Twitter has quickly grown to become one of the more popular ways to stay in touch online. It may have started out as a humble microblogging platform (learn about Twitter in plain English), but it is so much more than that. It’s a way to network with like-minded individuals. It’s a way to “crowd-source” your research. It’s even a way to get in contact with celebrities like Lance Armstrong and Miley Cyrus. Yes, they’re on Twitter too.
If you follow me on Twitter, there is a good chance that I will reciprocate and follow you back. Naturally, there are a few caveats to this general rule of thumb. I want to follow you on Twitter, but you have to convince me that you are worth following. Here are a few surefire criteria to keep in mind, not only to get me to follow you, but also to get more followers in general.
The Following-Follower Ratio
I will not follow spammers on Twitter. If your account shows that you are following a large number of people but you are only being followed by a handful, it likely means that no one wants to hear what you have to say. The following-follower ratio need not be a perfect 1-to-1, but a ratio like the one shown above is an instant turnoff.
Bios, Avatars, and Aesthetics
Just as it is preferable to have a good About Page on your blog, you should be providing a decent biography on your Twitter account as well. Before I choose to follow you, I want to know who you are. There are some pretty generic bios out there (“Internet marketer interested in SEO”), so stand out from the crowd by showing a little more personality. Also, make sure that you load a custom background and avatar on your account, because these give you more opportunities to personalize your Twitter profile. Let me know who you are and why I should care.
Twitter is a Two-Way Street
On the Twitter front page, it asks you a simple question: What are you doing? This may give the impression that a Twitter account is nothing more than a streaming monologue of a person’s life, but it is of paramount importance that you interact with the Twitter community as well. Use the “@” feature and engage in a dialog with other Twitter users.
TheInsaneWriter (below) has the right idea.
These conversations can be as superficial as asking what you should eat for lunch or they can be as profound as discussing the political situation with President Barack Obama. Just get talking.
The Egocentric Motivation
If you really want me to follow you, the best thing you can do is to send me an “@michaelkwan” message on Twitter. You could introduce yourself, answer one of the questions I pose through Twitter, or respond to one of my recent tweets. Just don’t spam me with a “check out my website” kind of message. No one likes those.