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You Are Finally on Twitter. Now What?

Four ways to attract followers

Phil Marden

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1. Get listed How is it that some people have two million followers, and you have only two? Well, they are probably famous (sorry) and wound up on Twitter's "suggested user" list. The list encourages new users to follow the likes of Ashton Kutcher (3.9 million followers) and JetBlue (1.4 million). Faced with charges of favoritism, Twitter now allows anyone to create a list -- say, business owners in Cleveland -- which makes it easier for the hoi polloi to get noticed.

2. Follow others Don't underestimate the power of vanity. When you follow people, they get an e-mail alert with a link to your Twitter page. Some, pleased with this development, will follow you back. But use caution: If you follow too many people, you will look like a self-promoter, and they will be less likely to reciprocate.

3. Talk to people Twitter replies are public, which means that when you engage others in conversation, people will see you for the thought-provoking person you are. How to do this gracefully? Look for users with common interests and then send them a message. And if someone tries to talk to you, talk back.

4. Retweet Can't figure out what to say? The lazy approach is to simply repeat -- rather, retweet -- interesting messages. Find one, copy the message, and send it to your followers with a reference to the original author. (Do this by typing RT and then the @ symbol followed directly by the person's username.) The author will often pay you back with a reply. And your retweet might just get retweeted -- which is confusing, but good.

Last updated: Dec 1, 2009




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