According to TechCrunch, media mogul Oprah Winfrey went from zero to a million followers in just 28 days after she opened her Twitter account.
Ashton Kutcher, on the other hand, beat CNN in a race to reach 1 Million followers with a little help from traditional media (on top of his celebrity status, of course):
Lamar, the third largest billboard company in the US donated 1,133 digital billboards advertising Kutcher’s Twitter profile. This amounts to 34 million impressions. [via Tweeterism]
Given these facts, it seems that the fastest, most sure-fire, way to get thousands or millions of Twitter followers is to:
1. Be popular outside of Twitter first OR
2. Tap Traditional Media (magazines, newspapers or billboards) to advertise your account and get millions upon millions of impressions
If you are looking for ways to increase your Twitter following for whatever reason and you think those two options are a bit too much for you, here 8 Simple Things You Can Do to Get More Followers on Twitter -- These methods will not give you a million followers instantly but they can definitely help you baby-step towards that goal:
1. Promote your Twitter account on your Blog or Website.
Talk about Twitter then ask your readers to follow you via your Twitter Account link or start a "follow me on Twitter and win a prize" contest.
2. Use your Twitter Account link as Email and Forum signature.
3. RT influential Twitter users or Start a conversation with them (e.g. @Oprah I love your show. How's Gayle?). Who knows? They might respond and their followers might think you are influential too and follow you.
4. Use your account to RT or talk to your Twitter followers often. Their followers might think you are cool and friendly and follow you too.
5. Buy TweetAdder software and let it do all the work. It follows people and relies on them following you back to increase your following.
The great thing about this program is that it allows you to use keywords in searching for Twitter users to follow. So it's targeted as opposed to random following. So, for example, you just want to follow only those who are interested in "Laptops" or those who are residing in "New York", you can just search for those keyword and TweetAdder will automatically follow users who are interested in laptops or who are in New York -- all while you do "more productive" things.
Ah, and TweetAdder is totally affordable too. I believe it sells for only around $50.
6. Use your Twitter account as Feedback or Support Page e.g. Have a Question? @TechPinas
7. Talk about Twitter and your Twitter account in social gatherings like house parties, lunch meetings etc.
8. Advertise your Twitter link on Facebook or Yahoo Messenger by using it as status.
There. Happy Follower Hunting! :)