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Four Easy Tactics for Becoming a Must-Follow Account on Twitter

by Slavik Volinsky  |  
January 31, 2012

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Four ways to gain followers on Twitter
  • Ways to find and engage prospects and customers
  • How to effectively use Twitter search and Twitter lists

As a smart marketer or business owner, you are likely aware of the benefits of blogging and publishing helpful content on a regular basis. Doing so establishes you as a thought leader, allows you to rank well for relevant search keywords, and, as a result, brings more traffic to your site, which generates more leads. The classic inbound marketing example!

But how about social media, and Twitter in particular? How do you get more followers to spread your message to lots of people?

Sorry to disappoint... you really don't. Save that for the outbound. But here's what you can do on Twitter:

  • Connect with and listen to your customers and prospects.
  • Get new ideas for blog posts, products/services, etc.
  • Help others, and answer their questions.
  • Promote others' material/products.
  • Give credit to others.
  • Establish your Twitter account as a must-follow in the industry.
  • Promote your products/services. (Yes, it can be done after all! But do the other suggestions continually, at least 80% of the time.)

If you're new to Twitter and have yet to gain a following, you can do many things today to become a "must-follow account" in the future. Here are four tactics to get you started.

1. Use Twitter's search to connect with prospects

Do you ever wonder how many people talk about your services every day on Twitter? What exactly are they talking about, and what question do they ask? Finding the answer is easy; just use Twitter search.

Go to, and use the following advanced search operators:

  • Use near:"city" to find local results (e.g., tennis near:"new york" or near:"albany, ny").
  • Use within:25mi, for example, to narrow down your search range by distance, in miles, to the city you've selected.
  • Use -http (minus sign http) to make sure that none of the tweets contain links.
  • Use ? (question mark) to show only tweets with a question.
  • Use "tennis lessons" (in quotation marks) to search for an exact phrase.
  • Use OR to find tweets that have any of the words in your search query (e.g., why OR what OR how OR where).

Mix and match any of those search operators, and you might end up with a search query similar to the following: tennis ? -http near:"new york" within:45mi. You'll see tweets that include the word "tennis," have a question mark, contain no links, and come from somebody within 45 miles of New York City.

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Slavik Volinsky is an online marketer at, a promotional products company. Slavik blogs about inbound marketing and related fields. Follow him on Twitter via @svolinsky or subscribe to the Promo & Marketing Wall blog.

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  • by Robert J Banach Tue Jan 31, 2012 via web

    Excellent advice and I will begin to use it as of today, thank you for sharing.
    Also, will be hitting all the buttons for this post.

  • by Lindsay Casale Tue Jan 31, 2012 via web

    Very Helpful. I've never utilized lists before but now I see the value and have started doing it on my account! Thanks for this article!

  • by Slavik Volinsky Tue Jan 31, 2012 via web

    Thanks for your feedback, Robert and Lindsay! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • by Nick Lima Tue Jan 31, 2012 via mobile

    Best SMM article I have read. Thanks!

  • by Lyn Wed Feb 1, 2012 via iphone app

    Great practical tips and examples.

  • by SmolkoMatic Wed Feb 1, 2012 via web

    Nice article, I find it very useful.

    Twitter is useful for marketing purposes and if you want to see your influence geeting better and better, it is good to check it on services that measure it. Like PeerIndex, Klout and now Twenity, with added gamefication for more fun (

    I'm not sure if this marketing tool will last or not, but for now it is working quite well. Besides, you can get relevant information for your field of interest.

  • by Naren Wed Feb 1, 2012 via web

    Excellent tips for someone starting in social media

  • by Allyson Wed Feb 1, 2012 via web

    Really enjoyed this post, thanks.

  • by Slavik Volinsky Wed Feb 1, 2012 via web

    SmolkoMatic, very good point. Since Twitter is really not about the number of followers, but about the quality of the followers/engagements you get -- I like seeing the growing Klout score (and the "true reach" it shows).

    Thanks for your comment!

  • by SmolkoMatic Thu Feb 2, 2012 via web


    And yes, like everywhere, the quality matters. But then again, it's a huge difference what a quality tweet is. For example, if you take some media star, like say Justin Bieber, and on the other hand some tech blogger or news company. Can you imagine Justin tweeting about Zynga's revenue on Facebook :)? I think there would be a significant drop of his followers.

    You have to ask yourself who or what you want to represent on Twitter and act accordingly.

  • by Ana Bucuroiu Tue Feb 7, 2012 via web

    Very useful tips, thank you.

    The content is king and everyone must realize that. We must offer only the best and valuable informations, especialy trends, news, tips, how to articles from our profesional activity areas. Micro blogging is another Social Media channel that help us communicate and engage with our prospects, so we have to use it in a good manner.

    Personal brand must be very important for us and for company that we represent and for that reason we have to be careful with what we are saying in Social Media.

    Best regards,


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