• flipboard

How to Build a Targeted Twitter Tribe of 100,000

Twitter remains an enigma for many bloggers and businesses. Many questions are asked. What can I do with 140 characters? What is the point of tweeting? How can I use if for marketing? Should I check all the people who follow me before following back?How to Build a Targeted Twitter Tribe of 100000

These and many other questions bedevil the casual Twitter user who often thinks that social media marketing only revolves around the Facebook universe.

Social media marketing at scale includes participating on as many social networks as possible that are relevant to your target audience. You need to have your brand on the major social networks and build large followings. Enterprise class tools for facilitating social at scale are now starting to emerge from players such as Exact Target and Adobe.

On Twitter one or two tweets per day with a random message to 200 followers is not going to cut the marketing mustard. You need to scale it up.

Twitter is growing and gaining traction rapidly which stems partly from last years inclusion in Apples’s new mobile operating system and  is now embedded in its mobile menu system.

On social media it is important to listen and engage. The other truth is that “bigger is better”. You need to create big tribes on big networks.

This will give you the reach you need to continue to scale.

How Do you Build a Large Twitter Tribe?

I am going to assume that your blog or website has great content already. Content that has good headlines, published in a range of media types, is well written and structured are important elements in building the foundation to any substantial long term  presence online.

Letting people know that you have this awesome information to help them solve problems and provide “how to information” is the magic sauce to take your brand from invisible to visible.

Building a large Twitter tribe is one of the most efficient ways to distribute that content.

How do you do that?

One of the best simple and free tools that I discovered that can help you achieve that and also abides by Twitters terms of use is Tweepi.com.

What are the steps to attract and build Twitter followers using this tool?

Step One: Create an Account on Tweepi.com

This is quick to do. All you will need is a Twitter account and enter some basic information and you are done. Best of all, it is “free”.

Step Two: Follow the Followers

One of the main drivers of growth on social networks is creating a list of friends and followers from Facebook to Twitter and beyond. This is where the multiplier effect of sharing drives traffic and brand awareness.

In this step we will “follow followers”. So go to the main dashboard area of Tweepi after you login and click on the “follow followers” button

Twitter on Tweepi follow the followers button

Step Three: Follow the “Big” Names on Twitter

Most of us know who the big names are in your industry. Some will have substantial Twitter followers. It could be photography, surfing or fashion. In social media it is people like Chris Brogan (currently over 200,000 followers).  Type in their Twitter name. eg “ChrisBrogan” (remember it must be their exact Twitter “handle”).

Then click “start following”.

 Follow top people on Twitter with Tweepi

Step Four: Follow Forty Followers at Once

You can now follow forty followers of Chris Brogan that are already qualified as interested in social media because that is the main reason they are following him (This is what you call an already qualified list). This can be done with just two clicks.

This methodology can be applied to any industry actegory.

Follow 40 people on Twitter at a time using Tweepi


Tweepi applies Twitter rules to allow you to follow a certain number of people on Twitter at a time. Don’t be too aggressive in building a Twitter tribe but take it one step at a time. Follow maybe 20-40 people and see how many follow you back.

As we know on social media networks, if anyone follows you then there is a sense of obligation to friend or follow back (of course not everyone will follow back) but if you have good content then a good percentage of those will reciprocate and follow back. Keep in mind that Twitter will allow you to quickly build the list to 2,000 with no limits. Once you are following 2,000 people Twitter applies a ratio that stops you following more than a 10% larger ratio than follows you.

Example: If 1,900 people follow you then you can only follow 1,900 plus 10% (2,090) 

So performing this Twitter tactic regularly will allow you to grow your followers. Just rinse and repeat.

This tactic was a big part as well as the creating and publishing of content on a consistent and persistent basis that allowed me to grow my Twitter tribe to over 100,000.

Early in my social media endeavours, this was vital to grow my tribe on Twitter. Today with 3,000 to 4,000 following each month organically it is not as important.

I look forward to hearing your stories about your success at building your tribes. on your social networks.

What Twitter tools do you use?

More Reading:

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Brian

    Ultra-basic naive Twitter question…

    What’s the point of anyone following more people than they can read the posts from? Yes, I get the part about following people so that they automatically follow me but why should I care if someone who is following 1000 people now also follows me as number 1001?
    The chances of them even seeing my tweets among all the others they see are almost zero. Of course I could send out the same tweet every hour to increase my odds of being noticed but with everyone else doing the same thing I would just be contributing to the noise.
    What am I missing? How does all the noise help anyone?

    • The web is full of big data and a lot of noise. Many people use tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to filter the noise.
      There are alos tools to automate tweets.
      It also depends on why you want to use Twitter. If its for personal use then the tactics I have described here are irrelevant.
      This is one tactic among many to become visible as a business and brand.

