I don’t think you should try to get more Twitter or Identica followers just because you want big numbers. But if you are trying to build up a set of followers that will have interesting conversations with you, here’s what I’d recommend:
- Follow people you know first.
- Add people you are interested in talking to (but don’t know) slowly. You don’t want the number of people following you to drop too far behind the number of people you follow. It’ll make people wonder why all those people don’t follow you.
- Have interesting conversations with people. Reply to their tweets/dents.
- Don’t make all your tweets the same. If you want, they can all be about the same topic, but it should be a mix of thoughts, observations, replies, etc.
- Follow people after you’ve interacted with them, not before. (This one is a bit tricky, but it’s more likely they will follow you this way. They’ll get a notification about you after they’ve interacted with you.)
- Don’t follow thousands of people. If you follow 15,000 people, others are unlikely to believe you are looking for conversation.
- Tweet primarily in the language of the people you want to talk to. If they check out your profile and don’t see any tweets/dents they understand, they are unlikely to follow you back.
- Don’t bug any one person. Or stalk them. Most “conversations” in the microblogging world go back and forth just a few times. Watch for a bit to see how people usually end a conversation.
Or ignore the whole list and just use Identica or Twitter in which ever way is fun for you. That’s what I do.