I love when experiments work. Back in December I made a resolution to curate as much content as possible. After all, Guy Kawasaki claims that one key to social media success is largely (80%) curation. At the end of the 30 day period (today), I discovered that my new method has helped me grow twitter followers by 100+ every single week. I don’t use ads. I didn’t buy followers. I just tweeted a lot more.

And it takes me 5-10 minutes per day.

So I challenge you to try this method, and let me know how far you’ve grown in 30 days.

How I Grow Twitter Followers Each Week

The first thing I did was identify the keywords and hashtags that I wanted to be known for. This isn’t a required step, but if you’re looking to build credibility as someone knowledgeable about certain topics, it’s an important one. The topics that interest me are: entrepreneurship, social media, content marketing, SEO, personal branding and design-thinking.

I then decided to check for hashtags around those topics, so I went to RiteTag’s Hashtag Checker to see if they were popular tags. It turned out #branding was more popular than #personalbranding and #design was more popular than #designthinking, so I changed those two in my list.

Next it was time to set up my content sources. My favorite tool for this is feedly, and I went ahead and spoiled myself with an annual Pro membership for $45 (which works out to be $3.75 per month, or “less than one trip to my favorite coffee shop” per month). You can use the free version of feedly for this, it will just about five minutes to this method each day.

grow twitter followers with feedly

Here’s what my feedly home page looks like. You can see the search bar with suggestions on the right and a list of sources I follow on the left.

Once in feedly, I searched for sources related to the hashtag topics I had decided upon. Often feedly offers curated lists around more common topics, so I made sure to add those to save time. I also looked up some experts (like Guy Kawasaki himself) so I could add his lists for certain topics. He had one for science and research that I liked a lot, so I added it! In no time at all, I had over 100 article sources in my feedly. Nice.

In feedly Pro, I’m able to share articles straight from feedly. In the free version you’ll need to click through to the original source of the article in order to share it.

Curating Content to Grow Twitter Followers

While you can absolutely do this step with free tools, I decided to try Buffer’s “awesome plan” this month for $10. This allows me to buffer up to 200 posts at a time so I don’t need to worry about scheduling Tweets every day. To be honest this really comes in handy on Monday mornings when most of the biggest stories of the week tend to break and my feedly is filled with incredible content to share. You can use a free plan with Buffer, but it limits you to ten posts per day. This is all you’ll need for Twitter, so you really could do all of this without spending a dime.

grow twitter followers with buffer

This was my month of posts on buffer. I even missed two days. The 9th was my 30th birthday though, so I’ll give that a pass.

 

SO. For January, whenever I saw an article I liked, I read it in my feedly and then buffered it. I set up ten different posting times a day for Twitter within the buffer app, and then five for LinkedIn. It has been a pretty easy way to grow Twitter followers and I noticed that while I didn’t gain more LinkedIn followers using this method, I certainly received more profile views and post engagement.

I also set it up within feedly Pro that whenever I shared within the app, it would automatically append the topic as a hashtag. You can do this by clicking on “More” at the bottom of the left sidebar, then clicking on “Preferences.” After that, you’ll see the option to “append hashtags” and should select “Yes.”  That means any tweets from articles in my “Design” topic feed ended with #design. This also means everything gets a #feedly added, but I tend to delete that since I already paid them and don’t always have the space for both tags.

The “append tweets” preference saves me a step, but if you’re using free plans, remember to add the topic as a hashtag for the posts you share. This is crucial, because hashtags are how new followers find you.

The last thing I did was follow back anyone who followed me. I believe in reciprocity on Twitter, so as long as you’re not a spambot, you can connect with me follow-for-follow.

A Daily Habit

That’s it! For 5-10 minutes each morning I visit my feedly to read and share the 10 best articles of the day on Twitter to grow Twitter followers. I’m not as on top of LinkedIn right now, but every now and then I find a really top notch article I’ll share on both networks. Since my LinkedIn feed isn’t as crowded as Twitter, I’m a lot more selective about how much I post.

I began with 1297 followers, and clocked in at 1918 after six weeks. Average gain: 103 net new followers per week!

Final Thoughts

I wonder if my gain in followers may be higher than average because people who follow those hashtags are more prone to follow others. This isn’t something I’ve done regularly yet, but you could also stack the odds in your favor by following other people who are tweeting about the topics you enjoy, thereby initiating the Twitter reciprocity (follow back) principle. Try it if you don’t see results after the first three days.

“Twitter Pop” Photo credit: Jared W. Smith via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA