how I got 55,000 followers, twitter tips, how to use twitter

Twitter Tips and how I got 55,000 followers

Last month, I went to a small blogger retreat for Multicultural Kids Blogs and part of the presentations were on using social media. MaryAnne from Mama Smiles taught us about Google +. Kim from The Educators’ Spin on It did a really helpful presentation on Pinterest. My contribution was on how to use Twitter.

Multicultural Kids Blog retreat

Tips for Using Twitter

I started using Twitter five years ago when I first started blogging. At that time, the bloggers were mostly on Facebook and Twitter but it was very challenging to grow a Facebook following. Pinterest, Instragram and Google + didn’t exist then and LinkedIn seemed like it was more for job networking.

Twitter was probably the easiest social media platform for me to figure out. With very little learning curve, I was able to grow my followers consistently. Now, five years later, I have 55,100 Twitter followers. I find that I am asked to join paid blog campaigns by brands sometimes just as a Twitter party host or co-host or part of a multi-platform campaign.

But honestly, I am still learning, daily, how to use Twitter more effectively. But here’s my advice of what I’ve figured out so far.

Cons of Twitter

  • The tweet has the shortest half life in social media.
  • Low traffic referral rate but it can be better than Facebook or LinkedIn FOR ME.
  • Only 140 characters.
  • Stream can be chaotic to follow.

Pros of Twitter

  • You can find almost everyone here and they are willing to talk to you.
  • Think of Twitter as an instant focus group.
  • Can see engagement right away or not at all. Allows you to test headlines and messages.
  • It’s easy to test questions and topics for engagement
  • You might not get a lot of referral traffic from Twitter but you can get new subscribers.
  • It’s great for branding yourself. You can send out more frequent messages about your blog without annoying your followers. I might post once on Instagram or Facebook a day but Twitter I can post hourly.
  • You can find your tribe and meet people within your tribe easily.
  • Brands care about Twitter and your influence. Impressions.

Grow Your Twitter Followers

Numbers count. Brands care about number of followers, not engagement or number of retweets. For them, it’s all about impressions — your tweet will show up on how many screens?

But it’s easy to grow your followers. The trick is consistency.

How to Grow Your Twitter Following

Follow and unfollow. That’s really it. Follow up to your limit (or slightly less if you can figure that out so you don’t end up in Twitter jail). Then, wait a period of time and unfollow all the followers who haven’t followed you back. I usually wait about a week.

Tools to Follow / Unfollow

I use Just Unfollow tool. I use the paid version but the free version might work for you. The paid version just gives you more capacity. Other bloggers have recommended Unfollowers which is free.

Who to follow?

Build within your audience niche. I built a Boston based  audience of parents who care about education and also  homeschoolers,  librarians,  authors and mom bloggers.

Step 1: Find the bloggers that are most similar to you. Follow their followers.

Step 2: Check out the lists they make or are listed on. Follow the people on the lists that make sense.

Step 3: Follow by hashtag

Follow hashtags. These are hashtags that help me find my community, but you can research hashtags that work for your audience. Tracking trending hashtags is also a great way to ride a wave.



General Advice for Twitter

  • There are some non blogging parents on Twitter; they tend to be on LinkedIn, Facebook or Pinterest.
  • Concerned about keeping your Twitter stream clean if you tend to follow back? Try making a list of just those tweeps whose tweets you want to read.
  • Thank your engaged members because it encourages engagement. I thank anyone who retweets me or adds to a list.
  • Tweet consistently within your topic niche but don’t flood stream. I use the tool Buffer to space out my tweets. I pay but there is also a free version. Some bloggers use Hootsuite.
  • Promote other bloggers’ great content not just your own.
  • Set up social media plugin so your twitter handle is automatically included.

Efficient way is to read posts:

1) tweet good posts
2) tweet and pin great posts
3) tweet pin and google plus share mind blowing posts

Do this 3-4x a week by feeding your buffer

When you pin your own posts, also queue a tweet about that post in your Twitter buffer. You can put in old posts into Twitter this way. No one knows they are an old “evergreen” post.

Consistency is key. Set small goal of ten minutes a day but do it 5x a week plus one session of follow/unfollow.

#FF (Follow Friday) and all the other days are effective in growing followers. This recommendation system does not exist in such an institutionalized way on other platforms

Using these strategies, in the past two years I grew my clients’ Twitter accounts to around 10,000 followers. It really does work!

What strategies are you using for Twitter? Please share your advice. Thanks so much!

p.s. This is from Shareaholic’s ”Social Referrals That Matter” Report.

