10 Words Every Successful Tweeter Needs To Know

Before I look at the words you need to have in mind to be a successful Tweeter lets consider how success might be measured.

Success can be defined as

Accomplishing an aim or purpose or having achieved popularity, profit, or distinction

So what would your measure of success be on Twitter? If your aim is profit then that can easily be measured however popularity and distinction are much more intangible factors to evaluate. Although I’ve never tried it (and never will) I understand that I could buy thousands of followers tomorrow, would that make me more popular or a more distinguished power tweeter? I don’t think so!

So I think it’s important to be honest with yourself about why you Tweet and to measure your level of success against your objectives. For example you might Tweet for fun and only have a few followers but have a wonderful relationship with the people you connect with. From the outside looking in you wouldn’t appear to be very successful however you will probably be achieving all your goals.

By the same token you might have hundreds of thousands of followers but little interaction with any of them appearing to be successful and a tweeter of distinction but actually having an empty, unsatisfying experience. So don’t make hasty judgements about others and, when you look at my 10 words consider your own experiences and how you can use the messages to make Twitter a better and more successful place for YOU.


Join in the fun, it’s ok to watch from the sidelines when you start to get the feel of things but you will have a better experience if you jump in, connect, converse and relate to other tweeters. Follow people who interest you, if they follow you back say hello with a personal message (not automated – see below) and when you are ready;


A good way to get started is to share Tweets, it gets you noticed and if you share quality content and maybe add something of your own then you will begin to attract followers. Please make sure to give credit to those who have tweeted or shared before you, nothing is designed more to alienate people than taking credit for something they have done. Think about sharing appropriately in the other online places you inhabit too, people will love you for that. Before you share though be sure to;


If a Tweet contains a link then check it out before you share it both to check it works and also to make sure the content is suitable for your audience.Beware of links from unknown sources though, if you see a tweet mentioning your name or a Direct Message from an unknown source Never click that link, it invariably leads to trouble!


When someone takes the trouble to do something for you it’s just good manners to do something in return. So when you see that a fellow tweeter has mentioned you or has RT’d your content send them a thank you, add a follow, find some gold in their Twitter stream and share it with your followers. They will appreciate it and will be more likely to notice you again, you no doubt like it when that happens to you so make sure you do the same to others.


Ok, it’s not a real word, I admit I made it up but I wanted to make a point and it fits the purpose. I hate it when I follow someone and I get an automated message, especially if it contains a ‘check out my blog’ link – Yuk – it makes me want to unfollow not check you out further.

There might be a place for automating services such as Buffer and Tribber but please use them wisely and always read content before you share it.

(Update April 24th – Ok, I admit it – I have been trying Buffer on @AnnTran_ ‘s recommendation and I’m liking what I see. I still read the posts so I’m not changing my view on automating but I am finding I am sharing more and better content by scheduling.)


Keep your activity on Twitter balanced by Tweeting about a variety of subjects. Many people operate within their niche, for instance most of my Tweets will be about social media and technology however I think it’s good to mix with tweeters with all sorts of interests. So why not throw in the odd ones from other areas and connect with people from all sorts of backgrounds and parts of the world. It’s much more fun that way.

Aim to have balanced activity too, try not to get too carried away and bombard your Twitter stream with too much all at once, people might just get tired of seeing you if you overdo it.


Twitter seems to me to be an overwhelmingly positive arena to operate in. OK there are ‘haters’ and ‘trolls’ out there who can make it an uncomfortable place to be, particularly for tweeters with a high profile, but for the average user it creates a positive environment. So keep it positive, constant negativity and moaning will soon put people off or attract the wrong kind.


What a place to share information, share your interests and add to the knowledge of the world. Don’t just be a sharer of content that’s already doing the rounds.

Instead of always recycling a link that’s already been around the Twittersphere (I made another word up!) several times just because it was tweeted by a ‘celeb’, why not be an innovator of information and seek out new stuff to entertain and amaze the world. Subscribe to blogs (like this one) and web sites so that you are among the first to know whats going on and become a leader rather than just a ‘follower’.


