Why Buy Twitter Followers? 10 Things You Need To Know About Followers Campaigns On Twitter
Columnist Larry Kim explains the ins and outs of launching an effective Twitter Followers campaign. Have you tried it out yet?
Do you want to accelerate the growth of your Twitter follower count?
Do you want to increase your organic reach on Twitter but find that the “best practices” and “top tips” that promise to deliver thousands of new followers really aren’t working?
Okay, I have a solution for you.
You should consider buying Twitter followers.
Here are 10 things you need to know so you can create ridiculously effective Twitter Followers campaigns.
1. Go Legit: Why Fake Followers Suck
Let’s be clear from the start. I’m not suggesting that you buy 5,000 followers for your Twitter account for $5 from some shady website like this one:
No. Buy a cup of coffee instead.
What value do you get from having 250,000 followers if you’re getting anywhere from zero to three retweets from them? None.
Fake followers won’t make you influential. Fake followers won’t retweet you, reply to you, click on your links or engage with you in any meaningful way.
Furthermore, it looks weird to have so many followers with very little engagement.
You want to buy real followers. Legitimate followers. Actual people who are interested in what you have to say, enough so that they want to follow and engage with you.
Fake followers are a terrible investment. Having real Twitter followers provides significantly more long-term benefits than any “cheap” deals you’ll find.
2. What Is A Followers Campaign?
Rather than buying fake followers, buy real followers. You can do so using a Twitter Followers campaign.
Twitter provides Followers campaigns as a way for you to grow your audience size in a smarter, more targeted way.
These ads appear in timelines, the Who to Follow area and Twitter search results. Twitter will add a line that the tweet is promoted by your Twitter account, whether it’s personal, brand or business.
3. Followers Campaign Setup Is Super-Easy
A Twitter Followers campaign will help you reach those real people you want to follow your account. Here’s how to set one up:
- Sign into the Twitter account you want to run a campaign for.
- Visit Twitter Ads.
- Click Create New Campaign > Followers.
- Name your campaign.
- Tell Twitter when you want the campaign to run (immediately and continuously, or with start and end dates).
- Select your audience.
- Set your budget.
- Compose or select a tweet you want to promote.
And away you go!
4. Who You Can Target
After you’ve created your campaign in Twitter Ads, you can target people by:
- Twitter ID
Further targeting options allow you to target influencers or people who have visited your website in the past, or you can use custom lists (e.g., a list of email addresses you’ve collected).
To be clear, when you use “Follower Targeting,” you aren’t buying anyone’s followers with a Twitter Followers campaign. You are targeting ads at certain people who are similar to a user or users you specify.
For example, let’s say you specify @mattmcgee as an account as part of your follower targeting. By doing this, you aren’t targeting Matt McGee’s followers, and you aren’t getting a list of those people.
What Twitter does is take it as a seed and then cast a much wider net to find people who are similar to those who are among Matt’s followers. Based on our internal data, that net is about 10X bigger — meaning only one in 10 people who follow us back as a result of our Follower campaign actually follow Matt; the other nine are all similar to his Twitter followers.
5. New Followers Are Surprisingly Cheap
A Followers campaign is auction-based. You tell Twitter how much you’re willing to pay per new follower. (Note: Even though you’ll set a maximum bid, it usually costs substantially less.)
You can grab a bigger impression share if you’re willing to pay more. Lowering your bid means you’ll reach fewer people in your target audience.
Let’s look at an example:
This Twitter Followers campaign brought me 223 new followers.
The cost: $23.07. That’s just $0.10 per follower.
My maximum bid was set at $0.50 per new follower. So why wasn’t I charged $111.50? Because my ad produced a one-percent follow rate; the expected follow rate is 0.1 percent.
Your cost per follower is inversely proportional to the follow rate. Get your engagement rate up, and your costs will go way down.
6. You’ll Earn Free Ad Impressions, Engagements, Website Traffic
If someone clicks on a link that leads to your website, views your profile page, retweets you or engages with your promoted tweet in any other way, you don’t pay.