Six noteworthy findings says the report:

  • YouTube is the undisputed champion, driving the most engaged traffic. These referrals have the lowest average bounce rate, the highest pages per visit, and the longest visit duration.  Why are visitors from YouTube are so engaged, says the report, because video watchers are especially receptive to links within video descriptions which complement the audio+visual content they just consumed. Viewers are used to spending minutes or hours educating and entertaining themselves with awesome video, and may have fewer qualms about taking extra time to discover more great content post-click.
  • Though Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals, they bring in some of the best visitors. Google+ users, on average, find themselves spending more than 3 minutes diving into things shared by connections in their circles, while LinkedIn users generally spend 2 minutes and 13 seconds on each link they click. Now may be the time to invest in building communities within those networks if engagement really matters to your business, suggests the report.
  • A referral from Twitter is as good as a referral from Facebook in terms of bounce rate, pages per visit and time on site, notes the report. In 4th place, Twitter and Facebook are tied. Both types of visitors bounce the same, while Twitter wins the pages per visit category, and Facebook users tend to spend more time on a site post-click than Twitter users do.
  • Pinterest isn’t the social media golden child we all play it up to be, observes wong. Pinners bounce as often as FB users and Tweeps do, but view fewer pages per visit, and spend considerably less time on site than almost all of its counterparts, with the exception of StumbleUpon.
  • Reddit users are the most fickle. Redditors are the most likely to abandon sites — on average, 70.16% bounce. For marketers, Reddit is a tough nut to crack, opines the report. Its uber-loyal users are increasingly selective about the content that gets upvoted and are eager to downvote things they disagree with.
  • StumbleUpon drives the least engaged referrals. Post-click, users view a meager 1.5 pages per visit and spend 54.09 seconds on site. It would appear that StumbleUpon’s click-heavy focus makes users trigger happy. Users stumble onto the next thing rather than immerse themselves in the webpage SU recommends, concludes the report.

how I got 55,000 followers, twitter tips, how to use twitter

Follow PragmaticMom’s board ‘Best of’ PragmaticMom on Pinterest.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I’ve very much appreciated and admired your approach to both blogging and tweeting. As a neophyte twitter user, what I instantly appreciated about you was that *you* reached out to *me*–I don’t know if many successful people with lots of followers do this! That builds instant goodwill. And you also are faithful about answering comments, which also builds huge goodwill.

    Myself, I’m more a receiver twitter user than a broadcaster twitter user: I tend to collect people across my wide variety of interests who I’m interested in following for what they say; I myself don’t have a particular message, really, and my output, both in terms of retweets and original tweets, is all over the place.
    Asakiyume recently posted…an afternoon and a morningMy Profile

    • Hi Asakiyume,
      You might want to think about what you want out of Twitter. Maybe you have a few goals for using it? That might help you in tweeting out and collecting followers. It could be something as simple as finding people like yourself with similar interests in your neck of the woods to finding more readers for your blog or books or business. It might be personal like collecting info that you need or just for fun. Hope that helps!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Twitter Tips and how I got 55,000 followersMy Profile

  2. Thanks for posting this, Mia. I’m not a good social media person – I still haven’t figured out how to use Sulia, bearly understand Google+, lose track of Twitter because I can’t access it a lot of the day because of my job, so I need all the help I can get. The blogger retreat sounds like it was reallly informative.
    Alex Baugh recently posted…It’s Monday! What are you reading?My Profile

    • Hi Alex,
      Social media is so time consuming that you might want to focus on the platform that you like the best and start from there. Many of the platforms are easy to access on a smart phone with just a few minutes of free time.

      If there was just one I would focus on as a KidLit blogger like us, I would focus on Google +. Why? It’s great for SEO. You can meet people easily who are easy to group as your tribe. It’s new so it’s easier to gain followers than more established platforms like Facebook or Pinterest. And you get more words than Twitter.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Twitter Tips and how I got 55,000 followersMy Profile

  3. Thanks, Mia! This is very helpful. I have been struggling with twitter and your tips couldn’t have come at a better time.
    Laurence King recently posted…InspiredMy Profile

  4. what a helpful post! I had no clue about all these sites that help you track this stuff!
    Lauren recently posted…Greek Yogurt ObsessionMy Profile

  5. I tweeted this 😛 I am sure a lot of people will find this helpful! 🙂
    Erik ThisKidReviewsBooks recently posted…The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems Review and GIVEAWAY!!!My Profile

  6. Thank you for sharing these tips, Mia – both at the retreat and here! Is it okay with you if I update my recap of the retreat on MKB to include a link to this post?
    maryanne recently posted…Saving Money: Teaching Kids Money ManagementMy Profile

