10 Golden Rules of Twitter

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If you ever wanted to know what the traits of highly successful Twitter users you’ve come to the right place.  The 10 Golden Rules of Twitter will help make you a  Twitter success by modeling the masters.

Brian Solis, Chris Brogan and myself engage with the following Twitter tactics on a daily basis, and you will find most if not all of them exhibited by any successful social media guru.  Apply these strategies to your own Twitter presence and your following will start to really grow.

You get out of Twitter what you put in to it so invest time into networking and engaging on a daily basis and the good karma that you build will compound and come back to you in time!

1. Reciprocity is Key

Follow and be followed, Retweet and be retweeted, follow and be followed.  You have got to give in order to get, and the more time you are willing to invest in others the more likely they are to give you the time of day.  Reciprocity is a powerful thing, and the main reason for the 255,000 followers I have currently, and the 400,000+ followers I have been able to build for the various accounts I have managed.

Once your network grows to several thousand followers don’t let it get to your head, I try to respond to everyone who is not an ass that sends me an @mention, and I even respond to some of the asses.  Haha, but seriously this is key if you want to build a big brand and a strong network.  Look at any Twitter giant and you will see that they have thousands and thousands of tweets and many are conversational.  You’ve got to talk to people to really connect with them, it’s just that simple.

2. Schedule Your Golden Tweetsgolden-tweet

Twitter traffic varies throughout the day, and throughout the week.  The busiest time on Twitter is at the end of the work day, between 3-5pm.  Weekdays are far busier than weekends, and Thursday and Friday are the busiest days of the week.  If you have solid content tweet it out when it can have the greatest impact.

Take a note from the most retweeted tweets of 2010 to get an idea of what works.

The golden tweet of 2011 shows that offering an incentive for retweets works. I have used a tactic similar to the Wendy’s tweet below to net over 100 retweets.

In 2012 the most tweeted tweet of the year, and of all time, was from Barack Obama with his election victory tweet “Four more years.”

3. Twitter Tools are Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Of course I have a bias having written the Twitter Tools Book, but Twitter Tools really are the bomb.  From Hootsuite, to Manage Flitter, to Twitter Marketing Software, to TweetDeck (which just sold for $30 million), and the list goes on.

By learning how Twitter Tools can work for you, you will give yourself  a competitive advantage over millions of others who neglect these powerful tools.

4. List Liberally

These days people tend to pay more attention to the people who list them than the people who follow them.  Some people recklessly auto-follow people, and this I do not recommend, but it still happens and these robotic follows devalue the action following someone.  To really get someone’s attention the best way is to talk to them, and listing is a powerful method as well.

Create lists for your different interests, for example I have a runners list, an entrepreneurs list, and a Twitter Tools list.  Tweet about your lists and there is a good chance that people will follow them.  If your list gains enough followers it will gain greater visibility in list directories like Listorious.

5. Engage

engageThis tip is straight from my friend Brian Solis, and it has worked exceptionally well.  Brian has a massive network at this point and yet he still responds to every comment on his blog and to comments on his Facebook walls and on Twitter.  This takes plenty of effort but it is the reason why Brian has so much influence.  To learn more about this method I recommend that you grab a copy of  Brian’s book Engage!

6. Relationships Take Time

Relationships are not instantaneous, the take communication and sharing over time.  To build deeper relationships with people you meet on Twitter it might make sense to connect with them on Facebook as well.

To facilitate Facebook connections I created a custom design for my Twitter background that features a link to my Facebook profile.  On my blogs I try to respond to anyone who leaves a comment if it makes sense to do so.  If they have a blog as well I might take a minute and visit it to return the favor.

7. Add Value

This point has been key to my success on Twitter, and my ability to achieve thousands of retweets.  Even if you are not an avid content creator you can still add serious value by sharing awesome content.

