Can something as simple as saying thank you on Twitter really make a measurable difference and help you stand out? It seems funny to think that the lessons our mother's taught us when we were young would be so relevant today for building a loyal following of brand advocates on Twitter. What's even more shocking is how so few people actually do it. I admit that I haven't always been consistently good with my manners on Twitter either.

However, I have begun to make an extra effort to say thank you to my followers on Twitter, and it has made a substantial difference in my success on the platform. Since I started saying thank you more, all of my metrics are steadily increasing month over month, including the number of mentions I'm getting.

That means more people are tweeting out my articles, retweeting, and mentioning me in their tweets. A few months ago, a new follower of mine tweeted out one of my Inc. articles. I saw the tweet and replied back with, "Thank you for the tweet. Have a great rest of your week!"

Well, that simple action led to him sending me a direct message thanking me for thanking him. He went on to say that he had been tweeting influencer articles for a long time, and nobody had ever thanked him for it. (While calling me an influencer might be a bit much, I certainly didn't correct him.)

Since then he has tweeted out every single article I've written on Inc., sometimes more than once. He also regularly retweets me. I created a major brand advocate for my writing here on Inc. just by taking two seconds of my time to say thanks.

Many people treat Twitter as a one-way street. They tweet out their links, memes, and videos and expect people to engage with them. Yet, they rarely interact with anyone else's tweets.

To raise your engagement on Twitter whether you're an individual or major brand, try talking to your followers. You should start by saying thank you to the people that tweet your links, like your tweets, or retweet you. Then, see where the conversation leads.

You can take a step further by going to their profile and retweeting their pinned tweet. When someone pins a tweet to the top of their Twitter profile, it is usually their top piece of content at the moment. So above all their other tweets, that's the one they most want you to retweet.

Also, make sure to always follow the people who engage on your tweets whom you're not already following. Doing so will more than likely get them to follow back, and you will have gained a new follower who has already demonstrated an interest in your content.

So, now you have a simple, yet highly effective way to create super fans of your brand on Twitter, increase engagement and start conversations with your followers. However, don't thank me. Instead, call up your mom and just tell her she was right all along about saying thank you to people.