It’s not just the people of Texas who believe that bigger is better. Most people on social media obsess over the size of their following, but size without engagement is a very hollow goal. I often recount the story of a brand I worked with briefly. They had more than one million Facebook fans, but nearly every social initiative they launched failed, because those fans were not engaged. The fans had signed up for contests or giveaways and didn’t feel any keen interest or loyalty. The company had big numbers, but the value was not commensurate. I don’t want you to fall into that same trap.

With these three easy steps, you can build your social numbers and attract engaged followers. We’re focused on Twitter today, but these strategies will work on most social platforms.

1) Share amazing, valuable, interesting content. It’s called content marketing for a reason. No one, except your mom, is following you because you are a terrific guy or gal. People follow others on social media because they get something from that involvement, namely information, inspiration or entertainment. Is your content filling any of those needs? If not, you need to sit down and work on it. Think less about how your tweets will benefit you, and instead, how you can share content to benefit others. This doesn’t mean you can’t promote yourself or your work, it just means that even promotion should have some element of value for your audience.

2) Twitter cards and ads. Twitter cards are free and can be a great way to attract followers by making people aware of your product, website or Twitter profile. Twitter ads can also help grow your follower base. The danger with ads is that they often attract people who aren’t truly interested in your work. The way to ensure better results from ads is to keep them very tightly targeted. On Twitter, you can target your ads to the followers of a competitor or to someone else in your field that has an audience base that might also be interested in you. That’s a strategy that works! Don’t worry, no one but you and the Twitter ads dashboard will know how you are targeting your ads. The best news: you can get results by spending as little as $25 a month.

3) Twitter growth tools. Growth tools have gotten a bad rap, but they really do have value, and I recommend them. The tools available now are much more refined than the early bots that quickly followed, then unfollowed accounts, leaving people feeling poorly used. The new resources still follow new accounts as one of the best ways to generate organic growth. It’s the rapid unfollowing that’s changed. Here are two to explore: and SocialQuant. uses keywords to identify accounts you are following that aren’t following back as well as influencers you are connected with; it also allows you to respond to Twitter comments and mentions inside the tool. SocialQuant is strictly a growth tool. Its algorithm uses keywords to find and then follow accounts that have similar interests. What’s really helping deliver results for our clients is the ability to list other Twitter accounts as keywords, so you can target the same way you can an effective Twitter ad. The tool, as far as I can tell, unfollows inactive accounts, but doesn’t engage in whiplash unfollows.

Twitter growth requires time and patience. Whether you invest that time yourself, or hire a social media team, results come when you have a clear point of view, strong content and the willingness to engage, interact and experiment.  Happy Growing!

How do you intentionally grow your Twitter following?

Image Credit: 123rf Ukrid Yenpetch