If you ever find yourself bored with nothing to do, join Twitter. It’s a great place to vent, learn exclusive information about celebrities and other successful people, provide feedback to businesses you love (or hate), start a revolution, spread news, make friends, and so much more. Twitter was there for me at times when I had nothing. Everyone turned their back on me, and I was going broke. I turned to Twitter and built a career out of it. Here are some useful tips on how to increase Twitter followers on your account by utilizing tips for tweeting success.
What is Twitter?
If you’ve never heard of it or don’t understand the draw, Twitter is a website where people post short (140 characters or less) text-based messages, called tweets. It’s a simple concept that took a backseat to Facebook in the evolution of social media. Twitter’s much more important than you’d think though. Over time, it has transformed from a simple text message repository to a constantly-evolving 24/7 chat room. Revolutions from across the world have sprung from Twitter’s website. I, myself, participated in quite a few Twitter protests, to include Occupy, Operation BART, and the SOPA/PIPA protests. Twitter has more to offer than simple revolutions though.
Prominent (and not so prominent) members of society have risen and fallen on Twitter. Ashton Kutcher, Kanye West, and Amanda Bynes are among celebrities whose careers have taken a hit because of tweets they posted. Donald Trump, Andrew Weiner, The Westboro Baptist Church, Anonymous — a lot of news has originated from Twitter. Journalists and media organizations around the globe monitor this site. Governments do as well. In fact, Twitter is one of few social media sites (or tech companies in general) that has taken steps to attempt to defend the general public from government monitoring systems such as PRISM.
Twitter is where I’ve forged friendships with random people around the world. I built business connections with people like Wendy Day (founder of the Rap Coalition, among other endeavors), YourAnonNews, Christine Assange, Wikileaks, The Huffington Post, American Banker, XXL Magazine, Manduka, and many more. I use it to promote my blogs (including this one you’re currently reading) and build my readership. I use it to connect with attorneys who want me to consult on cases for them. When I went broke, I used it to S/O Starbucks for a free pumpkin spice latte. At times when I was heavily using drugs and alcohol and going crazy, Twitter is where I screamed my head off to vent instead of doing something violent like many people choose to do.
How To Get Started
Like everything else in life, you only learn by doing. The best laid plans will be trumped by changes you encounter during implementation. Instead of just reading this, open a new window with Twitter. Sign up for an account or log in. The first thing you want to do is figure out who to follow. Worry about yourself before everyone else. Think of people you want to follow. Really dig in though.
Let’s say you like Lil Wayne, for example. Follow Lil Wayne, but also look up his business manager, promoter, music video directors, and other industry insiders, such as Paul Porter, Julia Beverly, Russell Simmons, etc. Think about magazines and publications that promote him, like The Source, AllHipHop, IndustryEars, and more. By following these people, you’re not only getting updates from Lil Wayne, you’re filling your newsfeed with information you may enjoy about him. Do this with everything you enjoy. You have an opportunity to gain valuable inside knowledge from professionals in any hobby or work you participate in.
Find your friends, and browse through their followers to find people to follow. You can also find people on sites like Favstar that aggregate the “most popular tweets” from the site. I don’t like Favstar, but that will be discussed in a moment. Don’t limit your search to just Twitter. Think of anything you like, and add “Twitter” to your search. You can find “follow” buttons on nearly every site online. Follow your favorite sites to get updates on updates as they happen.
What Do I Tweet?
The first rule of Twitter is to post whatever you want. If you want to be funny, be funny. If you want to be serious, do that. Feel everything out. Be polite to people, but don’t let anyone walk all over you. Treat social media like you do regular society: Talk to people, respond to the friendly ones, and ignore the haters.
Make a bio and add a profile picture. Nobody feels comfortable talking to an egg (the default pic), nor do people like talking to creepy pictures. You don’t have to put in your personal information. You can make up whatever you want and leave whatever you want blank. Just know you’re dealing with real people, and real people can sense bullshit. If you talk a lot of trash, you’ll be remembered by that. Tweet links to things you like. Be conversational and include people. If you just post links, nobody is going to follow you. You have to add value to peoples’ lives. Think about what draws your attention and do that.
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Much like IRL (in real life), Twitter has cliques. These cliques sometimes gang up and try to exert power. The dynamics of human interaction don’t change much anywhere you go. You can choose whether to be cool with these cliques or avoid them, but they all have their uses. Some of the most popular Twitter-exclusive cliques not based on celebrities or ideals are Favstar users and #TeamFollowback. People with #TeamFollowback or a Favstar.fm site in their bio will only follow you if you follow them. The difference between the 2 cliques is #TeamFollowback will always follow you back if you follow them. Favstar users hate #TeamFollowback, and thus refuse to follow “everyone” back so they can look popular.
One of my biggest issues with Twitter cliques are people who only stick within the clique to gain followers. Sure, having 1500+ followers makes you look cool to a noob, but only a small percentage of those users will ever click a link you post. If you’re looking for company, by all means, talk amongst your clique, but if you want to be productive, you have to branch out. Another issue with cliques is you get involved in other people’s drama. I’m not interested in listening to people whining or gossiping — the next thing you know, you’re messaging each other, hanging out on Kik, exchanging social media accounts and phone numbers, and it all just gets to be too much. I don’t care what some idiot in Virginia is doing. I couldn’t care less if a kid in Montana is beefing with a chick in Alabama. I’m not going to any tweet-up. If you want to partake in those activities, by all means, do so, but it’s not for me.
Increase Quality over Quantity
What you need to keep in mind on Twitter is that quality trumps quantity every time. I only have 1700 followers, but I have spread messages to millions of people through my Twitter account. This is because the followers I do have are loyal. They RT (retweet — forward my tweet to their followers) my tweets multiple times a day. Anonymous frequently interacts with me and exposes me to their follower base of millions. Wendy spreads my messages to her tens of thousands of hip-hop followers. Kino MacGregor promotes me to her yoga community. My follower count is relatively low, but my reach is vast.
When people follow you, follow them back if you’d like. It will make them more likely to keep you around. Build relationships with the people you encounter on Twitter. 10,000 followers seems like a lot, but that doesn’t make that person above you. Talk to them like an equal. You’ll have a lot of fun, and your account will be more fun to follow. Instead of promoting yourself, others will promote you. Telling you I’m good at something is different than telling you someone else is. You’re more likely to believe the recommendation of a third party. So get to inspiring your followers. Give them quality, and they’ll return the favor.
Now that you're building followers:: Manage Your Twitter Followers With Three Simple ToolsFeatured photo credit: Cowboys chasing wilding horses. roping and riding, with dust flying everywhere via Shutterstock