[Question Marc] When do you ask a person on Twitter to follow you?

Image of a person with a question mark on a chalkboardI just received this question:

When is there an appropriate time to ask someone on twitter to follow you?

My quick answer is "never." Asking people to follow you on Twitter makes you sound a bit whiny and desperate.

Following is a personal thing. People follow others that seem to provide them value. Value can be measured in any number of subjective ways: insights, humor, comments. Anything.

The best way to get followers on Twitter is to be interesting yourself and to be interested and interactive with other people's tweets.

Your turn

That was my answer, do you agree? Let us know in the comments!

If you don't see comments, click on the title of this post. Then you will.

About Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman is the CEO of The Concord Leadership Group, the author of Ask Without Fear! and director of The Nonprofit Academy. A coach to leaders around the world, Marc's expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences and has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as Al Jazeera and Fox News. Marc’s experience also includes pastoring a Vineyard church, managing a gubernatorial campaign, and teaching internet marketing and fundraising at colleges and universities. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook.
To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to https://fundraisingcoach.com/21-ways/


  1. Ordinarily I would agree with you on this one, Marc. But there are always "it depends" circumstances. The other day an organization reached out to me about grantwriting. However when I attempted to respond via DM, I learned that they weren't following me. Not wanting my personal email broadcast over Twitter, I tweeted a request for them to follow me :).

  2. Argh is right! 'It depends' is almost always the answer in things related to fund development :-).

  3. Always different reasons that you may want to contact them like Pamela shared. Most people will follow you if they are trying increase their reach or they like who is following you.
    When I am building a new Twitter for a niche market I do look at other accounts of interest, many have their follow you back on automate pilot.

  4. I agree Marc. I started getting more followers when I began to bring value to the various groups I belong to. Sharing good articles, grant information, useful programs, whenever I come across them. However, interacting in the social space can be time consuming and tedious. There are ways you can leverage your time with good technology to reach multiple social spots (Facebook, Twitter, etc.,) simultaneosly. If you have a blog - Feedburner comes to mind. There is a free video series I put together for the nonprofits that we work with - 8 videos. The series shows nonprofits how to use psychology to attract more visitors and encourage them to take positive action on their websites. It's free and if you find it useful - feel free to share it with your community. http://www.globalvisiontech.com/Blog/tabid/59/PostID/173/Non-Profit-Website-Secrets-Revealed.aspx We've had some good feedback.

  5. Aniruddha Rege says:

    I disagree, sorry! I just joined twitter and spent 2 days in total obscurity. It's very tough attracting followers when you know no one. I followed people i found interesting and got no follow backs.

    I finally decided to ask the people i followed to consider following me back. Out of the 35 people i asked i got 15 follow backs in a single day.

    People do follow back if you ask (not demand or threaten). You never get anything by not asking imo.

What would you add?