Compliment or thank them. Feed them something to reply to that is in their niche.
2. Simply posting links
Post links to good info or maybe post a quote you like. The aim of these is to get them shared by others (see No 4) Anything goes! For example "The 6 kinds of tweet by @mqtodd http://dashburst.com/types-of-tweets/"
3. Expressing opinions or thoughts or simply what you are doing or a combination of 2 or 3 of these things
"It's a beautiful day in #Tokyo. Hope we get a good crowd for the @TokyoGarden Party at the @PinkCow tonight"
"Time for Japanese to follow the lead of Germany (in embracing non nuclear energy alternatives)."
These kind of tweets will often get your Twitter followers to comment and conversation will ensue that will often drag in others.
4. Sharing good tweets from others. ("Retweets" or "RTs")
"RT @ramikantari Signs Of Twimg, #Twitter's Photo Hosting, In The Wild http://tcrn.ch/jgla by @sbhsbh RT @mqtodd @silverstar22b"
So someone called @sbhsbh wrote this. @silverstar22b saw it and shared it and so did I and @ramikantari then saw my tweet and shared it too. Then somebody else did too. So the original content by @sbhsbh went to potentially hundreds of thousands of people.
5. Connect and promote. Tweets designed to connect or promote other people.
"Key SM networkers in Asia > @kzamri @dryorikotodd @i4harold @NealSchaffer @vanwouw @AskAaronLee @MerrinPearse @JayOatway"
So here I have connected Kaz, Yoriko, Harold, Neal, Neil, Aaron, Merrin and Jay with each other plus also recommended them to all my followers. And all their followers will also see the tweet. Can you see the power of doing this in public rather than doing it just in private??
6. Thank! The power of gratitude.
If somebody shares your tweet or connects or promotes you or adds you to a list of their favourite followers then thank them.
"@gerrit_bes Thank you for scooping and tweeting my latest post about Twitter Gerrit. Am learning scoop.it from you"
This seems absolutely basic but only around 1% of people do it. The ones that do are invariably the ones who succeed the most. Dale Carnegie would have loved Twitter.
So this is pretty much what Twitter is so just keep a balance of these 6 different kinds of tweets.
First, decide 2 or 3 main things that your account is about. If you have too many people will be unable to list you or to connect and recommend you. You can easily see that mine is about Japan, the Environment and Twitter/Social Media. Talk mainly about these things and people will then go to you for info and/or recommend you to others.
At the start do 40 % of Number 4 as that will make you known to the key people in your niche and gain their engagement with you.
Do 10- 15% of each of the other 5 kind of tweets and you will soon see your account blossom.
Follow aggressively (it is not like friending people just simply indicating you are interested in what they say).
Unlike Facebook where things are extremely formulaic, Twitter has NO rules. What I have said are basic guidelines you may choose to use to get started with. Many have succeeded by doing things a completely different way and solely post links or solely converse or solely offer opinions!
5 more slightly high level things that are not absolutely necessary but if implemented will make a massive difference for you.
1. Study what #hashtags are (I have made a YouTube video about this). They link conversations and links about a particular subject together and enable search and branding.You can see that in Number 3 and 4 above I have hashtagged #Tokyo and #Twitter.This makes me stand out as being interested in these topics and gets my tweets searched for by people wanting info about these things.
2. Build lists of your favourite tweeters on your different favourite topics.You can make 20 lists and have 500 people on each list. Why wouldn't you?? Even non twitter users can then go to that list as a constantly updating source of fantastic information. For example I love my list http://twitter.com/mqtodd/mediatechnology for the very best in tech news.
3. Use people's Twitter @names when mentioning them. Then they will see your tweet and your followers will be able to connect with them readily too. For example in Number 2 above, I used @TokyoGarden and @PinkCow rather than for example their real names Tokyo Garden Party and The Pink Cow. Twitter language I guess.
4. Keep your tweets as short as you can so that people can use them in their reply or retweet you.
5. Also, constantly review your last 20-30 tweets to make sure that they are a good mix of all the 6 kinds of tweets.
Twitter is not so hard right?? It is an amazing community and we welcome everyone warmly.
Be fun, have fun, be giving and receive. It's a party!
Thats about it! Any questions???
Anything to add by way of advice for newbies that I have overlooked?
Twitter is at least 10 times as powerful as Facebook for meeting great new people, finding relevant real time information and spreading messages.