The Newbies' Guide to Making Friends and Gaining Followers on Twitter


Follow me, please?? Pretty please?? With a cherry on top?? Oh, if only getting followers were only that easy. I know you don’t want to be the only person in the Twittersphere without friends, but you’ll be pleased to know gaining followers can be easier than you thought!

If you’re new to Twitter (or have no idea what Twitter even is), set up an account. Have you done that? Good! Congrats on setting up your Twitter account! (Better late than never, right?) Now that you’ve scavenged through all of the ways to spell or misspell your name because because apparently at least 50 other people in the world have the same exact name, let’s take some time to learn how to gain followers (and not bots — we’re talking actual people).

Find your BFFs

You’ll be surprised by the number of people you interact with on a normal basis who are already on Twitter. But to find them all, you don’t have to go type in each person’s name; that would possibly take you months, and there’s an easier way.

A quick way to search for potential followers is to upload your email contacts (and I promise this isn’t as hard as it sounds).

Start on the Home screen (which looks like this):


If you look on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see a box with the category Who to follow (see image after the next 2 paragraphs for visuals).

The first section provides suggestions based on people you already follow; in the beginning, it may seem random, but suggestions will get better as you continue.

But if you keep scrolling down, you’ll find the option titled Find people you know. Now, select either to import from your Gmail account or from another address book (options include: AOL (If you still use it, we won’t judge! Apparently the Director of the CIA still does, so why not?), Microsoft Outlook and Yahoo! Mail).


Easy, right? We told you it wouldn’t be that bad (but if you want more in-depth details, check out Twitter Help).

Make new friends

It’s okay to go out and make new friends on Twitter. Your old friends won’t miss out. There are a lot of ways to do this.

  • Search for top Twitter influencers in a specific field. You’ll find everyone from artists to activists to CEOs on Twitter.
  • Check out some of the new suggestions Twitter offers in the Who to follow section. Not all are great, but some are worthwhile.
  • Enjoy celebrities and sports? A lot of celebs and sports stars have Twitter accounts, and if your content is exciting, they might RT (retweet) or tweet you back (just ask our resident Twitter guru @yayayamie).

    WARNING: This isn’t Easter; avoid the egg


We get it; they are colorful and nice looking, but unless it’s Lady Gaga doing some sort of publicity stunt, the majority of the time, these are bots (programs that produce content or interact with tweets based on the content). Accept one and be ready for a swarm of other bots liking your page or content (and that’s not even mentioning the damage bots could do to your credibility). If you already have bots on your page or want to see if you do, read up on ways to identify them and block them.

Let’s talk …

Now that you’ve started following people (and hopefully some are following you back), it’s time to engage your audience with read-worthy content. People love to hear what others have to say; this is social media after all, so share and share often.

Not sure what to say? It’s OK. Twitter offers the opportunity to share content that others have created. Retweets and quoted retweets are ways to let people know you liked what they said or that you have more to add.



Looking for other ways to share third-party content? Trying retweeting articles from publications or news outlets you read, and come up with a witty way to lure in the audience (ask a question, scare them, etc.). Be sure to link the article and call out the source.

Join in on a Twitter chat

Find out what other people have to say by joining in on Twitter chats. A lot of companies (for example, AdWeek) offer weekly Twitter chats (and sometimes Periscope, but that’s for another post). They are a great way to engage with other people who share with your same interests and, to possibly find new people to follow (and hopefully follow you back), and they offers the potential to have a major brand or influencer reply/favorite/RT something you post (which extends the reach of your tweet).

Money can’t buy you friends….oh wait it can on Twitter

We’re not suggesting that you go out and bribe people to follow you (geez who do you take me as?). There is a better way to through Twitter Ads. Have an event coming up that you’d like to get in front of influencers or potential followers? Looking to promote your resume? Try setting up a paid account (looking for more details? just tweet us @goelastic or @ashton_beck; we’ll be happy to help).

Time to graduate

Now that you’ve learned the basics of Twitter and how to build and engage your new followers, Twitter won’t seem like a foreign playground. Go forth and make more friends, never stop tweeting and continue to learn!

And if you want more new tricks, come back Thursday for Four Tips to Enhance Your Twitter Experience!

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