5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Twitter Presence

By Mallorie Rosenbluth As someone in the social media biz, I often get friends, family and the occasional stranger asking me "what's the deal with Facebook?" or "what am I supposed to do with Twitter?" I feel it's my duty not only as someone working in the industry, but as a social media enthusiast, to perform random acts of social media kindness and help them see the light.

By far, the biggest confusion is around Twitter. With this in mind, I've compiled a top 5 list that will hopefully make the Twitter-scape more manageable. Sit back, read, then get out and start tweeting!

5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Twitter Presence

1. Fill out the bio section of your profile! Seems like a no-brainer right? Well you'd be surprised how many people don't complete their bio. Twitter gives you the space to tell the world about who you are. And you get 160 characters (that's 20 more than you're allowed to tweet)! If you want to be followed back by people, they need to know a little bit about you. What do you do for a living? What are you interested in? This will give other Twitter users a glimpse into the type of tweets they can expect to see from you. And will help them decide if you're worth a follow.

2. Don't auto anything. This includes auto-following, auto-direct messaging, and auto-tweeting. Nothing seems more disingenuous than plugging in a bunch of keywords and then automatically spitting out messages to people who are tweeting with those keywords. And nothing will lose you followers faster than sending a spammy message to their Twitter inbox. Social media is about connecting with people and brands, not about having another outlet to push your product or ideas on people through. Always be real -- and there's nothing real about anything that starts with "auto".

3. Be interested. A very wise man once told me it was more important to be interested than to be interesting. This is the approach I try to take when I'm tweeting. While it's important to put out great information and share thoughts that are valuable, insightful, or just representative of your personality; it's equally (if not more) important to be invested in what others on Twitter are doing. Find an article you like? Retweet it. Someone ask a question? Answer it. Look to your followers to help you answer questions.

4. Be responsive. You don't need to be a big brand to employ this philosophy. If someone tweets at you, respond to them. If someone retweets you, thank them. Without two-way communication, social media doesn't exist. Take part in the conversation. Take a cue from Jeff Pulver. I've never sent a tweet his way that he hasn't responded to. And the man has over 375,000 followers. If he can be that responsive, we can be too.

5. Put your best face forward. This has several meanings. First, and most obviously, upload an avatar of yourself. We don' t want to see the little egg-shaped image that Twitter bestows upon the avatar-less. You're a real person, so let's see it. Beyond just your literal face, make sure you're representing yourself in a way you'll be proud of later. To quote the Social Network, "The internet isn’t written in pencil... it’s written in ink”. Make sure you're tweeting something you'll want to read -- and won't elicit cringes from future you.

What tips would you give to someone looking to make an impact on the Twitter world? Do you have Twitter questions yourself? Let us know in the comments!