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10 Tips on How to Become a Twitter VIP

May 5, 2010

Becoming a Twitter VIP isn’t about the quantity of followers you have, but rather about the quality of your tweets. While there isn’t a set formula on how to gain notoriety on Twitter, there are some basic tips you should take heed in. This post was inspired by my friend @sheconsulting who wished I had published the Twitter VIP list five months ago. I thought instead of just giving you a list of my VIPs, why not tell you how to become one! Below is a list of ways newbies, casual users, and even those who have been around the block can adopt to become more recognizable in the Twitter community.

1. Twitter Page – This is the first impression people have of you. Using the Twitter default image and backgrounds are not allowing you to show your personality, and you can be perceived as being uninteresting. If you want to be taken seriously, PLEASE upload a photo or logo, and do not use the default Twitter image. Also, add a description of your interests or goals as your bio, and if possible, create, purchase or find a free Twitter background to upload. If you have a website or blog, definitely add the URL. You’re only allowed one link, so provide your most relevant site if you have multiples. Other links can be added to the background, i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Digg, etc. Customizing your Twitter page can make you stand out, and possibly be an ice breaker.

2. Protected Accounts – Unless you want to restrict your account to family and friends, you should NOT have a protected account. People can’t see your tweets or bio before deciding whether or not to follow you; therefore, fewer are likely to follow you back.

3. Following – Don’t follow spammers, or those twittering offensive or risqué topics, but it’s fine it they continue to follow you. These are called fans. Celebrities and other power users can get away with having a large amount of fans, while following very few. Friends are people you are following who follow you back, which the majority of people have. Try not to follow more than a count of 200 over those following you at any given time. Ratios can play an important part in your image. Having one close to 1:1 is always good, because it shows you are gregarious and there for networking.

4. Bots – These are automated machines which produce tweets. They can come in handy for twittering links during popular times when you’re not physically available. The problem is, some people send out tweets like bots, constantly sharing links and information without responding. As you can imagine, this is something you should NOT do unless you’re a power user like @mashable.

5. Engage – Remember, Twitter is a SOCIAL media networking site. The key word being social. Don’t be a bot. If you like a tweet, retweet it, or reply to it. Start out interacting with a few people, and everyday add more to your “list”. This form of networking has the potential of collaborations, Tweetups, friendships and more. Keep in mind, power users might not always respond, so don’t take it personally. Have the attitude that all are approachable, and never get discouraged if people don’t reply. Just move on to the next.

6. Spammers – These people are abhorred on Twitter. They will send you replies and DMs including promotional links. Do NOT become one of these. You’ll be at risk of being blocked and labeled as a spammer, which can get your account shut down. You can appeal this, but it’ll take time to clear things up if you’re lucky. Spammers are also known to churn. Many do this, and don’t realize it’s a violation of the terms of service. If you repeatedly follow and unfollow the same people, you’re churning. You also violate the terms of service if you follow then unfollow those who don’t follow you back.

7. Auto DMs – No one likes auto DMs sent to them. When a link is attached, it makes you a spammer. Try not to even greet people via auto DMs without strings attached. It’s just considered annoying.

8. Tweets – It’s advisable to have a mix of tweets. Send out valuable information not just from your site, but from others as well. This will keep you from appearing to be a spammer. Also, don’t forget to engage people, but try keep it to less than 40% of your tweets. If you’re retweeted often, wait 30 – 60 minutes, and then thank all retweeters in one tweet. Try not to bombard your followers with too many tweets at a time. Space out the number and also the type of tweets you send out. This means don’t send out 3 tweets in a row about your blog posts, or chat with a friend via replies for 10 minutes. Use DMs with your friend so others don’t have to see the entire conversation, and mix up your blog posts, retweets, links, etc. to balance things.

9. Retweeting – This is a great way to share quality tweets while giving the original twitterer credit. Karma works well here, because if you retweet people, chances are high, they’ll eventually retweet your info. This is a good way to gain exposure to non-followers. One hand washes the other! Keep in mind, Twitter normally allows 140 characters for tweets, but you should try to keep your tweets to no more than 120 characters to allow for a retweet. The fewer the characters, the more times it can be retweeted.

10. Cocktail Party – This is the best way for me to describe Twitter. You enter a room filled with strangers. You walk around, listen to some conversations, then when you find one that interests you, introduce yourself. Talk about pop culture, trending topics, your interests, and/or share stories you’ve just heard, then ask about them. Afterwards, you hand out your business card. In Twitter’s case your card would be a link to your website, LinkedIn or Facebook page, or your latest blog post. You “talk shop” for a while, and then it becomes casual again. You move on to the next person or group, and start over. The more you mingle, the more popular you become. Work the crowd. If people like you, they’ll introduce you to others via #FollowFriday, MrTweet or individually. Always listen to what people have to say, use their names if known, and remember something unique about that person. Twitter is a virtual meet and greet, so use the same etiquette as you would in person. Eventually, you’ll build up a nice following, and hopefully you’re maintaining the same high quality of tweets.

As I mentioned earlier, there is no formula to becoming a Twitter VIP. Sometimes it’s not what you do, but HOW you do it that counts. Your own personality factors into the equation giving different results for everyone. Have patience to build a following, and keep the tweets fresh. Re-invent yourself if something isn’t working. In the beginning, I was a bot, because I didn’t know better. Then I became a social butterfly, and was perhaps too chatty. Now I think I’ve found a decent balance. What has been your Twitter experience? Do you have any tips to share?

Update: You can find 5 more tips here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Foorgeomi permalink
    May 30, 2010 1:04 am

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


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