If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then this article is for you.

  • Want more followers and retweets?
  • New to Twitter and want to make it useful for you?
  • Twitter isn’t working as well as you’d like it to?

The three steps to a great Twitter reputation are content, style and connections.

First—because this is what makes you really popular—we’ll cover making connections and building your account.

Second, we’ll work on creating tweets that will give people something to retweet, and help people get to know you and want to recommend you.

Your tweets are the core to your reputation. You’re going to need four  types: Popular, focused, conversational and retweets/thank-yous.

Third, we’ll work on your Twitter style. This mean understanding the social etiquette and rules of Twitter as they apply to you.

Ready? Let’s get started:

Making Incredible Connections On Twitter

Begin by searching for people to engage with by topics that interest you. You want to find the most engaged and influential users in the topics that you care about most. Here is a collection of resources that you can use to search for Twitter users by topic:

FollowerWonk WeFollow Directory Search HashTags.org
Topsy Expert Search TagWalk.com (shows related resources) Icerocket
Listorious List Search Local Follow Social Mention
TweetLevel topic search PeekYou http://listatlas.com/
Faxo user search (allows several filters) Hashtweeps top users by hashtag Twibs
Twellow Directory Search Super Dashboard at peoplebrowsr.com TweetFind

Add users that you find and are considering to Twitter lists, so you can watch how they tweet for awhile.

You’ll want to follow very few key people at first, because you’ll want to have time to devote to them once you follow them.

When influential users begin to retweet you, a LOT of people will check you out.  You will gain followers if you have the right mix of tweets, and demonstrate an understanding of Twitter etiquette.

There are two key approaches to making influential connections who will recommend you and retweet you over time. Which you do most depends on your personal goals. And the approach doesn’t matter as much as how you engage. Your two options are:

1. Build A “Personal Learning Network (PLN)

This is the most powerful way to build your reputation and get influential users to promote you. Many influential users are very focused on one particular niche, so it helps if you are also very focused on the same niche. You will pick key users and do as much as you can to assist them.

3. Engage And Follow Through

As you build your reputation people are going to be recommending you.

Having the right tweets means when people check you out they will follow you, and feel comfortable recommending you to others. 

It’s important to have each of four kinds of tweets mixed together every day: Popular, focused, conversational and retweets. That’s because when people check you out, your tweets are what teach them about you.

If you have all of one kind of tweet, they won’t learn as much about you, and you’ll get fewer followers, and fewer recommendations.

And don’t forget to spread out your tweets! Don’t overwhelm people with a bunch of tweets all at once. Use Buffer to naturally space things out to times when most people are online.

1. Popular Tweets

Hot topics should be tweeted when you find them, or within a few hours (easiest for Twitter management: just add to your Buffer).

There are many services you can check to find a hot topic that interests you whenever you are online and have a couple of minutes. Here are few to get you started:

  1. NewsWhip
  2. LinkedIn Today
  3. PopURLs
  4. BuzzFeed
  5. Digg
  6. AllTop

Quotes, Facts And Humor

If you need some encouragement to be funny, here are couple tips. Try writing about what you or your friends are up to, or a current news item or hot topic, and then combine it with a funny or famous line, such as quotes from movies or TV. Make a game of it!

Another way of creating funny tweets is to say something out-of-character (stupid, obvious, or as if you didn’t mean to say it), then follow that up with, “Oh wait…”.

2. Focused Tweets

The first two kinds of tweets can be scheduled some of the time. Conversation tweets are where you reply to people, help people, or get help.

Begin by regularly searching for people who need help and helping them. Start by reading tweets about people asking questions about Twitter by doing a Twitter search like this. Use Google search or search Twitter’s help website to find answers. Also read a Twitter article or two each week to learn more.

Finally, after making sure you are replying to everyone who tweets to you (even if you’re a few days late sometimes), begin asking questions from time to time.

4. Retweets And Thank-You’s

You need to show that you retweet others. Either your focused or popular tweets should be retweets from time to time. To find popular things to retweet from time to time, check @GuyKawasaki and @FlipBooks. Later, you’ll be mostly retweeting things from key connections as you make them.

Don’t automatically thank people for following you, but do thank them for retweets sometimes (“follow thanks” are so common as to be considered spam by many users). If you chat with someone right after they follow, it’s okay to thank them afterward though.

Above all, learn how to turn praise for others into public compliments on Twitter.

Developing Your Twitter Style

The main thing is to be responsive. To build a great reputation your tweets need to show you are a real person who engages with others. Having conversation and retweet tweets in balance is a big help.

Your Mentors

Once you start making great connections on Twitter, pay attention to how they use Twitter. Emulate them and ask questions in order to build your own style.

The fastest way to begin using Twitter really well is to have great mentors, promote them, and ask for and listen to their advice.

What do you think? Have any questions or comments on building a great reputation? Leave a comment in the box below.


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Written by Dave Larson

Helping everyone get the most out of Twitter and social media.

  • Very helpful…I have been learning some of these tips/tricks along the way but this is the first time I found them put together in a concise fashion. Thanks for sharing. 

  • Awesome information.  Thanks.

  • Stephanie R

    If you’d like to see what the most popular tweets about a subject you care about are, take a look at http://labs.windward.net/ It provides avisual graph of the tweet trends against a word or phrase, it’s great. 

  • How To Make Money With Tweets http://t.co/2LDN0EI

  • very informative list you have there! Really a big help in building your reputation not only in tweeter but can be applied in other social media as well. 

    Thank you very much.. need to apply this! cheers!


  • Robert Ricker

    Fantastic article, Dave! Thanks for the inspiration! Just found and fell in love with BufferApp a couple of weeks ago and I’m having a blast learning and growing! Cheers!

  • MSaintGermain

    Thanks for sharing the Emily Post’s etiquette for Twitter. I found this post very useful! 

  • Thanks for the mention of NewsWhip! Will be taking your advice into account as we continue tweeting into the new year!

  • clay

    great advice oh and make sure to follow me on twitter @claystocker 😉

  • Krsity

    Great article, really entertaining stuff!. 🙂 If you’d like to see some useful stuff too, check out this blog http://www.buyrealmarketing.com/blog/twitter-etiquette-how-to-be-a-good-twitter-user

  • What I really like about your articles is that you always include the best resources one might require to work on the strategies you suggest. That helps to take quick actions and keep the things in mind. It’s especially helpful for people who forget easily.

    And yes, I totally agree with how you need to find great mentors, follow them and kinda copy them while putting in your original touch. Sound confusing but is really simple when you put in genuine efforts.


  • David

    Hey Dave, Dave here, great article! It seems like this article is always relevant and even after all this time, building a brand and reputation on twitter is ever so important. In fact we at http://www.pranswer.com noticed that many clients using our reputation solution focus on enhancing their brand and reputation via reviews especially on Twitter out of all other social media channels! Twitter is ever so relevant and interesting for brands, and serves as a great tool to engage with customers and prospects in a different way, away from website or Facebook.

  • Betsy Hudson

    Hi Dave. The info you give is extremely helpful. Your numbers seem to be a little bit out of order though, and because I’m so new at this, that’s confusing to me. I’m selfishly hoping you can take another look at the post and straighten out the order.