You’ll be happy to hear that much of what goes for Facebook promotion goes for Twitter too. But with this social network there are some additional tools that can help. Here are our key tips for growing your Twitter network.

If you’re new to Twitter or would like a recap on what’s it all about, read our article Using Twitter for business.

1. Set up an autoresponder

There are a few free tools online that can help you set up an autoresponder to new followers. It’s a nice, polite way of thanking people for following you, and making them feel appreciated. Everybody likes someone who appreciates them! And let’s face it: social networks are all about popularity. If your followers like what you do, and feel good about following you, they are more likely to recommend your business to others.

2. Interact, interact, interact

Sound familiar? Social networks are built on interaction and conversation. If your business account is active on Twitter, then it is more likely to grow. Regular personable interactions are more likely to get you more follow recommendations, in things like the Follow Friday trend.

3. Get involved in Follow Fridays

What is a ‘Follow Friday’? It’s an institution on Twitter that every Friday users post ‘follow recommendations’ to their network. By knowing what your network is after, and following people who reinforce your own business, you are in a great position to make useful recommendations. The notion is to help other people find information they can use. If your resources are good, and you issue good follows each week, you are more likely to get them in return.

And if you get follows, always remember to thank people. If you’re appreciative, and mannerly, you’re more likely to keep getting follow recommendations.

4. Get your content moving – and ask for it

It sounds almost contrary, but if you want your content to do the rounds, you need to ask! Useful content will always be retweeted to some extent, but it helps to ask people to do it. With this in mind, add ‘Pls RT’ at the end of your posts.

Keep an eye on how your content goes around. If it doesn’t get retweeted, then perhaps your content doesn’t match what your followers are after. This alone is a great measure for reconfiguring your growth strategy.

5. Make your growth goals obvious

As with Facebook, being transparent about your goals, and using your network to achieve them, is one of the best strategies for growth. Don’t ask your network to find you friends, simply state that you have a goal to achieve X amount of followers by X time, and ask people to help. It is surprising how often, and how well, this works.

The same strategy can work between networks. If you have nearly 500 fans on Facebook, you can use your Twitter network to help you achieve that goal. More often than not, you’ll gain fans on Facebook because your Twitter tribe didn’t know your page existed. Similarly, it can work back the other way from Facebook. Exploit both social networks for growth.

6. The Little Known Strategy: promote before you launch

One great way of building your network is to have a business profile on Twitter, and start sending enthusiastic, informative, and interesting tweets before you even have a product or page. What you can happen is that your network grows organically. By the time you launch, you have a ready-made audience.

If you engage in this particular strategy, be careful to fulfill your promises once you do launch, or your network is likely to abandon you.