Twitter can be a tricky platform to socialize in, especially when you’re new to it. First, it’s the imposed 140 character limit on tweets, and then the fast-paced tweet stream of updates. But the biggest, and a known, challenge to new Twitter users is getting followers. As Twitter has grown to become a source of “what’s going on?” in the world, members of this community have come to expect from fellow members to, at least, be informative for them to take them seriously. So, for a new user with no reputation and no immediate community to communicate with, getting the most out of this microblogging platform can be a tough nut to crack.
As a new user, getting started and filling your timeline with streams of interesting tweet updates, the logical step is to follow someone or account. Being connected socially offline and having that same network of people also connected socially on the internet does make the transition less daunting. Otherwise, following celebrated entities is the only route to take to be on the loop. But following such accounts doesn’t guarantee followers, in fact more than ninety-nine percent of the time (my calculation!) celebrities won’t follow you back. So you end up with a Twitter profile that has a following to followers ratio that makes you seem to a prospective follower like a followholic (a person addicted to clicking on the follow button), which can make them reluctant to follow you, and you don’t want that – you want followers. Is the following and followers paradox another chicken and egg problem?
To be honest, having an ego can go a long way in shaping your profile here. That is, having self-esteem and posting quality tweets to the little following you have, instead of being obsessed with boosting your profile numbers, says something about your value (quality over quantity). As Elliott Kosmicki (@ElliottKosmicki), a productivity and personal development blogger for home business owners at ELLIOTTKOSMICKI.com, puts it:
You don’t need to follow every profile you come across – you only need to follow people who you find interesting and valuable to your everyday life. Follow them if you would talk to them in real life.
To position yourself as an elegant Twitter with an informative view, emphasize quality on your tweets and cross your fingers you’ll get recognition for your value (trust me, you’ll eventually get recognized). Else, do what a close friend of mine started doing – follow new users with a small follower base and interesting bio/tweets. How do you do that? As my friend told me: from the influential people you follow (the ones with thousands and thousands of followers but only follows a small fraction of them), click on their followers and check their profiles. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll come across a profile or profiles with similar attributes as yours (number of tweets, following, followers, interests and frequency of tweets). When you do find such profiles, click to follow and give them a certain period to follow you back (e.g. a day or certain amount of tweets since you followed them). If that period passes or they make multiple tweets without following back, unfollow.
Seems like a lot of work, I know, but it does work. It’s actually a creative way for users with a small connection to build their own microblogging community. Speaking about following, you can also follow me @TaeBoHoe.