I’ve been using Twitter since 2008 and haven’t found an effective way to make money through Twitter despite having tens of thousands of followers!
Wrote this Twitter marketing article over 10 years ago, have regularly added updated information, latest January 2020. I’m very good at making money online, but making money from social media networks eludes me. Discuss.
I signed up for Twitter wayback in 2008 when Twitter was a little toddler of around 2 years old. I joined Twitter as part of an attempt to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to make more money online through social network marketing.
After gaining thousands of Facebook friends (which was a pain to achieve) my first account was banned by Facebook: if you requested friends at a high rate you’d get a warning. Stop requesting friends for a while and the warning goes away and you can request more friends. Despite listening to those warnings my first account was locked: still is I guess!
So that was a waste of my time!
Signed up for a new Facebook account, but didn’t make any friend requests, within a year I had 10 Facebook friends.
Update 2014, make that over 1,000 Facebook friends.
Update 2020, make that about 3,500 friends.
I don’t use Facebook to make money per se, I use it for what it’s intended for: networking with people.
At that time (2008) I also signed for my first Twitter account, and started following related people (about 50 in total) but because of the Facebook problems got bored of social network marketing and forgot about it for about 10 months and did some real SEO work which made me a LOT of money.
Get More Twitter Followers
Signed in to my Twitter account late last month (this was in 2009) and found I had 300 followers!
Hmm, thought maybe I can do something with this after all. Used the Twitter search for friends box using keywords I’m interested in like: SEO, WordPress, AdSense, Money…. and when I found someone with similar interests followed them. I then followed the last 20 people who followed them (just the first page of their followers) and went to the next person on the Twitter search list.
In this way I was following people who had an interest in the sorts of stuff I’m interested in. Since I didn’t want to waste too much time on Twitter I’d follow 40 to 100 people at a time and go do some real work.
Now because almost all the people I was following had recently followed someone else it meant they would know quite quickly I had followed them: there’s going to be a lot of inactive Twitter accounts, you don’t want to follow them.
I did this for about 2 weeks every few days, maybe following 500-1,000 people in total (I didn’t put a lot of effort into this really) and didn’t take much time at all. Each time I logged in I’d also check for new people following me on Twitter and follow them in return. Occasionally I’d post an update, usually linking to one of my articles.
Within the 2 week period I was followed by well over 1,000 people on Twitter and I was following a similar amount: I followed pretty much anyone who followed me except the obvious porn Twitter accounts.
I stopped searching for new people to follow about 2 weeks ago and logged in to Twitter every couple of days to check for new followers and would follow them, but no longer actively looked for more people to follow.
Right now (in 2014) I have over 2,000 followers on Twitter, 1,700+ of which was gained in under 1 month!
It would appear now I have over 1,000 Twitter followers there no real need to look for more as every day I have new followers, today I had 2 new pages (40 new Twitter followers).
I did some research on auto following Twitter followers, so when someone follows me I automatically follow them. I found various sites offering Twitter software that will auto follow, but Twitter doesn’t like this, so I’m not going to auto follow: sucked when I lost my Facebook account!
What I noticed about this auto Twitter software is they tend to also offer what I was doing, auto follow the first page of Twitter followers that you point the software at.
What this means is if you are regularly following/being followed by other Twitter users then those looking to follow/be followed will find you.
I plan to keep following those who follow me on Twitter and see how it goes.
That was in 2009. Since I’d not found a way to actually make money from Twitter I didn’t put too much time into Twitter. By 2014 my personal Twitter account had around 8,000 followers, by 2020 my personal account is close to 40,000 followers.
At the start of 2020 I own two dozen Twitter accounts, most have over 10,000 followers, (probably have 250,000+ followers now) other than testing I’ve not used auto unfollowing Twitter software and so far not had a single Twitter account banned. Is use some of them for scheduling Tweets, others aren’t used (yet). I find Twitter is good for brand/message building, but not for making money directly: SEO is far better for making money.
Twitter Marketing Strategies?
Now I have over 2,000 Twitter followers what do I do with them?
Update 2014: now over 8,000 Twitter followers and still don’t really know what to do with them to make money.
Update 2020: now close to 40,000 Twitter followers on my personal account @DavidLaw, plus other accounts with varying numbers of followers @SEOGoldUK close to 20,000 and still don’t have a good way to make money from Twitter!
The most obvious is to add small updates as I have been doing (about 10 this month) and link to relevant articles/products I promote. I hate the hard sell type marketing, if a product is worth buying it should all but sell itself (I’m brilliant at SEO, but useless at marketing :)).
I’ve tried promoting various websites over Twitter, nothing I’ve tried has been worthwhile in making money DIRECTLY.
The most interesting account is @Brexit_Politics, Brexit (the UK Leaving the EU) has been a huge political event in the UK since 2016. I created the Brexit Politics twitter account in August 2017, so way after the Referendum result. By January 2018 the account had around 10,000 followers, today (just under 2 years later in January 2020) it has over 30,000 followers and can generate up to 5,000 impressions a month.
See the Brexit Politics Twitter accounts impressions screenshot.
I find Twitter is terrible for making money directly, the click through rate is poor, it’s hard to attract Twitter users from Twitter. However, it great for generating a message millions will see, if you are looking to spread a political message or build awareness of a brand use Twitter.
Would be very interested to hear how others are using Twitter to make money?
If you are interested in the sort of stuff I’m interested in (SEO, AdSense, WordPress Themes, Making Money Online, Affiliate Marketing etc… ) feel free to Follow me on Twitter and I’ll follow you in return.
Twitter Marketing Strategies
Update February 2014: I have over 8,000 Twitter followers, but haven’t monetized Twitter at all. I use various WordPress plugins to auto Tweet my articles, but I haven’t seen a great deal of traffic from Twitter due to the Tweeting despite over 1/4 million Tweets.
Not made any obvious money from Twitter traffic either, would appear I don’t know how to monetize Twitter. It’s easy to get more Twitter followers, the 8,000 I have took no effort at all, barely looked at Twitter in the past few years.
Update January 2020: Almost 40,000 Twitter followers on my personal account plus about 200,000 on other accounts, yet still no decent monetization. I now have Twitter scheduling working on multiple accounts, have tested promoting affiliate products over Twitter (half a million impressions a month on those tests = few sales) and must be generating 10,000,000 impressions a month now!
I can see it’s use in brand recognition and spreading a political message, but it’s not suitable for direct sales and generating interest to another website via Twitter is HARD! If anyone ever wanted to buy Tweets from me to promote a political message I could make some serious cash, but I find SEO far more lucrative.