There’s nothing like a good social media conversation to ensure that you gain plenty of followers. However, most people just don’t understand how to make the best use of Twitter. Engaging in intelligent conversation is the best way to build trust, gain followers and establish yourself as a guru online. With that in mind, I’ve compiled some tips to help you do all that on this popular social media platform.
1. Be positive. People shy away from the negative, so stay upbeat and you’ll find more are drawn to you. Also, you’ll get more positive tweets, which is definitely a plus.
2. Offer information. Giving out useful tidbits will endear followers to you and result in more retweets. Think about what your followers could use and then give them what they need.
3. Respond to others. When you see an interesting tweet, comment on it. This is the best way to start a conversation and is far more effective than waiting for someone to respond to you.
4. Stay firm. No one likes someone who wobbles between two opposing views, so don’t be afraid to state where you stand. It might not be popular with everyone, but you’ll gain respect.
5. Avoid public arguments. If you’re going to be talking heatedly, keep it private with emails or DMs. No need to share with the world!
6. Know when to DM. Replying to someone will still appear publicly, but a direct message will only be seen by that person. It’s best to DM any private information (email addresses, etc.).
7. Keep track of information. Is one of your Twitter contacts pregnant? Make note of her due date and check in once and a while. People love it when others remember things that are important to them.
8. Help others out. If someone is having a problem and you have a solution, let them know. If you can’t help, retweet the message so someone else can help.
9. Be funny. Who doesn’t love humor? Just be careful, humor doesn’t always translate well over the internet.
10. Stay active. Make sure you are tweeting on a daily basis. Most people will ignore someone who only pops up once in a while.
11. Set up your tweets. If you’re going to be offline for a while, make sure to use a system like TweetLater that will allow you to continue your online presence.
12. Don’t sell. At least, not all the time. A good rule of thumb is to have 1 promotional tweet for every 9 regular ones.
13. Promote others. Make sure you let people know when you find a great blog post or website. It will boost that blogger and also give everyone who follows you some value.
14. Tweet frequently. If you typically respond to someone more than 12 hours after they tweeted you, chances are you don’t have a good conversation going. Try to tweet more often and stay on top of replies.
15. Ask questions. You’d be surprised how many people feel the need to answer a question and this is a great way to get the conversation ball rolling.
16. Get some help. Just following on the Twitter website can be next to impossible. Install a desktop client that lets you keep track of everything easily, such as TweetDeck or twhirl.
17. Work on spelling. Unfortunately, many people have atrocious spelling on Twitter and that can turn others off. You don’t have to use a spellchecker, but learn the difference between lose and loose, at least.
18. Retweet important messages. Any time someone tweets something useful or important, make sure you share it. The original sender will appreciate this and so will your followers.
19. Get personal. People will be more likely to talk to you if they don’t feel you are a cold, impersonal business. That doesn’t mean tweet about a trip to the bathroom, but letting Twitter know you’re human can’t hurt.
20. Share successes. Don’t do it in a gloating manner, of course. This often brings plenty of cheers from fellow tweeps and opens up the conversation.
21. Appreciate your followers. Follow Friday is one meme that you can use, but simply thanking your new followers is a great way to go, too.
Networking these days is very personal. When you use Twitter, make sure that you keep things friendly and open and interact with as many people as you can. It will result in more traffic and improved expert status.