Don’t be a Twitter loser.

If I can gain Twitter followers, you can too. You see, I really don’t think I am that interesting, yet around 600 people think I am. How did it happen? By engaging and responding to people.

The biggest mistake people make is expecting followers to magically appear. Guess what? You have to build those relationships, just like any other face to face relationship. Just because you have a twitter account does not mean you’ll automatically attract hundreds of followers and build relationships with your target audience.

Social media is not a guarantee. You have to actually engage with the people you follow, post relevant and interesting content, and be a part of the community. And I’m not talking about blasting people with your marketing message in every post. People want to know that you are human. Sprinkle in some personality.

Tweet often, and not just with news about you. Post industry stats or interesting articles. Take pictures at events and post them on twitter (and other relevant social media sites). Ask a question to encourage interaction.

A few more pointers:

  • Upload an avatar of yourself (unless you are managing a company twitter or Facebook page…more on that later). People want to know what YOU really look  like…not your kids or a Disney character. And please no inappropriate pictures. I don’t want to see private body parts.
  • If you are managing a company Twitter account, list your name or twitter handle in the bio section of the Twitter profile. This adds a human element to your Twitter stream, and ensures that people know that there is someone behind that company logo.
  • Fill out your Twitter bio completely. I do not follow people who just list a name. Tell me where you live and a little about yourself. This tells me what we might have in common and why I should follow you. And use your real name, or as close as possible. I do not follow people like XGirl or SuperflyGuy.
  • YourTtwitter stream should not be full of retweets from famous people or top media sites. Tell me something personal, post something you found interesting or comment on a current event. No one likes a repeater.
  • Don’t use profanity.
  • Every link you post should not lead to your website.
  • Tweet regularly, but not all at once. Log on at different times of the day.
  • If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it on twitter. Keep rude comments to yourself.

And give it time. Don’t expect engagement right away. Using social media effectively to gain credible and trust is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

With that said, I enjoy connecting with new people. Follow me @susandyer.

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