Tips for Top Twitterers

twitter birdWant to be a Twitter superstar?  Want more followers, more tweets shared and more engagement?  Here are seven ways to boost your Twitter presence and be more active without spending your entire day tweeting.

Follow Wisely

While much is made of the number of twitter followers you have, the quality of those followers is as important if not more so, as is those you are following.  Far better to have 500 active followers who actually read and retweet your tweets, than 5000 who don’t do anything. In the same vein, follow those whose tweets actually interest you and will stimulate engagement instead of randomly following hordes of twitterers who will clutter your stream with tweets outside your interest, making it hard to find those that do interest you.

Use Lists

Either take advantage of Twitter’s built-in list tool to group your followers in whatever fashion works for you or use one of the many tools available like Formulist to see at a glance the subjects or people that interest you most.

Be interested in your followers

And be interested in those you follow. Respond to their tweets, comment on them. Answer questions, comment on the link or blog post they just sent.  Remember, we are always more interested in those who are interested in us. To get people to be interested in you, be interested in them—really.  Every tweet does not need to be a link.  Wish your followers a good morning, a happy birthday, a good luck–things that are relevant to them.  And mention them with the @ and their twitter handle.  Shout outs are always welcome, especially when they’re personalized and not just a list of names.

Make it easy to be Retweeted

Twitter offers you 140 characters to make your statement and you should take advantage of every one of them, right? Wrong. Whenever possible, make them 120 characters or less to allow room for retweeting without cutting off your link or the end of your tweet. And make sure to thank your retweeters by twitter name.  Everyone likes to be appreciated.  The more you appreciate them, the more attention they’ll be paying to you.

twtter bird follow meRetweet interesting stuff

Look for opportunities to retweet.  Retweet items that will be helpful to your followers or that will make them laugh or smile or brighten up their day in some way.  Don’t overdo it and don’t retweet spammy links.

Time your tweets

It’s counterproductive to hop on Twitter, send out 10 or 20 or more tweets in a row and then  hop off again.  Spread your tweets out over the course of the day, giving yourself an opportunity to be seen by more followers.  Most of us don’t have all day to sit and Twitter, so there are many apps you can use to time your tweets.  Some of the most popular are Hootsuite, SocialOomph, Buffer & TweetDeck.  I’ve used the first three & find them all useful in different ways. In addition, there are apps that will analyze your Twitter activity and account and suggest for you the best times to tweet. CrowdBooster, Timely & Tweriod are three of these.

Use Hashtags Wisely

You know what a hashtag is, right? If you’ve been on Twitter more than 5 minutes, you’ve seen one. It’s the # symbol, followed by a word or phrase.  Using one or two in a post is fine. More than that is annoying.  Hashtags make it easy for people to find tweets on particular topics in a search. Make sure your hashtag is actually relevant to the post. Too many hashtags in one post and hashtags unrelated to the content make you look like a spammer.


So, what are your best Twitter tips?  What have you found most helpful for engaging on Twitter?


And if you found this helpful, please use the buttons below to tweet or share it with your network.

 Marie Leslie is the chief Creative Genius at  Marie Leslie Media.  With 30 years experience as a professional writer, editor and photographer she has had work published in many regional and national magazines. Marie currently writes and teaches about business and social media, helping people to understand and make use of the ever-changing internet.  She offers social media training and set up, including blog set-up and optimization as well as blog writing & social media management services.

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  1. Flossie Garcia says:

    I have a lot of work to do in order to make my Tweeting more effective. People seem to have so much trouble with these. I hope I see them mentioned more! I’d like to know your most important advice to writers who haven’t started a platform yet.

  2. Sad to say I’m the most media savvy of my local writers group & volunteered to give next month’s lesson. I’m still figuring out twitter. I’d like to know your most important advice to writers who haven’t started a platform yet. Which 1st? Twitter, blog, FB, google+? Why? Blogger or WordPress, etc. I tried hootsuite & didn’t understand, so which tool is easiest? Which is best for what? I’d like to see a social media spreadsheet or map or to do list in order or importance. Most of my local group, Emerald Coast Writers, is not LDS. Any help will be much appreciated.

    1. Sher, I would say if you are just beginning to dip your toes in the Social Media waters, start with Facebook first, then Twitter. I think Facebook is the easiest to get started on, as you can begin by interacting with friends and acquaintances. And, I am a WordPress fan myself. It really should be WordPress hosted on your own domain, though, for the best results. I have blogs on both platforms and am in the process of moving my Blogger blog to WordPress because I like it so much better.

