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Twitter: Follow and be Followed

Twitter seems to be a hot topic recently (at least it is amongst the people I follow on Twitter). I’ve been asked a few times about how to get more followers and a small part of me dies inside each time. It’s not rocket science and the answer is really simple. Hence, the reason for this blog post. I’d like to just reference this next time someone asks me instead of giving some long winded answer (see below).

First, let’s start with the word “followers.” I wish Twitter didn’t use that terminology. I don’t like to think of my Twitter peeps as followers. It makes me think that I’m a shepherd and they’re all sheep and vice versa. It’s just not a good word. Everyone I meet or have a connection with is a potential new friend, not a “follower.” We share tweets, stories, and other valuable information or random nonsense.

Second, don’t focus on the number (think quality over quantity). More followers (friends) doesn’t necessarily mean you’re popular. Twitter isn’t high school. It’s a meaningful way to connect online so treat everyone like a valuable member of your network. If you’re looking to build those connections (or add to an existing list), seek out potential people to follow. Do a search for things that interest you, peruse their timeline to see what they’re talking about, read their bio – do they look or seem interesting to you? Follow them or don’t. Test the waters at first. Start a conversation and if it keeps your interest, follow.

Third, be an interesting person to follow. This goes hand in hand with my second point. Is your timeline filled with your latest checkins or what you’ve been watching on TV via GetGlue? Good luck getting anyone to follow you back. Same goes with promotional tweets. If you keep spamming us with the link to your latest blog, no one is going to care. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell us about it. Just limit the amount of tweets dedicated to your stuff.

Fourth, promote others (your Twitter friends).  Did you see something interesting that someone said or shared? Retweet it or as the cool Twitter people say “RT” it. Make it more meaningful by adding a comment before you “RT” it. Your friends will notice, thank you, and recommend others follow you too. See? No work on your part.

Fifth, join conversations. See something exciting going on that you can relate to. Jump in. Twitter is like those chat rooms from the 90’s except it’s way cooler and sophisticated. There are also dedicated chats on Twitter, like my favorite on Sundays at 6pm PST called #blogchat. I gain valuable insight about my blog and make tons of new friends every weekend. It’s awesome.

Last but not least, be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Twitter peeps can sniff out a fake. Share something about your day, talk to others, promote, and be awesome. Before you know it, you’ll be amongst the popular crowd on Twitter. See? Simple, right?

Is there anything else I missed? What are your golden Twitter tips? Let me know in the comments below.


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