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twitter circle and birdI always stress to clients that results on Twitter don’t happen overnight. This isn’t to discourage them from using it to enhance their marketing—but to help them understand the power of consistent, personal interactions and the cumulative effect this can have on their business.

Every time you engage others on Twitter, you are planting seeds that can have potentially big payoffs in the future. Once I explain this concept, the next concern is usually that this will be a major time investment. It’s not—if you leverage your time by applying a few of the select strategies discussed below.

Re-tweet

Re-posting others’ interesting tweets is one of the easiest and most effective ways to be discovered and gain more followers. For the people that are already following you, it’s a quick way to get on their radar screens.

Thought-provoking quote

People always seem to love great quotes. You have a good chance of being re-tweeted with these. The quotes you choose can also help you share a bit of your personality.

Feedback on someone’s link

Take a minute to visit a link someone has posted. They will often preface the link with what it’s about. If it’s of interest to you, check it out and then share your thoughts on it with the poster afterward.

Answer a question

Know the answer? Don’t be shy—share your expertise. If the particular question pertains to your niche, even better.

Ask a question

By the same token, people like to share their own knowledge. Give them an opportunity to do so.

Thank someone for their re-tweet or compliment

Gratitude is powerful and people tend to remember and appreciate when you’ve expressed it.

Respond to @ replies and direct messages

Try to respond to both the private and public messages you receive. It’s just good manners. Plus, there are lots of people who unfortunately do not do it—so exceed others’ expectations by making a habit of doing so.

Participate in #followfriday

FollowFriday is simply an event each Friday on Twitter where people recommend others to follow. After they’ve given the Twitter usernames they are recommending, they add the hashtag. If you have people in mind you think would be good to follow, let others know—there’s a good chance those you’ve recommended will return the favor.

Use Blip.fm

If you’re a music lover (who isn’t?), try using Blip.fm. Just set up a free account on their site and you can start playing DJ. Choose the option to send the songs you’ve “blipped” to Twitter. To paraphrase Madonna, music really can make the people come together. 🙂 Of course, you don’t want to fill up your entire Twitter stream with links to your blips, but once in awhile it’s fine to share your musical tastes with others.

Post a poll

Need feedback on something? Yep, there’s a hashtag for that: #poll. People really like participating in these.

By choosing to put a few of these strategies in place each day, you’ll build momentum, raise your profile and begin noticing others re-tweeting and engaging you more. Just like real life, it’s about personality. Let that come through and it will pique others’ curiosity, drive them to seek out more info about you, and eventually lead them to click through to your site.

Commit to implementing these techniques regularly. Essentially, it comes down to two things: interacting and providing value.  You’ll begin being perceived as an expert, see yourself getting recommended by others, and be well on your way to building your own “tribe” of raving fans.

Now, you can’t say you don’t know what to tweet about!

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