4 Helpful Tips to Build a Good Twitter Following

by Alex DiVincenzo on March 20, 2012

Twitter Tips

Twitter is an invaluable asset to any small business. It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you put the effort in, you will build a strong group of followers that can lead to more business. I have put together this list of helpful Twitter tips in order to help you get there faster.

#1 Make an Engaging Profile

Your profile defines who you are on Twitter. People who stumble across your page will often use your profile as way to determine whether or not you’re worth following.

The first thing that most people will notice is your profile picture. For the best results, it should be a clear headshot with a smiling face. If you’re running a Twitter for your company, a logo will suffice – but a face tends to be the most inviting.

Second is your biography. You only have 160 characters, so make them count! Get creative in telling people why they should follow you.

Next comes your location. You should enter it in the standard City, State format. This will allow you to show up more often in search results.

Finally, your link. You are only allowed one, so choose wisely. If you have a main website, consider using that rather than, say, your Facebook or LinkedIn page.

#2 Find Your Friends

As with most social networks, it’s logical to begin by following people whom you already know. Searching for people individually is time consuming – and often difficult, since Twitter does not require that people list their full name – but you can easily find your e-mail contacts.

Using Twitter’s Find Friends service, you can import your contacts from a web-based e-mail account (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.). If you use Outlook instead, there is an easy workaround: Simply sign up for a free Gmail account, export your Outlook contacts and import it to the new account. Then proceed using the Find Friends tool.

You may not gain a ton of followers, but it’s a good way to make friends, family and colleagues aware that you are using Twitter. When they see that you are following them, there’s a good chance that they will follow you back.

#3 Follow Relevant People

Once the people whom you know in real life are taken care of, start following individuals who are relevant and interesting to you. This can be done in a number of ways. You can search for various keywords to find people in a particular industry, or you can search by location if your business is local.

I recommend following at least a few influential folks in your industry. Take note of how they use Twitter and you will likely pick up on some good pointers.

Additionally, Twitter makes recommendations called Who to Follow. This is based on who you already follow, among other things. You won’t want to follow every person listed – they often end up being celebrities – but you will find a few useful new contacts.

You can also subscribe to user-created Twitter lists to instantly follow many relevant accounts. Furthermore, there are third-party tools available to discover influencers, such as WeFollow.

#4 Join Discussions

Twitter is a social network, after all, so you need to be social! If you want followers, you must be engaging.

The best way to do that is to join discussions. If you have something to say in response to someone, don’t be afraid to @reply them. If someone tweets something with which you agree, retweet it. If you see a conversation going on and you want to weigh in on the topic, go for it!

There are also scheduled chats that happen on Twitter. These are usually designated with a hashtag (#) to allow participants to keep up with the conversation. Joining in is a great way to get your name out there. You can see a partial list of upcoming chats on Google Docs and more on the website Twebevent.

Once you master these first four tips, discover 4 additional Twitter tips here.

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This article was written by Alex DiVincenzo. Alex is the webmaster and director of social media at Home Based Business Success Center. He is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. In his free time, music, writing, photography, and film making.

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