Use Twitter Lists to create streams of people who share the best information and then share the  best content that they share.  Browse the biggest blogs to find the best content and create lists of epic content.  The more value you are able to add the more people will people will realize that you are a valuable person to follow!

8. Don’t Focus on Selling

Everyone likes to buy things but no-one likes to be sold.  Twitter is a place to build relationships, and if you focus on doing that people will click your links and look for products that you have to offer.  Focus on the connections and the cash will flow.

9. You are Your Brand

Resist the urge to use your profile picture as your avatar.  You are your brand, so act respectable if you want respect.  Try not to spam Twitter will dozens of Tweets in as many minutes.  I tend to tweet about one tweet an hour, sometimes a little more, sometimes much less.  Conversational tweets don’t count, as they are only seen by people who are following both people tweeting.

10. Remember that Twitter is Still a Baby

Although Twitter is a household word at this point it is still only about 5 years old and it’s only been mainstream for less than two.  This means that there are still epic developments to come.  By having knowledge about the latest and greatest tools and tips you will be ahead of the curve and you will be able to skyrocket your Twitter success.  Sign up for our free Twitter Course and we will let you know about our latest articles when they go live.

Feedback

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of Twitter’s Golden Rules!

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46 Responses to 10 Golden Rules of Twitter

  1. casiestewart February 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    good one Garin.

  2. Amy Boyack February 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Great article on the foundational rules of using twitter!

  3. Guy February 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Great tips Garin, I especially like/agree with #7 add value & #8 don't focus on selling. Going to get on with my lists now!

    • Garin Kilpatrick February 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

      Thanks alot Guy! I know I've got you on a few of my lists. Have a good one man!

  4. conleth moran February 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Cheers great info, enjoy the day!

  5. Garin Kilpatrick February 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Cheers conleth, all the best!

  6. Peter Paluska February 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    People love to be sold when they are in the market for the product or service in question. We just don't like lame salesmanship. Engage, add value, and reciprocate are probably the most important, I think.
    Thanks, Garin!

    Peter

    • Garin Kilpatrick February 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

      Good point Peter, thanks for the insight! What I had in mind by "People don't like ot be sold" is that people, myself especially, are not fans of high pressure sales. When the engagement and value are there the high pressure is removed and everybody wins.

      Cheers,

      Garin

  7. Anne February 19, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Very helpful and informative information. Cheers!

  8. Anne February 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    Very helpful and informative information. Cheers!

  9. joseph peterson February 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Great tips, will definitely fiddle more with tweetdeck and others, as well as being better about responding. ug. FINE! I'll do it. (chant: I am my brand I am my brand I am my brand)

  10. Fran February 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    I wish more people would read this, I am tired of getting tweet about the next best product.

  11. Anonymous March 4, 2011 at 12:52 am #

    Excellent Golden rules for twitter! You are an awesome leader, Garin.

  12. Joe Akuoko II March 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    This truly puts oomph on certain truths i had garnered over time through using twitter. Cheers for the confirmation .

  13. Emailingivan April 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Great tips…I needed them too as I am a newbie. to Twitter…AglessBodyB

  14. David Nahinga April 27, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    This is a great post! I just made use of point no.3 with great success.
    I used the tool for "Manage Flitter" and am now able to follow back people who are actually actively engaged on my account…
    I had been following 1000 plus people who don't follow me back!!
    Thank You
    DN

  15. Jackieh76 June 1, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    Thank you Garin. Great tips. Have a great day!

  16. Jackieh76 June 1, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    Thank you Garin. Great tips. Have a great day!

  17. Easy Lifestyles October 26, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Follow me @easylifestyles_:twitter I will follow you back!

  18. Fitness Mastermind October 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    Very nice post! 

  19. LarryphotoTx May 9, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    For me, the hard thing is identifying the "golden" tweets.  The ones that I think will be popular always die… then some off-the-cuff remark gets 10 RTs.  I havent quite figured it all out yet.

