8. Give referrals. Word-of-mouth referrals online go a long way on Twitter. You can ask others to recommend your profile, but the best way to get referrals is to give a referral. Recommend people with whom you interact each week on #FollowFriday, and be sure to explain why they are good to follow. Use a call to action at the end of your blog posts to ask readers to recommend your blog or social networking profile. If you work to give support to others on Twitter, you will get support back in the form of followers and friends.
It takes time to build relationships online. Be consistent. Be helpful, and you will build a quality following. It does not make sense to use one of those programs that allows you to attract 10,000 followers in 60 days. None of those people will know you, and they will be far less likely to be influenced by you. Quality followers trust you, and value you as a resource. Take the time to let people get to know you. You will be amazed how quickly you get to 2,001 followers and beyond.
Melinda Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady, is CEO of Quintessence Multimedia. Emerson educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. She also publishes a resource blog and is the best-selling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months. Follow her on Twitter.