How to Win Followers and Influence Tweeters

By: , On Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Fill out your bio! First and foremost even if you don’t follow any of the suggestions mentioned here after. You should fill out your 160 character bio.  Don’t try to be too creative or witty, any normally functioning adult knows you can’t completely surmise any individual in 160 characters so here are a few questions you may want to try to answer: What are your passions or interests? What pays the bills? What do you aspire to be? What do you like to do in your free time?  The purpose of this is not to give your life story but to give some indication to potential followers what shared interest you may have and why they may want to follow you, be it for personal or professional networking. If you only intend to use the platform to converse with others who already know you personally then this probably isn’t as important to you, but it seems to me that most people use Twitter as a public networking platform and I personally never follow anyone without some sort of bio information.

Make your profile visually appealing. Add a profile photo and change your background image. The default profile appearance for Twitter isn’t bad but it’s the same one everyone starts off with. If your Bio isn’t enough to entice others to hit the follow button your profile style may give you just the edge you need to persuade them. I just want to go on record here as saying that it’s better to be bland than nausea inducing, so if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, or don’t know of anyone who can create a decent looking profile for you, then just go with one of the non-default options that Twitter provides. Alternatively there are also websites like twitrbackgrounds.com and twitbacks.com which not only allow you to create your own backgrounds but also “extend” them with photos and additional information about your self such as contact details.

Interact and Converse. Don’t treat Twitter as you’re personal megaphone to the internet. The purpose of social networking is to build relationships with people, not to simply blast out content. Take time to greet your contacts, add them to list you’ve created, and retweet information they share which you find interesting.

Try to remain positive.  If you feel you absolutely must convey criticisms of others try to do so in the most refined and constructive way possible, public rants and meltdowns only make you look bad, and don’t do a lot to help your case, it would also be bad to get into a dung kicking contest only to find out the other person has bigger boots.

Ignore the wackos. To put it bluntly the world is full of freaks, and they seem to be most prevalent on the internet where they can hide behind a veil of anonymity. If you yourself are the victim of harassment on Twitter or any other network I’d recommend that you simply block the person and not engage them directly, certain types of people (and I use the term “people”  loosely)  feed off of verbal sparing. If you block them and the harassment continues, you should alert the site’s admin and if necessary your local authorities.

If you follow the suggestions listed above you should not only find that people are more likely to follow you, but they are more likely to pay attention to what you have to say and pass it along to others in their network.

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