Many people use Twitter to promote charitable or Social Good causes. Tweeters such as Amy @charityideas, Ann @AnnTran_ , Sean @2morrowknight and many more, use Twitter as a vehicle for good so give them a helping hand. However much we might like to we can’t contribute to every good cause we come across but it costs nothing to share the content of someone who is trying to help others so be generous with your Tweets to support them.


The last word and the most important. If you aren’t enjoying all or part of your Twitter experience then stop what you are doing, think about your reasons for being there and make changes so it’s fun again. I’ve been through periods where I’ve got bored with all and it’s become a bit of a chore but I’ve made those changes and found all the old enthusiasm returning.

And remember – if you need to take a break it will still all be there when you get back. If you have built good relationships in your time on Twitter then your friends will still be there for you when you are back on form again.

So now it’s your turn, what do you think? Do you have any other words you would like to add or any comments on my advice? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 If you’ve enjoyed this post I hope you will share it using the options to your left and below and if you would like to see more like this you can Subscribe, Follow, Like and add to your Circles using the buttons at the top of the sidebar.
*Image credits

Success Key – Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hacker – chanpipat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Spheres Balance – Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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  • sneha mehta

    The perfect list:)

  • I like this post.


  • Interesting; I know we are supposed to be way beyond worrying about if someone is following you are not but it’s always interesting to me when you follow someone with 20,000+ followers and they don’t follow you back. Obviously they see your ‘follow’ come in and it wouldn’t take much to see you are a real person; but what was so indistinguishable about you that you couldn’t even crack the top 20,000, huh? 

    I think I’m up to 1,600+ but it’s all passsive; my guess is over 95% of my followers approached me as I didn’t seek them out. I only check to make sure they are real people and actually involved. Unfortunately I pretty much stay w/in my ‘main’ list and only follow that stream at any given time. 

    Am I successful? Who knows; all I know is they haven’t closed my account yet…………:)

    • They are the ones who are missing out by not following you back Bill!

      I agree it’s sometimes puzzling why people don’t follow back, in my case I sometimes wonder if it’s due to my Twitter handle not being my name as ‘The Top 10 Blog’ could be dismissed as as someone trying to sell something, too late to change it now I guess.

      You are one of the people I was thinking of as having less followers but a much more active and fulfilling experience as you combine Twitter with an amazingly vibrant community on your blog. So from the outside looking in I would measure you as a Twitter success, I guess really it all comes down to whether you enjoy being a Tweeter and as long as you are then why worry about the rest.

      Thanks for stopping by Bill and hope you have a good weekend :-)

      • At least some of the people who don’t follow back might be using Twitter as I do, which is mainly as a news feed.  I’m following about 100 accounts which tweet regularly on topics of interest to me, and since I want to catch stories of interest, I don’t worry about following others.  I retweet quite a lot of tweets.  I’ve got about 165 followers, the number creeps up gradually, but since that’s not my primary goal, that slow increase is fine with me.

        •  Hi Michelle, it’s what you get out of Twitter that makes it a success for you and the numbers are really irrelevant. The slow increase probably means that the people you connect with are genuine and therefore more likely to only enhance your experience. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment :-)

      • I agree, Tony. Those who don’t follow Bill are missing out! He’s a great tweeter who follows most of your suggestions above, especially humor!

  • Great post!

  • GurbaxaniDotMe_Social_Media

    All Tweeters should pin this list of 10 words at their work space as a constant reminder of the right way of Tweeting. Thanks for the post. I am certainly going to share this

    •  Many thanks for your comment, glad you enjoyed the post and found it useful – great idea about pinning up a reminder :-)

  • Bobbie S.

    Thank you for all your posts. I am learning a lot with each one

  • NL

    Good advice!  The positive activities and attitudes you recommend here are the very same that anyone needs to be truly successful in the working world–no matter what profession or business one is engaged in.  Optimism and collaboration are necessary ingredients for everyone’s success, in Twitter and in life.

    •  Well said! I do always try to apply these principles in all ares of life so good words to keep in mind whatever we do :-)

  • Anntran_

    Hi Tony,

    Great detailed list with very thoughtful points.  Thank you so much for including me in your post and supporting me and others in your Twitterverse.


