Every tech company needs an active presence on Twitter, but they should also aim to be relevant and influential there too. Here's five simple strategies to start:

Retweet, Retweet, Retweet: Show Your Network You’re Watching and Responding


Like what someone says or an article they just shared? Go ahead and retweet it. They’ll appreciate their thoughts being spread across a wider audience, and you may get a reply or a follow in return—thus increasing your influence too. Going back to my last blog post about Followerwonk, I mentioned the service’s “Social Authority” classification. It’s based solely upon retweets, and the Followerwonk blog calls them the “currency of social”, adding “retweets represent a native measure of social success… [and] are a better social specific metric.” 


Twitter Scouting, Part 1: Check Out Your Following/Follower Lists


Don’t just survey your follower/following lists—check out your competitors’ lists too, to make sure you’re not missing anyone relevant. Don’t forget to check out your favorite journalists’ lists too—you might find some new influencers to engage and build relationships with. Check out how many people Alex Wilhelm of TechCrunch is following...there’s got to be some interesting and relevant people in his list that you’re overlooking.


Use That @ Sign: Tweet AT Specific People


I’m stating the blatantly obvious here: If you want a specific person to see what you’re tweeting about, tweet it directly @ them. Here’s a perfect example. If you tweet at someone, all of his or her followers who are also following you see it. If you’re lucky, tweeting directly @ someone will spark an interesting and intelligent conversation between many different Twitter users, again expanding your audience and increasing your follower base. (Another tip: If you want to tweet @ someone but ensure their non-followers also see the conversation, include a “.” before the @.)


Twitter Scouting, Part 2: Find Their Faves


You can really get to know what a person likes by looking at the tweets they favorite. (I also favorite anything that I want to make sure I go back and read.) Checking out those little stars on some of your biggest influencers will definitely give you some insight into what they’re interested in or what they’re looking for. This is especially beneficial when looking through profiles of tech journalists who might write about your company, to know what topics and angles they’re interested in.


Time is of the Essence: Don’t Wait Too Long to Send That Tweet


There really is a prime time to send out your tweets to the online universe. We’ve again used Followerwonk to decide when our followers are the most active, and it showed us that the best times for us to tweet are between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pacific. However, you don’t need Followerwonk to tell you, you can test this yourself by scheduling tweets at random times during the day, and keeping track of your best results. There’s also Tweriod, which lets you run analyses on your tweets and your followers’ tweets to tell you when you should tweet more often. The free analysis from Tweriod will analyze up to 1,000 of your followers, and should give you a pretty good idea of that. Don’t waste your great commentary on a silent void; make sure your followers are awake, alert, and listening—and follow the other four steps to start increasing that audience today.