“How do I get more followers?” is something we are force-fed often via the interwebs. But, when recently contemplating the same question personally, it took some thought on my part.

Number one was the question of why more followers? What does this provide to you and how does it fit in with your social media goals? ‘To reach more people’ isn’t really a focused goal, but rather ‘reach more people who influence my job search/my community/who donate/etc’ is. For me personally, I do not want to gain followers for vanity or silly Klout score sake, but rather, to know that what I’m doing is relevant and that I’m providing something of value to the community at large. And, most of all, to find like-minded people to follow and discuss great content with.

I set out not to gain followers, but to provide content that would benefit a certain niche of people. People who shared the same interests as I do. One thing that I did was overhauled how I wrote my bio in Twitter. I became more descriptive in who I was and the content people can expect to see from me. This was a place for quirky one liners or a short professional bio, but I switched it up to showcase more of what I was about.

That was the single biggest change I could have made and one that required me to be the most honest with myself: what content do I regularly provide? What did I actually tweet? What do I actually like reading about and discussing? Yes, part of it was higher ed, college access and marketing. But another, much larger portion of that is social TV, branding, fitness and music industry. By revealing this to myself and my followers I was able to focus my content curation and sharing strategy and align my personal favorites with what I was providing to the Twittersphere.

I’ve seen a big jump in followers, but, I’m also following more people. I’m more engaged in Twitter now than ever before and that is due in large part to my finally understanding my own content desires.

When considering what followers mean to you, what drives what you do? Are you looking to find like-minded niches or just pushing content in circles?

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