Growing Your Twitter Presence

Social media, like a plant, must be fed in order to thrive. Twitter, more than most other social media platforms, requires constant care. Spending even 10 minutes a day on Twitter can dramatically expand your network and deepen existing relationships.

The Basics:

  1. Follow others: Spend a couple minutes a day perusing Twitter, searching for interesting people to follow. Find suggestions via the Twitter Discover tab (marked with a “#”) in the top toolbar by clicking on “Who to Follow.” The more people you follow, the more accurate Twitter is at predicting other users you may like. Plug in a couple of key words in the top search toolbar and see who some of the top tweeters are—you may want to follow them.
  2. Tweet interesting information with RSS. The easiest way to keep track of information you may want to tweet is to create an RSS feed—and check it every now and then. Most news sites allow you to add their RSS feeds into a reader (Google Reader is a good example) so everything can be in one place, saving time and effort. Add your local news publication, banking and finance trade publications, and national news syndicates. Other tools, like Buffer or HootSuite or Tweetdeck, allow you to schedule tweets, so you can prepare to send several messages over time.
  3. Engage with others. If someone mentions or retweets you, consider giving that Twitter user a shout-out or following them. In social media, what comes around goes around, so be generous and thank people for sharing your content.

Hosting a Twitter Chat

  • A Twitter chat is a public forum where tweeters use the same hashtag to talk about a designated topic at a particular time. Here are some tips for hosting one:
  • Tune into Twitter at the specified time and search the specified hashtag. Make sure it’s not already in use by an organization or person to avoid confusion. Orphaned hashtags that have been abandoned over a year are fine.
  • When adding to the conversation, remember to tweet using the hashtag so that everyone else in the chat can see your responses and questions. Some tools can aid in the chat such as and Generally, you can participate right from Twitter. Just log in, search “# [Insert Appropriate Chat Hashtag]” and compose tweets in the same method as you normally would. Remember to refresh the chat by clicking on “# new results” as they appear in the search timeline.
  • At the appointed time, the chat moderator will welcome everyone to the chat and introductions are made. Then questions will follow marked by numbers: Q1, Q2, Q3. Answers will follow a similar format: A1, A2, A3. The chat can take on many forms after that. Attendees can comment on different answers and additional questions and comments can take place organically from chat participants.

Twitter Chat Do’s and Don’ts:

  • DO: Introduce yourself to the chat. Include your name, company and title.
  • DO: Ask questions and comment on other participants’ posts in real time. There is no right or wrong time to jump in and ask.
  • DO: Use the hashtag so you don’t get lost in the shuffle or have someone miss your tweet. If you are using a tool like, the hashtag should be automatically added.
  • DO: Have fun. The point of a Twitter chat is to network, meet new people and learn.
  • DON’T: Retweet every question asked by the moderator. Remember, this is a forum to express your unique thoughts.
  • DON’T: Take the chat off topic. While a chat is flexible and can take many directions, the original topic should still be the main focus.
  • DON’T: Turn the twitter chat into a sales forum for your company or product. The objective should be to exchange ideas and gain greater insight.