How to Succeed in Twitter Without Really Trying

Following a discussion on LinkedIN’s group The Blog Zone – Where Bloggers Discuss Blogging, fearless leader Joseph Higginbotham wrote this brilliant, if cynical, article, “How To Get 50,000 Twitter Followers By Mastering Memes.” Bring an umbrella; the sarcasm’s dripping – but if you read between the lines, you’ll see that Higginbotham does not hold back any pearls of wisdom – it’s all there for the taking.

Here’s another “cynical” tip – never pay for followers. Loudly proclaim, in 140 characters or less – much less, if you want it to be retweetable – that you will never buy 10,000 followers for a mere $5! Ask, “Should I buy more Twitter followers? Is $47 unreasonable?” You will then be followed by everyone seeking to sell you something. If you follow back, you’re likely to be added to a list of people who do that sort of thing, and it will naturally increase your popularity among the autobots. There is no need to follow back; after all, you have not bought into their Twitter-follower Ponzi schemes, just playfully tweaked their code’s noses.

All you really need to do, if you want to master this sort of online marketing, is to think with concise creativity. Tweet something like, “$5 for 10K followers? What a cock roach. I’d rather grow mine organically.” See? In less than 140 characters, you’ve locked in the folks whose autobots now think you’re interested in buying followers and, assuming you follow my misspelling cues, you’ve piqued the interest of the kinkier side of Twitter, the organic gardening crowd, pest control vendors, and folks interested in growing their cash crops – and other things – in their sleep. You’ll be a huge hit in California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and every assisted living home in the lower 48!

The real upside is that you’ll also pick up a handful of honest-to-goodness followers who’ve noticed you’re human, that you have a sense of humor, and that you’re not afraid to poke fun at the antisocial social media mavens.

Dying for more tips? Just subscribe to my blog and leave a comment or forty-two.  You could follow me on Twitter, if you want to – I might follow back, if you promise to be human.


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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23 thoughts on “How to Succeed in Twitter Without Really Trying”

  1. I have few followers. I am like a fine wine: People discover me.
    I do not even know if they unfollow. I am looking for QUALITY, not quantity. There are a few like Bill Shatner, or Leonard Nimoy, or George Takei,I would be thrilled to have has followers.

    Else, it is open season. There is only one person, whose following me would mean more than anything. Perhaps some day….

    I tweet as a hobby. I have no idea how to make it earn money, and suspect I would be too lazy anyway.

    I tweet to share things i find that ware interesting…

      1. One does not ask royalty. There is protocol. Royalty decides. One waits. Perhaps, one day, something worthwhile will happen. Karma speaks. Bad Karma, from 1000 years ago.

      2. Yeah, no. This one has no problem asking anyone. Worst they can do is say no. (I happen to know that some royalty will not even bother to say no – that’s why they have ladies in waiting. But their ladies in waiting say no so prettily… I actually do have an autographed photo from royalty somewhere – a different country’s royalty – sent to my daughter when she was one, just for the asking.) So… you sure you don’t want me to just ask?

      1. P.S. While I do make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, comments from anyone who does not have a Gravatar are held in moderation until manually reviewed and approved by me. This is maybe one of the simplest ways of reducing spam known to man. Plus, if you get a Gravatar, we can all start to associate a name with a face. Much nicer to have coffee with someone who has a face than someone who looks like a little snowball on top of a Bell curve.
        HollyJahangiri recently posted…How to Succeed in Twitter Without Really TryingMy Profile

  2. Heavens to Murgatroid? You quote the great Snagglepuss! And your comments about fun, and lack of seriousness in various blogging, apply. Quality beats numbers.

    Well, you are welcome to ask if you like, for as they say, “A cat can look at a king.” But I do not think you will get much of an answer. Only two or 3 others match this particular royalty. One runs Japan. One runs Sweden. One, is England. And the one I would seek as a follower, is that special.

  3. My Monday guest blogger posted about promoting books on Twitter. And I think it was Joseph Finder who once tried a Twitter book tour. Literary attorney and author Susan Spann does a #PubLaw series there every Wedndesday. There are all kinds of ways to grow our network there without buying followers or filling up our lists with junk.

    I have some weeding to do and need to work on my lists, but overall, I think Twitter is more interesting than any other social media site I use.
    Patricia Stoltey recently posted…Creating a Twitter Book Promotion Campaign … by Kenneth W. HarmonMy Profile

    1. Such sound and serious strategy tips, Patricia! I think it’s interesting that you think Twitter is more interesting than any of the other social media sites. I find it less so, but that also means it’s not half the time-suck of Facebook.

      I do think writers naturally understand #hashtags better than other folks – we immediately think “index” and use them (well, mostly – except when we’re being silly) as intended.

      I’ll admit it’s fun to make up the occasional silly or stupid hashtag, just to have fun. I suppose the Twitterdex (hahah! #twitterdex!) is large enough to encompass humor, irony, and nose-tweaking.

  4. Hi Holly,

    Not long ago, quite by accident, I retweeted AND followed a buy-some-tweets autobot. You should have seen me scrambling to find a “delete this tweet” button and stabbing the unfollow button repeatedly!

    Patricia pointed to a hashtag series — I often check to see what hashtags relevant to my interests are being used. I follow many of the persons/companies using them and start using those hashtags more deliberately (adding them to my tweets). For days, I’ll gain new followers just from that strategy.

    This is one area where automatic tweeting has its merits. Some hashtags are set to retweet any mention of them, which provides you greater visibility and an opportunity to find cool humans.

    Human is definitely more fun!
    Vernessa Taylor recently posted…Too Much Paper? Adopt A Managed Print Services MindsetMy Profile

    1. Hahahah… ” Some hashtags are set to retweet any mention of them, which provides you greater visibility and an opportunity to find cool humans.” Right. Learned that the hard way. Want to have some fun? Tweet anything with the word “penis.”

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