Larry BraunerYou may have tried without success to use Twitter as a marketing channel. Many marketers struggle with Twitter for one reason or another. It’s often because of where their Twitter leads.

Let me explain.


Spammers often follow myriads of random people on Twitter hoping that enough of them will follow back like sheep, or that they’ll click through the spammer’s profile link to view his or her offer.

However, too many marketers with good intentions adopt a similar strategy. They follow large numbers of targeted people but expect them to follow back without providing ample reason for them to reciprocate.

Getting and Staying Followed

People often ask me how I was able to get tens of thousands of followers. They’re hoping that I can point them to some magical system that will generate as many followers for them as I have.

I don’t use those types of systems nor do I recommend that you use them either. At best they match you up with large numbers of unresponsive followers.

Part of any outreach strategy includes following the people whom you would like following you. Life would be simple if each person you chose to follow reciprocated and followed you back.

While some Twitter users will follow back everybody, most of the ones who are desirable to connect with will be selective. They will follow you back only if they like what you’ve been tweeting or if they like you.

Unless your name is Oprah Winfrey, people will probably size you up based on some combination of your …

  • Username - Avoid the use of underscores (_) and numerals (0-9) if at all possible.
  • Name - Your real name is usually best.
  • Picture - Use a professional looking head shot or company logo.
  • Background - Use a layout that’s interesting and tasteful.
  • Location - Nothing dorky please!
  • One Line Bio - Mix professional and personal details. People search on profiles, so use carefully selected keywords.
  • More Info URL - Point to content that’s helpful and makes a good impression.
  • Privacy Settings - Don’t make your profile private if you want people to follow you. Marketers aren’t supposed to be secret agents.
  • Follower Count - It pretty much is what it is.
  • Follower Ratio - If you follow many more than follow you, you might look like a spammer. If you follow too few, you look unapproachable or like you don’t value two-way communication.
  • Tweet Count - All other things being equal, the more the better but again, it is what it is. Just make sure you post a half dozen representative tweets before you start following people. Fewer than that can be a big turnoff.
  • Tweets - You are what you tweet. What you tweet will be the single biggest success factor in your Twitter career. Refer to Tons of Great Twitter Resources or The Twitter Power System Review.
  • Retweets - Some Twitter users like to connect with people who are somewhat likely retweet their tweets.
  • Tweet Frequency - Some don’t like to follow people who tweet too often, as it tends to fill up their “timeline”.
  • Date of Last Tweet - If you stay away too long, your followers will start giving you the axe.
  • Personal Recommendations - It certainly helps to have fans to promote you, especially on what’s come to be known as #followfriday or #ff, which is actually every Friday.

With such a long list of criteria, it’s a wonder anybody gets followed or followed back. Fortunately people are looking for reasons to follow as much as to reject, and a reasonable effort on your part can be effective enough.

Web Marketing Strategy

As a marketer, the quality of your content off Twitter is as important as the quality of your tweets on Twitter.

You will use your “more info URL” and a portion of your tweets to reference your content, and your content will determine your marketing success with Twitter — and other social media initiatives as well.

It is this to which I refer when I ask, “Where does your Twitter lead people?”

Your Twitter, social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, blog and website all link together to create a web marketing strategy that builds your image, your community and ultimately your business.

Well written, produced, and placed content and skillful search engine optimization and social media marketing both on and off Twitter will enable you to achieve your key objectives.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

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10 Responses to “Where Does Your Twitter Lead People?”

  1. Dorothy on May 31st, 2009 11:18 pm

    Larry: Thanks for the great article, “Where Does Your Twitter Lead People?” Very helpful info.

    Best Regards,

  2. Steve on June 1st, 2009 10:15 am

    Thanks for the great information, Larry. Most important is to focus on great content and being helpful to other readers and twitterers. If you do that, you will grow over time, with followers versus spammers.

  3. Debbie Morgan on June 1st, 2009 1:07 pm

    Hi Larry! Thanks for a great article. I’m always looking for ways to Tweek my Twitter presence! Deb :)

  4. Nicole French on June 1st, 2009 1:20 pm


    We can always look to your for expert advice on how to effectively use Twitter. Thanks!

  5. Larry Brauner on June 1st, 2009 1:39 pm

    Thanks Dorothy, Steve, Debbie and Nicole.

    If anybody would like to help by tweeting this article, try using this link.

  6. Market Segmentation on June 2nd, 2009 8:14 am

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for this informative list about Twitter.

    Didn’t you tell me you were coming out with a Twitter product? When will we hear more about it?


    Linda P. Morton

  7. Eddie Garcia on June 2nd, 2009 9:06 am

    I appreciate your time in writing this post for our benefit. Of course I know it helps you too, but I feel that you do it because you truly want to help others be successful. So do I. I need to put strategies to work in my tweets. Thanks again!

    Friends 4 Life!

  8. Dianne on June 2nd, 2009 10:36 am

    Great info. Thanks!


  9. Joanne Munro on June 6th, 2009 12:54 pm

    Thank you for the useful article; I love social media & think Twitter is such a fantastic way to benefit businesses that I’m going to start offering social media packages to my clients.

    Depending on my client, Twitter can benefit them in so many different ways, that I’m amazed they aren’t using it already (time seems to be the biggest reason)

    Personally I use it as a way to receive information & get ahead of latest technologies & trends. I like that it’s not a direct selling tool but a way to build & establish a reputation and brand. People try to follow me without my business being in any way related to what they do - I prefer to build followers & follow people slowly; I can keep track of who is who then!

    PS - Really sorry to hear about your Dad…

  10. Hans on June 8th, 2009 4:09 am

    Thanks for the great ınfo!.

    My condoleances with the passing away of your father!
    Dutch in Istanbul

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