like overkill at first, but reposting earlier tweets will help a ton and won’t require you to come up with five unique things to share each day. For example, when we tweet out a new piece of content from the Patreon blog, we don’t just post it once — we may post it twice the day it’s published, maybe the day after, perhaps once in a week and again in a month. This helps ensure that our followers who may have missed our tweet the first time around, get a chance to see it when it’s convenient for them.

Tools like Coschedule, Hootsuite and Buffer make it easy to schedule your content so it hits social media at all the right times. This way, you won’t feel like you’re buried in Twitter all day and instead can spend more time creating content than obsessively sharing it out.

Problem #4: You don’t quite understand #hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get your tweets seen by Twitter users who aren’t yet following you. Unfortunately, many of us are using them completely wrong.

When you add a hashtag to your tweet, your tweet gets grouped with all other tweets using that hashtag, allowing you to easily show up in other users’ feeds who might be searching for that hashtag. So while it can be fun to make up long-winded hashtags to add as asides to what you tweet, there are probably not many people looking up #ItsJustOneOfThoseDaysIfYouKnowWhatIMean on Twitter.

One of our favorite ways to use hashtags at Patreon is by asking our followers to tweet something to us related to a trending topic and include a specific hashtag. Retweeting their reactions is a great way to fill up our feed with awesome user-generated content. 

If you’re just getting started with hashtags, check out the “trends” section on the left-hand side of your feed to get a feel for the highest-trending hashtags currently happening on Twitter.

If you’ve already got a decent following, consider using unique hashtags to group together reactions from your followers around a specific topic. For example, if you’re speaking on a panel, sharing out a unique hashtag will allow your followers to connect with each other by generating an awesome stream of related tweets.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do to get more Twitter followers is to listen and respond. Follow your fans and others who inspire you; retweet when someone mentions you; pay attention to what’s going on in your industry and share your thoughts about trending topics. Growing a Twitter following can take time, so be patient and don’t give up!