1. Create lists
When you create lists of tweeps, you can more easily find and focus on the content that’s the most valuable to you. This way you can then show your support by doing the following in 2, 3, and 4.
2. Reply to people
Answering tweets shows your interest. You can reply to anyone, even someone you don’t follow or who doesn’t follow you.
Your input into the conversation can evolve into new follows, both yours and theirs. Simply put the @ sign before their Twitter name (or Twitter handle) so they will receive a notification of your reply. When you hit the reply arrow within a tweet you wish to reply to, Twitter will automatically do this for you.
Important tip: If you begin a tweet with the @ sign followed by someone’s handle, the only people who will be able to see it are the recipient and those who also follow that person. To avoid that, simply add something before the @ symbol. Even a period will work!
3. Retweet content
The best way to show your appreciation for someone is to retweet their tweets. When you’re in Twitter, you simply hit the retweet and the tweet is sent out verbatim, with small text above that indicates you retweeted it.
When in another platform, like TweetDeck, you have the option to edit the retweet. The retweet will begin with “RT” and then the handle of the original tweeter, followed by a colon. Sometimes this is necessary to keep the tweet to 140 characters maximum.
4. Favorite tweets
Favoriting someone’s tweet is like sending out a big thank you. When you favorite a reply or retweet of your own tweets, it’s an acknowledgement that you’ve read the tweet and appreciate the support.
By favoriting a tweet, you’re sending a message of encouragement which could lead to a new follower.
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring replies, retweets, and favorites from others. There are few people who are so important that they don’t need to take the time to return the Twitter love.
5. Twitter Grader
For a quick analysis of your Twitter account, check out this handy app to see how you score with your retweets, activity, and replies.
Are you making the effort to join in the Twitter conversation? If you get an A+ across the board, you’re doing swell.
Find and follow people who have shared interests with you. This handy app will take the 65 million twitter users and filter them according to your preferences.
The ultimate goal is to create opportunities for people to follow you back. The follow-back is a much-contested practice. Is it a courtesy that is demanded? Most people will agree that it’s wise to use discernment in whom you follow back.
Always check the profile before following someone. For the same reason, your Twitter profile should represent you in a way that encourages other like-minded people to follow you.
Important tip: Include two or three relevant hashtags in your Twitter profile to help people find you.
7. t4bp: Twitter for Busy People
This app will organize your recent twitter updates by displaying your tweeps’ Twitter profile pictures. It’s fun to see all your tweeps grouped together with their avatar!
You can easily see which tweets you’ve read, the most recent tweets in the last hour, day, and over a day ago, and read a tweet by hovering over the profile image.
8. Fake Followers
This app will tell you how many fake followers you have and how many are inactive. It gives you the number of speakers in your language, the number who haven’t tweeted in 100 days, and how many follow less than 250 people.
If you’re unhappy with the results, you’ll be further motivated to get legitimate followers. And if you want more information, such as who the fake accounts are, you have to purchase a subscription.
9. Avoid True Twit
Unless you are plagued by spammers, signing up for this app might deter new followers. It sends out a validation request using a direct message to all new followers. They will have to complete a CAPTCHA – unless they’re already a TrueTwit user – before they are allowed into your Twitter inner sanctum.
As you work to get followers on Twitter, remember that it’s a social site. It’s not an advertising medium where you ship out new content like a sales machine.
Be patient. Don’t fall prey to the temptation to buy followers, because there are people out there trying to sell you this idea.
Have fun tweeting back and forth, and watch your online friendships grow.
Twitter image courtesy of Smashing Magazine.