Getting Twitter followers is an interesting game. SEO experts will say that the follow method is key, but in my experience this is a step above spamming. In fact, many people of Twitter look more to the Follow v. Followed ratio as an indication of someone’s value than how many people they have amassed. The best way to build a following is by tweeting useful information and links, highlighting the work of others who are in your industry, and engaging in conversation.
From Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s book Trust Agents (a must read for anyone working online):
1. Have a username that is similar to your name or a nickname you use elsewhere, so people recognize it.
2. Have actual content on your page! Don’t add people until you have several dozen messages sent through the service.
3. Make sure you already have as many people as possible following you. We know this shouldn’t matter, but it does, sorry. People like following important people.
4. Never let your following/followed-by ration reach more than 1 (i.e., follow less than 100 people if you’re being followed by 101). This is a common rule of thumb people use to detect spammers.
5. @ people often, and respond to other user’s comments. Participation encourages inclusion.
6. When you follow others, send them an @ message at the same time (e.g., @chrisbrogan or @julien when messaging us), so they’ll see a message to them at the top of your page if they look at it.”
These tips should help you in your climb on the Twitter charts. It is important to keep in mind however that quality is better than quantity (even in SEO retail). Providing value for followers by tweeting discounts, exclusive purchase opportunities (limited edition buys for Twitter followers), and tips on how-to (fill in the blank) are stuff of gold. This is the “social” part of media that has become all the rage in 2009 and will continue to evolve in the future.