When you are new and trying to get your Twitter account started, it certainly feels like a chicken and egg situation. “How do I gain followers if I have nothing to provide?”

I recommend you establish yourself as an information source on a particular topic. You want to be known for a certain topic. For example, I have established myself as sharing links on technology and social media.

Now before you begin working on followers, I would give them a reason to stick around. Build up some content in your twitter account.

Unfortunately there is a lot of noise in the twitter’verse. In fact, I would say 99% of all tweets are noise.

An excellent way to continually feed your Twitter account with content is to use a program/website that can direct other website links automatically as tweets. RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a web feed format. It is typically denoted by this icon. Many websites and most blogs/news websites have RSS feeds.

Here is an example of what an RSS feed looks like. This is the feed for my blog:
https://davidpapp.com/feed/

As new posts appear, programs/websites that are monitoring the RSS feed can do something with it. e.g. they could post a new tweet with a link to it. 🙂 One such website is TwitterFeed.com

Create an account on TwitterFeed, point it to some RSS feeds, and have it post to your Twitter account.

Then within your Twitter account, you can link it to your Facebook account so it automatically posts tweets to your Facebook wall.

You can also pull your latest Tweets as updates from your LinkedIn account.

You should still participate in your Twitter account, reply to people, acknowledge, and engage people. But now you have content being automatically fed in as tweets. You can add multiple RSS feeds for variety and increased frequency.

As you follow other accounts, they may follow back. Seeing frequent new tweets on your account will make them stick around. You are no longer part of the noise but establishing yourself as an information source on your chosen topic.

28 Comments
  1. I think it’s great that programs and websites exist that can make social networking easy and automated by linking them together. I definitely agree that it is important, however, to be active on each one and not just leave them to post automated content. Engaging with followers and fans is one of the biggest and most important parts of social networking and it shouldn’t be forgotten about.

    • I second this. Although, I use such programs to update my social networks account automatically with already generated contents. But, the best way to get new followers on twitter is engaging with others by replying others, following others. And making new and original tweets. In fact my automated tweets don’t get me followers as much as my own generated activities.

      • Yes, this has been my experience as well.

        I have been using Twitterfeed on and off for a couple of years. It is a great time saver and very easy to set up.

        However, I find that when I am completely reliant on it and I do not intersperse those Tweets with a few that I send manually I lose followers. This tells me that followers do want to know there is a real person behind the Twitter account with whom they can interact. This encourages me to spend the time to do the manual Tweets.

        • very very true. I use twitterfeed myself to update my website twitter account from its(website’s) RSS feed. However, I’ve never gained any followers with the contents from the tweet feed. Like I stated above, people(including me) don’t want to follow some auto-tweeter. Although, the story might be different if the twitter account is of a popular brand.

  2. This is really useful. It would save much time and effort. Logging in and out of different accounts just to post the same thing can be a cumbersome task. By doing this, you only need to log in once and type your message once. Most of my accounts are personal though, so I only have my personal friends as contacts or followers. My business twitter only has a few followers because I haven’t exactly established my business and haven;t provided any useful content connected to it. Thanks for the advice!

  3. I’m not sure I understand what the purpose of this is. Are you saying that you point your Twitter to your blog? Or do you point it to other people’s pages? If you point it to other people’s pages, is the purpose to link content that is associated with what you do and are an authority on? Any advice would be helpful!

    • I do not post many blog articles in a day. However I have well over 100 twitter updates in a day. This is achieved by feeding (rss) off many other blogs and websites. If you look at my twitter account and click on one of the tweets, it will most likely take you to someone else’s site. However I also have tweets to my own blog posts and sites. For example if you search for hashtag #ITMatters on Twitter, you will likely see many of my stuff.

  4. Thanks for this, David. This is very helpful. I just created a new account on Twitter, and, yes, my initial plan is to gain more followers. I believe that you’d get a lot of them if you have a certain platform, like you have one specific area where people can benefit from you. Right now, I’m still figuring out how to be an information center on Twitter because I don’t have my own website. Can you help me on this one? Should I start making my own? Thanks again!

    • You don’t need to have your own website to get your Twitter account started. The key is to figure out what types of updates you want to focus on. I chose Technology and Social Media. These are the news/info/updates I try to focus on. Don’t try to come up with unique content yourself at first, it is too overwhelming. Start simple with using rss feeds going into your twitter account using something like TwitterFeed.com

  5. I’ve heard of RSS before but I haven’t really figured out how it works. I might try it once I get a real twitter that’s focused on something I like. Currently, my twitter account just has random posts on what I’m thinking at that moment and it goes way off tangent from what I intended.

  6. I think its awesome how you can have you’re twitter automatically update by its self with out you doing. This could help out major businesses that don’t have time to post on twitter maybe about a new product or some thing coming out and they want to notify the public but they can’t because their way to busy.

  7. Interesting idea, I’ll have to try it. Maybe I can set up a joke twitter account, and then set it to automatically and regularly publish jokes or memes by itself, which will allow it to gain followers. Thank you for the advice!

  8. I had the same problem when I started out on twitter. It really is tough to gain followers even if you have great tweets initially.

