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Updated 5 Feb 2016

How To Get Free Twitter Followers Without Following Back

I know you haven't come here to be told that the best way to grow your twitter is by creating great content and sending out awesome tweets. I'll assume that you are already doing this, and that you send out tweets that would make Jack Dorsey shed tears of joy. And I'll assume that you already know that this will not actually grow your twitter, although it will make your feed a nice place to hang out.
What I am going to do is give you some solid tips for attracting one-way follows i.e. getting people to follow you without following them back. Of course, if there is someone you want to connect with then you should absolutely follow them, but I'll leave this distinction up to you.
A word of warning though, it can take years to build a loyal and large audience, especially if you are not following people in return. There's nothing wrong with this approach (I'm quite selective about who I follow too) but it does take hard work, and patience...
The key is this: If you want to people to follow you then you need to help them discover you. Here are some free things you can do to create awareness for your profile.

Get featured for free

A good way to create awareness is by getting featured prominently in a large online community. It's like putting yourself up on a billboard for all to see, and it can grow your account by hundreds of followers each day, without having to resort to trickery.



The only downside is that it costs money to promote yourself this way. Everyone wants airtime, and top featured slots are highly sought after. This is where you need to be creative. Ask yourself what you can do to EARN a featured slot for free.
I'll use twiends as an example, but you could use this approach for any website. Normally you would purchase featured impressions on twiends, but what if there was a way get a free sponsorship? What do you have (talent, skill, reach, creativity) that you can offer twiends in exchange? Are you an awesome writer? Do you make amazing videos or infographics? Do you run a successful blog? Reach out to those offering featured promotion and offer your amazing-incredible-highly-valuable services.
Of course, if you just email us asking to be featured then you are not going to get anywhere. But if you are willing to put a bit of effort in and create an enticing value proposition for us, then we may listen.

Feel free to approach us
Honestly, reach out to us if you'd like to offer your services in exchange for some free featured impressions. But please don't be offended if we say no - our bar is very high. Please give us references and examples when contacting us. Remember the problems we are trying to solve and help us solve them: We want to attract more users and we want to wow these users with incredible info, services, and solutions.


Guest post on prominent blogs

If you have a knack for writing, then guest posting is a great way to increase your reach. Every post you publish becomes a source of traffic for your twitter account. If people like your ideas and insight, then they may click through and follow you.
I know this sounds like bull, but it really isn't. The last 20 people I've followed have all been authors I've come across recently. This is a slow and steady approach, but it can yield great results for many years into the future. Here are a few things to keep in mind though.
  • TechCrunch will not publish you on day 1 - approach smaller websites first.
  • Most publications will want to see examples of your writing before accepting your submissions.
  • Build up a solid portfolio of 5 to 10 good articles.
  • Use these articles when approaching editors and site owners.
  • Once you are established you can start approaching larger sites like Entrepreneur, Hubspot, etc.
  • Make sure you link your twitter profile in your author bio.


Do webinars, videos, podcasts, etc.

This latches on nicely with the previous approach of guest posting. Find ways to demonstrate your knowledge, talent, or whatever. Videos and webinars are a great way to do this, especially if you are an expert in a certain field.
Do you know where the best bagel shops are in your city? Make a video about them. Better yet, if it's a really good video then approach a website that has a food / restaurant section for your city and offer them exclusivity to post it.

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Tweets, chats, and events

You want to be tweeting regularly so that people can see your stuff. Just retweeting others and sending out inspirational quotes is not going to cut it. Try and find ways to insert yourself into topical conversations. Twitter chats are a great way to do this, or tweeting interesting snippets from an event.
Please don't spam though. Inserting yourself into conversations means adding value to conversations. Just tweeting AT people is spam and doesn't add any value to their feed. This will get you blocked.



I'm not saying you shouldn't send out inspirational stuff. You should, but remember that everyone is doing this now. So be original and make it about something that people actually care about.
If you have inside access to an event then tweet about it. These days you may not be the only one tweeting from the event, but others may follow you to keep up with what's happening.



Run a follow contest

If you have something you can give away, then consider running a contest. Let people know that you'll pick a winner from your followers, and then publicise it. If your prize is really good then you may be able to get some free publicity for it from bloggers in your niche. You can offer other entry options too, such as retweeting.



Just make sure you read twitter rules for contests first. They're not very stringent, but you need to cross you t's and dot your i's.

More ideas

To be honest, the list of things you can do is endless. Here are a couple more ideas from our playbook:
  • Do interviews - on the radio, in podcasts, etc.
  • Host a debate - between two influential personalities.
  • Offer deals - if you run a business.
  • Speak at an event - and make sure people see your twitter handle.
  • Embed your tweets - if you have a website.
  • Join twiends - you don't have to follow others.


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