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#TweetCred: Your Secret To Getting Lots Of Good, Real Followers

How Much “Tweet Cred” Do You Have?

In a real world tough neighborhood, people sometimes refer to your “street cred” to explain how cool or worthy of respect you are. People with a lot of street cred can usually estimate how much cred someone else has at a glance.

On Twitter, your tweets are how other people tell how interesting or worthy of following you are. Your tweets are your “Tweet Cred.”

By using Buffer to make just a few easy changes to how I tweet, the number of real, engaged followers I got exploded.

What you need to realize is that your tweets are the #1 thing people look at when deciding whether to follow you. They are how people come to know you.

Fortunately, Buffer can make it much, much easier to tweet in ways that increase your #TweetCred more than you might have thought possible.

My favorite example of a Twitter user with lots of #TweetCred is @Alyssa_Milano.

She really knows how to use Twitter well. I highly recommend checking her out and following her if you enjoy what she tweets.

Alyssa converses, adds comments and information to links she shares, helps people and worthy causes, and provides both fun, useful and personal info. You can tell just from reading a few of her tweets that not only is she a special person, but she really knows how to tweet and use Twitter exceptionally well.

Make Twitter Work for You

Of course, if you spend too much time worrying about how your tweets look to others, it can take the fun out of Twitter, even if it helps other people get to know you better and form a positive impression of you.

This is where the magic of Buffer comes in. It does the work for you.

But before we look at some of cool ways to use Buffer, let’s look at how tweets done right and tweets done wrong can affect your #TweetCred.

The Importance of Variety

What do people see when they visit your Twitter page for the first time?

If you’ve ever visited someone’s Twitter page for the first time and seen nothing but endless tweets with links, or nothing but retweet after retweet, you know that one thing that says is “I can’t tell if this is a real user or not.”

Conversely, if the tweets are all impenetrable comments such as

  • @user1 Yeah, that’s true
  • @user2 No, why?
  • @user3 lol!
  • @user3 I don’t think so

You are just left with questions such as

  • What are this person’s interests?
  • Do they use Twitter for nothing but inane chat?
  • Do they respond to new users or only talk to a few friends?

So the first rule of getting #TweetCred is this: Show people both that you are a real person and reveal your interests.

By adding variety to your tweets—links to topics that interest you interspersed with with conversation—your #TweetCred will take a huge leap.


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Add information

An optional but oh-so-helpful step.

When you’re responding to someone, add or leave in information that explains what you’re talking about. It helps them remember, and it helps other people who see your tweet join in on the conversation…or benefit from what you have to say.

An example: Tweeting “Here’s the link: [link]” is nowhere near as helpful as “Here’s the data on median salaries in the US for social media positions you asked for: [link]”

Another way is by adding your commentary to tweets that you retweet. A fun way to add personality to your tweet is to add symbols to spice them up—something that @Alyssa_Milano does exceptionally well.

Putting it all together

You don’t need to mix things up every few tweets. That’s overdoing it. People will usually (though not always) check a couple pages of your tweets to check out your #TweetCred.

But the more variety you can mix in, the better. Here’s an example from my Tweet stream last night:

In just five tweets you can see almost everything you need to know about me:

  1. I have a sense of humor…that you may or may not share 🙂
  2. I provide Twitter service updates;
  3. I share links to interesting Twitter stuff;
  4. I converse with and provide help to Twitter users.

I’ve even given enough information so that you can begin following along in my conversations, and maybe jump in if it’s a topic that interests you.

The variety in my @TweetSmarter tweets give me instant #TweetCred in the “Twitter information” neighborhood, and if that’s a neighborhood you care about, you’re probably going to take a chance on me and follow me after seeing my tweets.

(If you are wondering “What are those numbers”? I use the Klout plugin for Chrome so that I can see the Klout score of everyone I interact with. I mostly just use it to know how “Twitter educated” someone is when answering their questions, i.e. I assume low-Klout users need extra help with Twitter.)

And here’s an example from @Alyssa_Milano’s tweet stream at around the same time:

In just a few tweets you can see that Alyssa is

  1. Personal;
  2. Conversational;
  3. Sharing and commenting within links that she’s sharing;
  4. Showing her interests & revealing her personality.

In other words…awesome #TweetCred!

How The Magic of Buffer Makes It All Easy

One thing Buffer excels at (try it, it’s free!) is letting you share things when you are active on the web, but showing what you share to your friends only when they are active and most likely to see what you are sharing.

This way you can chat away with folks, and know that the interesting info or links you found earlier will be automatically interspersed when your followers are online.

But I also use Buffer in some more advanced ways that really simplifies my life on Twitter.

How Should You Thank People?

First: Just do it. Thank people frequently on Twitter. And thank them publicly whenever it makes sense to do so.

How Buffer helps me increase my #TweetCred when I thank people is that because I have followers in other time zones that enjoy the information that I share, I let Buffer automatically intersperse my “thank you’s” to people with my informational tweets while I sleep.

During the day, whenever there is someone I want to thank, I simply favorite their tweet. Then, each evening, I Buffer a thank you tweet to each of those people. I have my overnight time slots set up to be in between my usual informational tweets.

This increases my #TweetCred first because all my “thank you’s” are not all clumped together, overwhelming my other tweets. But mainly, it lets people who check my tweet stream while I sleep see friendly, conversational tweets—the “thank you’s”— interspersed with informational tweets.

How to Chat Without Overwhelming Your #TweetCred

Here I use Buffer to remind me to add information into my replies, and to automatically space them out when helpful. Whereas I used to just reply to questions with a link, now I’ll tweet something such as

RE: “Your question about Twitter limits” …here’s a link to Twitter’s help page on the topic: [link]

How Buffer helps me do that is that I use the feature that blends Buffer right into (in the Chrome browser, coming soon for other browsers). Then, when I want to reply to someone, Buffer automatically composes a tweet for me that includes the information in the tweet that I’m replying to.

I simply edit it into the “RE: What you asked about” format before replying. I set a few time slots for each hour during the hours that I am typically awake, and then my replies are automatically spread out during the day.

Wouldn’t You Like To Be Able To Edit Tweets After You Send Them?

Using Buffer as I do, I typically have a few minutes to catch any errors before the tweet goes out. Typically I’ll Buffer a handful of replies, and then proofread the queue of upcoming tweets. Plus, Buffer has a cool feature that lets you drag and drop tweets to change the order of what goes out first or second.

What About Real-Time Chat?

I don’t buffer all my tweets into later time slots. If someone has an urgent question or I just want to reply to them right way, I’ll use the “tweet now” feature of Buffer (or I’ll just send a regular Twitter reply).

If a conversation starts to go back and forth a lot, I’ll usually switch over to (private, direct) messages to keep things real time but not litter my tweet stream with tons of chat tweets. But the first parts of the chat are still public, so people can join in or ask questions. And if I have later responses that would be useful to others, I’ll switch back from private messages to public tweets.


Buffer worked fantastically to increase #TweetCred for me. I saw an immediate jump in real, engaged followers when I started using Buffer to improve my variety and adding more information to my tweets.

Look through a few pages of the tweets of someone you follow. Look through a few pages of your own tweets. What kind of impression do they make? How might you improve the impression you make by mixing up your tweets a little more? Give Buffer a try and see how it can help you improve your #TweetCred.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s free? 🙂

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