A little bluebird told me…

So how does a no-name schmo like me get 2,000 followers? It’s not as hard as you might think. Once you know which markets to tap, it’s actually pretty easy and doesn’t cost as much as you might think. And don’t freak out – I’m not talking about money cost. Trust me for a bit and all will be made clear.
The simple one-liner answer to the question is this: follow people who will follow you back. All you have to look for is their follower to following ratio. The closer to even these two numbers are, the better the odds that they will follow you back. Sometimes they’ll follow back without any regard for who you are and what you say. This has a downside, of course, which is that they have a purpose for doing this. For example, one of the demographics I’ve found is indie writers. They want to pile up as many followers as they can, so they offer to follow back. The reason for the pile, though, is so more people will receive their self-pub tweets; it’s a marketing ploy, basically. So follow these folks, but be prepared to get a lot of “buy my book” tweets from them. (I have a ton of them in my list, so for me it’s no big deal.)
The handy-dandy way around seeing all of those “junk tweets” is to set up lists of the people whose tweets you want to read. Then you can just read your lists and ignore the main feed. Of my 2,200ish followings, I have roughly 300 in lists (sorted into categories because I’m weird). I bounce through my lists about twice a day, whereas I skim the main feed maybe once a week, just to see if anybody’s saying anything interesting. I tweak my lists as needed based on that skim.
Another key to getting followers is to interact with people. This is a simple idea that most people don’t think about – Twitter is a communication tool. Oh sure, some tweeps forget that and post what they had for lunch or what they think about something they read, with no concern for a response. They don’t care what you think; they just want you to read their comments. But that’s not the point. The point is to share, not to profess. And people respond to that. I’ve had really nice conversations on Twitter with people from across the spectrum – people with 200 followers and people with 200,000 or more.
(By the way, even the cool ones post pictures of their lunch from time to time. You learn to ignore it. Cat pictures are basically the same – literally the same in some circles, but I digress.)
Some of the absolute coolest people to follow on Twitter are the comic book creators. The ones who are active are some of the funniest, most creative folks you’ll find out there. A few of my favorites: Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Patrick Zircher, Francesco Francavilla, and Steve Niles. Hardly an exhaustive list, but enough to get you started. And to be fair, I don’t always agree with everything they say. Some of them can get downright political sometimes, but I can overlook that and it’s totally worth it. (They aren’t usually the type that will follow back, either, just to be clear. Doesn’t matter. If all you follow is those who follow back, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.)
As far as I know, these are not secrets. (If they are, my deepest apologies to the secret masters.) Ultimately it’s about finding people who share your interests. And you’re not going to force anyone to do that. Just don’t lose track of your interests along the way; getting followers should not be your main interest here. Get your geek on and let the rest happen naturally.

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