First off, I’m no Twitter expert, and this is no ultimate guide to Twitter bliss.

Just like you, I was amazed by the power of Twitter (still am) , and unlike the early days, where I struggled to find out what was going on, today I have a pretty active Twitter profile where I’m following a bunch of similar minded guys, and truly having fun with it.

I don’t have the biggest fan base, nor do I have Guy Kawasaki following me, but with whatever little I’m doing on Twitter – I’m happy with it and enjoying it. I think that’s a great achievement. In fact, you too can, and this guide goes out to all who love Twitter, successful or not.

To be honest with you, amidst all the praises and accolades, not everyone I met are fans of Twitter. There are people who have just created a profile on Twitter, just because some one else did, and did nothing with it.

And there are people who have followed the big guys on blogging/internet, got excited about it, tried reaching them on Twitter with replies and DMs, got frustrated with no replies and declared “Twitter is for them, not for me !”

And there’s another bunch who are “successful” with lots of fans, and offer the “tips and tricks” to get a huge following on Twitter.

I follow people from all these categories, irrespective of how successful they are.

Okay so, back to the topic – How to maintain a healthy and likeable Twitter profile.

Why should you have a clean and healthy Twitter profile ?


A Twitter profile in my honest opinion is a mis-fit among all the other Social media channels. Facebook, MySpace..pick anything and you’ll see that its Twitter which has a “stupid” profile. Unlike any other social media channels, there are very few options on Twitter.

All you have is 1) Your Avatar 2) Your Bio 3) A profile background and of course 4) Your Tweets

Your options are very limited. But in fact, that’s Twitter’s biggest plus point.

- Twitter is very simple, that it’s easy to find out how good you are on the first look.

- Twitter keeps things so easy that you don’t have any space to fool around.

And therefore, I think it makes sense to have a nice, healthy profile Twitter profile, if you don’t want to, just get out of it and head right away to MySpace. There’s lot of “fun” around there.


How can you make an attractive Twitter profile ?

I’m not trying to say that I have the most attractive Twitter profile, but let’s put it this way – what would I look in others profile that makes me follow them or least – consider them good “Twittizens” ?


1. An expressive Avatar to make an impression 

The avatar is to tell people who you are. You can either use your photo or something expressing what you do. People like to see you, who you are though.

2. A short and sweet bio to get the visitor interested 

Bios aren’t suppose to be like the ‘About me’ page on your blog, that’s why they kept it short. Make the point in short and sweet words, without bragging too much. They’ll anyway find out what you are from your Tweets, not your bio.

3. A background to tell who you really are 

I think the background is a lot of space that you can use to tell others why you are here and what you expect from others. One can easily make out that you’re a marketing guy if you are in your blazers with a list of titles and a boring dull background color.

4. Lots of quality tweets to sign the deal 

And this is the most important factor if you ask me that helps me make a decision to follow a guy or not. I wouldn’t even mind if you have no bio/URL posted, but if the Tweets are really interesting, then its and immediate “follow”.


So assuming you have one, how can you now have a nice Twitter experience and continue with it ?


Write this down somewhere.

Twitter is not about who follows you but whom you follow !

( Heard this first from @styletime :) )

Most of us have this idea of “the more – the merrier” on Twitter. It may sound good but its not really  true. Of course, the already popular people out there like @problogger will find it easy as people will follow them first, and by “default” they will have an initial good number of followers.

But that doesn’t mean that you too should have those many followers to get a good Twitter life. It’s whom you follow that matters. Follow those active people on Twitter who converse with others, share quality stories and have fun. Following a bunch of such followers will give you better life on Twitter than following a bunch of high-profile guys who wouldn’t have time to converse with you.

Follow people from your niche – they’ll think similar !

If you are starting to find more people and getting engaged with Twitter, the best way to go is to find people from your niche and start following them. I found this strategy very effective. Initially, I used to follow anyone I thought would make a friend. But they didn’t and I can’t blame them for it. And then I started following SEO’s and bloggers, they immediately befriended me. So you know.


Do yourself a favor – Keep away from following people who don’t use Twitter

Believe me there are lots of people out there who don’t really use Twitter but are out there. They might be famous personalities/brands but they don’t necessarily update as often. I don’t see any meaning in following them unless they are a news source which you can reply on. Do yourself a favor, don’t follow them, save your follows.