  20. susiemcfarland July 4, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Succinct post which is always helpful! The value of 'Lists' is the key tip I took from this. One thing – I clicked on the 'free Twitter course' link and it doesn't seem to be working. Could you repost the link? Thanks

  21. michaelpwhelan July 22, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    All of these recommendations make solid common sense, however, it is beneficial to have them listed and mentioned in a specific way in regards to twitter. I have found the twitter experience to be precisely as you say, being the time you invest will return benefits proportional to the amount of time you dedicate to the endeavor. It is, as I see it, an unobtrusive method of being able to enter into direct exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Twitter can deliver a message without the  enormous complexity and commitment of full blown social networking. demeanor  
     
    Thank you so many times over for the work that you share and the informal, self effacing approach you establish, which encourages people to feel comfortable, and sets them up for greater absorption of the material.
     
    Sincerely Yours,
     
    Michael P. Whelan

  22. ALW3ADGDAAM August 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    I need followers in Twitter https://twitter.com/ALW3ADGDAAM

  23. barry_krause September 16, 2012 at 3:11 am #

    Simple, sage advice. A reminder that success at anything takes work.

  24. j_hoening October 6, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    Great list. The one thing I love most about social media is that you can be successful and seriously enjoy social media just by using it in a "common sense" way :-) It really is no rocket science!

  25. Reichenstein_SJ January 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    I agree with j_hoening and barry_krause . Clear, concise, credible, collaborative. Thanks Garin.

  26. binReminded (@binrem January 8, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    I'm a No. 2 believer – with my own site binreminded.com.

  27. @10KNews January 16, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    there are no better golden rules than this…i will be glad to receive your 7 day course…following your rules, I have been able to have people follow me @10knews

  28. John Selfmade Cannon (@sm_entrepreneur) February 26, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    I love this article, thanks for sharing this important information with us Garin. I’m going to practice these golden rules everyday now. :-D

  29. Ole Thomasen March 9, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    Great overview and input – Thank Garin!
    / @Ole_Thomasen

  30. YouTube views March 23, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    This is quite effective and informative input. Making highly successful Twitterers is most wanted for all owners but this is not simple task whatever here provided those 10 golden rules of twitter are outstanding and follow able for the solution. Thanks!

  31. health and energy April 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    The 10 rules sounds like the roadmap to success

  32. Bill April 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Hi Garin, This is a great post. I like point #7 – Add Value. Thank you for the great information

  33. Majid Hussain May 16, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    These Ten Roles Very Very Impressive Fou Us.

    • Dissertation Palace December 19, 2013 at 2:29 am #

      I search it on goggled then i got your website these golden rules is amazing, i read next article for “How To Get 10,000 Twitter Followers Fast” thanks!

  34. krangara December 22, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Hello Garin

    I enjoyed these simple, yet extremely effective tips to become a Tweetostar :D I have been neglecting my account a little bit because my focus has shifted to Google Plus.

    Your post has – however – rekindled my love for Twitter. I will definitely start concentrating on Lists, Twitter Tools and just Engaging.

    Thank you
    Kit

  35. Jake Luk December 22, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Hey, I really liked this article. I am brand new to Twitter and I started an account yesterday actually. I really appreciate your tips . Big G+ user, logging 22 hours/week on G+ but now some of that time is being outsourced. The concept of engagement that you described in the article is the 80/20 rule, 80% other people’s content, 20% your own. It’s a formula to success :)

  36. Yocheved December 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Garin I am so glad you are presenting this information. I am really EXCITED and looking forward to taking your course. I’m starting a new website so this is information is right on time.

    A THOUSAND THANKS and UNENDING BLESSINGS for YOUR 5 STAR***** INFORMATION and SELFLESS SERVICE!!!!!

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  38. Ella Jay February 28, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Hi Garin,
    I definitely agree on this list, can you also make a list for golden rules for facebook?

    thanks,
    Ella

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