Tips for Increasing Your Twitter Popularity

Linda with a witch!

Linda Aksomitis with a witch at the Horseman’s Hollow event in Sleepy Hollow, New York

Twitter–do you love it or hate it? In this series of blog posts I’ve been describing the methods I use to make Twitter work for me and help other writers, bloggers, librarians, and teachers, find more ways to use it.

If you’ve got a great “room” full of followers in the Twitterverse, then you’re ready to really start making Twitter work for you. Need more followers? I talk about how I built up my list in my first post on using Twitter.

Then, in my second Twitter article, I tell you how I get my name and brand tweeted out, with each and every blog post I make, to a hundred thousand or more using the Triberr service. Never heard of them? Click here.

And today I’d like to tell you how I make sure my posts aren’t overnight wonders like those child actors, who fade away into obscurity when they should be getting credit for their experience in movie and tv land, and landing great parts.

The thing about Twitter is that the more people you follow, the more tweets you have pouring in. Sometimes I’ll have 20 or 30 or 40 in just five minutes! Of course, my followers are in the same cyberboat, so to speak. It could be a fulltime occupation just looking for the tasty morsels that get tossed into the steamy stream of not-so-exciting tweets.

Nobody has that much time. Not me. Not you.

That’s why I’m a retweeter for those who missed the first curtain call.

One of your twitter features (under ) shows you where you were mentioned in the Twitterverse. When you’re on Triberr, every tweet that your fellow tribe members have tweeted about your post shows up here. So, you can retweet your own articles out to your followers again, just in case they missed the link the first time.

I do make it a point to never retweet a single article more than twice though–three’s a charm in my books!

Remember when I talked about Twitter being a lot like building your popularity in the brick-and-mortar world? There, the more often someone invites you to their parties, the more popular you’re deemed to be. The same things is true on Twitter. If your tweets get retweeted, the Twitterverse figures you must have said something very interesting and gives you Twitter popularity points.

You can even find out your Twitter popularity ranking through online services like

But that’s still a little like old movie and tv reruns, isn’t it? While child actors may get residual income from them, reruns don’t make a career.

To keep getting new attention, those child actors have to continue going to try-outs and getting exposure as they age. The same thing is true of your blog content or website articles. If–and only if–the content is still relevant and useful to your readers, you can periodically create new tweets for your old posts once their initial launch events are done.

I find this works particularly well if you can relate an old post to a timely event or season or piece of news. Remember though, that this time around you’re not likely going to rely on the title of the page or post for the content of your tweet, but need to come up with something that makes this old post relevant and useful for your followers.

The last thing you want to do is to make your tweets look and feel like blatant self-promotion. Many tweeters get so caught up in tweeting things over and over that they forget what happened to Chicken Little when she kept crying that the sky was falling and her friends stopped listening…when we hear the same thing over and over we just tune it out, even in cyberspace.

So, for the most success at using Twitter to bring readers to my content, I make sure I don’t litter my followers’ Twitter feeds, but try to strike a happy balance between ensuring what I want to share gets out there without turning into Chicken Little.

If you’re a librarian, or teacher, who has been following this strand of posts (under the tag “Twitter”), and don’t have any content you’re publishing of your own to share, you may be wondering how any of this applies to you? That’s coming up in my next post–stay tuned!

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How I Use Twitter as a Writer

Linda Aksomitis kayaking

Linda Aksomitis urban kayaking on the St. Mary River in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Photo by David Aksomitis.

Many of us–writers, bloggers, librarians and teachers–have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. We’d love to know what it’s supposed to do, but hate to invest a ton of time to find out it really doesn’t accomplish much of anything.

To summarize, these are the most common things I’ve heard:

  • It’s hard to figure out how to use Twitter
  • Twitter takes too much time
  • It’s boring to read hundreds or thousands of tweets that are meaningless little vignettes on somebody’s day-to-day life (let’s face it, nobody really cares that I forgot to check the barbeque because I was tweeting and burnt tonight’s should-a-been-awesome ribs)
  • Tweeting doesn’t seem to accomplish anything

In my last blog post, I went through my goal of finding 5000 people interested in the same things I am as followers. I also talked about time management to make it happen.

However, the task of building that list of followers can be bumpy. Just like face-to-face people you meet at the gym or the office, we don’t know until we hang out with them for awhile whether or not we enjoy their company and want to listen to what they have to say.

On the bright side, if you find you’ve ended up following somebody whose tweets you’d like to turn off, you can. Just unfollow them. Likely you’ll be weeded from their list as well when they realize you’ve disappeared.

So that brings us to the big question– now that you’ve got like-minded followers, how do you accomplish something on Twitter? My goals, you may remember from my first post, are to build my name recognition and branding.

Since I’m a big believer in the old adage to show, not tell, I figure the best way to accomplish this is to lead my followers to some some of my writing, insightful blog posts, and awesome information (gotta think positive, right?) that I’ve got online.

The thing is that we all like to get to know one another out here, so popular tweeters mix up the types of things they post. I quickly remove somebody who keeps sending me ads for that single e-book they’ve published, along with anybody who spits out frequent profanities about people in their face-to-face world.

If you’ve never “traveled” with me, you may not have discovered my travel blog at where I share my travel adventures from around the world. My upcoming series of posts over there will take you chasing the best fall foiliage for 2013 from Saskatchewan to South Carolina, with a few dozen states in between.

Obviously, I tweet the URL to each blog post as I publish it. Less obviously, I belong to a group of tweeters on a service called Triberr, who tweet each others’ posts. The group I’ve joined are a carefree bunch of travel writers from “have sippy cup, will travel” to “banana skin flip-flops (who owns the tribe I’m active in).”

How does it work? Well, I installed a Triberr WordPress plugin that sends each new post of mine off to the group and feeds everyone else’s posts back to a list on my WordPress dashboard. I review the list and approve (or remove) each item for distribution on my Twitter feed (I have my account set to tweet one neat new destination every hour). I don’t approve anything I don’t think would be of interest to my followers.

So instead of tweeting my neat new destination out to my 5000 (or however many follwers I have), my post is tweeted out to a hundred thousand or more people who are connected to these travel writers. That’s a lot of people seeing my name and being exposed to my brand!

Of course, if the title of my post has done a good job of creating excitement then I get a surge of visitors to the tweeted page, plus a number of people “discovering” my travel site and reading more. Many also sign up to receive my RSS feed or join my site as subscribers.

Since Twitter is a microblog, or a short form of blogging, it’s a great way to get readers interested in your other content.

And that’s just the start! My next blog post on how to make the most of Twitter will also be added under the tag, Twitter, when it comes out. Join me then.

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