How to build an email list- Finding the Followers You Want and Need on Twitter


They say Twitter is the author capital of the world. Not really, but Twitter really is the place for Authors and Readers. Without hesitation, let’s just jump right in and start building followers.

  1. First, make a list of authors whose writing style and genre are similar to your own. Think about when your WIP is published; which authors would you want to endorse your book with a back-cover blurb? Brainstorm and try to come up with a list of 5-10 authors.
  2. If you can’t think of any off the top of your head, go to amazon and do a quick search for your WIP’s genre, and look at the top 100 bestselling books. Any names you recognize? Better yet, any authors you’ve read?  Great, add them to your list.
  3. Next, go to Twitter and search for those authors. What are they tweeting? What are they commenting on? Which of their tweets have the most engagements? Now, how many followers do they have? See where I’m going with this? Keep reading.

lt anderson, authorsLook at the people who are following the authors on your list. Ultimately, you’ll want to follow those author’s followers. There are a couple of ways you can go about determining who to follow:

You can go balls-out and follow EVERYONE, but that might be slightly frowned upon by Twitter and may get your account suspended.

You can follow the first 20-40 followers at the top of the list and leave it at that. You never know, random selection works well for some people.

Or, you can use our approach which requires a lot more time, effort and thought, but works.

Here’s what we do:

Ratios- We follow people who have a 10:1 following-to-follower ratio, or better. Why? Because people who are following more than they have followers tend to be more easy going when it comes to reciprocating. These are the people that are actively engaging and trying to work the system to get out there and be a part of the social community.

Original Content- We tend to follow people who post mostly positive, humorous or informational original content. It makes it more enjoyable for us to not only scroll through their feed, but positive, humorous and informational tweets make it easier to engage with that person by liking, commenting or retweeting. Original content can also give you an idea or two for a future website or blog post.

Retweets- We just mentioned how we like people that post original content. That’s true, but we also like people that retweet. This is a great asset in a potential follower, because if they retweet other people, they might just retweet you. That one retweet can take your original tweet from an engagement of 500 people to an engagement of 5,000 or 50,000 people. All you need is one retweet to get the ball rolling.

Shout outs and Praises- This is huge. This is something we love to see, and you should too. One thing every author should understand is by shouting out, recognizing, praising another author, you’re doing both of you a favor.

Here’s an example: If we retweet Craig Wesley Wall, while giving him a @CraigWesleyWall shout out, we’ve just reached all of our followers. If Craig Wesley Wall likes, comments on, or retweets our retweet, now we’ve reached not only all our followers, but all of Craig Wesley Wall’s 1000+ followers as well. See?

If a person has all these factors, we follow them. So now what?

Now you have to be social.

This is where some people might drop off. Yes, you have to be social on social media. Following new people will boost your followers. However, if you leave it at that and only follow but don’t actively engage afterwards, you’re going to lose your followers. You have to engage them.

Engaging followers is simple. A simple like, retweet, comment, original tweet, they all work wonders. Just make sure you’re not flooding your new followers with too many engagements.

We tend to stick to a one engagement per 15-minute rule. After 15 minutes, your previous engagement is buried somewhere in the Twitter-verse, which is very deep.

The easiest way we’ve found to keep this momentum going to by setting a schedule. If you love working social media, you shouldn’t have an issue. If you’re like us, and social media is what you consider “work”, a schedule might be the way to go.

Monday – Friday is our “engagement” time. We like, tweet, retweet, comment, etc. typically only at night since we both work full-time jobs.

Saturday’s are when we look for new followers. We try to follow 10-20 new people while continuing to engage our current followers.

Sunday, we review our followers from the previous Saturday. If someone hasn’t engaged us with a comment, like, retweet, etc. we unfollow them. Yes, you will have to unfollow people that don’t follow you back. Don’t worry though. You’re not losing anything. If after a week someone isn’t following you, odds are they’re not going to. This isn’t always 100%, but it’s a good rule of thumb. Plus, we don’t hold it against them – they have their thing and we have ours. No hard feelings.

Then, just like your shampoo bottle says, Rinse, Lather and Repeat. Every week. Give this plan a good solid try, and let us know how it’s working for you. Give us a shout out in the comments below, and be sure to sign up for our email list for next week’s article on How to build an email list- Finding Your Future Readers on Other Author Websites.

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