How to Get Noticed on Twitter

Twitter users obsess about numbers. The next time you talk with some one about Twitter, see how long it takes for them to ask “how many followers do you have?” I suppose it’s only natural for people to worry about that sort of thing. In addition to being a fantastic networking tool, Twitter also appeals to our competitive nature – but for good reason. The number of followers you have is important. The more followers you have the more influence you have and if you run a website, having influence in the social networking world can make a huge difference in terms of traffic and prestige.

Twitter, however, is not a horse race. It’s a way to make new friends, new contacts and most importantly; to spread a message. As Twitter grows however, spreading your message has become increasingly difficult as each new user competes for the attention of your followers. In this article I hope to share my experience to help you cut through the noise and get noticed on Twitter.

Don’t Count Followers, Count Eyeballs

One thing to keep in mind is that not all of your followers are looking at the screen at exactly the same time. This means that if you have 500 followers, not all 500 of them will see your Tweet. If you’re looking to make an impact, try posting your items when you think the most eyeballs are focused on the screen.

Time Zone is Important

Lots of people forget about this important factor when on Twitter. If you live in the U.K. and you post your Tweets at 12:00 p.m., keep in mind that it is 7:00 a.m. in the eastern U.S. and 4:00 a.m. in the western U.S. That means that a significant number of your followers are either sleeping or just waking up. This means that if you want to make the biggest impact, try waiting until later in the day to post your most important information.

Post a Variety of Information

Try posting a variety of information. Don’t just Re-Tweet the people you follow. Engage in conversation, post original content, and try to post items before anyone else does. You might find that a “breaking news” approach combined with some helpful enthusiasm and a little bit of conversation will greatly increase your likelihood of being noticed.

Repeat Yourself!

Like I said earlier, Twitter is all about eyeballs not followers. People who follow hundreds or thousands of people may have trouble paying attention to all the information in their feed. This means that in a noisy Twitter world you have to repeat yourself. This doesn’t mean that you should spam your followers – be responsible, but try repeating your Tweets every several hours. That way you can give your followers several chances to see what you’re Tweeting for the day.

Speak English

Yep, I said it! We all know that the Internet is an international community but it’s important to keep in mind that a majority of Twitter users speak English and a significant portion of the Internet is clustered in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. This means that if you want your Tweets understood by the Twitter community that you really need to be Tweeting in English.

Don’t be Shy

To get noticed on Twitter you have to speak out. When I first joined Twitter I didn’t have very many followers and I was a bit hesitant to post links to things because I felt that other, more influential people were already posting that information anyway. What I didn’t realize then was that even though more influential people were already posting identical information that it was likely that not all of that person’s followers had seen it. My Tweet may have been brand new to one of my followers and even one of theirs. So don’t be afraid to post something even though you only have a handful of followers.

In Conclusion

Every Twitter user has an agenda. Some are looking to make friends, some are looking for business contacts, some are there for self-promotion, and some are hoping to make money or drive traffic to their website. There is no playbook for Twitter. There is no guaranteed way of attracting new followers and forcing them to pay attention to you. The only true way to establish yourself in the Twitter community is to participate but to also be genuine. Hopefully, these tips will help you to become a successful Twitter user. Feel free to add your own thoughts or comments below.

Grant Friedman

Grant Friedman is a graphic design, blogger, and author. In addition to being the founder of this website, Grant is also the editor of Psdtuts, one of the world's most popular tutorial websites.

  • Hi Grant,

    My rule is, “Content is King”. I primarily use Twitter to share content, and I only share content that I believe will be relevant / of-interest to my tribe (hat tip to Seth Godin). I rarely ever post personal comments. I do ReTweet quality content, and I do engage in some occasional banter, but if banter goes beyond an exchange or two I take it to a private message.

    I’ve also opted for a slow growth strategy.

    I monitor my follow list and aggressively remove spam followers. Many people think that it is enough to simply not auto-follow, but they do not prune bogus accounts from their follow list. This inflates their follower count. For many people who have large follower counts, nearly half or at least a third are bogus. Just because you don’t follow back may mean you don’t get their spam and it inflates your numbers, but it also gives you an inaccurate representation of the size and quality of your reach.

    I’m just shy of 1000 followers, but the followers I have are of very high calibre, and include many influential individuals in my industry.

    I am a Sr. level digital Art Director / Designer working primarily as a hired gun consultant to large NYC Ad Agencies.

    I am at a juncture in my career where I am pursuing a more strategic role in emerging and convergent media. So I use Twitter to share content that I read/watch and my Blog to share my own content, thoughts and observations. It highlights value beyond my design skills. I’ve been a multiple recommended follow by BBH Labs, followed by most of the big name MSM technology commentators, and many advertising industry big-shots.

    I’ve had a Twitter account since 2007, but I’ve only been actively using it for about a year.

