Friends, Foes and Followers
Followers on Twitter are pretty similar to friends in real life. So how do you get more friends? Sure, you could use a service such as Twitter Counter or Twiends to advertise your account, but the best way to gain a following is to become more interesting. So how do you become interesting?
Here are a few tips:
Pimp Your Profile
Enter all the information you can and pick a background that provides an interesting image and maybe some extra information about you. Spend a lot of time in describing yourself in the ‘Description’ field. Your profile (the thing you see when you visit http://twitter.com/username) is the first thing people will see from you and a big influencer in the decision whether they will follow you. It is just as important as your business-card or storefront.
Make sure everybody knows you are on Twitter. Is your Twitter username in your email signature? No? Why not? Do you show it on your blog or website? You should! Business-cards? Put it on there too! Writing a guest post somewhere? Mention your Twitter username everywhere so people know how to find you.
Connect to the Right People
Being interesting all by yourself is pretty hard. So make sure you mingle with the right crowd. Find out who the influential people in your scene are and connect with them. Don’t just follow them but retweet them and answer their questions. if you are lucky they will publicly thank you and that will show others that you are hanging out with the cool kids. before long you will be the cool kid that others want to mingle with.
Inform & Inspire
You could let the world know what you are having for breakfast, lunch and dinner but unless you are the maître d’ at a really fancy restaurant, how interesting is that really going to be? Your followers are your audience and you owe it to them to entertain, inform and inspire. Tell a joke, share a great blogpost if you see it and try to think about information that your audience would appreciate instead of just reporting on what you are doing. Give, and ye shall receive.
Which brings us to retweets…
Retweets are very easy instruments for generating content and gaining more followers. A retweet is easier to publish than your own tweet. After all, all your are doing is quoting someone else. You could make a habit out of finding the best 3 quotes you can find every day and retweeting those to your followers. It can be better to quote than to invent if you are uninspired or in a rush.
Getting retweeted is a very easy way for people to spread your ideas and information. All it takes is one click. So focus on great content and make information easy to retweet: keep the tweet short and make sure you contain all the information in one tweet. Stuff that people love to retweet: quotes, breaking news, beautiful photos, controversial topics and questions, jokes, etc.
Too Many Friends?
The main thing to remember is the reason why you would want more followers and retweets. Why is this important to you? Is it because you want more influence and a larger audience? Then you might want to focus on the quality of your followers as much as the quantity. If all you want is to look popular then just numbers is fine. Just remember that followers on Twitter are like friends in real life: if you get too many each individual connection might be worth less and the real relationships behind the numbers might suffer.
What is your favorite tip on Twitter? Give it up in the comments below.