Whether you just started your Twitter account, or you started tweeting a month after Twitter launched in 2006, the thought has probably crossed your mind…'How on Earth do I make the most of these 140 characters?” You're smart, your tweets are great, you engage, but somehow you've hit a plateau.
While Twitter isn't a popularity contest, Twitter does require grooming to provide the most meaningful experience. Those with the most followers don't always have the best community, but at the same time building a solid following base will help give you meaningful contact with your readers as well as helping your blog's traffic grow. So how do you do it? If you've been twittering for a while and you still have less followers than you feel comfortable with, there are a few things you can do to maximize your presence on Twitter.
Give it lots of light
Make your Twitter account easy to find on your blog.
If someone is reading your blog, chances are they will be pleased to follow you on twitter. I don't know how many times I wanted to tweet someone's post and they didn't have a proper twitter widget, they didn't have their account listed somewhere in their sidebar, the handle isn't the name of the blog and so I couldn't @fashionblogger them when I tweeted their post. That's the perfect opportunity for other people to spread the word about you!
- Tweetmeme button – a button that you can install on your post that allows readers to RT your posts with your Twitter handle. It's super easy to use and it's easy to track how many people tweet your posts, and look up who's tweeting your posts. They might be good people to follow.
- Go2Web20 Twitter Badge– a cute customizable tab that goes on the side the browser (as opposed to the side bar or header), therefore visible through any page no matter where your readers scroll. I installed this on my blog yesterday and got something like 30 new Twitter followers that day.
- Twitter Widget– This you can put on your sidebar so your readers can see you have an account and you use it actively.
- Write a post about your new account, or refer to one of your tweets in a post.
- Place a link to your account in the footer of your post.
Publicize, publicize, publicize
Part of it is putting on your blog..but here are some other places you can publicize your Twitter account
- Email signature
- Business card
- Facebook, flickr, Etsy, friendfeed…. you get the drift, everywhere that you have a profile.
Make it pretty
As a fashion blogger you are probably well aware of how important it is to be presentable. Whatever you do, don't skimp on your Twitter presence. First impressions make all the difference, and you never know how much time someone will give you if you don't catch their eye right in the very beginning.
- Your Icon/Avatar … what does it say about you? Is it a logo? Is it a computer rendering of a girl? Does it communicate what your blog is about, what you're about? Icons do matter, people do pay attention to them, so make sure your icon sends the right message. I just updated mine the other day, and people really did notice.
- Your Twitter Background… I like to have it match my brand, but not necessarily since I use the same account for both my blog and for IFB. However, it's important, like your icon that it's also pretty to look at, and not generic.
Sew more seeds, follow people
It's kinda weird when someone doesn't follow anyone back, but what are you going to do? Yeah, they may say that they don't follow people back because how do you keep track of everyone? Well I have news for you… Twitter clients like Tweetdeck and even Twitter lists make it easy to filter out the people you want to follow every single tweet from the people you may want to catch up every once in a while. I admit sometimes I fall behind on following people back…and sometimes I don't follow back if there is a high chance you will un-follow me (ie. spammers or make money online people) but I always try. Some people can get away with following back the few and get large masses hanging on their every tweet, but I'm not one of them, nor do I want to be.
Here are some ways I use to find others to follow
- Invite people from your email– this has it's plusses and minuses, on the plus, it's a good way to let your contacts know you're on twitter. On the minus, there may be that email in your contacts from someone you would prefer not to get in touch with (ie. that guy…what's his name.. you went on two dates with five years ago)
- Other blogs (see point one)
- Follow the people your favorite twitterers are following…they could be interesting
- Follow the people who are following your peers. You might have the same interests
- Follow people who are tweet key words you're interested in, run a Twitter search, see who comes up.
Because of spammers and Twitterers who've developed ways to tricking the system with aggressive following/following tactics Twitter has clamped down on aggressive following. You can't follow too many more than are following you…which leads me to my next point.
Be sure to water, fertilize, and talk to your Twitter garden
There are loads of Do's and Don'ts out there on the net.. and be sure to give your followers lots of love. You can't be a taker in this world and the more you engage in Twitter the more it has to offer you.
- Reply when you can, engage in conversations.
- Follow Friday them.
- Have fun.
- Don't be a robot.
I'm not saying that you should unfollow people who don't follow you, but if they don't provide value to your Twitter experience, or haven't tweeted since 2008, it's time to let them go. I have only done this once or twice in three years, but it's good to do it every now and then. I usually go to Google to find the latest and best bulk unfollow tools. Also, if you see someone who is blatantly spam, or just bothers you, don't be afraid to unfollow. Remember this is your Twitter experience, you have to love it if you want it to grow.
By the way, my Twitter account is @thecoveted follow me if you like!