I am fairly new to ‘Twitterville.' logging in for the first time back in October. As a new user I remember how daunting the experience was. Looking at some other member profiles, with their thousands of followers, I wondered how I would ever get to that level. 2 months later, I am still nowhere close to being part of the Twitter elite, but I have noticed a steady a rise in the number of my followers.
For everyone who is new to the game, looking for some ‘newbie’ advice, here is what has been working for me. For all of you ‘Senior Twitizens’ out there, any added other advice is most welcome.
1. So you’ve signed up and chosen a user name, now what? Personalize your Twitter page. Include a picture of yourself, location, bio, and add character to your background design.
Remember that Twitter is about building your personal brand, and as with all branding, packaging goes a long way. Photos and personal information will tell people about who you are, and what you are about; potentially increasing the number of followers on your list.
2. Start Networking. Look at the contact lists you already have – friends, their follower lists, and colleagues are a good start. Once you follow them there is a good chance that they will reciprocate and follow you back
Bloggers are also a great resource when starting out as many will provide constant updates and have a keen understanding of how Twitter works. Most will include their Twitter profile on their blog or at the end of their posts.
By sifting through some of these results you will find other people who are interested in the same topic or industry as you. Follow members you feel are most relevant and some will follow you in return.
4. Tweet! Now that you have some followers start tweeting. Make your voice heard throughout your network. Provide your followers with informative posts on topics that interest you, making it part of your daily routine (at least a post or two per day).
Being a regular contributor to the ‘Twittersphere’ will make you more available to like-minded users. When they are searching out topics of interest, they might come across your posts and decide to add you, allowing your twitter network to grow.
5. Market yourself. Don’t be shy! Give out your twitter account to various parties when an opportunity presents itself. Add it to your personal and professional email signatures and/or business cards.
6. Pay attention to conference/event #hashtags. As Twitter becomes more mainstream, it provides a good back channel of information, quotes, facts, and opinions for various events and conferences. I can attribute most of my recent growth to conference/event participation. By searching out the hashtag (search.twitter.com) you will find all the people who were twittering at that event (and what they were saying) and can add them to your list. For more information about the benefit of using hashtags and twittering at a conference, check out this post by Jeff Cohen.
7. Give it time. Success doesn’t happen over night. It will take time to grow and cultivate your social network. Track what works for you, and keep at it.
Help Heather build her Twitter empire by following her - she's HMorrison there.