I’ve recently gotten more and more into Twitter. I used to only use it as a tool to try and get traffic to my client’s sites as well as my personal sites. Only recently have I started playing with it a bit more and testing with Twitter what works and what may not work. Something I have noticed as of recently is how and what you link to plays a big role in how popular your profile becomes. If you are constantly linking to just your own stuff you can expect to see little to no gain from it. But if you mix it up by linking to other places besides just your own site(s) I have seen that it brings in more clicks and allows people to trust you more and not think of you as just a spammer. How do you measure the clicks? You can/should use a URL shortening service such as Bit.ly.They will track all the clicks of that said URL that you generated (I recommend creating an account with them it is free).

So back to the original question, how do you Twitter? Do you Twitter for business purposes and business purposes only? Or do you Twitter for personal use? I have come to the conclusion that you should use it for both. How I came to this conclusion is simply by what I have seen other big internet marketers do as well as the small amount of testing I have done personally. When you are doing it for business purposes you are capturing the people that are interested in your business or in your line of business. The personal stuff you post will capture everyone else or anyone that likes the same thing(s) you like.

The biggest obstacle with Twitter that I have found personally is getting the followers. Unless you are a big name in the industry (any industry) you are going to have to work to gain your followers. There is no real “easy” way to gain followers. I can offer some tips though that may help you:

  • Post a “Follow Me” on your website/blog – If you write a interesting post or your website is interesting then you may gain some followers from it. If you are utilizing Twitter to promote some deals you may be offering from your website be sure to convey that when asking people to follow you, for example “Find out about all our hot new deals by following us on Twitter”. Be sure to link to your twitter profile so people can easily follow you as well.
  • Follow some other people in your business – Whether they follow you back or not, it is always good to follow people/companies that relate to your business or even companies that you support. Many times I have gone through to check out who some SEO’s and other people are following, providing a valuable source of information and networking.
  • Be wary of who is following you – Check to see who is following you. Just like everything else on the web the spammers have gotten to it. While having a spammer or two following you is not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes people check to see who is following you to check your credibility. If you feel they may hurt your credibility or authority block them, I’d much rather have 4 legit followers then 10 spam followers. Remember those spam followers are not going to click through your links anyways so they are not helping you gain the traffic you want.
  • Watch who you follow – Many believe (I use to as well) that you should go out and follow as many people as you can, hoping they follow you back. While this is an easy way to gain followers, it may or may not help you achieve your ultimate goal as well as make you appear to be spammy as well. My key recommendation is that you follow people you know and/or support. Something I always look at when I’m reviewing other people’s profiles is their followed to following ratio. The more people following them the more authoritative I think they are.
  • ReTweet other people’s tweets – When you retweet someone’s post there is a good chance they will see that and this could lead them to start following you as well. This also works for when you directly respond to someone’s tweet. This is a very good way to appear to be active on Twitter as well.

I hope some of these tips help you, I can personally say that it is a long road to gain followers the “natural” way. I’d love to hear if anyone has any other suggestions on gaining followers faster than just sitting around and hoping that people find you interesting. I’d also love to find out how everyone else uses Twitter.

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