Win Friends And Influence People On Twitter In Just 5 Seconds A Day

In just the first two paragraphs of this post, you’ll have learned:

  1. The most misunderstood secret of @ messages.
  2. How to strengthen your connections with Twitter friends.
  3. How to become an influencer to your network.

Yes, Really: It Only Takes Five Seconds

Here’s what you do: Whenever you send a complimentary @ message to someone on Twitter, put a period “.” in front of their username. So you would change this tweet to look like the one below it:


See how fast and easy that was? You’ve changed a (semi) private “thank you” tweet into a public testimonial that all your followers can see. Why? Because if you start a tweet with an @name, only that person and everyone following both of you will see it (read this to learn how that works). You DON’T need the “.” if you start your tweet with words though. See “Add Clarity” below

How to properly thank someone with a tweet

This is the best way to thank people that have helped you! It has tons of benefits for you and them instead of just tweeting “@helpfulone Thanks!” You should try to thank two or more people each day this way. Read on to find out why:

The Benefits of “Giving First:”

This is known as a “give first” social transaction, and often results in reciprocity from the person being praised. For example, they might take a few moments to read your timeline or blog, often resulting in retweets or positive networking for you.

Being social

You also gain recognition as an engaged Twitter user—think about it: most people wouldn’t know about your conversation otherwise. So by showing them off, you’re also demonstrating your social skills. Plus, you’re helping everyone engage socially.

But first and foremost, you are helping your followers! How? By pointing them to users or resources they might find helpful. And always remember: “Praise is like sunlight to the human spirit: we cannot flower and grow without it.” –Jess Lair

► Other Five Second Alternatives

✔ Add clarity

However, especially if the tweet might be unclear to people not included on your original conversation, you might want to re-write the tweet slightly to help “clue in” your followers to exactly what you are saying, so

@TweetSmarter BTW Once again you’re the only one that has answered my question

might become

Once again, @TweetSmarter had the answer I was looking for when no one else did #Helpful

✔ Pump Up The Praise

The simplest way to do this is to rewrite your tweet in a more “testimonial” style. But a fun technique unique to Twitter is to add on a #HashPhrase such as #AlwaysThereWhenINeedThem or #HottestThingSinceSunburn … you get the idea—the more creative and/or humorous, the better.

► Advanced Methods

✔ Spread Out Your Tweets

Once you start experiencing the benefits, this is an addictive way to tweet. Which leads to an unexpected drawback: too many tweets. To solve this, use any Twitter app that lets you schedule tweets, and space out your tweets whenever you plan to be offline (if you want more followers, retweets and clicks as well, I suggest using BufferApp). For example, whenever you end a tweet session, why not schedule a tweet for halfway between now and whenever you expect to be back online again? And if you really do a LOT of tweets like this, you might try even spacing out a few overnight to “tweet while you sleep.”

✔ Double-Duty Retweets

When you find something you really like, before retweeting it, find the author’s Twitter handle and add some praise to them. It can be as simple as tweeting:

20 Things You Must Know About Twitter [link] RT @user ►Great post by @PraiseWorthy !

(To quickly grab symbols like the “►” use this tool.)

✔ Quit #FollowFriday…ing

Instead of bulk-tweeting recommendations for who to follow one day a week without really helping people understand why they should follow someone, why not do it all week long? #FollowFriday tweets annoy a lot of people anyway by making it hard to find regular tweets in the deluge on Fridays. Plus, this gives you a chance to make a real connection, and provide a specific testimonial/recommendation for each person.

Common confusions and errors

Don’t do it all the time

You don’t need to start everything with a “.” Think of it this way—There are three kinds of tweets:

  1. Those that start with @ (Example: “@user How are you?”)
  2. Those that start with .@ (Example “.@user and I are going to the game tonight!”)
  3. Everything else

So you do NOT need to start ALL tweets with the “.” in order for people to see them. Don’t start tweets with a “.” UNLESS you need to do a tweet like #2 above

How a special kind of retweet confuses things.

These are called “native retweets”—and they are confusing until you get used to identifying them. Twitter explains it like this: “If you see a message from a stranger in your timeline, look for the retweet icon – the retweeter should be someone you follow.” Here’s what that looks like:

For more information, see “Recognizing Retweets in Timelines and Profiles.”

Your Tips and Examples?

There are tons of ways to do this well, and almost no way to do it wrong. So leave your tips and examples in the comments!

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