      • I guess it can work just purely because of shitload of volume once you show yourself to like 20k people, maybe then you will get some of them to be real followers.

        Of these kind of people I follow back maybe 1 in 15-20. All of them look shitty. I do a test of tweeting them and thanking for follow. None of them respond so they waste a chance to get me as a real follower.

        Also, usually, when technique like this gets shared, it’s late in the game and it’s not as effective as it was.

    • I follow hundreds of people. I notice that my eyes lock on to a few people when I scan and ignore the rest. The goal is to make people look for you. Hope that helps.

  • Vygintas Varnas

    Well, I had read this post and it’s great, the idea about twitter is great.
    But traffic to my blog from twitter is going pretty damn slow even with 550~ followers, but this tactic could get me 100k followers, so maybe then traffic would be bigger.

    I am only one month into blogging so I hope, this tactic is good enough for me.

    • Blogging requires patience and persistence. So keep building the content and the tribe and keep me updated.

      • Vygintas Varnas

        As a motivational blog writer I can’t give up 🙂

        Using tweepi, can suspend your twitter account due to aggressive following. So using tweepi needs to be gentle 🙂

        • Tweepi does that for you to ensure that you don’t get suspended.

  • Jeff,
    I like the straightforward way you explain how to use Tweepi to grow your followers. I have been working to grow my twitter followers as well and this makes since the way you explained it. I’ll be putting it to practice.

  • I don’t know, Jeff. I appreciate the honest, straight forward approach, but it just strikes me as incredibly insincere. Following people just to get them to follow you back (or continue following back) may be cool for some, but it just bugs me.

    Something to consider is the negative impact of this. Whenever someone follows me who follows thousands of people, I skip them. I know they don’t care about my content. I know it’s an insincere gesture in an attempt to get me to follow back. I know that if I don’t follow back, they’ll soon unfollow since their strategy didn’t work.

    These profiles all look the same to me. Social media guru. Staged photo. Lots of hash tags. Following thousands of people. Not much substance. As a result, they look shallow, artificial and self-consumed.

    So, yeah, you may increase your follow count significantly. But you may also fail to get people who’d be your biggest advocates because they don’t want to follow someone who will ignore them.

    Additionally, I know there’s a strategy out there of following the people who follow the most. Everyone inflates numbers as a result, but it’s artificial. So I have to question the quality of such quantity.

    Sure, I’m a marketer, too. But I can’t bring myself to become that kind of marketer.

    • This is telling you exactly as I experienced it and what has worked for me.
      It doesn’t get any more sincere than that.
      We all have to pursue marketing, blogging and social media in ways that we are comfortable with.
      We are all different.
      That is what makes this planet of humanity rich and vibrant.
      You can apply what I have revealed or you do something else and that is great.

    • Good points Jon, but I think where a lot of people fail when using these types of tools is not engaging. they get so fixated on the numbers they forget the most important thing when using social.

      Being a human-freakin-being.

      For example, If I was using tweepi (I’ve used tools like followerwonk) to find qualified accounts I’d follow those people, but instead of worrying about the follow back, I’d engage each and every one of those people.

      They’re qualified for a reason, so you have things in common already. It shouldn’t be that hard to create an emotional bond.

      More often then not after chatting with a person they’ll eventually follow you back anyways.

      But I hear what you’re saying. I hate when I get those accounts that blatantly want the follow back. Worst of all, they don’t even attempt to create a relationship that would make me want to follow them.

      Use the tools for what they are…tools. But don’t forget the #1 thing. Connect.

      • That’s right, Jeremy! Maybe I’m wrong to assume that everyone who uses these tools are doing so for the wrong reasons. But I think it’s safe to say most are.

        The fact that getting banned and being within Twitter’s guidelines keep coming up has to tell you something here. It just doesn’t feel right.

        I compare it to black hat SEO. Back in the day, everyone who was anyone practiced it. It felt wrong, but people said you had to do it to succeed. It was a shortcut that seemed to pay off. Now those people are getting burned.

        This feels like a shortcut to me. Will people get burned? I don’t know. But I’ll keep taking the slow and steady route.

      • From my point of view, this method gives you an opening or a way to get noticed. When you get the following/tribe, it’s up to you to keep them.

        I follow a lot of social media experts but I always seem to end up here. Content really is king.

      • Great point Jeremy, and I don’t respond to a single DM that isn’t personalized, even if they acknowledge me as “hun,” “hey there” or what have you, so I make sure to acknowledge my new followers personally.

        Like Gary Vaynerchuk says, it’s not about content anymore, it’s about context. At which point(s) did you actually connect with your viewership? Gary connected with me at one point in time, and we may never get the opportunity to speak again, but I’ll be an @GaryVee advocate for life because he cared enough to have one interaction.

