Know your audience:
Understand that you are creating a brand when using twitter – you are marketing yourself in 140 characters or less. Your tweets should be consistent with your brand or else it will be more difficult to gain followers. So, if your beat is social media, tweet about relevant things in social media, not your breakfast.
Know the key tweeps in your community:
Tweet often (3-6 times a day):
But don’t tweet “I’m at the pharmacy” that’s for FourSquare. Tweet about relevant and noteworthy things. If you have nothing to say, read other people’s tweets and retweet it.
EX: “Great twitter tips and tricks by @joshmplant [link]”
Unless you can bring the audience from your already established fame, you need to get yourself out there. Think of it this way, if I am following x, x, and x and they are the top in my community; people will flock to see who they are following and who is following them.
The more people you follow the more you increase your likelihood to be seen. However, a caveat to note is that if you are ‘upside down’ (you follow more people than follow you) be cognizant of the gap. It looks bad if you follow 900 people and only 200 are following you.
If you are following several hundred (or even thousands) of tweeps, create lists to help organize your tweeps. This way you can stay in touch and on top of the conversation without having to weed through a bunch of tweets.
You can regionalize, categorize, alphabetize, or whatever to your lists, it is up to you. But, keep in mind that other people may follow your lists, so try and have some order to them, so you can gain list followers too.
Say thank you!
If people are following you, thank them. Especially thank them if they retweet, @mention or #FollowFriday you.
# FollowFriday (#FF):
Participate in #FF. Every Friday the top trending topic will be #FF, this is because every Friday millions of tweeps recommend their favorite tweeps to their audience. This is a great opportunity to meet new tweeps and see who’s hot!
When you do #FF, make sure you are following the people you are #FFing. How can you recommend them as a great tweep, if you yourself do not follow them?
Find tweeps you like. It is important who you follow, but it is also important to like who you follow. If you are a bleeding-heart liberal, chances are that you are not going to follow Ann Coulter, let’s be real here.
Do not just follow: @ and DM the people you like. Join the conversation with ‘@replies’ and retweets. (NB: you can only DM your followers)
Lurking isn’t going to build your twitter presence. If you go on twitter (or any social networking site) with the expectation that people will find you and that you do not need to interact with your community, you are wrong. Think of it like a small town. No one likes the woman who sits in her living room gazing nosily at the neighbors without saying a word… she’s creepy and so are you.
More twitter tips & tricks soon! Be sure to follow me on twitter (@JoshMPlant) for the latest blog entries, articles and favs!