    I don’t think there is a shortcut. If you commit to Twitter as a communication/networking tool, and you want it to add genuine value, expect to have to commit time and work at it. In general, I find that this applies to most everything in life. At least for myself, I believe the most valuable asset to any success I’ve thus far achieved is work ethic.

    Oh nice. As I’m writing this, I see I just got ReTweeted by the Yahoo corporate Twitter account.
    [rq=748526,0,blog][/rq]Eye for an iPhone

  • Solid advice, and I also agree very much with @chrisgrayson that strong content is the single most important factor in growing a worthwhile list of Twitter followers.

    One thing I find worthwhile is (assuming you’re using a client like Tweetdeck) is have a few relevant hashtag searches listed constantly. That makes it far easier to find good content that isn’t on your own followers list, and allows you to identify people who are consistently posting that content. That both allows you greater opportunity to retweet non-followers, but also to find new people to follow.

    I’m not so sure about the advice to repeat yourself. I understand the theory, but even with a reasonably large volume of tweets I still notice repeat tweets and find them slightly irritating. If I missed a particular tweet the first time, well that’s just the nature of the medium.
    [rq=749901,0,blog][/rq]You’re Not Following These Twitter Users

  • Very true. I see many ‘companies’ spamming their followers. Instant removal in my book.

    Obviously in the design field there are already fantastic website much like your own right here, but I never feel afraid to post about what is the latest on my website or post a great design link.

    Grant, I totally believe in your statement “…to participate but to also be genuine.” There are many times that I have merely started a small conversation, or even thanked someone personally for retweeting my links – which just feel right.

    I hope many more people realise that the best way to communicate is to be honest, truthful and respectful to other human beings.

    Thank you for your post :D
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  • Great breakdown. I think what Twitter is now, is much different that it was when it first came out and what it was intended to be.

    As you said, Twitter is much more about spreading “the word” getting followers to read your content and as a bonus, spread it through ReTweets.

    Its important to find a balance between tweets that are unique (or different from the last one sent), repeating yourself, and on-going conversation.
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  • very true. I agree with repetition for those who might have missed a previous post because of the different time zones. Nice article!
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  • Tim

    Good article. Repetition seems to be the point that everyone has picked up on. It’s a tough balance in sales and marketing – I only use Twitter for fun, but after reading this article I am sure I will be able to increase my visibility in the Twitter-sphere, Twitter-verse, Tworld!
    [rq=751456,0,blog][/rq]Small bench in the early morning sunshine

  • Hi Grant. Unlike Louis—who commented before me—I disagree with your advice to repeat yourself. Tweeting the same thing, again and again, will only get you unfollowed. Sure, some of your followers might not see your tweet the minute you post it, but they can always browse back through your profile page if you’re offering useful info or personal insight.
    [rq=751674,0,blog][/rq]AIGA medalists

  • Good post. I’ve got to agree with @blankbots here are my 2 twitter rules:
    – You over do it(you f’n spammers) I unfollow you.
    – And it’s a conversation, so make it an interesting one.

  • There’s no exact science to this is there? That’s what makes Twitter interesting. I mostly tweet about stuff that interests me that I think others might like too. Don’t worry too much about it being a professional networking channel, it’s a good solution to answering the question “what are you up to?” which is what many of the people I connect with seem to want to know. This can occasionally and legitimately include what my kids ate as well as what I think about Microsoft’s Windows 7 launch party. I also find it an enviable and trusted resource of information on just about anything.
    [rq=755239,0,blog][/rq]Alex Bogusky seems to agree with me

  • Excellent set of thoughts. I like how you said time-zone is important. A point that I seem to forget at times. I couldn’t agree with you more about the number of followers. That’s just a number. I did some research just today that proves its better to have lower number of followers as long as they more “active” towards your tweets. More here at
    [rq=755623,0,blog][/rq]Why do people follow you on Twitter?

  • Thanks for addressing repeating tweets, this is something I’ve always tried to avoid because I don’t want to seem “spammy”. I’m trying to find the balance between timing and possibly repeating something I think followers may be interested in, but missed. Having clients in a few different time zones makes this challenging. I often wonder how many people actually scroll to view the tweets they’ve missed while afk.
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  • Interesting points. Re your commenters, I don’t think it is cut and dried issue, this topic of repeating yourself. I myself have not (so far) repeated my tweets, but I find it difficult to argue with those who do. And I may go in that direction myself one day. The medium is extremely young and will either change or find its rules and regulations evolve with time. Having to post my material in a narrow window in the 24 hr cycle (to appeal to whom? my European mates? my Aussie or Pacific mates? my West Coast pals?) is absurd. If and when I deem it appropriate to appeal to different time zones, I will either repeat, retweet, or expect the medium to have a new option. If people unfollow me for the “irritation” of seeing that I posted something twice, well that’s small-minded and probably not someone in my zone of influence anyway. On the other hand, if I say the same thing 5 or 10 times, well then do as you will. I can’t imagine I’ll go that far, however. But of course everyone will make their personal determination of value.
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  • @TargetInfoLabs I can’t say that I agree that it is better to have fewer followers. Like I said, the more followers you have, the more reach. Since it is impossible to predict how active your followers will be I would prefer not to take any chances and recruit as many followers as possible. That being said, I would prefer that my followers be following as few people as possible. In my experience, it’s those people who really pay the most attention to me.

