Spammy content, bad bios, hashtag overload. Are you guilty? It’s not too late to fix your Twitter game. Consider this an intervention.

  1. Stop spamming your followers.

Did you sign up for a tweet aggregator because you didn’t have enough time to devote to tweeting? Tweeting a lot is better than not tweeting at all, right? Not really. We know. Scouring the web to find quality content to share with your followers can be a time-consuming pain. However, if you are trying to put your Twitter feed on autopilot 24/7 by signing up for web applications that use RSS feeds to copy content into your feed automatically, your followers are going to notice. And if your Twitter feed is spitting out robotic content that isn’t relevant to your followers, they are going to flee.

That’s not to say that tweet aggregator’s are all bad. When used correctly, these tools can supplement your Twitter efforts, increase your following and help you find amazing content that you might not have found otherwise. Just make sure you are using a hands on approach to Twitter most of the time. Try to do at least 95% of the tweeting yourself and if you need some help filling in the gaps, try one of the tools Jeff Bullas discusses in this post.

  1. Start tweeting more.

Have you ever noticed how quickly your Twitter feed gets filled up with new content, even if you just leave it open for a couple of minutes? Some companies tweet 10 times a day or more! Since Twitter is such a fast paced platform, you need to tweet more than a few times a week to get your tweets noticed, otherwise they are just going to get buried in your followers’ feeds. If you are just getting used to tweeting, aim for one great tweet a day. Then work your way up to 3-5 tweets per day (that includes the weekend days, people!)

There are so many great tweet scheduling tools out there today, there’s no reason you can’t schedule out an entire week’s worth of tweets ahead of time. Once you’ve done that, you can just log on when you have time (once or twice a day minimum, ideally) to interact with users who have followed or retweeted you and do some favoriting, following and retweeting yourself.

In order to grow your Twitter following, you need to share content that people want to read–whether it’s potential customers or other people in your industry. Before you tweet something ask yourself this: “Will my followers find this tweet interesting or am I just tweeting for the sake of tweeting?” If the information you plan on sharing isn’t going to be helpful or interesting to a potential customer or another person in your industry, don’t share it.

  1. Stop beginning a post with the @ symbol.

Twitter reads this as a prompt to begin a direct message with the person or company Twitter handle that you have called out. You might see some people put a period right before the @ symbol (like .@Sting Marketing) for this reason, but this can look sloppy. If you want to attribute some content that you are sharing to the person who created it (you should), then be sure to place the Twitter handle within the tweet or at the tail end. Not at the very beginning.

  1. Start following and retweeting other experts in your industry.

Twitter is a social platform. So you have to be social on it to be able to use it to it’s fullest potential. This doesn’t mean that you should retweet every single post that you see. Again, you should only post or retweet content that will be useful to your followers. But when you favorite or retweet a post that you like, the person who posted the original tweet gets a notification and may just click on your profile to see some of the awesome content you have been posting. If they like what they see, chances are they will follow you back and may even retweet you in the future, spreading your content even further.

  1. Match your website keywords to the words you are hashtagging.

Have you done your keyword planning homework? In case you don’t know, keywords are the words or combination of words that search engines look for when they pull results for someone who has conducted a search on a search engine. If you are an estate planning attorney, your keyword list probably includes words like “wills and trusts,” “probate” and so on. A coffee shop’s keywords might include things like “best coffee in Portland,” “cold brew coffee,” or “coffee shops with live music,” just to name a few.

These are the words you should be hashtagging. (#wills and #trusts, #CoffeeShop #livemusic, #etc.) People who search for posts containing a particular hashtag are actively looking for information on theat subject and would be thrilled to find your content. Likewise, if someone sees a hashtag that he or she finds interesting and clicks on it, they will be taken to a list of posts also containing this topic—and they will most likely see yours.

Just don’t go too crazy with the hashtags. More than three in a post can be annoying.

  1. Add some variety.

If your twitter feed is all text and no pictures or videos, most potential followers will run in the other direction. Be sure to switch things up every day. Your feed should include a healthy mix of plain text posts, videos and posts with pictures. If you have 10 tweets, your combination should look something like this: 2 plain text posts + 2 video posts + 6 posts containing text and a high-quality picture. You can find wonderful, free photos that don’t require attribution online. Our favorite resource for this is Pexels.

  1. Make a better bio.

Twitter bios may be small, but they can be mighty. In addition to containing key information about you or your business, you can also get creative and use it to take advantage of some good keyword hashtags (like we talked about a minute ago) and links to other Twitter accounts you are associated with. For example, my personal/professional Twitter bio is: “Dog lover. #Pizza aficionado. Content creation expert @Sting Marketing.”

In addition to including your website URL beneath the bio, you can also include a link to a landing page on your website within your bio. That way the people who click on it are going right where you want them to. Make sure your profile photo is either your logo or a picture of you. And change your cover photo once in a while to keep things fresh. Many companies change their cover photo with every new season or whenever they have a promotion going on.

And there you have it! Follow these tips and watch your Twitter following grow. What are your best Twitter tips? Tweet at us (@Sting Marketing) and let us know.