    The only thing I learned from my experience is that it takes time and you have to keep at it to gain followers. Once you have an established base more and more come more easily.

    • The goal of twitter should not be to gain followers unless you have a product to sell. It is supposed to be a way to communicate with other people and enjoy the abbreviated writing of other people. I started my account with such intentions, not in order to gain a large following. There are multiple reasons why people use the technology.

  9. Thank you for explaining how to link the feed with Twitter! I don’t have great ambitions about my Twitter account. I am just a blogger and I share some news about books, reviews and sometimes giveaways. But I really wanted to connect my two blogs with it, just so they go together. I love how my Goodreads account automatically posts.
    Thanks again for the info 😀

  10. I too like many people recently joined Twitter but have been having trouble gaining followers. This article really has some helpful tips in order to give you options of gaining more followers. Will definitely use the info in this article to help me out.

  11. You may get some followers, but it’s just too difficult to hang on to some of them. People love playing this follow and then unfollow game, if you’re not following back. I will try and follow some of these recommendations and hope for the better.

    • That’s so true. Some people just don’t wanna stick through even if we have quality tweets, unless we follow them back.

      I guess the only simple way to get loads of twitter followers easily is to be a celebrity.

      • It’s been my experience that building a following can be a slow process if you do not have fame or notoriety, but it is not impossible.

        When I first started building up a following for one of my blogs about three years ago, I followed a lot of other people and blogs in my niche. Some followed back, and some didn’t. And yes, some did unfollow. I would have to say I have done some unfollowing as well.

        The Tweets from RSS feeds are very helpful and save a great deal of time, as David points out in the article. And it does work. I sometimes start to follow people based on such Tweets that are from RSS feeds. I would become curious and check out their profiles and Web sites and sometimes find them of interest.

        • Did you subscriber base increase over time? Did you blog get more hits as a result of the twitter feed? I often wonder if twitter is a gigantic waste of time for businesses, especially bloggers trying to attract attention to their blogs. Do you think it has been worth the time and effort so far?

          • Getting subscribers/followers is an interesting moving target with no magic recipe. I think everything works together as a whole. People don’t want to follow you if there is no content. It feels discouraging putting out content if no one is there to see it. However you need to realize building it up over time helps. Blog articles I wrote years ago are now being read as if they are new topics. Yet years ago it was a bit discouraging as it felt like no one noticed. RSS feeds for twitter are awesome. I feel it can be super powerful and has definitely had a positive impact for my own twitter account. Then by injecting occasional tweets pointing back to my blog, I now get more traffic from twitter to my blog, because of followers who are interested in my topics (tech and social media). Certainly when you first start out, it does not feel like it is worth the time. You need to ensure that you are doing it because you enjoy it. If it is not enjoyable at beginning, then it’s not going to work.

          • Yes, I do think it has been worth the time and effort. That’s in part because I enjoy the time I spend on Twitter to stay apprised of trending topics as well as topics specific to my niches. I agree with what David has said; if you don’t enjoy it then it isn’t worth it as you will come to think of it as drudgery. So I do feel that it’s time well spent from that perspective as well.

            I have seen some traffic to my blog as a result of Twitter. Also, I’ve had Tweets that were re-Tweeted, and that yields additional exposure and thus a greater likelihood of visits to my blog.

  12. Is this what capitalism has devolved into? A competition of web pages, blogs and twitter users to see who can create the most interest in their words and content? I guess that’s what happens when we automate labor and outsource in to third world hell-holes. There’s far too many people in first world countries compared to the number of jobs both occupied and available. Count me out of the tweeting business. I’m not going to tweet all day in order to generate a following in hopes of selling ad space. I’d rather panhandle on the street.

  13. Great tips on using twitter. I like the platform, but never felt I was using it as effectively as I could. Content and generating followers was one such way. This post was definitely helpful in solving that problem.

    I’d also emphasize the interaction. If you set up an account , answer tweets and interact with others. I have many businesses and people I follow who never do. I don’t expect much, just an acknowledgement “Thanks. Glad you like our product”.

    Just my 2 cents. Thanks again for the helful post.

    • That is also what I have noticed about twitter accounts owned by businesses. Many of them treat twitter like a public service announcement. A monologue rather than a dialogue. That is a monstrous business mistake. You want to interact with your customers! Respond to their tweets directed towards your business. Acknowledge that they exist!

  14. I have been doing this for some time now. I do caution people that they should remain highly active on their Twitter accounts outside of the auto-tweets, though. You mentioned this in your article, but it needs to be brought up again. I know that if I go to someone’s Twitter profile and see only constant tweets that seem to be nothing more than links I will be a little leery of their authenticity.

  15. I barely use Twitter due to the fact that it is kind of hard to get followers. This is some great information on how I can increase followers. I may try this just to see how the outcome will be.

  16. I was wondering how to get more followers on Twitter. I’ve been off the site for a while but decided to create a new Twitter account because I needed to promote my blog and now I know how I’ll get things moving.

    And as there are numerous people tweeting at any single time and most people are following over 1,000 people, tweeting frequency most likely will determine if your tweet gets seen by your followers.

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