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It is rare to speak to a company owner who uses Twitter but who doesn’t want more followers. A few might say the numbers aren’t important plus they are only focused on “quality followers.” However, it’s generally the ones who only have a few Twitter followers who make this argument.

As a company owner why would you want more Twitter followers? Here are three good reasons:

1. More followers provide social authority. Just like virtually any ranking system, the higher your follower count, the greater people (your prospects) assume you are an expert-or at least someone intriguing and popular. It might never be valid, but it is the way it works in a world where there is a ranked list for everything.

2. More followers extend your influence. Twitter is the perfect tool for spreading suggestions to a wider audience. For those who have ideas worth sharing, why wouldn’t you want to spread them to as much people as possible? Twitter makes it ridiculously easy to repeat this. The bigger your follower count, the faster your ideas will likely to be spread and shared.

3. More followers leads to more sales. You’re likely on Twitter for one of three reasons: To be entertained, to network with others, or to sell your stuff. Whether it’s a brand name, a product, a service, or even a cause, more followers provide the chance to generate more leads and more conversions. It is an excellent marketing tool for smaller businesses.

Before I share with you some suggestions on how exactly to boost the number of your Twitter followers, I think it is crucial that first I should tell you how never to do it.

Don’t try to cheat the system and try to get instantly attract numerous of followers overnight. If something sounds too good to be real, it probably is. If you do not are a celebrity who’s got built up a vast audience in some other media channel, attracting followers is certainly going to take time and energy however the investment would be worth it.

What about buying followers? Most likely, there are lots of people promoting this kind of service.

The very first reason you wouldn’t want to repeat this is because it goes against the Twitter rules. But worse than that is the fact these so-called followers have absolutely no affinity, connection or desire for you or your online business. It would be such as your company sending a direct mailing to an un-targeted, generic list. The list would be worthless.

Rather than using these supposedly fast-track ways of building up your follower count, I would like to share with you a number of my favourite proven ways you can have more loyal twitter followers.

Engage and Inform

Twitter is all about engagement. It is a busy and fast moving platform, so you will need to create content that educates, informs, entertains or inspires your followers. This is often done by sharing a good mix of content, both your very own and other peoples. You certainly will soon build a large following of people who want to hang out with and follow you because they like what you’re saying or sharing.

Proudly display your Twitter button link

If you want visitors to your website to follow you on Twitter then make sure they may be able see your Twitter button link. You have to make it obvious to them. Don’t bury the Twitter button at the bottom of your website or blog page. Make it prominent and ask your visitors to adhere to you. If they are on your website these are typically obviously interested in learning more about you and what you have to say.

Place “Follow Me on Twitter” in your email signature.

In your email signature, include a link to your Twitter account. (An email signature is small bit of data that gets attached automatically to the end of an email message. People typically put their name and contact information in the email signature; however, you are free to put whatever you like.) Make following you on Twitter easy. Again, don’t cause them to hunt for you.

Add your Twitter ID on your own business cards and letterheads.

Even though this won’t build you a giant following very fast it is a good habit to get into and it is just as important as adding your physical address, telephone number and email address.

Avoid too much promotion.

Yes, you can promote the blog posts, products, etc. on Twitter but be careful. There’s an invisible line you must not cross. If you do, you appear like a spammer-or just clueless. Not only will you NOT get additional followers, you certainly will wear out your existing followers and many of those will simply unfollow you.

Actively follow other people on Twitter.

Start your networking efforts by becoming a follower of this people you admire in your industry. Read their tweets to get a sense of who they are and what their objectives are on Twitter. It is a great idea to follow as many people in your industry or sector as possible. When you have discovered people and began to follow them, it will give them the chance to see both your good content and your online presence. They are then more likely to reciprocate and follow you back, as will many of the followers who could even come out to be potential customers.

Place your Twitter name in mass media campaigns

If you place adverts in magazines, on television or radio, you will need to make sure your twitter name will there be for all to see and hear. Simply add the # (hashtag symbol) followed by your company’s name or promotion and individuals will follow you.

