Twitter header image showing reaching 2000 followers

I’m pretty pleased with myself today as I have exceeded a goal I set myself and early too. Today I hit 2,000 followers on Twitter. Now numbers are not everything, but they are something. I haven’t really bothered using my Twitter account for marketing myself before. I’ve tended to just use it to keep an eye on things and not worry too much about followers, but since I am in the business of advising others on how to raise their profile, I thought I’d better put some of my own advice into practice. So I set myself a goal in the middle of May to increase my Twitter following from around 300, where it had been hovering for a long time, to 1,500 by the end of June.

Graph of twitter followers

Why did I do it?

Because I wanted to see if techniques I have read about work, to see if I could, to see how much hard work it is, to give me greater credibility in my business, and to find potential clients for future work.

How did I do it?

My target was to get followers who are artists or writers, not just any old followers. They can be anywhere in the world, which does make it easier than being in a specific location. Preferably they are English speaking. My strategy involved a mix of regular content, following to be followed, and interacting as much as possible. In particular:

  1. Posting lots of images that would appeal to artists – my own work and other people’s
  2. Posting tips in image form that demonstrated what I am offering as a service
  3. Finding artists and writers and following them – finding them by looking at the followers of other artists and writers that I found, and galleries and magazines.
  4. Retweeting images from others
  5. Thanking people for following, and for retweeting my images
  6. Favouriting art that I liked
  7. Following back any people who found me without me following them first who are writers or artists (to keep them with me)

When you follow lots of people eventually you hit a limit on Twitter where you aren’t allowed to follow any more (2,000).  At that point I cleared out people who weren’t following me back using sorting the unfollowers into the order of who I had been following the longest.

I haven’t fully analysed my followers yet, and that is one of the reasons for stopping at 2,000 for the time being so I can, but of the most recently recruits 28 are what I consider to be dodgy, nothing to do with who I am trying to target and not even sure what these people are about other than trying to look like porn stars on the pull (fake accounts?). So really I haven’t reached 2,000 useful followers quite yet, but it’s pretty close.

It can be quite mind blowing looking at long lists of followers and scanning to see if they fit your criteria or not and clicking follow. But I feel doing things like this manually rather than having some kind of automation means you do think about what you are looking for and you learn lots of things about how other people present themselves. One thing I discovered too is if you look closely at someone’s list of followers you can tell who has paid for fake ones. After a while you start to get a good sense of what are real people descriptions and what are mass produced manufactured individuals (description sounds like some random phrase or saying, look at their profile and they have hardly any tweets or the tweets they have make little sense, follow lots but very few followers themselves).

There are other things I observed but I will save that for another day.

If you are reading this and are an artist or writer and want tips on how to use social media to effectively promote yourself, then please follow me.