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Year 2016. Deewar has been remade into Wall 2.0. The camera zooms in on two dudes generally comparing fortunes. One flaunts his bangla, gaadi, and bank balance while the other says with a steely calmness, mere paas 1,23,456 followers hai. Bas, end of argument.

In a hyper-social world, your social media influence is the new mother of all things.

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Consider @MissMalini on Twitter for example. With a huge following, she is the go-to person for brands looking for a face to promote food, fashion, lifestyle – you name it. There are several other influencers on Twitter who get invited to cool parties or the opening of the latest pub in town, or are asked to speak at seminars and try out new products. And all because they are seen as opinion-makers and opinion-shapers.

Well, now you could be one too, thanks to these cool tips we curated from a set of engaging Tweeples:

Be interesting

Easier said than done. But not so difficult to do either. Start with a crisp bio. Think through all that you are, and then give it an interesting twist. Look at @MissMalini’s bio for example:

Bollywood, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger. Social Media Jedi. Left-handed. Gemini. #LOVE #FOMO He who controls the spice controls the universe!

@MitterManiac aka Sohini Mitter, is a journo turned brand strategist. Her profile reads: Study brands on digital & strategize for some. [email protected]_india & @FinancialXpress. Tweet mostly on books, music, cinema, tech, cricket, culture and society.

See how clearly she articulates what she talks about on Twitter? This makes it easier for the right people to follow her.

Back your bio with a good profile photo — eggs are a strict no-no. Cover images are important too: choose one that complements your personal brand.

Content is king, repeat that ad nauseum

Gautam Ghosh (@GautamGhosh) who has featured in numerous lists as one of India’s top Twitter influencers stresses on the importance of content: “I mostly try to share interesting articles about leadership, management, HR, and digital and social media. I try to keep away from politics and religion. I use Flipboard and Feedly to curate my interest areas and share interesting articles on Twitter. Also try to participate in various tweetchats to connect with new profiles.”

Rule with the tools

Twenty-four-year-old Abhishek Madhavn @AbhishekMadhavn is a master of hacks, probably because he works with @Crowdfire, one of the best apps to manage your Twitter following. Tools like Crowdfire help you hack the system. It easily tracks who to follow, who is unfollowing you, who your friends are following, and profiles most likely to follow back. Kunjal Kamdar (@kunjal23), a top 100 HR Influencer says, “Tools like Tweetdeck / Hootsuite help in staying connected with the buzz on Twitter. It helps you schedule, track hashtags.

Use Twitter lists

Twitter lists are a good way to curate interesting people to follow. It also helps you grow your network. Kunjal advises, “Prepare a list of influencers who tweet and share relevant links around that topic. When you add folks in a list, they get a notification and 9/10 times they check your bio. If they like what they see, they will surely follow back.”

“I also use Twitter lists actively in a few areas to ensure I don’t miss tweets from some people. I go to people’s profiles to find the lists they are a member of to find out whom they are curating.” Gautam adds.

Be nice

This is one of the golden rules on Twitter that you don’t break unless you want to be in quarantine. So that means don’t troll, reply when others are talking to you, be helpful, help others get connected. Jyotirmay Kanthal (@JKConnects), an entrepreneur who uses Twitter to network with fellow founders, advises using Twitter specialities like #FF to refer people others can connect to. They often refer you back to reciprocate and your network grows.

Know your groove

So what are you really? A traveller who loves food? A foodie who loves travel? A social butterfly? A techie? Important to know what you are and focus on building your audience. Find people with matching bios. Look for lists and communities.  Look up related hashtags and join the conversations. As Ruchi Bhatia, @rucsb, a recruitment ninja and a Twitter maven, says: Identify your gifts and then offer your gifts to the world. Be part of communities. Create value, Engage and listen.

 Put in the hours

Want to get the max out of Twitter? Spend time on it. It is an organic media and building your kingdom here will take some time and effort. Nischala Murthy (@nimu9), an IIM-B alum who works with brands on digital strategies says that knowing how much time you can spend crafting content for your target audience is key.

Gautam modestly adds that he was lucky to join Twitter early on and then spent quite a bit of time looking up who he knew before talking about his experiences.

Be generous with the RTs and hearts

RTs and favorites are great ways to engage on Twitter. If you are running out of content, find interesting content from others to share. If you don’t want to RT, favourite the tweet. Favourite is the Twitterverse’s equivalent of the ‘like button’. It lets people know you’re around and some of them may want to engage with you further or follow back.

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