By: Garin Kilpatrick
Successful social networking on Twitter involves actively creating stronger connections with your followers, and avoid networking mistakes so you can sidestep pointless conflicts.
Of course it’s important to grow your Twitter network and actively apply tips that help you get more Twitter followers but once you have those followers it’s important to be cool with them and share valuable stuff.
If you don’t plan on recognizing and communicating with your followers then there is a good chance they won’t stick around.
In this article I dive into ways to create deeper ties within your Twitter network. These tips have helped my network strengthen significantly since I started on Twitter in 2008.
(1) Recognize People who Share Your Content
It gets harder to recognize everyone who re-tweets you as your network grows but the more you can do it the better.
A simple “thanks!” goes a long way.
Another smart Twitter networking strategy is to return the RT favor by retweeting the people who re-tweet you.
The more you encourage and appreciate people who help you, the more likely they will be to help you again!
(2) Introduce People
Recognize a synergy in your network? Introduce your followers to each other when it makes sense to do so and if a friendship grows from the introduction then you are the person to thank.
When trying to decide who you want to introduce on Twitter consider the following things your followers may have in common:
- Location (ie: they live in the same city)
- Industry (ie: they have similar jobs)
- Interests (ie: they all like pie, for example).
(3) RT Influencers to Get on Their Radar
A great way to get on the radar of influential people you want to associate with is by re-tweeting their content.
If the influencer you are trying to reach has a sizable network then they will be getting RT’s all of the time and it might take several tweets to make an impression.
Be persistent and there is a good chance it will pay off!
(4) Follow up With People who Follow You
This one gets harder to stay on top of as your network grows more rapidly.
Nonetheless if you make a habit of going through your list of followers and following back relevant people this can be a smart way to retain your followers since many people only follow in hopes of creating a mutual connection.
(5) Don’t Use a Canned Message for New Twitter Followers
Quite often I get mentions from people thanking me for connecting and when I find that the person has sent the same message to 20 other people it evaporates any meaning that message might of had for me.
Here are some ideas of what not to tweet:
“Hi thanks for following!”
“#Shoutout to my new follower…”
Personally I never respond to tweets like these, and often unfollow people who send them. Maybe that’s rude but it’s the truth. I’m not a “follower” and I take offence to the term, even though there is probably none intended. I’m guessing there are other people out there who have a problem with being called a follower too so I recommend finding another method of introduction instead.
If you want to thank someone for connecting the best way to do this is with a RT or a personalized message. A personalized custom response that speaks to a persons interests will be far more effective than any insincere “copy and paste” canned message.
(6) Open Another Twitter Account
If you have a business or brand Twitter account and that is all you use it makes sense to create a second account so you can build your personal brand.
(7) Use Lists
Check out the Twitter lists directory Listorious to discover Twitter Lists that interest you.
The best way to create a list that interests you is to create your own lists and include the accounts you want to hear from the most.
If you follow lists you create, rather than your main news feed, you can still create beneficial connections with others, even when their tweets do not interest you.
(8) Use Old Style RTs
An old style RT is when you type “RT @Username:” before the tweet.
— Keren Lerner (@topleftdesign) January 21, 2013
These can get you better results than the new style one click RT since they show up in the mentions inbox of the person you RT so there is a better chance they will realize you retweeted them and show appreciation.
(9) Don’t Bleed the Feed
The more often you post the more this dilutes the meaning of each post.
There are millions of tweets a day so if you do post several times that’s alright, but if you are spamming the news feed with constant posts there is a good chance that this will cause several people to unfollow you.
Keep your tweet content quality high. If you have high quality content then it is more acceptable to post more often.
(10) Don’t be a Robot – Use a friendly, conversational tone.
You are not a robot – so don’t tweet like one.
If all you do is post links and quotes you’re doing it wrong.
Spark conversations. Ask and answer questions. Get to know new people.
There is no limit to the value you can create with your connections and conversations.
(11) Recommend People to Follow on #FollowFriday
On Friday what I do when I have time to make #FollowFriday recommendations is scroll back through the mentions I got throughout the week and pick out people who left the best impression.
Quite often people you recommend for #FollowFriday will return the favor by recommending you or re-tweeting you in the future.
(12) Use Social Networking Software
There are two Twitter apps that I use on a daily basis. The first is Hootsuite, which I use to send the majority of my tweets since I can send them to multiple networks on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn plus I can schedule my messages to go out at the optimal time.
Another piece of Twitter software I use daily is TweetAdder. TweetAdder is software that enables you to initiate hundreds of targeted Twitter connections daily. Using TweetAdder you can connect with people based on keywords in their bio, lists they are on, keywords they have recently tweeted, and several other methods. If you want to a continually growing Twitter network TweetAdder is a must.
(13) Hack Your Bio
The most visible elements of your Twitter profile are your bio and profile pic.
An interesting fact about Twitter bios is that if you include a second (or third) link in the description section of your bio that link will be active as well!
Every so often I re-write my bio to keep things interesting and for now I have 2 extra active links in my bio.
Optimize Your Profile Pic
Your profile picture sends a strong message about you since this is the image people see beside all your tweets.
The best way to go in my opinion is with a smiling head shot. This will help the people you tweet with recognize you if you meet up in person.
Personalize your profile as much as possible. There are plenty of robotic accounts and personalization shows that you are real.
Logos do make the most sense in some situations and if you manage one of these accounts I recommend you mention your personal account in the bio. When a Twitter account is mentioned in a bio this creates an active link.
Below you can see the bio strategy I use for my social media marketing news feed @social_focus.
(14) Lead Before You Follow
Social proof is a powerful element of online influence and on Twitter it is demonstrated by being followed by more people than you follow.
If you have plenty of followers then no matter what niche you are in you will be seen as an expert.
Due to the social proof that I have because of my followers I have been able to create many great business connections and get sales on a daily basis.
The first few thousand followers you get on Twitter are the hardest to get, and once you have them growing your Twitter network becomes much easier. For this reason I recommend using the service Grow my Twitter Network to turbo-boost your social proof out of the gate!
(15) Tweet on the Regular
When someone discovers your Twitter profile page if you have not tweeted in a week there is a good chance that they will not follow you. If you are inactive for 30 days or more free tools like Manage Twitter make it very easy for people to unfollow inactive accounts.
Tweeting every day shows that you are alive and actively communicating with your network. If someone comes across your Twitter profile and you have already tweeted that day there that much greater chance they will follow you!
Keep it Real
Everyone is different so different strategies will work for different people. Keep tweeting and testing new tactics and I’m sure you’ll discover what works best for you!
Can you think of a social networking Twitter tip not mentioned in this article? Let us know in the comments below!