The Secret Of Attracting 10000 Twitter Followers

I would like to tell you that there is a big, earth shattering secret behind the success of our Twitter account.

I would love to be able to say that the reason we have managed to attract 10,000 followers is due to one simple golden rule.

However, this would be lying — it would make a great blog post but it would be a lie.

So instead, I have listed the things we have done, and things we have not done, that have allowed use to attract so many twitter followers.

If you follow these guidelines then there is no reason why you can’t attract even more Twitter followers.

Add Value To Your Followers:
One of the key concepts to understand when using Twitter to promote yourself, your business or your books, is that your tweets are for your follows, NOT for you.

Each tweet should add value to those reading it, even if this does not help you or your products in any way.

The way we do this at BubbleCow is to, each day, send out five or six links to blog articles that we feel will be useful to writers. Some of these articles are from our blog, but many are not. If we come across a great article that will help writers to write better, or sell more books, then we tweet it out.

Be Persistent:
Unless you are using some spammy software you are not going to be able to generate 10000 Twitter followers overnight. It is going to take time and effort. The @BubblCow Twitter account was created on Thu Oct 30 18:48:53 2008. That means it has taken almost exactly three years of persistent tweeting to gather 10000 followers.

Don’t Compromise On Quality:
Adding value to your followers should be the number one goal for your Twitter account.

Every time you tweet you are sending a message into the stream of all your followers. If this message is relevant and adds value then they will enjoy your tweet, if you are lucky they may even retweet.

However, if your tweets are crappy, off topic or just plain annoying. You will not only get any retweets, and you will even start to lose followers.

Have Unbreakable Rules:
It is a very good idea to set out unbreakable rules right from the outset. These are the rules that will dictate how you react and build your account.

Here’s some of BubbleCow’s unbreakable rules:

  • No personal tweets - We never tweet about family, friends or anything not directly related to writing. That’s what personal twitter accounts are for.
  • No flaming - We never get dragged into on-line battles. If someone is horrible or nasty we either ignore them or follow up with an super nice reply. Flame wars can not be won and make you look silly.
  • We never say bad things - If we are tweeting about books or writers we only tweet positive stuff. If you ask us to tweet about your book, and we say we will but then don’t, chances are we didn’t like it. The silence speaks a thousand words.

These are our unbreakable rules but will give you an insight into our thinking.

Don’t Engage Or Do:
I would suggest you don’t go out of your way to interact with your followers. This is counter-intuitive, but let me explain.

At BubbleCow we don’t really interact with writers on the @bubblecow account. Don’t get me wrong, we do exchange tweets, reply to tweets and answer DMs. What we don’t do is proactively interact. The reason is that its not something that we can do well. It is not something that we are going to be excellent at doing. We just don’t have the time.

Instead, the value we can add is in tweeting out high quality links and that’s what we do — every day.

I am not saying that YOU should not interact. If you feel this is how you can add value, then great. I am just saying that if you do, make sure you do it well.

If you want to see how Twitter interaction is done by an expert just watch @ianaspin at work.

So, I would suggest that your first step to building more followers is to work out how you are going to add value? Ask yourself, ‘What do my followers want and how can I give it to them?’ Then do that…

Related posts:

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Filed under Marketing Your Book, Twitter.

  • Michela

    Very intersting and useful. I have a Twitter account but I’m hardly ever on it. I am muche more active on Facebook and I guess the same rules could be applied to a Facebook page.

    • BubbleCow [Gary Smailes]

      I say its best to focus on where you can add the most value.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent advice, Gary - especially the part about online conflict. It is true that flame wars can’t be won, and nastiness never triumphs over more nastiness. On such occasions, one should be polite and rational.

    Also, I commend you on choosing not to tweet about family. There’s the privacy angle, but also the matter of relevance.

    • BubbleCow [Gary Smailes]

      I keep all my crap for @garysmailes :-)

  • Lou Belcher

    Yes, I agree.  Followers come to those who post great tweets - meaning entertaining, interesting and yes valuable. Thanks for a great post and congrats on 10000.


  • Iain Broome

    Interesting stuff, Gary. I like that I am me instead of @writeforyourlife but I too try and hold back on the family and real life stuff. I don’t post as many links as I used to either, but that’s partly down to time. 
    The point, as you say, is to add value in the best way possible.

  • Herbertpeters52

    sounds interesting

  • Herbertpetets52

    Sounds interesting

  • Coreenamcburnie

    Thanks for the article, I totally agree with you and it has given me something to think about.

  • Emma O’Brien

    I think the most important quote in this article is ‘What do my followers want and how can I give it to them?’  So when you say that proactively interacting with other Twitters is not beneficial, I think it entirely depends on what your Twitter is for. BubbleCow is good for sharing articles- discussion isn’t necessary, however I think a Twitter like @TescoBooks:disqus It should be noted who do engage with their followers frequently in the small time they’ve been online and are slowly gaining followers with no outside promotion of the fact they exist.
    Also, another thing to mention is the power of the follow-back. Twitters are likely to follow you if you follow-back, as @IanAspin does and could be another reason why they have so many followers, just as all the Justin Bieber fans have so many followers - because they all follow each other.
    I’m proud of BubbleCow for the amount of followers they have gained, but there are so many things missing from this article - specifically their emails to people as well which encourages people to follow them, and the fact that they follow-back. I just thought I’d mention a few of them, although these are fairly good rules to live by.


  • Pingback: J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer » Weekly Writer’s Round-Up