[Crossposted from my Outlook article here on strategies for increasing Twitter followers]
Start off by tweets that contain words like “Justin Beiber”, “IPod” and you will find an army of bots (automated spam followers) attaching like ants over a lump of sugar. Bots are some of the best followers—they swell your numbers, do not snap back and put the faces of celebrities as profile pictures so that you can delude yourself into thinking, even if for a split second, that Megan Fox is following you.
On the topic of profile pictures, here is an important tip. If you are a woman, please include a “hot” picture of yourself. It does not have to be revealing (although some tasteful cleavage can sometimes go a long way) but something that is both seductive as well as mysterious, like an eye or a glistening red lip, framed in shadows. A bare ankle (with anklet) or the back of the neck can do wonders.
Remember Photoshop is your friend. So are words.
For your profile description, use words like “bi-curious”, “slut for love” and lines like “Your mummy won’t like me, your daddy will” and “My job is blowing”.
Tweet about that New York-returned banker you met in a Roberto Cavalli event and then went home and made wild love with. Your little stories, by the way, don’t need to be true. Just ” smokin’ hawt”.
If truly desperate, tweet a picture of yourself in a bikini or in the shower or promise to strip if India wins a cricket…oh wait that has already been done.
Well then how about the cutie-pie route? Put a picture of Ayesha Takia as your profile picture and say “I aM a SweeT gAL” . That, I have been told, also works. If you are a guy, please try none of the above, especially not the “slut for love” or the “My job is blowing” bit. If you just must, go with the Takia picture. I have been told that is very effective across the board.
Now listen to this next bit of advice carefully. You must learn how to strategically troll. Remember that in order to get followers fast, one has to get noticed. And nothing does the job better in the Indian twittersphere than picking up a fight with a celebrity. Celebrities have lots of followers and egos as big as all outdoors. Most importantly, some of them fight back at trolls who hit a soft spot. The best type of celebrities to focus attention on are B and C-grade Bolly stars (they have time to respond to tweets and also are touchy about their perceived images), media magnates (same reason) and Twitter stars (stars who are stars for their tweets and that is the sum total of their achievement). If you are able to really make them angry, these celebrities will re-tweet your tweet so that his/her fans can then come after you. Sure, his/her fans might give you hell. But remember for every fan, the celebrity has a hater. They will then come and follow you. Even some of the fans. Just to keep a watch on what you say in future.
Sometimes a kind word goes further than a biting one. Positive trolling is the art of deliberately massaging celebrity ego, again in the hope of a re-tweet or, if the stars be even aligned, even a follow. A follow from a celebrity. The holy grail for puny tweeters. But remember, a lot of people are trying to get into the good books of celebrities. Given that, you need to distinguish yourself, by 1) taking on the negative trolls with the enthusiasm of a attack dog or 2) praise that person at a time when he/she needs it the most (a movie just released, scam just unearthed).
When you are tweeting, remember to use humor. It makes you look smart and sexy. Cannot be funny to save your life? Copy someone else’s tweet and pass it off as your own.
Get involved in outrages. Everyday there is digital froth on Twitter over something or the other. Tip: Look at trending topics for hints. Once you identify a topic, get suitably furious, and let loose on your keyboard. People love those easily outraged. No wonder then that the nation adores Arnab Goswami.
Last bit of advice. Be shameless in asking people to follow you. For more tips on how to increase followers, follow me at @greatbong.
Got it now? You have to be that shameless.