39 Steps to more effective Twitter

It may not be too surprising, but most of the people who have tens of thousands of followers on Twitter were already famous for something anyway. So when they signed up, their off line fan base simply converted into an online fan base as well. But for us mere mortals how do we build up a meaningful following who are going to be interested in what we are tweeting?

The mystery of the 39 Steps didn't escape Richard Hannay, hero of John Buchan's espionage tale. Don't let these 39 Steps to more effective Twitter escape you.

1 Regularity

Tweets must be up to date. If a potential follower checks out your profile and sees no activity for a couple of weeks, where is the value for them in following you?

2 Tweet it

Have a prominent “tweet this” button below all your web articles or blogs. Anything you write could be of interest to someone willing to tweet it to their followers.

3 Interconnect

Wherever you have a web presence – blog, facebook, web pages etc - have a follow button in a prominent position.

4. Twitter competition

Think about having a competition. This is a sure fire way of driving traffic to your site but it will depend on the quality of the prize on offer. The higher the value of prize on offer the more followers you are likely to attract.

5 Web links

Try and get as many web links back to your own website as possible. Not only will this be great for your web traffic but will attract potential followers who will be easily able to follow you. If you get sudden hike in the traffic to your site, you can expect at least some of them to convert into twitter followers.


6 Enter competitions

By entering into a competition you are showing an interest in a certain subject or topic that other contestants are also interested in. They may choose to follow like minded spirits. So remember and leave follow links.

7 Blog comments

Leave your twitter URL when commenting on other people's blogs.

8 Retweet

By retweeting tweets you find interesting you will show up as a mention in the original tweeter's activity. They are more likely to follow you back if you show an interesting what they are saying.

9 Follow interesting subjects

Follow and pick up like minded tweeters by following certain subjects you find interesting. Subjects of interest can be created using a hashtag #.

10 Images

Don't just tweet text include links to images and video whenever possible it makes your tweets more interesting.

11 Email signature

It may sound common sense but have your twitter URL in your email signature so those you communicate with know you are on Twitter.

12 Business cards

Again common sense but get your twitter profile URL printed on business cards

13 Promotional Products

If your company uses any promotional products pens hats, squeezes, memory sticks etc get your twitter URL on them.

14 Invites

The most basic technique of them all, invites. Use this function on the twitter site to invite all your email contacts to follow you.

15 Make tweets interesting

Always remember a twitter account is unlikely to be successful if all you twitter about is your latest blog. Of course use it to highlight your other web activity, but use it to share useful information of value.

Breaking news, unusual stats and observations, anything that will make a follower continue to read your tweets and hopefully retweet.

16 Custom background

This shows you are a serious twitter user making it more likely than not someone visiting your profile will convert into a follower.

17 Interesting ID

Make sure your Twitter ID is interesting and relevant if you are trying to build a business brand then use that name.

18 Have a conversation

Try to get involved in a conversation with someone with thousands of followers. When they reply to you their followers will see your twitter ID and if they are interested in what you are saying may follow you.

19 Picture

Don't use a quirky profile picture it probably isn't funny. Stick to a good head and shoulders of you or one of your company logo.

20 Recommendations

Don't be afraid to ask your followers for a recommendation. Also if you ask for a favour for something from your followers eg asking followers to retweet about an event. Make sure and mention them in a thank you tweet.

21 Bloggers lists

Some bloggers include a list of 'recommended to follow' links at the end of their blogs. Try and get included on these lists by leaving thoughtful relevant comments about their blog.

22 About me

Make sure the 'About me' section of twitter is up to date and has all the relevant web/blog/youtube links.

23 Follow others.

Very few organisations can claim a vast following without following anyone in return (BBC being one of them) people are more likely to want to engage with you if they see you are open to two way communication.

24 Impact

On average you have about five seconds to convert someone visiting your profile into a follower so make sure that your profile is engaging and attractive.

25 Be helpful

If someone asks you to retweet about an event or a specific piece of news, just do it, what have you got to lose it will only help spread your twitter ID to potential new followers..

26 Ask questions

By asking questions you are likely to strike a conversation with a stranger. Keep the questions relatively simple and hopefully you will get more than one reply. This will help increase the number of tweets heading your way.

27 Twitter Apps

Think about signing up for some apps to improve your twitter experience. There are hundreds on the market. Here are just some.

Twitter apps

28 Answer questions

Just as setting questions for others to answer drives traffic then so does answering other peoples questions. This is particularly relevant to someone you are following who has a lot of followers but isn't following you. By adding value by answering their question they are more likely to follow you and open up their potential followers to any conversations you may have together.

29 Quality not quantity

Better to have 500 quality followers ie people likely to engage with your area of interest than 10,000 you're never likely to have any meaningful interaction with. Clean up and manage your lists regularly

30 Use your niche

Follow people in a similar area of business. If you work in HR start following HR related tweeters they are more likely to follow you back.

31 Live is good

If you can tweet about real time events with interesting material your number of followers will increase.

32 Timing

Research has shown that the most active time for the twitter site is immediately after lunch until mid afternoon. If you have a specific tweet you want actioned then this is the time to tweet. Not 11pm.

33 Block spammers

Use the blocking features on Twitter to block unwanted spammers this will improve your twitter experience by filtering out info you're not remotely interested in.

34 How many followers

Display how many followers you have on your blog

Twitter counter

35 Guest blog posts

If you are writing a guest post remember and leave your twitter ID.

36 Follow your followers

It may seem like common sense but make sure you are following everyone who is following you.

37 Keep retweets short

Remember if you want something to be retweeted remember and keep it shorter than 140 characters as a retweet will add extra characters.

38 What do you like?

When looking to build more followers think of what you would like to read about what would add value for you? For instance something like tweeting about new job you've seen in your sector will appeal to those interested in your industry and is a prime candidate for being retweeted.

39 Time

Remember like all social media Twitter will not deliver overnight success. It takes time and effort to build up a decent following that will truly interact with you. Patience and hard work like so many things is the ultimate keys to success.


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