      I love Twitter because it’s quick and it’s simple and it forces me to be concise and think about what I want to say. I’ve made great connections through both Facebook and Twitter. I don’t use Google+ a great deal, but I do believe it will end up being a major player in the social media game. Hootsuite is my first choice for scheduling my social media, but it can be tricky to get started with, especially if you’re not familiar with how social media works.

      If you’d like to send me an email with some of the questions you’re hoping to address in next month’s lesson, I will try and point you toward some answers and resources to get you going.

    2. Solid advice… sometimes the foundation of good social citizenship gets overlooked in all the hype of “make money/get followers/etc”.

      I have a suggestion for a tool to manage social accounts. I discovered Sprout Social recently and I’m surprised that I’ve never seen it mentioned alongside tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck. It’s got a great dashboard and a really nice visual interface. I find it super intuitive and robust. It’s got Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn integration in the basic model, with FourSquare in the pro model. I hope I see them mentioned more! Google them up, I think it’s worth a look.

  3. These are all great tips, Marie, thanks for sharing. I especially like “use lists” and “make it easy to be retweeted.” I am learning more about the power of lists and it’s saving me as my follower number grows! I always like to add a comment when I retweet and it’s so frustrating not to have any space. (Although I must admit that I’m guilty of using all 140 too often!)

  4. Great tips. I am still learning. I wonder when do you address a comment with a direct messge versus @ Mention.

    1. INgrid, I would address a comment with a direct message if it contained personal information that I didn’t want the rest of the world to know (like my private phone number, address, my current weight or simply something very personal) or if I was going to be giving away private client or business information. When your response contains information that wouldn’t bother either of you to be known than an @ mention would be just fine.

  5. Exceptionally helpful post Marie! Certainly one of the best and most concise I’ve read on the subject of Twitter. I think I better go unfollow some people… 🙂

  6. Hi Marie. What a great list. I have a lot of work to do in order to make my Tweeting more effective. Now I have a good “list” to follow 🙂

    1. Great. I hope you find it helpful. I find my social media is always a work in progress. Always something new to learn, something new to try.

  7. Great info! As a relatively new ‘tweeter’ I am still learning, so lots of helpful info that I can apply right away ~ thanks!

  8. Love this–especially the idea of keeping our tweets even shorter than 140 characters. I find that this really encourages RT’s and @mentions because can add their own note to my tweet!

    Really fun post!

  9. Thanks a lot for sharing – this is exactly what I was looking for – you are wonderful Marie! 🙂

  10. You are right on all counts. Until last week, I had no lists, and I was drowning in a sea of followers without connecting to the ones I enjoyed.

    I cleaned up my follower list with Manage Flitter, too, which helps, and I only do a listed S/O once a week for everyone who RT’s, mentions, or shows me love.

    I also think everything is reciprocal, but the “paying-it-forward” concept is the most incredible. It brings me joy to tell another that they are amazing. You’re one of those amazing people, Marie.

  11. This is just what I needed! I am still trying to figure out all about Twitter as I would love to build relationships with those I follow and those who follow me. Thanks for sharing these great tips!

  12. Thank you, Marie for the wealth of information! I do use ‘Lists’ and it is very useful. I have been looking to time my tweets, so I will definitely check out those suggestions.

  13. Such a good resource, Marie. I’ve Tweeted the link encouraging my followers to Bookmark. The thing that comes to my mind is the difference between RT, Mention and Reply. People seem to have so much trouble with these. Perhaps you could follow up on this as well. My advice: If you are going to Reply to a Tweet, it strips the original message so put the crux back in so your followers will have a clue about the original message. Ex: “Yes, Jason that is a fascinating book.” Just leaves us wondering to what book were they referring?

    Thanks for the great blog post, Marie. Keep it up!

    1. That’s a great idea, Linda. I’ll add blogging about that to my schedule. Thanks!

  14. Good stuff here, Marie. I use Hootsuite on my iPad and love it. I find SocialOomph tedious – maybe it’s just me. Very useful post!

    1. I agree, John. I use SocialOomph for some clients, but I just don’t like it as well as I like Hootsuite. Maybe it’s just that I got to Hootsuite first, but I find SocialOomph to be more cumbersome for scheduling tweets.

  15. Love this information! Hashtags are something I have not applied until this week actually but know must become an element of my tweeting, esp now that my Twitter page has become so active..who knew! lol!