How to build a presence on Twitter
It may not be as difficult as you think to attract followers on Twitter. However, you will have to put some effort into making your Twitter account attractive to other users. They will only follow you if you appear interesting and relevant to them.
The most important thing you need to do to attract followers is to tweet interesting information. Before you start ‘chasing’ followers it’s a good idea to already have tweeted several interesting tweets. This will give other users a taste of the sort of tweets they can expect to see from you.
You should ensure that your Twitter profile provides clear information about you and your interests. Blank or poorly written profiles make it difficult for anyone to know if you are worth following. If you have a blog or website include the relevant link in your profile. You should also include a profile picture - this could be a logo or a photograph of you.
One of the easiest ways to attract initial followers is to follow people you know. They are likely to follow you back. The big challenge is to attract people who don’t know you but who share similar interests.
Strengthen your presence and attract followers
Some basic things you can do to attract followers, and strengthen your Twitter presence, include:
- Follow people who share similar interest to you; in many cases they will follow you back
- Retweet other people’s tweets; most Twitter users appreciate this
- Provide feedback on tweets and answer questions that other people have asked
- Tweet links to interesting articles or news items and include the author or publisher’s Twitter handle (address) in these tweets
- Include relevant hashtags in your tweets to attract people with an interest in a particular subject
- Ask questions, and reply to any answers you receive
- Mix your research-related tweets with interesting/amusing posts about other aspects of your life
- Subscribe to relevant Twitter lists, eg the Impact of Social Science Project’s academic tweeters lists
- Promote your Twitter account at every opportunity, eg include it on your email signature, blog and conference slides
- Tweet regularly, but be careful not to spam or annoy your followers