Twitter. It’s that little blue birdie many companies and individuals are using daily to communicate their thoughts and brand. Whether your reasons for wanting to increase your twitter influence are personal or professional, you’re probably asking yourself, “Where do I start?” And even more importantly, “How can I build up my followers?” Because let’s be frank, nobody likes to put a great deal of effort into talking only to be ignored.

So how do you get started and how do you get that follower counter ticking? Here are six tips to becoming a Twitter pro:

Tip #1: Glam up your Twitter profile

As an individual, use a nicely shot, close up of yourself as your profile pic. People engage with people. So, if I can’t tell you’re human, I’m probably going to be less inclined to follow you. For example, I like unicorns as much as the next person, but if this is all I can see...then I’m probably going to #pass


It’s also well worth putting effort into your Twitter bio. Share who you are, your interests and who you work for and your location. Having a few details like this lets other followers gain a quick snapshot of you to determine whether they want to follow you or not. Here’s what my profile looks like (and yes, I do love sunflowers):

For brands, on the other hand, a high contrast brand image works best. When it comes to your company description, make sure you still show personality (and don’t forget to include your business URL). If you are a global brand, decide whether you want to have one global handle or if it makes more sense to have regional handles. Here’s a quick look at Salesforce’s APAC handle, @salesforceapac:

Tip #2: Structure your tweets

To maximise likes and clicks, consider including the key message, followed by your hashtag and link. Whatever you decide, remember to keep it short and punchy. For knockout tweets, add a photo, video or GIF to stand out in the news feed. Mixing up your content is also key. Having tweets around multiple topics, or from multiple sources works best to keep your audience interested and to continue growing your follower base. Here’s how Australian coffee-based skincare company Frank Body grabs the attention of its twitter audience:

Tip #3: Actively grow Twitter engagements

When someone likes, retweets, or quotes your tweet this is a perfect opportunity to engage with them. You could thank them, like their retweet or quote and find ways to engage in a wider conversation with them. Using hashtags lets other users easily search for your tweets aligning to a topic of interest. If I’m talking about startups I make sure I’m actually talking about #startups to get onto the radar of others interested in the startup conversation.

Taking advantage of lists is another good way to connect with more users around a topic of interest. Creating lists can give structure to your efforts to boost engagement. My favourites? Top Influencers, Competitors, Uber Marketers, People who Chat with Me (yes I’m serious with that last group - you can learn a lot from the group that are always debate-ready).

However if you were just going to do one thing, I’d recommend using a #hashtag. That way your post is easily searchable and you will naturally begin to attract followers who are interested that topic, which will lead to other users adding you to their lists. Do all, some or one of these things, and you’re notifications list could look like mine: 

Tip #4: Avoid these rookie errors

It’s very easy to get excited on Twitter. However there are a few golden rules to remember:


Tip #5: Optimise your Twitter stream

Landscape images tend to perform best on your Twitter feed. It’s a good idea to try to include one image per every three posts. Tweets without images are frankly a little boring, but if you have too many images on your page, then how are you be able to make one tweet really standout? Pre-scheduling your tweets can also help ensure that you are able to tweet during peak time sharing times. For example, research shows that publishing on Sunday at 4pm is a high traffic period. But who wants to work on a Sunday if they don’t have to? Not me! I’d rather be doing this:

Tip #6: Use analytics

Show me the data! Using analytics is key to improving your Twitter presence. When you  track your performance, you are able to see when is your best time is to tweet, which is your highest performing piece of content, and you can see patterns forming around your follower behaviour. All this data is valuable for guiding a tweeting schedule based on your findings. I use Salesforce Social Studio to publish, engage and analyse my social activity.

And that’s it! Six simple tips toward becoming a Twitter pro. Give it a go and see if these tips help you get started on Twitter and grow your following. #happytweeting