This how to use Twitter post is going to build on the Twitter basics to help you move beyond the basics and really start to build up your audience. The biggest thing you need to do is join the conservation! This may sound cheesy and maybe even a bit daunting (after all twitter is a big place and if I’m honest filled with a lot of nonsense). So how do you do this?

Finding the right people to follow

First of all you have to identify the right people to follow. This can be done in a number of ways but two of the best ways is to use hashtags and follower wonk. A hashtag is a symbol placed in front of a word or a term that is the subject of the conservation. For example if I was to tweet about something to do with Formula 1 (I often do) then i would write something like this,

“I can’t believe Lewis was punted off the track like that! #F1”

Notice how I have put #F1 at the end of my tweet. This now means that anyone can search Twitter for the term F1 and will be able to find my tweet, read it, reply to it and if they like me and my tweets then follow me. It’s really that simple!

To find people talking about your industry or niche then search for the #tags (e.g. #F1) to find people talking about your subject.

However it’s not always easy to get the right person searching for the right term. Which means using hashtags, although is important, needs to be accompanied with using follower wonk.

This is an external piece of software that is free to use the basic functions. It lets you easily find the people on twitter who are talking about your niche and then sort them by number of followers, people they are following and the number of tweets they have sent. It also gives them an influence score of 1 – 100. You can then take that information and make sure that you are following the right people, or the “influencers”, for your niche.

To get started simply link your Twitter account to the software and you are ready to go. Head to the section called “Search Twitter Bios”, put in your search term and sit back and see what comes back.

Getting people to follow you

Following people is easy, following the right people requires a little more thought but is still easy but getting people to follow you is more tricky.

There are number of ways to do this and I suggest you use all of them. The first is going back to our old friend the #tag. Make sure that you use a #tag on all your tweets so people can find you and join the conversation. This is also useful when something is “trending”. This is the term used for when a certain topic is being spoken about by a lot of people. The front page of Twitter has a list of trending topics, if one of them is in your niche make sure you join that conversation by tweeting something relevant, interesting and non-salesy by using the #tag. This will mean people will be able to read your tweets and reply to you.

Another trick is to ask an “influencer” for a re-tweet (RT). A re-tweet is when someone re-posts the same tweet you did. People do this when they read an interesting or funny tweet and want to share it. If you can get someone with a lot of followers to re-tweet something that you posted then suddenly you have got that tweet in front of thousands of people. Some of those may even start following you as a result! If your original tweet had a link to your latest blog you will also see a spike in traffic to your website.

So how do you get an influencer to re-tweet you? Simple, ask them. If a tweet is good enough most people will re-tweet for you.

Another way to find people that are interested in your niche and get them to follow you is to find an influencer in your niche and then simply follow the people that are following the influencer. This is a time consuming process but it works. On average about 20% or the people that you follow will follow you back. After a couple of months you can then go back through the list of people that you follow and delete the ones that are not adding any value.

Finally ask for a follow on your blogs and website, if they don’t know you have a twitter account and want them to follow you how are they going to know?

Staying Organized

When the number of people that you are following starts to increase you will find it becomes unmanageable. That’s when you need to start making lists.

You can make as many lists as you want and put people into lots of different lists. This means that rather then trying to read everyone’s tweets all at one you are categorise them into different sections. This will help you keep on top of the incoming tweets and make sure that you respond to the best ones.

I hope this blog has helped you on your guide through Twitter, it can be daunting at first but stick with it, it’s free marketing and the rewards of a successful twitter campaign can be massive.