Again, Twitter Followers campaigns charge on a pay-per-follow basis, so you only pay when someone follows you. (Note: No, you don’t get a refund if one of your new Twitter followers subsequently unfollows you, unfortunately.)
Because the typical follow rate is 0.1 percent, that means 99.9 percent of the time your ads show, you pay nothing.
My $23.07 investment bought me more than 223 new followers. It also resulted in 38,306 ad impressions, 144 clicks (like profile views and so on), four retweets and one reply.
A Followers campaign drives so many forms of free engagement, it dramatically increases your return on investment.
7. Do: Ignore Some Of Twitter’s “Best Practices”
Twitter offers five “best practices” for Followers campaigns:
- Do: Include “follow us” in your Tweet.
- Do: Let the user know why they should follow you.
- Do: Craft a clear bio and use a professional background image on your profile, as users will usually click on the profile page before deciding to follow an account.
- Don’t: Add extra links that distract from the Follow button. We will not expand any additional links or pictures.
- Don’t: Add excessive hashtags that may distract from following.
No. This is crazy. Don’t follow this advice. Because Twitter is wrong.
Don’t ask people to follow you. Don’t tell a user why they should follow you. Ever.
Nobody will follow you on Twitter because you ask them to or because you tell them you’re so smart or that your brand offers the most spectacular deals.
So what should you do?
8. Share Your Most Awesome Content
People want to discover engaging content. So make sure your Followers campaign tweet gives people an outstanding piece of content.
Your tweet should have proven value (one that has generated tons of views or engagements). Maybe it includes an amazing visual, such as an infographic, or maybe it’s the best-performing tweet you’ve ever tweeted.
Show, don’t tell. People will follow you because you provide value, are useful, or are just cool, funny, entertaining or interesting.
For example, in my Followers campaign, I shared this funny article and specifically targeted SEOs because I thought they would enjoy it.
In fact, this story turned out to be the single most Facebook-shared story on Search Engine Land last year.
Be awesome. It’s that simple.
The more awesome you are, the more people will follow you, and the more people who will engage with and share your content.
9. Advanced Targeting: Custom Lists
So what if you really want to just target all the people who follow a certain Twitter account? Or maybe target the people who follow the Twitter account of, say, your competitor?
You can download a list of those followers and then add Twitter’s custom audiences to your Followers campaign.
How do you get such a list? One place you can check out is BirdSong Analytics. It’s not free — for example, it costs $72.97 if you want to target @MarketingLand’s followers with your Followers campaign.
After you have your list, take it to Twitter Ads and upload it. Now you can actually target the followers of whatever account you want. Wow!
This is kind of like social media judo, where you’re using someone’s own list against them.
Note: Once you have this list in your Audience Manager, you can use it to target future promoted tweets, as well, not just for use on Followers campaigns. You can target specific people rather than similar audiences. Generally, better ad targeting should raise your engagement rates and further lower cost per follower.
10. Advanced: Terminate The Bots
One of the challenges of buying followers is you’re going to get some bot followers. Twitter is like a dumping ground for spam bots. Some bots will just follow people based on the “who to follow” lists.
You’re paying for this stuff. You don’t want to pay for fake followers. That defeats the whole purpose!
Here’s a crazy hack to eliminate followback spam:
- Use remarketing as targeting: By doing this, your ads are only going to show up to people who have visited your site. It’s unlikely that those bots have both visited your site and are scraping Twitter.
- Just do list-based targeting: Only target accounts that correspond to emails, Twitter IDs and phone numbers of your customers/prospects, or people (influencers) you’re interested in gaining as followers.
Just say no to fake Twitter followers. Follower count is just a vanity metric. Concentrate on attracting quality followers.
Real followers have real benefits. Amassing real followers is what will increase your reach, engagement and influence on Twitter.
Once Twitter recognizes you as an influencer, you’ll reap even greater benefits, such as having your tweets curated by the platform (in search results, email digests and so on).
The value of Followers campaigns isn’t limited to the number of followers you gain. Because you’re only paying for followers, you will drive a ton of free ad impressions, clicks and retweets.