Social Media

Grow Your Twitter Presence: 10 Tips

By | Aug.21.12 | Daily Dispatch, Marketing & Business Development, Social Media

The other day I was asked, “Why am I not showing up in a Twitter search?” There could be any number of reasons, including the search terms used, people searching for archived versus recent tweets, optimized profile keywords and so on. But the larger question should be, “How do I grow my Twitter presence into something meaningful, engaging and useful?” Then you will have no problem showing up in a Twitter search.

Here are a few tips to organically and meaningfully grow your Twitter presence:

1. Don’t buy Twitter followers. People will try to game the system. Some even build up tens of thousands of followers, then unfollow them so they are left with a sweet follower/following ratio. (“Wow, you follow only 2,000 people but have 60,000 followers? People must really love what you have to say!” No, they don’t. You bought them.) Only celebrities and major entities will have that kind of following. Sadly, buying Twitter followers continues to be a booming business. Credibility, on the other hand, you must earn. So refrain from shopping on eBay for followers. Instead, look at the Twitter accounts of those you value to see who they follow, and check out their recent tweets. You’ll find a gold mine of Twitterers to follow.

2. Offer useful content. This takes time and effort but pays off handsomely. You’ll get retweets, mentions and favorites and will become known as someone who’s knowledgeable and generous. People will follow you to access your great content.

3. Be consistent. “I don’t have the time to tweet!” It’s a frequently cited and legitimate concern, but disappearing for a couple of weeks, then sending out a stream of tweets when you return will not gain you traction. Consider scheduling your tweets and jumping in only two or three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes to reply to tweets, and to check out your stream for useful content to learn from and retweet. A favorite application is Buffer App. Set up a daily schedule of tweets, say 5 to 10 tweets, and add your links and retweets to the queue. That’s it! It’s a huge time-saver and exposes you to new Twitter users.

4. Engage to nurture relationships. Twitter can be used as a successful broadcast platform, but relationships are not built on useful links alone. Engage. Reply to mentions. Start conversations.

5. Ask questions. Have an issue that you’re dealing with? Sure, you can go to Quora, but how about asking your Twitter followers? Some may even retweet the query to their followers. I’ve had mixed success with results, but it lets others know the topics I’m interested in and provides an opportunity to relate to Twitterers sharing the same interest.

6. Retweet with attribution. One of your followers tweets out a useful article that you want to share? Don’t do so without acknowledging her. But don’t go overboard. I’ve seen tweets go out with three words, a link and six Twitter handles. That’s not useful. Include only the original and most recent Twitter user that tweeted the article. You then get on their radar and they’re more likely to follow you back and retweet your updates.

7. Hone your 160-character bio. This is like the About page on your blog. Pay attention to it. Include keywords, but make it tell a story. Add some personality.

8. Add your profile to Twitter directories. Many go hunting in directories for lawyers and legal professionals to follow. Submit your account to directories like TwellowListorious and Wefollow. Legal-specific directories include Justia’s Legal BirdsLexTweet and JD Supra’s Lawyers and Legal Professionals to follow on Twitter.

9. Let people know you’re on Twitter. Add your Twitter handle to your email signature. Do you send out a monthly newsletter? Add a Twitter “follow me” icon. Put the bird on your blog and website. Include it in the brief bio that accompanies your guest blog posts. Tell your Facebook friends that you’re on Twitter; you’ll be surprised at how many also tweet.

10. Be patient. Like most things in life, the more you put into Twitter, the more you’ll get from it. And that takes time. Don’t rush to thousands of less-than-useful followers. Create a vibrant community within your own network and you’ll experience steady, meaningful growth.

The common theme among these tips, as mentioned at the beginning, is organic growth. Twitter growth, like all relationship building, is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, effort and consistency, and it’s ultimately very rewarding.

Pivoting from law librarianship and a continuing legal education venture, Tim is now the community manager at Rocket Matter. He hangs out at the Legal Productivity blog and on Twitter @tim_baran.

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4 Responses to “Grow Your Twitter Presence: 10 Tips”

  1. Nima Heydarian
    21 August 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Thanks for the post. I didnt know about the legal twitter directories

  2. Ronald Suber
    22 August 2012 at 10:56 am #

    You mention getting listed in Listorious and others but all of these require you to give them access to your twitter account including their ability “to make changes to your profile.” What does this mean? Is this something I shouldn’t worry about and why? It seems like a ripe place for hackers to get you to give them such access.

  3. Tim Baran
    22 August 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Good question. We should all be cautious when giving third party apps access to our accounts. On Facebook, I almost never do since many of the less popular apps may not be keenly vetted. But it’s usually safe with well known apps like Listorious, especially since they use the OAuth standard meaning that you don’t have to enter your password.

    The “changes in your profile” refers to the profile that the directories create for you on their site, so that when you make changes to your account, like your Twitter bio, it’ll be reflected there. Remember that you can revote access at any time.