Some quick tips (twips?) to boost your number of Twitter followers. Are you doing all five?

1) Use the hashtag. If you’re headed to a conference or big event, that’s a great time to meet others interested in the same topics as you. Find out the hashtag. For Sustainable San Mateo County’s recent annual awards, the hashtag was #SSMCawards. Use that hashtag and a good photo, and there’s an excellent chance the organization will share your remarks.

2) Retweet more. The more retweets, the wider the potential ripple effect of your tweets. As I said to a friend, you’ve done some good retweets of Harvard Biz Review aka @HarvardBiz. Retweet some other sources as well. If you’re pressed for time, just click the retweet button.

Even better – advance the conversation by including a comment of your own.

3) Try a Twitter tool such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Tweetdeck to plan your tweets and schedule them in advance. Many swear by these tools.

4) Reach out to people in your tweets. Instead of just: “Observation here,” try copying people who have an interest or expertise in the subject by using their Twitter handles (names). Here’s a tweet I did to draw attention to a blog post about the talented children’s book illustrator Trina Schart Hyman. I was very happy when a book illustrator — @PaulOZelinksy — joined the conversation. You never know who you’ll meet. (If it looks like a bot or worse, you can block or mute them.)

5) Tap the back channel. Sometimes I’ll shoot an email or a text to ask an interested friend if they’d like to share my message. It almost always works. It’s good to have friends, especially before you need them. Another trick, which many smart causes, nonprofits, authors and other creative people do, is to pre-write some sample social media posts and send it to your network. You’ve made it one step easier for them to help you out. Happy tweeting.

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