Keep your posts short enough to retweet.

Retweets are the only way to get noticed by individuals who don’t follow you, but you must make your posts easy for other people to retweet. So keep your tweets short enough for people to be able to add the RT symbol and your username (“RT @yourcompanyname”). So for example, let’s say your name is 14 characters long you will also need to include the space. This means, to become retweetable, your tweet can be no longer than 126 characters (140-14=126).

Have your Twitter link on Facebook

Almost everybody uses Facebook, so allow it to be easy for them to hop over to your Twitter account when they visit your Facebook profile. The ideal place would be within the “About” section.

Tweet often

Picture Twitter as a constant, fast flowing stream. Tweets flow past and tend to be often never seen again. Therefore, you will need to keep your Tweets flowing to make sure you are not forgotten. Be obvious. Get noticed in the crowd and you will get a lot more followers.

Link to Twitter from LinkedIn.

Having a Twitter link on your LinkedIn account is perfect. You’re allowed three links on LinkedIn profile, so make certain that one of those is your Twitter account. It’s going to be ideal for networking, especially utilizing the movers and shakers in your industry.

Reply to others publicly.

I used to reply to people via Direct Message, thinking the things I had to say was irrelevant to most of my followers. Because I wasn’t replying in public, this made me look unsociable. So now, I reply almost exclusively in public, and really, the only people who see those messages are those who follow both me additionally the person I am replying to which is only a little subset of my followers. By doing that, my tweets are sociable but not annoying.

Be generous when linking to, and retweeting, others.

Twitter promotes a culture of sharing. The more you link to others, the greater amount of people will reciprocate, and that is precisely what must happen to help you grow your follower count. You need others to introduce you to their followers. However, don’t ask for a retweet too regularly. Once in a while is okay however if you simply post content worth retweeting, people will gladly do it for you without having to ask!

These tips will really assist to boost your follower numbers so we hope they give you some inspiration. Having said that, you need to remember: If you’re at the start of your Twitter journey, nobody is really going to be paying much focus on you.

Initially your posts would be lost in a sea of other messages that are competing for attention, but on the plus side there are not likely to be too many people who will see your messages until you build up a large following, so this is the perfect time for you make a few mistakes.

Remember: Twitter takes plenty of work, has a bit of a steep learning curve and can be a pretty scary destination to be on day one. There are all of those confusing characters and symbols, strange shortened links, pressure to adhere to people you do not know and a lot of daunting acronyms and buzz words, and of course the hashtag.

Even so, despite having a lot to learn and achieving to put in a few effort, you certainly will still have plenty of fun and it will definitely give your online business and your brand a boost.

Have your hiking haunts become ho-hum? Are your typical trails becoming tired and tedious? Then it’s time for a change of pace and scenery. The Caribbean is an explorer’s Eden with everything from challenging treks up volcanic slopes to peaceful strolls amidst tropical rainforests. With a seemingly endless selection of destinations as well as a wide array of unique topography to suite all skill levels, the Caribbean is the perfect elixir for a case of the ho-hum hiker’s blues.

Antigua

The rainforest of Antigua provides not only a breathtaking glimpse of nature and wildlife, but it offers a lesson in military history as well. With several of its trails culminating in military fortifications, Antigua is the history buff’s dream.

Historical and Archaeological Society, P.O. Box 103, St. John’s, Antigua, 462-1469

The Historical and Archaeological Society arranges free hikes on common trails such as the challenging climb up Monk’s Hill to Fort George or the trek to Deep Bay’s Fort Barrington.

Mac’s Tracks, P.O. Box 107, St. John’s, Antigua, 462-0132

Mac’s Tracks offers laid-back, inexpensive explorations to Boggy Peak, Mount McNish, Monterose Hill, and just about anywhere that catches the eye.

Tropikelly Trails, P.O. W1922, St. John’s, Antigua, (268) 461-0383

Offering a variety of tours to places such as Body Pond, Boggy Peak, and the Claremont Estate, Tropikelly Trails is a well-organized, fully insured operator providing affordable and entertaining hikes.

