10 Tips to build a loyal group of Twitter followers.

Twitter Followers

Twitter has become a very popular social networking tool. The use of Twitter is catching up like a wild fire. There are countless number of third party add-ons and applications for Twitter. It is widely expected that Twitter will continue to grow at an astonishing rate in 2009. People who dismissed Twitter in its early days are now scrambling to make their mark on Twitter. To put it simply, professional blogger Darren Rowse has created a blog purely dedicated for sharing Twitter tips. I have not seen Darren creating a new blog for any other web tool that he uses. So the message is "you can not afford to ignore Twitter any longer!".

There are many uses of Twitter. One use of it is to promote your website or blog. To do this you have to build a loyal group of Twitter followers who are genuinely interested in what you have to say (i.e you’re Niche Topic). Here are some of my tips for building a group of loyal Twitter followers:

1.    Brand your Twitter home page

It is important to customize your Twitter profile page to differentiate your profile with the millions of other Twitter profile pages. For example, you may want to add a custom logo and add a side panel that contains details of your website or blog. Look at the profile page of one of my followers Mr Gadaget. This is an excellent example of how to customize a Twitter profile page. If you are like me and do not have time to spend on doing all the fancy graphics consider using MyTweetsSpace. It’s a free tool that allows you to create your own Twitter background in a few mouse clicks.

2.    Use a consistent avatar image

It is a good practice to use a consistent avatar Image (the icon shown to your followers) on your blog, Twitter profile and any other social networking services that you use. This will enable others to easily recognize and remember you.

3.    Promote your Twitter profile page

Now that you have created a cool looking Twitter profile page, promote it actively. For example, you can add your Twitter profile page URL on forum and email signatures. You can also use your Twitter profile URL when commenting on other blogs. Think of your Twitter profile page as a gateway to your website.

4.    Send a welcome note to new followers

Send a welcome note to new followers thanking them for following you. If you have decided to follow your follower as well, please indicate it in your message. In this note you may also add a short description about your blog or website. For example, you can encourage your new follower to sign up for your blog’s RSS feed. Make the welcome message personal and you will have better success in retaining that follower.

5.    Create interesting and genuine conversations

Your main goal of using Twitter might be promoting your website or blog. But that does not mean that you only talk about your website or blog 24×7. You have to engage in interesting conversation on other topics. Additionally, should have an attitude to help others as well.

6.    Don’t be too noisy

Don’t be too noisy on Twitter. If you sneeze 3 times in the last five minutes, don’t Tweet the fact that you sneezed, in 3 different Tweets! Tweeting extensively on totally meaningless matters can turn off your followers. Find the right balance in being conversational without getting too noisy.

7.    Send valuable links

People follow you because they are interested in knowing about you and the topics that both of you are interested. So it is often a good idea to Tweet links to interesting articles or resources that your followers might be interested in.

8.    Think before you Tweet

What ever you say in Twitter is going to be on the Internet in some form or other for a very long period. So be careful in what you say and post. If you post a link to article without reading it first and if that article contained anything offensive, your followers might leave you and you might get a bad reputation. You do not want to hurt your followers because you are depending on them to build your website or blog.

9.    Follow the big shots

Follow the big shots in your niche topic. They are very useful because they provide you with lots of information and ideas. There may be cases when they need some help and if you answer their questions and doubts you will get more exposure (when a big shot replies back to you thanking for your help, your Twitter id is exposed to all of his/her followers!).

10.    Let the last message be a positive one

This point just struck me as I was writing this article. If you are done using Twitter for the day and going to bed, leave an interesting Tweet as the last one. The last message is going to stay at the top of your Twitter profile page for a while. If that message is a positive one you have better chances of getting new followers. If the last message is not meaningful to a new followers (example: “@techthinker I agree with you, it SUCKS!”) you might have reduced your chances of getting a new follower. Therefore, leave a meaningful message that new followers can readily understand.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TechThinker

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