    • I am not following anyone. I am following people with the same interests by following a follower with the same interests I have. For Example, I pick a big name in my Industrie (PR) and follow his friends. The big name is following by nature people with PR interests. So I am getting qualified Twitter Follower for my interest.

    • yippeekayay

      Possibly your entire purpose for being on Twitter is more personal and less commercial? In the case of someone who’s trying to promote a business or is building a brand, this is valuable tactical information. These “gestures” are not “insincere”. You misunderstand. They are completely sincere just not necessarily personal. It’s true that once people understand you’re not interested in commerce in your social networks, they may not find you interesting anyway so not following back is probably your best approach. That way you’re not wasting anyone’s time.

  • Don’t use this just got my twitter account suspended because of this app.

    • Sonia. That is interesting and a not a good result. I have used it for 2 years on and off and have not had a problem.. They certainly seem from my observation to comply with Twitter terms and conditions. Are you sure that is the reason and not something else? Any other activities or any other apps you are using? It would be good to know.

  • hey Jeff great tips and suggestions to build a twitter presence. I use tweetadder

  • Pulin

    Thanks for the advice Jeff.Would like to know more about these ads on social network:’Get 10,000 followers in $20′, is this real or ther is again trick in this?i have never tried this but want to build my own genuine tribe of followers

    • I have never paid for followers as I wanted build a genuine tribe and not fake “Social proof”. It would be good to hear from someone who has bought followers and what there experience has been?

      • I bought 10k when I first started on Twitter. It helped me gain “the look” of a larger presence. I would probably do the same again just starting out.

        The realit of that 10k though is important to understand. You have to realize that they are of not use except to gain other followers because they are on your account. Now I have 5 accounts averaging 15k followers and all the “bought” followers have fallen off.

        The real goal is what is important. That is to drive a presence on your “links” and “offers” by utilizing twitter. Realizing this then makes it ok to buy some followers but growing your audience like Jeff Mentions.

        I am actually using Tweepi now and adding 2k a day using his simple method – Good Find and thanks Jeff as always!

  • A wonderful story of how to build relationship and make a difference ! Love your blog and passion for people 🙂 and it’s a great post that we can all learn from. go Jeff!

  • Thanks Jay for the comments. Effective strategies include many tactics from SEO, building email lists, growing social networks tribes, creating content that is contagious, publish your stories in muulti-media media in many formats so that you reach the largest audience possible. It needs to be relentless and persistent on so many levels. Everyone from personal brands to business brands also need to participate in ways that they are comfortable with.

  • What is the sense in havin 100,000 folowers which are non-relevant for your content and will not have any interaction?
    Kind regards from Germany
    Hansjörg Leichsenring

  • In using Tweepi for 18 months I have had no problems. Is your Twitter follower count under 2,000? It could be that you were following a lot of people while only having a few followers. Tweepi says that they follow the Twitter rules. So I am surprised.

  • Thanks, I have started to do exact the same. And it is working!

  • Always trying to help people save time. 🙂

  • These doesn’t seem all that different to tweetadder, and we all know how that is turning out… http://truewebpresence.com/how-not-to-acquire-new-twitter-followers/

  • Hi Jeff, great article! Do you also follow user who tweet rarely? I think, the “follow-return”- rate would shrink, isn’t?

    • Hi Johnathan I follow people who tweet once a day, once a week or once a month

  • Twitter rules state that “The only auto-following behavior Twitter allows is automated or bulk follow-back. This refers to following a user after they have followed
    you.” Consequently, using automation for following and unfollowing is risky — especially if you’ve spent a lot of time building relationships.

  • Christine

    Followed your suggestions on 3 of my Twitter accounts, and one of the accounts was suspended within a few hours of using Tweepi. Thankfully it wasnt my account with 65K followers…and I built that on my own without Tweepi. I was building a 3 year old account with about 3k followers and my activity triggered an immediate suspension. I did not receive any notification or email from Twitter. To teach me a lesson, they now have me in the “help que” and made me agree to follow their TOS rules before reactivating my account. I’m still in “time-out” with a suspended account

    • It seems they have tightened up their TOS and processes since I used it. I did get suspended once when I wasn’t using Tweepi but just manually following people. How many did you follow so that Twitter suspended it?
      The good thing about Twitter as compared to Facebook that they actually only suspend rather than cancel. Cool Hunter’s Facebook page was cancelled http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57526539-93/facebook-shutters-the-cool-hunter-for-copyright-issues/
      with no redress or ability to have it reinstated.
      I will edit this Post to include strict adherence to Twitter’s TOS while using this tool

  • Hi Christine. That is only about 28 people and I wouldn’t call that a large number at all .

    According to Twitter “Rules” they say this.
    “If you have followed a large amount of users in a short amount of time”

    I certainly wouldn’t deem 28 to be a large amount of users. The interesting thing is that it appears at their discretion because they don’t put a specific number or parameter to it.