Aruba

For a true taste of the unusual, try cave hiking in Aruba. Fontein, Guadirikiri, and Huliba caves offer enormous chambers, snake-like tunnels, and the perfect change of pace. Independent cave exploration is free, and helmet and torch rental are available near most entrances.

For a less confined journey, Aruba’s Arikok National Park also provides well-marked trails as well as unique scenic beauty, wonderful flora and fauna, and historic and culturally significant sights. Visit http://www.arubanationalparks.com for a myriad of details on this park and its further development.

Barbados

The Barbados National Trust (426-2421) organizes some of the island’s best hikes. Their most popular jaunts include the 6 a.m. Sunday hike to the Scotland District, the Chalky Mountain climb, and various treks covering everything from cane fields to coastal shoreline. The old railroad track between Bathsheba and Bath is another easy favorite. Maps are available at the museum, the airport, and public buildings in Bridgetown, or contact the National Sports Council (436-6127) for further information.

A long while ago, one of my smart visitors took the time to inform me of a site that may be of interest to those who visit the internet playground. Thanks to my lack of organizational skills, I’m just now getting around to the site AND I also lost the name of the person who told me about this. So here it is, finally, and thank you nameless, wonderful person.

The site I was told to visit is LifeSavers Candystand. And I’m glad that I finally went. It’s a really cool site and is a great addition to the internet playground. SPECIAL NOTE: To fully enjoy this site, and to play the games, you need Macromedia’s Shockwave. (Click here to get it or visit the candystand for download links.)

In addition to information about LifeSavers products, there are a lot of games for kids of all ages to play. Some of these games include chances to win prizes (by now you should realize that this is a common and popular incentive for me!). Read on to find out about a couple of the games that I played.

First I played two pinball games. I love pinball! Although playing pinball on a computer does NOT compare to the real thing, I enjoyed the games I played here. One was called “Creme Savers Pinball” and the other was “Lifesavers Waterpark Pinball”. Both were fun and easy to play (but not easy to rack up the points!)

Then I went to the Nabisco Golf Range. I have to say that I had some problems with this game. It was kind of difficult to shoot the ball and really understand what was going on. But I don’t have much patience or much time and I also am not a very good golfer in real life…. so maybe you pro’s will have better luck than I did.

After getting frustrated with golf, I went to play another sports related game – Bubble Yum Bull Pen Blast. I also sucked at this game! (Maybe it’s me?) But I did hit a couple of batters (not intentionally, of course) so this made for some interesting stress-relieving moments.

And next, a truly addictive game – Bubble Yum Foul Shot Shootout. Have you ever played Pop-A-Shot at arcade game rooms or other places where you might find video games? Well this game is a great computer version of it. I had a blast! And of course, I sucked at it (life imitates computer art?) but I really had a good time playing this game.

It was wonderful to see so many newcomers at our ’97 Spring Symposium. Rustlers answered question after question about old garden roses and companion plants, and certainly one of the most oft-asked was “Does it smell?”. It’s the same question I ask when someone suggests a rose I might like.

I cannot use most air fresheners, carpet powders, etc., in my home, due to allergies. So any plant that “throws” its scent into the air is a winner in my book. I thought perhaps you would like to know my ten favorites. Keep in mind, though, that smell is a very personalized sense. A plant that one person may describe as heavily perfumed may be almost unscented to another person.

