Twitter for Beginners: Step 4

Right about now you should start feeling like a Twitter rockstar: you can tweet, retweet, favorite, follow….heck you can do just about everything. So where do you go from here? It’s time to start putting these skills to use: let’s get you some followers!

Getting followers on Twitter may seem pretty easy: write a good tweet and people will interact with it. Right? Wrong. On Twitter, much of how we view accounts is a combination of tweet quality, level of influence, and relevancy to our ideals and interests. For example, Barbara Corcoran may have a ton of influence, but if you aren’t really into investing and business…you are less likely to ‘follow’ her. So how do you get more followers? Let’s find out:

Tweet Quality

On Twitter, judgements are often made based on the quality of your tweets: an insightful comment will most likely get more interaction than a statement about what you had for lunch. That being said, feel free to tweet about your lunch, just understand that it  might not get as much attention. Tweets that often perform well utilize hashtags to ‘index’ them in relevant conversations. One way to get followers is to do some research on the hashtags listed on the left side of your screen:


If you notice the first hashtag, it says that it is promoted, meaning that Suits has paid for this hashtag to appear first (to coordinate with their episode release in this case). A great way to get on people’s radar is to interact with ‘trending’ or highly popular tweets. That being said be extremely careful when interacting with trending topics, and make sure you always ALWAYS research WHY it is trending (heaven forbid you should accidentally get in trouble, or align two hashtags incorrectly like Kmart). In cases politically sensitive like the Obamas, try to remain neutral…even if you have strong opinions: It’s better to play safe than get burned.

In cases like the Te’o tag, this refers to a news story about his alleged ‘fake girlfriend’ scandal. As a new Twitter, steer clear of that topic until everything is confirmed.

In this case, the safest tag to interact with is the promoted tag, so let’s try that.


In most cases with promoted tags, the company paying for the promotion (in this case USA) will provide a description so that Twitter users can easily interact; sometimes this means a graphic, a set of instructions, etc. Though some trending hashtags will commonly be user-generated and driven by interaction and popularity, anything ‘promoted’ is typically paid-for. Interacting with this type of tag will boost your followers. Let’s move on to the next topic:

Level of Influence

When determining who to follow and who to interact with, many seasoned Twitter users look at the ‘level of influence’ of other Twitter users. Some utilize Google chrome add-ons like Klout or look at affiliations listed on descriptions, while other gauge how often they tweets and how many times their tweets are interacted with. One very simple way to gauge influence, is to simply see how many followers a person has and compare it to how many people they follow.  Here are some examples:


As an example, here is the influence of a small skincare brand. Now let’s compare that to a large retail brand:


As you can see pretty clearly, the retail brand has a pretty strong influence, and that shouldn’t be surprising, as it’s the official Twitter handle of Chanel, as compared to smaller brand Caudalie:

Caudalie-kloutinfluencechanel-klout influence

Now, let’s compare those to an outspoken TV personality entrepreneur with a lot of influence, his own private jet, and a seat in the Shark Tank:


Interestingly enough, this person has tweeted more than Chanel, and follows more people than both Caudalie and Chanel combined. But does it pay off?


Interestingly enough, despite having more followers than Chanel, and tweeting more often than both Chanel and Caudalie, Mark Cuban does not have as much influence. Much of this has to do with what he tweets, who he tweets it at, and who he chooses to follow. When you decide who to follow, always make sure you are following only people with more followers than people they follow. This will help you get an edge on gaining influence. Another tip: try to keep your follower count higher than your ‘following’ count by at least 10 people. This should help you gain more influence. Let’s move on to the most important aspect of Twitter accounts: relevancy.


To stay relevant, make sure you interact with hashtags that are relevant and interesting to you. Don’t hop on a bandwagon trending hashtag because its ‘what everyone else is doing’; if you think it’s cool, do it. If not, don’t. Similarly, don’t just follow a ton of people you think might follow you back: just because I follow Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran doesn’t mean you should if you aren’t interested in business and investment. If you are fascinated by female comedians, follow Kathy Griffin or Ellen Degeneres instead. Everything you do on Twitter is essentially governed by relevancy, and the more you interact with users with interests similar to yours, the better. To do this, search for hashtags in topics you like, such as #women or #innovation and see what conversations you can join.

I hope this helps!

Next Week:

How to Spot a Spammer!

2 thoughts on “Twitter for Beginners: Step 4

  1. Just read your whole “How to tweet for old people who can’t figure it out” series and love the simplicity of your teaching. Just knowing the difference between @ and # is so helpful. Next, how about teaching us to tweet on our phones. Tried to follow you from my phone and couldn’t find you. 🙂

    • Absolutely! I love when people ask for specific topics! I will totally get to work on mobile tweeting…the images might be a little less pretty since I can’t screenshot from a phone…but i’ll do my best…heck would a video be easier for that?

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