  7. Thank you Mia. This is so helpful. Love learning from you!

  8. Ann

    Thanks Mia! I have always admired you high number of Twitter followers. Thanks for the insight into how you do it! I just got capped so I decided to do a bunch of unfollowing of all those people that followed me so that I would follow them then they unfollowed me. I also started some lists and plan to do some of the things you suggested, like hashtag research! Thanks again!
    Ann recently posted…Piping PloverMy Profile

  9. Hey Mia – I clicked on the Just Unfollow and it just keeps redirecting me back to the home page after I try to sign in – any thoughts? And do you think Twitter is worth building more? I had hired someone to build my following and it’s working, but maybe she is just using this tool and I shd just do it myself.
    Adrienne Urban recently posted…Healthy Peanut Butter Cups, Raspberry Almond Squares, Grain Free Thin Mints, & Seasoned Nori ChipsMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne,
      I think you can build your own following yourself using one of the tools like Just Unfollow. Did you get it to work? It can be a little gitchy at times. If you are signed in, it should connect to your Twitter account. If it isn’t working, try shuting down your computer and restarting.

      The main thing is to do the follow/unfollow on a regular basis but once a week is fine. If you can do that, you don’t need to hire anyone. Save the money to use for something else you might want to learn or do for your blog.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Meet the Editor Behind The Real Boy by Anne UrsuMy Profile

  10. Outstanding tips Mia!
    I try to implement many of the tips you’ve provided, I’m *no* where near 55,000 followers but I’m growing everyday 🙂

  11. Mia–Why unfollow people who don’t follow you back? Is it so that you don’t end up with very lopsided stats, where you’re following large numbers of people but have far fewer following you?

    I’ve been following specific groups (say, agents and editors) because I really wanted to see their content. Most of these people don’t follow me back, probably because they already have large numbers of followers. If I were to unfollow them, because they don’t follow me, I’d lose their content.

    On the other hand, I’ve had people follow me who were clearly hardcore marketers of something. I don’t follow them back because I don’t want to clutter my stream with sales pitches. But they may be using a process like yours and unfollowing me when I don’t follow them back.


    Gail Gauthier recently posted…Two Stories In One BookMy Profile

    • Hi Gail,
      You only get a certain number of “follows” by Twitter. It’s a secret algorithm and it’s based on how many followers you have. If you accidentally exceed it, you sometimes get sent to Twitter jail. So … the theory is that if someone doesn’t follow you back within a certain period … say 2 days to 1 week, they are never going to follow you. Better to unfollow them and move on to people who might. Otherwise, you use up a “follow” slot.

      But I would agree with you that there are some that you just want to see their content so you can follow them and “whitelist” them so that JustUnfolllow protects them and you don’t unfollow them.

      I would follow/unfollow the general audience of whom you are trying to reach like parents who might buy your book or read your blog, or fellow bloggers in your general niche area. Or people who live in your general geographic area.

      Hope this helps!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Meet the Editor Behind The Real Boy by Anne UrsuMy Profile

    • Hi Gail,
      To fix lopsided stats, I would recommend unfollowing INACTIVE followers. There is an option to determine Inactive followers in JustUnfollow by length of time they were inactive on Twitter: 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Meet the Editor Behind The Real Boy by Anne UrsuMy Profile

  12. I did unfollow a couple of people who hadn’t followed me after reading this post. One was a writer who does a lot of marketing. The other was a British essayist I’d enjoyed, but I didn’t recognize a lot of the British pop culture references she tweeted. In both cases, content that wasn’t very useful for me.
    Gail Gauthier recently posted…Environmental Book ClubMy Profile

  13. Super tips. Thank you so much for sharing. Good to have tips from a trusted source!
    Kris recently posted…Don’t Just Take a Break – Bust a Move and Build Some MuscleMy Profile

  14. Joy

    Thanks for all the tips! I’d never heard of ‘Just Unfollow’ before and it was super helpful.
    Joy recently posted…ThredUP – Free $10 CreditMy Profile

  15. That’s amazing. I guess I should give JustUnfollow a try then.
    Aras Androck recently posted…The Coupon HunterMy Profile

  16. Ken D'Souza

    Nice Tips on getting Twitter Followers! Just like you, I am trying to reach out to a lot of Mom followers to reach out to them on our School PTA/PTO Software

    • Thanks Ken! I’m glad it’s helping you. I think the key is to get into a Twitter habit — whatever works for you — and then just be very consistent day in and day out. That will build your Twitter in a steady way and the tortise approach really does work.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…DIY Gamer Kit STEM ToyMy Profile

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge