How to get 5,000 followers on Twitter, for free, part two

KeepCalmAndTweetOne of my most popular blog posts so far was the one I wrote on how to get 5,000 followers on Twitter free and without scams. If you are just starting out on Twitter I’d suggest you first take a look at my original post.  You can read that one here.

I thought I’d offer some more Twitter tips for those who are interested as there’s clearly an appetite for info on how to grow and do well on this popular social platform. I’m fond of Twitter and currently have more than 15,000 followers at @ChilledCh these are all real people with no sock puppet accounts bought from some dodgy Twitter salesman. You’d be surprised how many people with large accounts on Twitter seem to have gone down that road!

My key advice for those looking to grow their Twitter numbers is this – try not to see Twitter in terms of ‘followers’ but instead think of them as two-way connections. You need first to follow and connect with people in order for some to connect with you in return.

Here’s a few things I find helpful to me when using Twitter which you might also find work for you.

Don’t overdo the product promotion!

Lots of people use Twitter just for fun, news, keeping in touch with friends and so on. Others, like me, also use it because they have something they want to tell people about. In my case it’s my novel Song of the Sea God.

But I’ve noticed that some people on Twitter do this extraordinarily badly. It’s perfectly possible to tweet the link to your book or other product every hour on the hour until the end of time, but that doesn’t mean that’s what you should do. Less is more as they say. You can put an audience off on Twitter just the same as on any other medium. I much prefer to talk about other things and promote my blog, which people can read for free, than promote my book. They can find that it they wish, and, to help them, I tweet an occasional link to one of the places they can download free sample  – never more than once a day and usually not even that often.

However many people you manage to encourage to follow you on Twitter you will find you lose them again just as quickly if you spam them.


I’d say this is my favourite of the tools I use to keep track of my Twitter account. At its basic level it is free and you can use it to find who has unfollowed you, who is not following back, which accounts are long-term inactive and so on. Then you can react accordingly by dropping these accounts and finding other people who do want to interact with you on Twitter. You are limited to 50 a day for free but I’ve found that’s fine with the numbers I need to manage.


There are a number of useful services out there which enable you to manage your output on Twitter. A very popular one is Tweetdeck which you download as a small programme. Lots of people like it and you might want to give it a try. Another one is Hootsuite, and that’s the one I prefer, having tried them both. You might think differently once you’ve tried them out – It’s a bit of a ‘you pays your money and takes your choice’ kind of a deal, except you don’t have to pay money as these are free services at their basic entry-level.

What Hootsuite does is allow you to manage your social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter all from one screen. But its killer app for me is the ability to schedule your tweets. Let’s say you want to tell people in a different time zone about your new blog post or about an American or Australian site where your book or other work is available. Or perhaps you want to reach people who are active on Twitter while you are out at work. Now you can type in the tweet and schedule using the calendar – simple. Don’t let it tempt you down the road to automated spamming though – that way madness lies.


All Twitter users know the value of a link shortener in a medium where every character counts and if you go over 140 you can’t press send. In my view Bitly has an important advantage over the others available such as Tiny Url. And that advantage is the ability to track the number of people who have acted on your link. So if you have a link where it matters how many people look at it over time and where they come from then you can create a Bitly link and use it each time you need to tweet or Facebook the link. It’s great – you get a graph, a map of the world, and everything.


This is an interesting way to see how your social media is stacking up – and compare it to others in your circle. Basically it boils down your interactions on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms and expresses them as a simple score out of 100. If your aim is to grow on social media a rising score can be a clear indication you are achieving that.

So there’s some of what has helped me grow and develop my presence on Twitter – free to you for being kind enough to visit my blog.

If you were interested in this post you might want to take a look at these others which also offer tips:

How to get more views on your blog.

Advice on how to find a publisher for your book

An interview with my publisher about what they are looking for in a book they take on.

Song of the Sea God visualDon’t forget if you get a moment to take a look at my book Song of the Sea God.

You can look inside to read the first few pages free and download a free Kindle sample for UK readers here. And for readers in the USA here.

18 thoughts on “How to get 5,000 followers on Twitter, for free, part two

  1. I have seen some people advise against using the automated tweet feature at all because it (1) can make you look heartless if a major disaster happens and (2) loses you the critical opportunity to respond to people who respond to you within 1 hour.

    Do you think either of these impact your strategy, and do you have any methods of reducing the risks?

    • I think – don’t use it too much – is the key thing Dave. So long as we use our common sense about it we should be fine. I don’t think the disaster thing is a worry unless you are a big corporation who might look bad in those circumstances. And most people react to a link by clicking on it or retweeting it so it’s not crucial you are around to monitor reactions. You are right to be cautious though – I think overuse of automation is one of the single biggest problems people get themselves in on Twitter.

  2. I am not a real Twitter user, Chris. I can see that. I have no clue about these tools – never heard of them before reading this (except maybe ‘justunfollow’)! I like Twitter for the way it’s introduced me to like-minded people (you and Carol, for example) and the articles it links to, but with only around 600 follows/followers I know I don’t use it to its full potential. I’m impressed by all this! I’m more of a blogger and FB’er, but then not that much there either except in the holidays 🙂

    • Everyone finds their own level on this stuff don’t they? And so long as you are getting what you want out of it that’s fine. Tips like these are just intended to helpe people make the most of Twitter and solve problems and issues for people – if you don’t have the problems then there’s no need for the solutions.

      • Chris, that’s the real point, isn’t it? I *would* like to get more out of it, but I know it would take a bit more effort on my side. I guess it’s like everything in life, you get what you give. Perhaps this should be my NY resolution 😀

  3. The other thing that has helped me is using hashtags …like #UKAD or #BYNR and then going on the site and re-tweeting other writers. This has brought some nice people on board, but also extended my presence into other areas. Good post.

    • Yes hashtags have their place don’t they? I haven’t mentioned them in either of my blog posts on Twitter. I do use them – but I find people who are new to Twitter tend to assume they are more important in the scheme of things than they really are. Whereas old hands like you and I Carol know they are a useful bookmark or indexing tool.

  4. Pingback: How to get 5000 followers on Twitter – without paying a penny! | songoftheseagod

  5. Thanks for the straightforward advice – I also looked at Part 1 – as a newbie very valuable advice. Many things I didn’t know. My teenage children advice me a bit, but it’s a bit different from their prospective of course.

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