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Everyone’s tweeting these days, but are any of your tweets being retweeted? Is your follower count increasing on a daily, if not hourly, basis? Or can you count the members of your “twibe” on one hand?

Thankfully, Twitter is a fluid social-media platform that changes by the minute. We did a little digging to find some easy ways to handle your Twitter handle so that you come across as a true influencer instead of just another follower.

1. Become Seth Godin!

Or Katy Perry. Or any other celebrity of note. That’s the lightning-fast way to increase your follower count without working at it. Seriously, though, if you’re not famous (outside of your family), you’ll have to earn followers the way regular folks do. See points 2 to 5.

2. Think Visually

“Provide a clear profile picture and cover photo on your account to attract new followers,” advises Vanessa Doctor, a writer at Having the anonymous Twitter “egg,” a company logo or an image of anything except a human face – unless you’re Grumpy Cat  – doesn’t immediately convey to people that you’re someone they should follow.

3. Engage, Don’t Advertise

Follow Twitter’s unwritten rule: only one out of every five tweets you post should be about you. If your tweets start to sound like ads, followers will start to tune out. If you want to be retweeted, you need to retweet in return. Make sure the content you share is fun or fascinating or fabulous so that you keep your followers engaged.

4. Be Yourself

“There is a high value for authenticity and being human on Twitter,” writes Mark W. Schaefer in his book, The Tao of Twitter. He says when he tried to follow conventions and adopt a textbook marketing approach – “reaching” his “target audience” with well-defined “messaging” – not much happened. Then he relaxed, stopped trying to force following, and everything changed. “Instead of trying to find my audience and customers, they found me,” he adds.

5. Play Nice

“Picking fights, causing conflict and making enemies is one way to ruin your brand while using social media,” offers Chris Farias, creative director and founder of Kitestring, a creative-branding company based in Hamilton, Ont. Whether your feed is about you, or your business, Twitter is a social environment, and Farias suggests people think before rushing to respond to a negative comment or offer an un-asked-for opinion. Although your follower count may spike at the height of the confrontation, most will unfollow soon after the Twitter train wreck clears up.

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