5 Tips for Making Friends on Twitter
Are you completely new to this platform? Or have you been a passive member for years without ever really engaging with anyone? Twitter is a wonderful social tool, but harnessing its powers for good can be a little tricky for beginners.
Most new users are intimidated by its stream-of-consciousness format and the sudden conversations that erupt out of it. How do these people know each other? Is everyone on Twitter friends? So, how does a new person break into these established cliques and get some followers?
Twitter does have cliques, but unlike real life, these friendships are fluid. The rules of social engagement are far more relaxed here. People don’t use Twitter to stay huddled in small groups forever, they use the platform to expand their social reach and make new friends.
So, follow the tips below to learn the rules of engagement and unlock the full potential of Twitter for yourself.
Tip 1: Join All Conversations That Catch Your Eye
This is easier said than done. Beginners are always hesitant about intruding and giving offense. But, joining random conversations uninvited isn’t considered rude here – it’s what Twitter was built on.
So, go beyond liking and retweeting things you appreciate, and engage with the content. Give your opinion on the tweet with an “@reply” and start a conversation. There will be times when your reply is ignored, but don’t be discouraged. The more you do this, the more people will reply to your statements, and soon you’ll meet users who share your wavelength.
Tip 2: Find New People to Engage With
When you first join Twitter, you might know very few people. Unless someone takes you by the hand and introduces you to a bunch of active users, you are likely to stand in a quiet corner and watch hopelessly as others interact around you.
There are a few things you can immediately do to remedy this:
#1 Check out the trending hashtags on the side panel. Is there anything that you feel strongly about? Once you find a hashtag, click on it, and check out the tweets others are posting under it. Yes, these are strangers, but they are tweeting in the hopes that someone replies. And you totally should!
#2 Use the search feature on Twitter. Look up bands or movies or books that you have interest in, and see what people are saying about them. Talk to these people!
#3 Another way of using the search bar is to simply look up a question mark. A search for “?” gets you every recent tweet where someone asked a question. Usually, these questions aren’t addressed to specific people. They are sent out to the Twitterati in general. Find a question you like and let the asker know that their tweet was noticed.
The important thing to remember when questing for tweets to reply to is that you shouldn’t choose something just for the sake of it. Successful social interactions are never built on lukewarm opinions.
Tip 3: Tweet Regularly
As mentioned above, Twitter is fluid. People engage in passionate, fun conversations with complete strangers, follow each other’s account, and then look forward to similar interactions in the future. But none of that will happen if you abandon your Twitter account for weeks or months, and then come back to post one update about your life. No one will wait around for that.
If you really want to utilize the full potential of Twitter, then you must make a habit of tweeting at least once a day. It doesn’t have to be an update. If you have nothing to share, then just find someone to reply to. This minimal interaction will keep your toes dipped into the waters. You’ll be surprised at the number of conversations you get pulled into just by being present.
Tip 4: Be Original
Find subjects you can tweet about without running out of steam. It’s important for your twitter feed to have more original content than retweets. It’s good to share opinions and GIFs you love, but it’s more interesting for your followers to read your own words. Don’t worry about being witty and fresh. Let your real personality shine through. Here is some advice on how to go about it:
#1 If you want people to reply to your own tweets, then you have to post about subjects that invite opinion. Talk about something you heard on the news, an article you recently read, or a show you just watched. Give your own take on it, and then ask the world what they thought about it.
#2 If you create your own content, then share them on Twitter. But don’t just stop at pasting the link to your video or blog post. Talk about the subject on your feed. Utilize Twitter’s hashtags to drum up interest in what you have to say about the subject. Automated shares on Twitter don’t count as interactions and rarely get people’s attention.
#3 If you’re on Twitter to talk about something specific, then educate yourself on every aspect of that subject. Niche accounts get a lot of followers when they are informative and helpful. Be the user people go to on Twitter when they want answers.
Tip 5: Be an Active User Not a Passive One
You could be creating amazing daily content and never see that follower count go up. Why? Because Twitter thrives on interactions. You have to engage with others for them to be invested in your content.
#1 So, answer all replies on your tweets! You are not obligated to continue conversations indefinitely, but you should always be polite and acknowledge the replies.
#2 Ask a question or run a poll for your followers. If your query is on a topic you are clearly interested in, people will be far more likely to answer.
#3 Be bold about tagging people you know will want to be part of the conversation. The purpose of tagging is to let the person know that something interesting is being discussed. Whether or not they choose to be a part of it, you can be the one who gives them the opportunity to make new friends.
#4 Just check in with your new friends at some point in the day, so you don’t miss their tweets amongst the others in your feed. Friendships on Twitter need as much attention as those in the real world.
#5 Introduce people to each other. Sometimes, you come across users in different conversations who clearly have a lot in common. Be somebody else’s Twitter mentor and help them make more friends.
Twitter is a brilliant tool for bypassing social awkwardness and making new friends. With a little effort and some consistency, you’ll soon be part of your own fluid cliques and a veteran of the platform. All you need is a willingness to engage.