Twitter has taken over the world since its initial launch in the summer of ’06. What was once a simple social network for sharing short, snippets of text with others has become interwoven in all facets of our lives. Hashtags are nearly impossible to avoid in this day and age, whether watching Real Housewives or 60 Minutes, and even the pope has nine different Twitter accounts running simultaneously. Unfortunately, we live in a time where people can become famous from doing essentially nothing less than writing tweets others deem interesting, comical, inspiring, or a bevy of other adjectives we could rattle off. However, we never said amassing followers and creating networking opportunities was an easy task. On the contrary, doing so requires you to craft a captivating profile, follow others and engage with followers, and constantly spew tweets that are actually worthwhile. Trust us, you’re not going to gain many followers tweeting profanity and racial slurs — at least we hope not.
It’s a brave new world and you can learn how to use it to your advantage with these easy steps. While you’re at it, take the world of social media using our tips on how to become Instagram and Pinterest famous, or our rundown of how to use Twitter’s various facets.
Tip #1: Create an intriguing profile
Choosing an interesting picture and bio are crucial to gaining more followers. Underneath all the hashtags and its baby-blue exterior, Twitter is a shallow place in which you really only have one opportunity to capture people’s attention. That said, choose an actual image of yourself for an avatar, preferably one that is appropriate and looks decent at small sizes (400 x 400 pixels). People want to connect with you, not a picture of your cat. As for your bio, make it brief, informative, and a little funny. Humor is often used as a life preserver when navigating the rough waters of Twitter, so making people laugh when they first glance at your profile is always a plus. With Twitter’s newest update, the site places greater emphasis on your cover photo, thus providing another opportunity to make a statement. The newly-adapted cover image is larger and more akin to the header image adorning your Facebook profile, so you don’t necessarily have to choose something that’s recognizable when small. Nonetheless, you’ll want to choose an image that speaks of you using the afforded 1500 x 500 pixels.
Tip #2: Focus on something to tweet about
Sadly, people likely don’t care about what you had for lunch or whether you need a new pair of pants for your upcoming work function. If you have a hobby or passion that really interests you, try focusing your Twitter account on that. Try to make it unique to a certain extent, but avoid pigeonholing your profile to an incredibly small niche community where few followers are likely to tread. Once you’ve settled on a particular interest, follow others who share similar content so you can then connect and speak with their respective followers as well. Again, humor can be your best friend despite Twitter’s industriousness when it comes to news and serious discussions. The majority of people on the Web simply peruse Twitter for the entertainment factor and to pass the time, thus popular tweets typically encompass something funny — or anything Justin Beiber says. Don’t force anything, and more importantly, don’t opt for latter category.
Tip #3: Gain more followers
If you ask us, the number of followers you have directly equates to your supposed fame. After all, you’ll never be famous without people to read your tweets, to reply to, and others to retweet your online musings. However, there is no set way to gain followers on Twitter. If you haven’t read our article pertaining to how to gain Twitter followers, allow me to summarize the most obvious method: Hashtag. When people search for a particular hashtag, they will see your tweet and might decide to follow you based on what you said. At the very least, they’ll see your name. This isn’t an open invitation to place a hashtag before every word in your tweet, but it’s not a bad idea to occasionally hashtag popular words or phrases such as “#love” and “#throwbackthursday.” Just try not to go overboard.
Tip #4: Follow others
The more people you follow, the more people see your name. If you follow too many people, you might look like a spammer, so it is best to try to keep the numbers fairly close to each other to avoid scaring others away. Follow back people who decide to follow you, that is, assuming you’ve read their bios and you’re sure they’re not spammers, crazy users, and the like. Following other users will give them greater incentive to follow you in return. Exposure is more than half the battle.
Tip #5: Retain followers
Once you get a good number of followers, you should try to keep them in any number of ways. Try running contests, or #FF (follow Friday), where you can shout out to a few of your loyal followers. It’s also helpful to tweet directly at followers whenever possible and ask them questions. Asking and responding to questions is an easy way to boost follower interaction because it often starts a discussion. Vary the types of tweets you throw out, creating statements people want to retweet or favorite and questions people can reply to in the process. You’ll then get to know individual followers and begin to develop relationships with them over time. People feel somewhat obligated to continue following you once you’ve established a rapport with them. Guilt is a powerful thing.
Tip #6: Continue to tweet
Chances are, people like something you’re doing if you’ve gained a following. Continue tweeting as you would normally, appeasing the masses as often as possible without becoming overtly annoying in the process. There is a fine line between tweeting enough to be relevant and simply being obnoxious. Try tweeting a couple times a day, especially in the morning and evening when the website experiences the most traffic. Be aware of what you’re tweeting and continue maintain the focus you may or may not have established earlier. Doing so will likely be enough to remain in the minds of those who’ve so kindly chosen to make you a small part of their lives.
Tip #7: Be honest
Yeah it’s cliche, but people usually tell if you’re being insincere — so don’t bullshit them. Give your followers more credit than that. It also won’t be fun if you’re simply writing what you think other people want to read. Try to write accessibly, issuing original tweets people can relate to without repeating anyone else.