How to Grow Your Twitter Audience as an Artist

“How to get more followers on Twitter?”

This is a question that I get a lot, so I thought I would take some time to give you tips to grow your own audience.

I’ve been on Twitter for seven years now, but I only started developing it at the end of 2017, after a workshop organised by actor Marc Zammit. As I’m writing this post (February 2019), I have reached 20’000 followers. Not bad!

When used correctly, Twitter can be a formidable tool for promoting your art and network with other creatives in your industry. It is my main point of contact with people, and my other social media platforms are not nearly as useful when it comes to opportunities. Thanks to Twitter, I found my editor, and I featured in other blogs and podcasts. Recently, I’ve had agents following me and even contacting me directly. Not to mention the support and positivity brought by the writing community.

So if you want to develop your own profile, here are a few pointers.

1. Tweet. Tweet More.

People follow other people because they want to know more about them, because they like their content, because they find them funny, or because they like to interact with them. If you never tweet, you won’t be on people’s radar. You won’t bring them any value.

So make sure you produce content on a daily basis, preferably entertaining / inspiring / interesting content linked to your art. For example, my most popular tweet so far was when I quit my job to pursue my writing career. This inspired a lot of people, and in return I got a lot of followers.

Without being this extreme, you can document your art making, show the result of your sessions, talk about the difficulties, make fun of your struggles and celebrate your successes. The more you do it, the more you will find your voice, and the more your tweets will appeal to other people.

2. Don’t Just Promote Your Work

Tweeting a lot is great, but don’t fall in the trap of just promoting your stuff. If you have a book, an album, a play coming up, you will be tempted to tweet about it constantly. That’s a mistake, because it can become very tiring for your followers to always see the same stuff.

Try to alternate your promotions with other tweets. Interact with people, promote other people’s work too. See Twitter as a real conversation tool, instead of a billboard for your work.

3. Use Hashtags

Hashtags are THE best way to meet other artists and likeminded people. Well used, they can bring your tweets forward and get you more visible to many potential followers.

How to find the best hashtags for you? Observe what other people are doing. Check what the popular accounts in your industry are using. For example, writers use #amwriting or #writingcommunity. For comic book artists, you can use #comics. There are a lot of possibilities, and you can always test the viability of a new hashtag with sites like Hashtagify.

4. Follow People

There are pros and cons with this technique, but I used it for over a year now and it has been really efficient for me. Following a lot of people, for example people using a particular hashtag, is the best way to get people to follow you back.

Be aware, however, that Twitter has strict limits about how many people you can follow at once. Do it gradually and don’t forget to interact with the users you follow. I used to have an app called Crowdfire to help me with this work, however it’s no working anymore due to an API dispute with Twitter. While an app is a nice way to automate this, you don’t necessarily need it. Use popular hashtags such as #FollowFriday or #WritersLift to find new people to follow. Or follow people who your favourite contacts are following. The important part here is to do is CONSISTENTLY. I usually set aside 1-2 days of the week where I do this for an hour.

As long as you are genuinely interested in the people you follow, I don’t think this is wrong. Just don’t systematically unfollow people as soon as they have followed you back. That’s not cool!

5. Be positive!

I know it’s tempting to complain about our art or to enter endless battles with other users, but try to keep a positive spin to your tweets. Most of the time, potential followers will check your profile before following you. Don’t risk losing them by being overly negative.

Think of Twitter profile as the inspiring version of yourself. You don’t need to always be happy, but people will be much more interested in what you do and how you get back up than you whining that life is unfair.

So, how are you going to develop your audience? Share your ideas below!

Before You Go

Are you struggling to find enough time, energy or strength to pursue your dream to be an artist? Being an artist is hard because creativity is not enough: you need to also be your own coach, publicist, critic and money maker. It can be exhausting, frustrating and demoralising, especially when you have to deal with other pressures such as a day job or bills to pay.

I have dedicated the past two years to helping fellow artists reach their potential and be fulfilled with their career. You can benefit from my experience too! Check out my books, The Part-Time Artist and Happy Not Tortured for lots of advice and practical tips to get more of your creative life! Available in eBook and Paperback!

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