 

  1. The number one spot has to go to Madame Isaac Perreire. She is planted around my bedroom window along with a new Madame Alfred Carriere. Since she’s so thorny, her branches double as bio-burglar bars and when she flushes, the whole room is filled with her perfume. She is the only rose I use for natural potpourri that doesn’t need a touch of rose oil to give its scent a boost. (8′ climber)
  2. Night blooming jessamine (Cestrum nocturnum) is my second favorite plant. When this flower is in bloom, we can smell it through a closed window. In fact, the Rustler who gave me a cutting had to move the original bush to a far corner to tame its perfume a bit! (6′ x 5′ bush).
  3. ‘Dwarf Snowflake’ Mock Orange (Philadelphus x Yirginalis) was a surprise gift from my sister who bought it off a clearance table for a buck. It took about a year to regain its vigor and this Spring it thanked us with white blooms that scented my whole patio. It looks great in a vase with roses, too. (2-1/2′ x l’)
  4. If Bishop Darlington is in a flush when it rains, I smell it all over the patio after the rain ends. I find this strange because I don’t find it very fragrant when I smell a bloom directly! I grow this rose as a climber under the eaves and consider it a good “shade” rose. This is my husband’s favorite.
  5. Cape jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides) is a slow-growing but very reliable bush that scents my front yard. I thought it interesting that both Greg Grant and Felder Rushing mentioned cape jasmine in their talks on p ants we should grow. Seven years ago I could not find one of these to buy. My are rooted cuttings from a fellow who lived in Spring, Texas. (4′ x 4′)
  6. Felicia is a rose I swear I can smell over cut grass. I’d list her in the top three if she was a bit more filled out. Lately my Felicia has looked wan. But that scent – wow! (4′ x 2′)
  7. Maggie is not a rose that scents the air outdoors, but a bouquet with a couple of her blooms will scent my kitchen and my hands retain that peppery, sweet smell while I do my housework. (5′ x 4-1/2′)
  8. Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) scents the air as much as Night blooming jessamine, but I list it eighth because its scent is not as appealing to me. Still, its flowers really stand out in the moonlight and it’s nice to walk out after the kids are in bed and smell perfumed night air.
  9. Mexican Mint Marigold (Tagetes lucida) became a new addition to my garden after I smelled licorice waft through the air at the Rose Emporium. (2′)
  10. My Monsieur Tillier’s blooms, like Maggie’s, only emit their perfume after they’ve been brought inside. oddly, they have only started to do that this year, and the bushes are seven years old! Before now I considered Monsieur Tillier fairly unscented. I also like the fact that his blooms last a bit longer in a vase than some of my other OGR’S. (5′).

It’s hardly been a few weeks while Twitter redesigned its site, and today it would seem that the changes are far from over.

 

Amid reports of modest user growth, Twitter has been looking to increase its attraction to users who possess not yet joined. While its reliance on reverse chronological texts has made it the giant microblogging site that we all love, this, it would seem, is insufficient to fuel its growth in a world that consumes a lot of digital media. Power users might frown regarding the new probable focus on images, but it is likely to get results out in the end.

 

The Alteration

 

Popular blog Mashable was the first to report about the likely change. According to one of its feature’s editors, the real estate dedicated to your cover photo has been increased from the normal 1252 x 626 to the larger 1500 x 500 pixels. Profile statistics such as tweets and followers are placed below it. The profile photo as well because the bio happens to be moved to the left side. These changes are somewhat reminiscent of Facebook and Google+. Tweets also appear as grids, rather than the vertical timeline that is, in all honesty, sometimes a little frustrating.

 

All this is however still within the testing stages. There is absolutely no reason to imagine that it will truly take off in case it is demonstrated to have a positive receivership. Twitter likes to test out new ideas by testing them on different pages to see the way the reaction would be. Your particular page might or may not be an element of the test. In case it is, you might consider changing your photos so they conform to the new resolutions set. It remains to be seen whether these changes will truly take off and be a permanent part of the site.

 

This profile page redesign is perhaps inspired by the need to engage new followers. Twitter’s minimalism and reliance on text posts have been the good reason why a lot of people network regarding the site. However with a bubbling desire to access big photos and profile pictures might just be the next hand that needs to be played. It certainly makes following different personalities much easier.

 

Twitter has remained silent on this redesign, perhaps indicating that it’s still a thought under process. Despite borrowing heavily through the aforementioned sites, it looks desirable enough, and any user would quickly grow to like it in case it is made permanent.