Monday

3 Proven Practices to Build Your Twitter Reputation, Grow Followers and Get Retweets


Twitter can be a daunting platform for the beginner. I know that the first thing you want to do is build your audience size and you'd like to get people to follow you. This can be accomplished (it can't be done overnight - sorry) and in this post I give you simple tools to build a great reputation and a stellar community.

Follow people and make connections

Start first with selecting keywords that describe your interests and your business. Then use them to find people to follow. When you find interesting people, follow them and pursue an alliance.
  • Search for people on directories by topic at Tweetfind, and Followerwonk where you can search Twitter bios for keywords. Enter your favorite topics and find others in WeFollow. Twitter search is also a good tool. I'd use each tool.
  • Look for Hashtags (the # symbol used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet) on Twitter that relate to your business. You can also click on a hashtag that you see on Twitter (or a trending topic) to see who is talking about it. 
  • Find twitter lists from influencers. You'll find people who have hundreds, thousands (in some cases hundreds of thousands) of followers. To organize large amounts of people, pros curate Twitter Lists (which can be private or public). To find people in a specific niche, go to a profile page and click the down arrow next to the word More. You will find a link for public lists that the user has created (and has subscribed to) as well as lists on which other people have listed them. This is a great resource to find like-minded Twitter members. For example, Margie Clayman (Director of Marketing at Clayman & Associates in Ohio) has a list of her Top 100 on Twitter. I have a short one on eBay sellers.
  • Embrace #FollowFriday. On Fridays you will see hashtagged Tweets with #FF or #FollowFriday. Click on the names in the Tweet and read the person's bio, if you like what you see, you've found somebody new to follow. Be sure to say hello too.
Once you follow someone? Don't immediately Tweet or send them a Direct message requesting a favor or to follow you elsewhere. Get to know them first. Start a conversation! Most importantly, don't un-follow them because they don't follow you back immediately. Follower churning tells everyone that you're not interested in engagement and that you're just trying to build numbers.

Tweet content that gets you followed and retweeted

I'm often asked, What should I tweet? The first step is to center on your brand and understand what your audience will like. What you say on twitter directly correlates with your reputation online, so give thought to what you Tweet. Posts from a Hollywood celebrity will look considerably different from a business leader or author. But this doesn't mean your tweets need be linear, change them up!
  • Topical tweets are well received, click the #Discover tab at the top of your page to join in a discussion with others. Search topics relevant to your brand and start a conversation with those Tweeting on the topic.
  • Share news stories from site you enjoy reading. These are especially when they are not the same sources that everyone else is sharing
  • Interesting factoids, quotes and pictures make stimulating tweets, but don't overdo them. Also, don't expect that everyone that follows you will retweet them. People love pictures of puppies or kittens, but if they do not align with their personal brand, they may just like, comment or move on.
  • Ask influencers for advice or retweet something you find interesting with a comment (they stand out in a busy tweetstream). Remember - the goal is to start a conversation.
  • Help others who are asking questions on a topic at which you are expert. Search keywords in Twitter's search box to find them.
When you retweet content you enjoy? For sincerity's sake, follow the person who posted the Tweet. Thank people for sharing your content. Keep up the conversation. Your responses need not be immediate, if you're busy it can take a day or two, but be sure to acknowledge and respond.

Let people know who you are!

When experienced Twitter members see an interesting tweet of yours, they will click to your profile page. Here's your chance to tell your story and show that you are human.
  • Have a flattering photos of yourself, the default Twitter egg is not very enticing. Put up a cover photo that reflects on you, your brand and/or your personal interests.
  • I mentioned searching Twitter bios above. Be sure you give someone a complete picture of who you are in your bio. Try also to add a little personality and humor to create a more well-rounded profile. This can be tough as there's not much space in that 160 character description. Just for fun, check out this Twitter Bio Generator and see what it comes up with.
  • Pin a Tweet! On a regular basis, go through your Tweets and "pin" your favorite to the top of your profile page. When people click over to your page on a computer, they will see this one at the top of your tweet.
We all have a "personal style" that may take you a while to hone and define. Your style may be very different from your community, and that's OK. Don't feel offended if some in your community don't RT certain types of your Tweets that they feel don't align with theirs. This is social media, all about relationships and conversation.

The folks on Twitter are pretty forgiving, but egregious acts are rarely forgotten. Take your time and follow these tips, you'll be on your way to a successful Twitter account that will pay off for you and your business in many ways.