    @DavidAirey I think that you are right about the unfollows but I think it’s a myth that people unfollow people who repeat. That may have been the case in the past, but when people regularly follow thousands of people I think their tolerance for that sort of thing has been increased. I think people are more likely to unfollow people who post 7-10 consecutive tweets in a row. But I think people will forgive you if you repeat every several hours with some filler content in between.

  • So I’m right how people unfollow repeat tweeters, but those same unfollows are a myth? ;)

    When you follow thousands of people, and when some of those thousands repeat their tweets, it isn’t much of an issue. I agree with that, because if you follow that many people, you can’t possibly “listen” to them all.

    I prefer to limit the number of people I follow to an amount that lets me keep up-to-date with what they’re thinking about. 100 people or so.
    [rq=758502,0,blog][/rq]AIGA medalists

  • Very nice, concise article. I am pretty new to Twitter (583!), and am just getting used to the rules of the road. When you suggest pruning followers, do you mean that one should ‘unfollow’ or ‘block’ them? Great suggestions. After reading your piece, I will repeat tweets occasionally, but not obsessively. I do unfollow people who send 6 tweets in a row or send the same tired quotations over and over. I try to mix up my tweets, some poetry amidst the rants! If I feel a point is important, I will rephrase it, or accentuate a different aspect of the same point. Any thoughts on using Twitpic? Thanks.
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  • Some great points you make there Grant :)
    Thanks for sharing!
    [rq=759816,0,blog][/rq]d3signar: How to Get Noticed on Twitter

  • @colorburned No. I didnt say lower your followers. I said how you “collect” your followers is important. There are some techniques (such as keeping auto-follow on, and thus enticing others to follow you in the hopes for a follow back) that give you a large, but rather unresponsive network. It’s better to use focused techniques to have not as large of a base, but is more active and responsive to your tweets.
    [rq=760306,0,blog][/rq]Why do people follow you on Twitter?

  • @DavidAirey Oops, sorry let me rephrase. I think you’re right that repeating again and again will get you unfollowed but I think that it’s a myth that a responsible repeater will get unfollowed. I suppose my outlook on what gets posted is a bit different from most other people. Since I follow over 5,000 people I miss quite a bit of information and if I do see someone reposting identical information I just ignore it and rarely unfollow.

    @TargetInfoLabs yep, you’re 100% correct. Auto following is a big no no if you ask me. There’s just way too much spam out there these days. I used to follow just about everyone who followed me but now I only follow people who engage in conversation with me.

  • Great post my friend. I must say that you nailed lot’s of good points.

    Here are also some things to consider:

    *Don’t write more than 120 characters if you want to be retweeted leave extra 20 for others :)

    *Don’t use faul language unless you are surrounded by such followers

    *Follow people of your interest and stay in same tune of tweets.

    *Best time to tweet is between 9-3CST

    *To gain more followers join the sites like and other twitter directories.

    There is bunch of twitter tips around I could give :) but you covered a lot your self.

    Currently at 28.000+ followers and counting :)
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  • Great insight around twitter. I especially like “Don’t Count Followers, Count Eyeballs”
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  • Awesome list of tips, useful information, thanks.
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  • Hmmm… interesting… I usually use twitter for announcements once in a while but that tip up there about repeating seems like a great idea. I have to be careful to make sure though that I won’t come across as a spammer. Thanks for the post! Really helpful information. =)

  • Well, since Twitter started blocking duplicate tweets earlier this week I guess that puts a little bit of a spin on the repeating of tweets form time zone issues.

    I’ve read that the block may only occur within 24 hours, and is focused on “exact” duplicates. I assume this means that rewording tweets within 24 hours may not get blocked, but I’m afraid some people may just be itching to use that new “report as spam” button. lol

    At the very least, repeating tweets so that friends in different time zones will see them should be reworded, and spaced out beyond 24 hours, although that hardly seems like a “timely” announcement at that point.

    I understand their desire to prevent spam, but there has to be a happy medium for those of us that are merely marketing to various target markets world wide. =(
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  • Everyone has a great kaleidoscope of approaches, but I really dig what @DavidAirey has to say. It simply depends what your intentions are for using Twitter in the first place and I like to keep up with people and build communities so I keep my numbers reasonable.
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  • WoW :) Awesome article. Great tips to follow for twitting and twitter. Thanks for sharing this nice post.

  • These are really good points. Thanks for another excellent article.
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  • Very good point about repeating your tweets. So many people tweet their message once and leave it at that. I believe you hit the nail on the head there, as well as focusing on time differences too. It makes a huge difference. Twitter Management

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