On July 28, I asked for readers to share their tips for success on Twitter. Several readers and social media experts have weighed in on this topic. Apparently, the way to garner a loyal (and numerous) Twitter following is the same way you make friends: build relationships, communicate and engage one another, and share information and unique insights.
Yes, Twitter is like high school, except that anyone can be a cool kid. So, if you want to be a Twar (read: Twitter star), use the following tips….
(1) Focus on who you follow, not who follows you
In life, it is not important how many friends you have, but rather the quality of those friends. So too with Twitter. To build your core group of Tweeps, focus on who you follow and acquiring followers will, well, follow. To get started, identify a minimum of 200 people to follow on Twitter (regardless of whether or not they follow you).
According to “Five Indispensable Lessons For Twitter Success,” following less than 200 people may be boring and cause you to quit before you maximize your Twitter potential. Once you have selected the people you wish to follow, work to develop a relationship with them. How? See below. This will often cause those you follow to follow you. If new people follow you, follow them. And, in general, do whatever they say in that song about making new friends and keeping the old.
(2) Be interesting, useful, or at least a parrot
The first tip presupposes that you engage your Twitter followers. How? There are two key ways. The easy way is to just “say hey” — for Twitter that means to retweet or to hit them up with a FF (read: Follow Friday). The harder way is to provide unique and relevant content. To do this, you need to be interesting. If possible, write on a narrow and unique topic about which you are an expert.
Put differently, according to Five Indispensable Lessons, “Twitter and the social web allows anybody to carve out a niche of fame if you concentrate on providing exceedingly interesting and helpful content.” I know, that is a tough one. If you cannot manage to come up with your own unique content, find other relevant content. Subscribe to legal newsletters, read the newspaper, engage people in your community, generally observe what is going on around you, and see if there is a way to package it into a sound bite.
If you play your cards right and find great people to follow (who have original content), then you can just just RT (read: retweet) them. Think of it like having a real cool friend whose coattails you can ride.
(3) Be consistent
I have tried to keep a diary since I was nine. I have completed 82 pages. And, I am old. As you can tell, consistency is not my strong suit. Apparently, that is why I am a Twitter dope. In order to be successful on the Twitter, you must tweet consistently. According to Five Indispensable Lessons, “to experience business success on Twitter, you can’t be a stalker. You have to take responsibility for your own success by showing up consistently. Just like in real life, you might have to engage with people 4-5 times before you get on their radar screen. Twitter is not a passive sport. You need make an effort to connect, engage, create value for people in your tribe.”
(4) Get organized
To make sure that you do not miss any valuable content, consider using a free platform like Tweetdeck, Seesemic, or HootSuite.
Oh, and apparently it is important to pick a professional picture. I apologize for my vaguely pornographic prior Twitter pic. I have a sick sense of humor.
Practice these four tips and you will have a solid Twitter following in no time. And, if you are feeling really daring, take these tips out to the streets and maybe you can make yourself some new friends as well.
When not writing about small law firms for Above the Law, Valerie Katz (not her real name) works at a small firm in Chicago. You can reach her by email at Valerie.L.Katz@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter at @ValerieLKatz.