Are You Worth Following on Twitter?

This is an adapted excerpt from’s new eBook, From Tweet to Hired: How to Leverage Twitter to Advance Your Career, by Pete Kistler and Patrick Ambron and including contributions from Chris Perry, Dan Schawbel and several other well-known career and social media experts.

How do you become someone worth following on Twitter?

Creating your profile is the easy part. The next step is to regularly push out tweets people will care about. This is where most people fail! Most tweeters join and don’t know what to do next. They end up following celebrities, tweeting about their day and the only people that follow them back are college buddies and spammers. Don’t worry: if you fall into this category, you are not alone. Only 5% of tweeters have more than 100 followers and only 8% of tweets are considered credible enough to be re-tweeted. Within this small percentage is where your opportunity lies.

The most important thing you can remember to be someone worth following is that Twitter is not about you – it’s about everyone. You can’t simply jump on Twitter and start shouting, “Look at me!” Twitter is a completely open, ongoing conversation, and unless you give people a reason to listen, no one will hear you. Adding value to someone’s day is not only the key to attracting followers, but also the foundation for building meaningful relationships. Here are some key techniques that can help you tweet the right stuff and earn relevant followers:
1. Tweet Helpful Links. People are not, and never will be, interested in what you ate for lunch. They are interested in tweets that yield a positive impact on their day. Take three minutes a day to post a relevant daily quote, tip or article. For example, at our @brandyourself account, we post daily job search tips that attract job seekers who have a use for our tools.To make daily tweets easier, use a tweet scheduler to build some of these up. This allows you to enter dozens of tweets at once and schedule them to post periodically at later dates. People in your field will begin to look for these valuable daily nuggets. If you’re in graphic design, tweet daily Photoshop tips. Your followers will remember you and be more willing to help you down the road because you helped them. To analyze the strength of your Twitter profile and get suggestions about who to connect to on Twitter, sign up for Brand-Yourself and visit the Twitter section of your dashboard.

2. Link to Interesting, Relevant Information. The best way to establish yourself as a valuable member of your community is to share new information on a regular basis. If you are consistently pushing out fresh, targeted content, people will begin to look to you as a source for industry trends. Since the information is valuable, you will earn a ton of re-tweets, and in turn, valuable followers. You will also gain the attention of those you promote. When an employer searches your profile, the hiring manager will see you are heavily involved in industry conversations. See the side bar (right) for a simple way to find, read and share interesting articles with your network.

3. Answer Relevant Questions. Another effective way to prove your worth is by providing help to people who need it. Take a little time each day to search for questions pertaining to your area of expertise using Twitter search tools (see eBook Appendix). Type in a specific keyword followed by a question mark to filter results, such as “graphic design?” or “civil engineer?” Make things easier by using monitoring tools that track these searches and people who need your help. For example, at Brand-Yourself we search for “resume tips?” to find people looking for help with their resume. We then answer their questions or point them to a helpful article we’ve written. This is an excellent way to attract more followers, and establish yourself as an authority in your line of work.

People remember when you go out of your way to help them, and will be happy to return the favor when called upon. If you are looking for freelance work, this is a great way to generate leads. There are hundreds of people looking for guidance, and Twitter allows you to build up credibility one answer at a time.

4. Engage Your Community. Make sure you are personable. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, reply to others using @replies, and ask for feedback. Offer your help for free, recommend products you love and contribute to topics. Use hashtag (#) trackers to find relevant topics and participate in related conversations.

To read more about using Twitter in your job search and personal branding efforts, download your free copy of From Tweet to Hired: How to Leverage Twitter to Advance Your Career today!

Guest Expert:

Pete Kistler is a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely-read career development blogger for, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards.

Pete is a young, enthusiastic and active entrepreneur. As CEO, he manages strategic vision for Brand‐, the world’s first online reputation management platform for job applicants, named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative College Startups in the U.S. He has won a number of top honors for his writing, presentations and business plans.

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