Oh boy, this is a tricky headline. How many fantastic writers out there reflected about the fact that you should be going for quality instead of quantity?

On kicking off great conversations instead of increasing followers? On helping out others and promoting others instead of focusing on yourself? And now this?

There is even this great quote I used many times: Thinking that your follower count defines your success on Twitter is so 2008.

Yet, here I am, telling you that it is important to get more Twitter followers. Before you storm off, please let me explain a little which angle I am taking here.


Quality is key, Quantity can’t be forgotten

Blogger Daniel Sharkov, someone I truly respect for his thoughts on Social Media, once said:

“No matter how much you engage with others and how quality your tweets are, getting results with 200 followers can hardly happen.”

This is something I very much agree with. I also believe that the two go together. So the higher quality your tweets and the more you engage, the more followers you will get.

The case Daniel is making is clear. If you aim to reach a larger audience, you will naturally need a certain following you can reach out too. The focus you are taking here is the point to be argued about. Falling for a “Get thousands of followers in days” – scam-software might not be the one I would recommend.

Fortunately, there are other ways.


Build Your Following On The Side

So even though the focus shouldn’t lie on getting followers, there are a few simple things you can do to build a larger audience. These are a few of the small things we have put in place:

    • Use the new Twitter follow button



    • Mention your Twitter username in the sidebar



  • Have your Twitter username as author’s name for blogposts




  • Put your Twitter username into your author bio when guestposting




  • Sign your emails with your Twitter username
  • Make it easy for users of your product to follow you inside or outside your landing page


Here I found that it is key to have covered the basics. The principle I am following is not to rub people’s noses too much into it. Rather, if they want to connect with you, make it easy for them.




How many followers is enough?

This is something I found very tricky to answer. I wouldn’t dare to name a figure. Instead, I think it is more important that your subtle hints to follow you are working. And that your engagement is growing with it. If you are growing at a pace that you are happy with, you are getting more conversations, then you are on the right track.

In my experience, a certain snowball effect applies. If you have laid out a few easy to find traces, people will naturally follow you more and more.


Why getting more followers is not important

At the end of the day, it all depends on your Twitter use case. What are you using Twitter for? What do you want to get out of it?

If you are not in a publisher position at all and simply care for the great and easy way to connect, the mentioned points might not be for you. Objectives will be entirely different and I hope I haven’t confused you in that case.

In either way, the focus should never lie on followers. In several cases, I think considering it is key though.


Ok, over to you. This is a very delicate area I think. One were the chosen angle on a topic can make all the difference. Do you think followers matter?





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Written by Leo Widrich

Co-founder and COO at Buffer. I enjoy working on company culture, customer development and marketing. For more personal posts, check out leostartsup.

  • I’ve often heard the argument that those who are unconcerned with their follower counts are “just saying that because no one wants to follow them”…

    Personally, I could care less how many followers I actually have at the end of the day. My general goal for twitter is to engage with “relevant” individuals who share what I am passionate about and take in as much knowledge as possible. Anything else is an added bonus…

    Obviously, great content, authenticity, and timely thought leadership will drive follower acquisition. I am all about making yourself easily accessible and agree with your listed tactics.

    I also completely agree with Daniel Sharkov. Without having a critical mass of followers (ex: the 1K threshold), there are certainly missed opportunities. However, this threshold is dictated by the individual’s experience and objectives with twitter. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would have elected to follow me had I surpassed their threshold, but I’m entirely cool with this…

    • Hi Eric,

      Thanks for stopping by, yes, I think you are absolutely right and from the goals you have chosen it makes a lot of sense to pursue this strategy.

      Glad you like Daniel’s quote, indeed, I think it gets tricky if one operates below this threshold. 

      Yes, I think overall it also takes some time, so there is nothing to worry about I believe 🙂

    • Well said Eric! It’s all about engaging with like-minded individuals and strategic planning.

      But yes, I also agree that with large numbers your potential for increased exposure in return increases. Your ability to reach 2000 targeted followers is great; your ability to reach 20K targeted followers is awesome!

      The only time I think it becomes irrelevant is for those that don’t use this medium effectively by being “social”.

      Great post Leo. You’ve mentioned some great ways to increase your following. I especially like the twitter on the sidebar idea. Now if only you’d write a post on how to do that. lol 😉


      • Awesome, thanks for stopping by Michele. 

        Yep, absolutely, growth always needs to be in line with staying social, this is the most crucial part like you point out.

        Oh right, haha, thanks for the heads up. A big post on blog optimization is definitely under way, but first we need to optimise some more! 🙂 

  • Nice post, Leo. I see your Twitter handle hidden there in the post footer :).
    Most newcomers on Twitters have not yet learned that Follower # does not equal engagement. Therefore, like it or not, a large Follower Total can have a positive first impression.
    However, it’s very important that you, the owner of the account, does not confuse Followers with successful engagement or influence.

    When comes to tracking growth of followers, we like think our dashboard does a nice job visualizing your stats over time: http://twitsprout.com

    Cheers Leo.

    • Hi Dan,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, absolutely true, it doesn’t equal engagement and this needs to be the focus.

      Sure, I think TwitSprout is a great tool to visualise that and to track things, thanks for pointing it out! 🙂

  • Philip Mostert

    Great article :> @philipmostert:twitter

  • Great article Leo. I think if you have an equal balance of following and followers you involved within different communities and spreading your brand rather than these accounts that want everyone to follow them but follow the least amount of people.

  • Pingback: 6 Research-Backed Ways to Get More Followers on Twitter, Facebook, G+, and More | CrimmCo Social()

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