No matter how many people your twitter account claims are following you, the only followers you actually have are the ones who interact with you. If you have 10 million followers and you never get a reply or retweet, then you have zero followers.
Why Do I Twitter
The need to be followed is non-too surprising, numbers are easy to follow and having lots of "followers" makes us feel liked and important. In the end you really have to ask yourself, what do I want out of twitter? Some are seeking promotion, some are seeking friendship, and some just want to read others tweet. If you are firmly in the last camp, this post isn't for you, and the number of followers you have doesn't matter.
If you wish to gain any benefit from the previous two then ask yourself, "How do I benefit from having lots of followers?" The answer is probably something like, “More people will RT my posts and I'll have greater exposure” or “The more people that follow me the more interaction I'll have”. This is only true if you are attracting quality followers.
What most people mean when they say I want more followers is, "I want more exposure and interaction". However what they usually end up with is more followers and not anymore exposure or attraction.
Quality over Quantity
If quality is such a big deal, how does one attract quality followers?
The only way to build up a strong base of quality followers is to create genuine relationships with people who have common interests.
Create genuine relationships with people who have common interests.
Tips for Creating Genuine Relationships on Twitter
Connect with the quality followers you already have. If you have followers that often reply and RT your content, it is important for you to make an effort to connect with those people and provide enough value for their continued effort. Most people are plenty happy to have a conversation and get a well-deserved RT once in a while. If you completely ignore your strongest supporters they will vanish.
Trim the fat. If you are following 10,000 spam bots or following tons of people so they will follow you back, unfollow them all. You should be following few enough people so that you can actually communicate with them. The majority of your exposure will come from a small group of people. Staying loyal to them will give you the best results in both promotional and relational spheres.
Write good tweets, if you are only releasing a glob of links for your blogs/sites/products people will get tired of you quickly, on the other hand if you are only sending out tweets about your cat or lunches people will get tired of that also. It's better to write nothing than to write stuff people hate.
Finding people with common interests
Follow Friday is a good source of quality users, most people won't recommend someone who is terrible. Also you learn fast if someone makes bad recommendations.
Follow people who RT the same items as you. After you tweet or retweet about an item, click on it and you can see how many other people retweeted the same thing. Follow some of those people; chances are if they liked the same thing you did enough to share it, you have some common ground.
Follow and unfollow a lot of people. It's ok to follow someone and if you don't enjoy their stuff, unfollow them. Lots of people feel locked into a follow, but they shouldn't. It's the internet; it's not like dumping a girlfriend. If anyone ever gives you guff about unfollowing them just say, "I wasn't enjoying your tweets, that's all. If you don't enjoy it unfollow, the end.
Follow me twitter at twitter.com/barnesjonathan
If you have tips for creating great relationships on twitter leave em in the comments.
Note: This probably doesn't apply to people who already have a large platform with which to generate followers, blogs, podcasts, television shows etc.