    •  Hi Ann, lovely to see you here and thanks to you for your comment. You set the example that I and many others aspire to in making Twitter a positive place to be so thanks to you for that :-)

  • Dave

    Great list

  • maggie

    Very interesting/thought provoking: We all tweet for our own reasons; and only we individually can measure  our “success” :) I’m a one year tweeter; and it has enhanced my life enormously. I tweet for a number of reasons: to learn, to connect, to share. I flw some ppl who I  don’t expect to flw me back – just cause they are interesting/amusing/informative to me. What always surprises *me* is when a “power tweeter” w  1,000’s of followers,follows me. Sometimes of course it’s obvious for business reasons, and that’s fine, but I don’t generally flw back.
    But as seems to happen more, is I’m followed by a genuine person,with nothing to sell; and I find that confusing. I *wish* people  would intro themselves…. why they are following me ? something  I said? a  shared connection or #ff referral?? In those cases I contact them and flat out ask – who are you? why are you following? so I  can decide if want to  follow back.
    I’ve met many wonderful people that way. Just today I had such an experience…. person has 7000 followers, out  of blue flw’d me…. I thanked him and his response ” Hi Maggie:) Thanks so much for the welcome. Holy cow! Nicest one I’ve received so far..your follow thank you was the best EVER:)”
    So that’s how I judge my ‘success’ – I met a new friend today – and we’ll support each other/RT/share ideas/opinions…. 

    •  Hi Maggie, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I admire your approach in being a bit more questioning why someone follows you. I must admit that it’s not something I do although I am quite fussy in who I follow back, if they are clearly just selling or spamming I never reciprocate.

      Glad you found the post interesting and good to connect with you here and on Twitter :-)

  • Doahna

    Thanks for the info! Its very helpful. Great work!

  • KeithDAndrade

    Great post!

  • DebbyBruck

    Hello Ann ~ A unique way of introducing good behavior and etiquette to Twitter users. Top ten list. I am here due to friends of friends on Twitter using the techniques as above. SHARING! Blessings, Debby

    •  Hi Debby, thanks ever so much for the kind words and for sharing, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. You are right about friends of friends leading us off to places we wouldn’t otherwise have seen, maybe I should have included ‘friendship’ too :-)

  • Terrific list.  One of my biggest pet peeves is receiving an auto DM directing me to another connection portal.  For goodness sake, if someone wants me to “follow” them around the web then they should have the courtesy to ask directly.

    •  Thanks Jackie, I appreciate the kind comment and the RT, following you on Twitter now :-)

  • Great list! I’ve made some wonderful friendships on Twitter, and I’m very proud to say that my small following is a real and interactive community – people who I have never met but whom I consider as friends. 

    On another note, I’m disappointed with accounts which tweet “will follow back!” and that have thousands and thousands of followers but only following a few hundred. I think this is dishonest.Have a great day, tweeps! Always be #positive! 

    • Many thanks for taking the time to leave your kind comment Jason – we soon find out who is genuine and who is not on Twitter!

      • That is so true! I believe being inspirational is one of those things that are impossible to fake. You either grow into becoming one, or not at all! And as always, let’s keep the #teampositive vibe going!

  • Wow, fantastic and surprising list, Tony. I thought for sure #hashtag was going to be one but I like your list better, especially your invented word!

    You nailed this. Your list encompasses the essence of Twitter that makes the site thoroughly enjoyable for those who do it right.

    •  Thanks Carolyn, you are too kind and thanks for allowing me to invent a new word! I wanted to get away from the technical side of tweeting to think about what it really means to us as people so I really appreciate your kind words. Thanks for sharing too – you have proved what it’s all about :-)

  • Tparrington

    Really great advice. The only thing I had a problem with was the giving credit to previous re-tweeters. That would be great, and lovely to do, but with the very limited number of characters allowed it can be next to impossible.

    •   Thanks for the comment Tami, that is very true but I tend to work on
      the principle that if there’s not room then I don’t RT. I suppose that
      might mean that I have to miss out some good stuff but if there are a
      number of previous retweeters then maybe many people have already seen that content.

