By now, most marketers understand that Twitter can have a significant, measurable impact on leads and sales.

But how do you build an account that has that kind of impact? Can you purchase followers?

That's what Donald Dahl asked in a recent forum thread on InboundMarketing.com.

In the discussion that followed, InboundMarketing.com community members explained why buying followers from Twitter pimps (even those with fancy bling and classy orange threads) won't help your business.  

Forum members agreed that Twitter networks are only valuable to your business if they're populated with the right people. They suggested the following ways to build a Twitter network organically:

1. Follow Others

The best way to get followers is to go out and follow people that you're interested in. You can find these people by looking at who your friends follow or by searching for users who tweet about topics you're interested in.

2. Include a Bio and Link on Your Profile

Be a real person.  People are more likely to follow you back if you let them know a little bit about yourself and the value you can bring to the relationship.  

Data from Twitter Grader has demonstrated that users with a bio average eight times more followers than users who don't have a bio. Additionally, users that include a link in their profile experience 7.5 times more followers that those who do not.

3. Reply to Other Users

Use @replies to make a connection with the people that are putting out content. One-way attention will not help you build a network. 

4. Find Thought Leaders

Find the influential people in your niche and communicate with them often to gain both knowledge and exposure to those in their networks.

5. Post Great Tweets 

Above all, make sure you share great information on Twitter. As forum member Steve Early put it, "If you have interesting things to say, you will grow followers over time, and they will follow you for your VALUE, not because you entered the Follow Me Lottery and won."  

photo credit: larrykang

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Originally published Aug 21, 2009 8:29:00 AM, updated October 01 2013

Topics:

Social Media