Remember, Twitter is not an IM tool – GTalk is better at it

Also, remember Twitter is not an IM tool. It certainly looks like one from some tweets but had it been one, there’d also be a “Call your friend” button somewhere. There isn’t. So keep away from using it as an IM tool. There is nothing wrong actually, but it would irritate others when you keep talking to that someone over personal things.


Give your followers something in return, good Tweets may be?

Always be aware that there are those 500 odd guys listening to what you’re saying always. So what do you have for them ? Share a funny pic, discuss a news development or share a tip on using a piece of software. People love to learn new things and they’ll appreciate it.


Answer questions no matter the guy is bankable or not

Try to be genuine and follow genuine guys. By genuine I mean everyone who’s active on Twitter no matter he’s a bankable friend or not. I know a couple of guys who are reluctant to reply to questions just because the guy who asked the question has only a hundred followers. And there are a lot of people asking questions on Twitter. Like “Where do I get a theme for my blog” to “What do you think of Obamas speech ?” I think these are opportunities. I make it a point to answer as many of these questions if I knew the answer and it means a lot to the person. May be you should also know that when you’re replying to someone’s Q, its not only him but the 499 others too who are addressed, so they may also benefit from it. And its so kind of you, people will appreciate your efforts.


Don’t worry over whether your friend is influential or not, he is a friend after all

I think if the person befriending you is genuine and active, I can’t think of a good reason not to follow him. So I accept anyone who befriends me. It necessarily needn’t be true in all cases though. You can be selective with it based on your intuitions, but generally i must say its a good idea to follow back as many people who’d follow you.


Never try automation – both you and me know its lame.

There are lot of scams there that promise you 1000 followers in two days and the like. My take is that, they may be true, some of them work too, but the problem is that you would just end your Twitter life at it. Get followers in two days, but not another thousand in the next two days and beyond.

So stay away from automated stuff, its lame. Try the hard way and you’ll find that the results, if not awesome are good. And there’ll be something to learn from it.


Use those tools, they’re in plenty

Staying away from automation is different from using the Twitter tools. There are a lot of tools available for Twitter out there like Twitterholic, Retweetist etc which will give you ideas on who’s popular on Twitter and what they are tweeting. If you are running short of ideas to Tweet, they can be of big help.


You’ll make mistakes for sure. No prob correct yourself.

And of course, even if there’s someone who’d mentor you to best tweet practices, you’ll make mistakes. We all do. We follow the wrong guy, we reply to a bot, we engage in conversations with the wrong person and the like. So once in a while, its good to spring clean. Use the tools, like this one ( which will tell you whos following you and not. You might have forgotten to follow your friends back too, so once a while clean up your friends list, unfollow the ones who aren’t interested inyour Tweets and add more people who are likely to be your friends.

The last thing you want to is get followed by everyone. That’ll be just too much to manage.

Hope my humble guide helped you. :)

Happy Tweeting guys. -


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  1. Am i reading a chapter from the Bible ? Awesome article mani, thnX

    [Reply to this comment]

    Mani KarthikNo Gravatar Replied:

    Hey never received a compliment like that ever. Thanks Wayne, glad you liked it.

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. I agree with Wayne…this is like the Twitter Bible. Great article Mani!

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. You must edit this”First off, I’m no Twitter expert”.

    You are a expert

    [Reply to this comment]

    Mani KarthikNo Gravatar Replied:

    Thanks George :) Glad you liked the post.

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Excellent post Mani - you really got all the important points in this one ! Anyone new to Twitter should read this.

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. Very nice post. Actually it sums up many points and a must read for all the tweeple out there… I am sharing it on my twitter

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. I had a profile in Twitter for a long time but never used it. After reading this I started using it. really great one.

    [Reply to this comment]

  7. Hey, great post.. i have addet your feed to my reader, thanks agine!

    [Reply to this comment]

  8. [...] to read a simple down-to-earth article by Mani Karthik on how to use Twitter titled “10 Ways to maintain a healthy, likeable Twitter profile and enjoy a fun Twitter life“. So if you are new to Twitter, or if you’ve been on it a while but notice that [...]