  • Harrie Custers

    How 2 tweet.
    I like this.

  • Webdevpatches

    This was a great refresher course for people who are still getting there feet wet with Twitter. 1 lesson I took from this is to make sure I thank someone who mentions or RT’s me. Thanks for the enjoyable read.

    •  Thanks for the kind comment – I’m glad you enjoyed the post and were able to take something from it :-)

  • Jwrld7

    Wonderful post. Anytime someone follows me I feel successful because that one more person that I can learn from and share info with. If I follow someone and they don’t follow back, no worries, I followed them due to the fact I thought they were interesting, not for a follow back.

    •  Thanks – you obviously Tweet with good motives – I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      Are we connected on Twitter yet?

  • Joette Snyder

    Thank you this is a great list!

  • Geroryan

    Nice list !

  • Excellent!!!

  • really great post, learning good stuff here

  • I shared your article in my facebook page, hope i showed the true respect to you by doing that. thanks. 

  • Love it – though I think some judicious automation allows you to spend your time really connecting with people while providing content.

    •  Thanks Debra, glad you enjoyed the post – I do now agree about some automated scheduling as my update shows. As long as the content is read before sharing I can see the benefits.

      • I completely agree! I have automated my content (which I’ve written mostly – except for the pithy quotes) – the tips, tricks, wisdom and information that I want to share. And I have delegated the thank you and follow backs to an assistant. But the RTs and conversations I do personally. I always read a blog post before I recommend it. And personal interaction should be just that – personal.

  • Gwen

    Enjoyed your good advice – I’m still fairly new to twitter with new Biz so found it helpful as still finding my way around.

    Comparing Twitter with my new Kindle where I find I am reading books I wouldn’t normally have considered reading but now enjoying the broader experience & entertainment they offer. For me Twitter has the same affect by the information it provides, fun/serious from an eclectic base of follows.
    Most of time I really enjoy this, putting me in touch with businesses I didn’t know existed, or would give a second glance as I walked past. Now I would consider them in potential future purchases wherever they maybe.

    • Thanks Gwen, glad you were able to take something from the post – enjoy your Twitter experience :-)

    • Belated thanks for your comment Gwen, glad you found the post useful.

  • donald ukponu

    Hi there,
    I was looking for something like this to read and I found it on Twitter.I think twitter is a great place to connect, interact and share contents like yours.Nice Post.Great Write-up! Keep it up. @donald_576

  • Nice List Tony, although I find Twitter a place to connect or network some of the value that I continually take away is the loads of content and knowledge which is accessible and therefore can be shared and spread. I hope you don’t mind in that Ipinned this post to my board? I basically, without the sole intent of doing so, have and continue to build a Professional Learning Network (PLN) for like minded educators such as myself. Also, the number and quality of people using this platform is remarkable and naturally finite in the future. It can be addictive as well! I have spawned from my intent of solely creating an on line PLN to simply sharing humor and thought provoking commentary about social injustice and just trying to spread good words such as peace and humanity. The future holds so much promise from this medium yet it is depressing to see all the negativity in the world in which is basically broadcast here… With that said knowledge is power, huh?

    • Many thanks for your thoughtful comment Bill – I’m happy you have been able to use the post on your board.

  • Building good relationships 56.47% (157 votes)

  • Tony- What a great list! I like how you talk about understanding your Twitter goals and connecting them to and adjusting your actions as needed. Twitter is a great venue for connecting your social media platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, blog,etc… ) It’s a conduit to help create relationships across multi-platforms and interact and share in a variety of ways.

    • Many thanks for your kind comment Linda, looking forward to connecting with you on Twitter :-)

  • suchismita pai

    I am new to twitter. One of the things I noticed is how good it is to promote causes. I am following many causes and people who talk of them. Like everything else I am sure there are good and bad aspects o twitter too. But it has led me to a lot of lovely sites.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by with your comment :-)

  • Marie Pijanowski

    Great Twitter Education! Like the made up words….Innovation!

  • Yes, this is a good list.

    What could be added is “ReTweet”.

    Nice perspective on the different definitions of success.

  • Lisa Rice

    Great points made here!