Follow the Leader: How to Nab Top-Tier Industry Influencers as Followers On Twitter


So, you’ve taken on a new client and are responsible for not only creating the brand’s official Twitter account, but for arming it with with an ever-expanding group of loyal, industry-specific followers. 

Sounds simple enough, right? 

Well, if you’re like me and have done this a time or two, you understand that’s not the easiest of tasks. Anybody can hop online and follow and unfollow a few hundred people each and every week.

That’s not really the point. If your goal is to simply build an impressive number of followers, things should be just fine. 

That said, if you want top-tier industry influencers to see, interact with and promote your content, you’ll need a bit more strategic discipline. Here’s what you can look forward to:

Constant Interaction

No, this doesn’t mean you should start asking people to follow you. That’s about as pathetic as it gets. Instead, opt for subtle social interaction. 

After following one of an industry’s most reputable accounts, tweet to it about some of the content that’s being published. In time, you could even go as far as asking a question about something specific of theirs that you found interesting in your Twitter feed. 

While you might not get a response, keep at it. 

Persistence—without being annoying, of course—will pay dividends. Soon enough, your Twitter handle will receive something in return. 

Additionally, retweet and favorite posts that truly stand out to you as being interesting. This isn’t an invitation to take things to an extreme, but the occasional use of this tactic is highly effective.

Awesome Content

There’s no getting around this. If your content blows chunks, nobody is going to interact with it, let alone follow you back. 

Original images and videos are great for this, but you can even take things a step further by linking your client’s blog to a designated Twitter account. That way, any and all published content is automatically shared on Twitter for people to see. 

Consider doing something similar, but with any one of an industry’s leading Twitter accounts. 

For example, the next time you’re composing a blog post, reference a published piece from another thought leader within your client’s specific field of interest. By so doing, when it comes time for a Tweet’s copy to be produced, handle tagging can naturally occur.

Once again, I just want to emphasize the importance of quality content. Don’t cut corners with this or you’ll never have influential eyes pouring over your tweets.

Direct Messaging

If we were dealing with a real romantic relationship, you could say that this is the hand hold right before the kiss. Just so there’s no confusion, the hand hold is the DM conversation and the kiss is the subsequent social relationship that develops. 

Basically, DMs are seen as a way to solidify said relationship. Needless to say, after a number of days, weeks or even months, this can come as a relief.

However, it’s important to remember that a DM can only be sent and received between two accounts that are already following each other.

Whatever the level of experience you have with Twitter might be, it’s vital that you have the best accounts following you. The real beauty of Twitter is its ability to take the very link a tweet is promoting and build it into something substantial. 

If you’re serious about Twitter, take the necessary time to implement each of the aforementioned suggestions. Trust me—you’ll be surprised at what you’ll be able to accomplish.

More than likely, if you frequent Echelon, you’re fairly active on Twitter and are always working to not only accumulate more followers, but to improve the quality of the accounts that see your content. What’s worked for you? Conversely, what hasn’t? Share your wealth of knowledge in the comments section below.


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.