  • When I got suspended it was only for about 6 hours but Twitter only had about 6 million users then. I have heard it can take a few days

  • Jon,

    It seems to me that Jeff’s ‘follow follow’ activity obviously reached a critical mass point where his message started to reach the people who connected with it, word of mouth finally kicked in, and now enjoys a healthy amount of organic follows. I’d characterize the action a bit like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption who waded through a river of $#!* to come out clean on the other side, because I too am not a great fan of “follow follow” marketing, other than the fact that it’s an excellent low-cost way to achieve my goal of a healthy amount of organic follows.

    I use a separate promo account for all “follow follow” promos @EbenloPROMO, so I can keep my personal/professional tweets account looking as sharp as possible @EBENLO, as the promo account gets a bit messy with marketing activities, and leaves my personal account readable for quality content. The percentage of people who follow my personal account @EBENLO has got to be very LOW, a trickle, but either way, the promo account is doing it’s job by serving as a tool to push my marketing message out, as my personal account pulls with quality hashtags and content, as I reach for the critical mass point, where the increasing organic follows/audience will be interested enough in me to seek me out at my personal tweet acct). That’s my theory, and I believe from Jeff’s account here, I’m on the right track.

    That said, I started this particular web search instance (that lead me here) looking for a way to target people I would prefer to have follow me, who have FEW followers, who are interested in similar content, because as Jon seems to allude to, why should I let myself and my messages just get lost in the shuffle of those who have huge following accounts? Just saying that now, jarred something loose and made me remember “blastfollow” dot com. It may help some of you who want a more quality follower-base, as you can search for hashtags that are based on your own interests, industry, or interests of your target demographic. I’m headed there now.

    Thanks for the conversation Jeff and Jon.

  • Antonia

    I liked getting your strategies. After all, what’s the good of having a great service if no one knows about it. We are so fortunate to live in a time when we can easily and freely benefit from wisdom from experience. Thank you for that.

  • Great point.

  • Tribbl, Inc.

    I don’t see how twitter is considered such an effective marketing tool when more than 80% of your followers don’t even get to see your tweet unless you tweet something repeatedly. The volume of tweets that people post makes it so hard for anyone to get to actually ready them all, so lots of times your tweets don’t even get a chance to meet the eyeballs of your followers. I’ve studied how most people pay more attention to posting a tweet rather than actually reading them, so from both angles it is pretty damn difficult. On the other hand, I see how much easier it gets when you are a movie star or public figure.

  • This is to easy to make new followers. I will try

  • Mark Weinberger

    From research I have done it appears as though it is against twitter rules to unfollow somebody because they unfollowed you. Yes I know that is hard or impossible to prove , but if you use these automated programs to do so , your account does get flagged and can be closed by Twitter.
    Yes following people and businesses does get you more followers , but most are just following you because you followed them and wont really read or participate in your tweets. I would rather have 1000 interactive and enagaging followers , than 100 000 followers that did not even read my tweets. So the real question is how do you get a lot of quality followers ……. for $ 50 I can get 100 000 followers within a week from various sites that sell these services , but they are worthless followers that you also run the risk of losing your acc .

  • Jonny

    Insincere? Now that was a hilarious comment by Jon Loomer. You are on Twitter to be sincere? Or to monetize the traffic?

  • I really do not think this this very successful. It’s like saying “get 100k followers for only 9.99” .. I humbly believe that the key was to make something more valuable users of Twitter, simply follow who want to hear. Not the partner, not anonymous you still random. Only took two weeks in Twitter and I enough to see that if you depart from that line are easy prey to the trash and spam.

  • AndroidSector

    Tweepi is not free right?? i think they charge people on a monthly basis. Is it worth paying?


    • It helped me in a big way build my Twitter audience of 250,000. Is that useful? 🙂

  • Omar

    What tactic? Rinse and repeat what? You mean unfollow those that you are not following and then starting over?

  • I have been using SocialOomph almost exclusively, and I do send auto DM’s to all new followers. I feel they at least deserve an immediate acknowledgement from me.

    But lately I’ve ran into massive problems with SocialOomph rejecting my tweets, and saying they were duplicates. When I asked support, they stonewalled me – said that they had no control over this, that I should take the query to Twitter. And what a pity that I should be disappointed with their service because of something they can’t control.

    If it’s twitter, and not them, why can I copy the EXACT same tweet, go to tweetdeck (or any other platform) and the tweet goes through, no prob.

    So, SocialOomph may have a nice dashboard, but their customer service folks have their head up their . . . Use at your own risk.

    • Hi Samuel Thanks for that feedback and I have struck an occasional problem with customer service at Socialoomph. But I love their recurring tweets feature that Tweetdeck doesn’t offer. Saves me 100 hours a month!! The duplicate tweet can be an issue unless you space them apart (eg 5 hours +) but that is a Twitter algorithm rule.