If you go back in time just a decade ago, you'll see people going to college to learn marketing skills that have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of the modern media.
Today, being able to waste a bunch of time on Twitter is really more useful from a marketing standpoint than any college learning regarding demographics and market trends.
In other words, having a strong Twitter following is really one of the most important aspects of running any kind of successful business on the web today. Here are ten tips on creating that following.
Follow Everyone Back
If someone follows you, follow them back. No exceptions. Even following back a spam bot can be helpful if a dozen other people followed them back, too.
Design a Great Avatar
Your userpic is the reader's first impression of you. If it looks dull, people are less likely to read that tiny little snippet of text sitting next to it.
Follow the Big Names
Even if you don't care what they have to say, follow the big social media people, the "opinion leaders" you can find listed at Twittercounter and other social media ranking sites. Even if you could care less, Twitter is all about big numbers.
Send @Messages to the Big Names
Ninety nine percent of the time, they're not going to answer you, but that doesn't matter, because here's the trick: people will see that you're sending those messages to some famous person and think "This person must be big, they know (insert celebrity name here)." It's total baloney, of course, but it works.
Link, Link, Link
Don't just say "this a hilarious video", link to it. Link to interesting articles, pictures, videos, songs, everything. If sixty percent of your Tweets are just links, you're doing something right.
Be an Expert
People are a lot more likely to look for Twitter accounts focused on a subject they take an interest in than a Twitter account simply dedicated to your own personal thoughts and ramblings. If you know a lot about video games, movie news, antique furniture, whatever, milk that knowledge, and once you've made a name for yourself, don't be afraid to have controversial opinions. Nothing doubles your followers like a controversial
Tweet and Tweet Again
Most people who use Twitter check their accounts at the same time every day. If they're following a hundred other accounts, then there's a good chance that your Tweets will be pushed off their page by the time they sign on. Post your best Tweets a couple extra times throughout the day to push them back to the top for those who haven't seen them yet.
The more pictures, videos and mixed media you link, the better.
Use Easy Tools
There are all kinds of apps you can get for your phone and your web browser to make Tweeting incredibly easy, keeping you in the loop and letting you text tweets in half the time.
Be a Twitter Junkie
Don't be afraid to be one of those people with their nose constantly buried in the phone, it helps.
We can say what we will about Twitter, but the bottom line is that it's one of the most effective marketing tools ever created, and if you're looking to develop an audience or get your piece of the market share, you'd be crazy not to take advantage.
Nicole Rodgers has been blogging about online marketing for 3 years, she blogs about a variety of topics such as ways to heat map a website to how businesses can utilize a budget worksheet.