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How to Build Your Twitter Following through Engaging Tweets

By Linda S. Stark

Want to grow your Twitter follower numbers? In less than 140 characters, some advice: Keep your Tweets conversational, well-paced, and connected to something others are likely to care about.

Twitter's tight character limit (which includes spaces) provides little real estate to get your point across. That's the beauty -- and the bane -- of Tweeting.

Think of your Tweets as conversations

When you interact with people face to face, you're sharing information through questions, answers, statements, exclamations, and other forms of communication. Social media invites a haiku version of message delivery. In a limited number of words (without the benefit of body language), you're interacting with an unlimited number of potential Twitter "conversationalists."

What makes for a good conversation? For starters, talk about something other than yourself. You may consider your travels, adventures, and daily experiences endlessly interesting, but the lure of your life may not inspire others indefinitely.

Asking questions is a good way to get a Twitter conversation going. Say a dozen people respond to your question. If a couple of people who check out each of those 12 Tweeters' replies decide to sign up as your followers, you have a fresh batch of 24 new followers!

Each time you engage in a Twitter exchange — asking questions, answering posts, conversing — your Twitter ID shows up in the feeds of a wide population of Tweeters. If your microblogs capture the attention of enough fellow users, your follower base is bound to grow!

Pace yourself as you talk through Twitter

Ever tried to have a conversation with someone who talked so fast that you felt like you'd be flattened by their speeding trains of thought?

Take pause. Even blahblahblah comes across better as blah blah blah.

The more you Tweet, the more followings you stand to gain through sheer exposure. Too much of even a good thing, however, is still an expression of excess.

When you're feeling talkative, give your followers a chance to have their say before you go off on a string of other subjects. A conversation isn't a social exchange without more than one participant.

Connect with what your followers care about

Your Twitter following multiplies as you add posts that inform, update, amuse, or educate an awaiting audience.

Tweets are miniature — or micro — blogs. Establishing a blog presence requires giving people something to think and talk about. You're making a connection with who they are and what they want to know. The same principle applies to the abbreviated form of blogs.

Communicating electronically in just a sentence or two marries technological science with the art of brevity with value. If people get excited because your posts mean something to them, they're likely to follow you to find out what you have to say next.

Keep a watch on your Tweet responses. You can expect to spread your Twitter influence if you mix in useful information among your personal posts. If you're a trusted source of good information, the word will get around. If you're entertaining as well, your growing following will notice!

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