Twitter can be a valuable social media tool, but only if used wisely and of course if you have something interesting to say. Here are the top five tips for gaining followers:

Firstly, re-tweeting is essential to spread your word. Clarify what re-tweeting is and persuade them to re-tweet your links. This will drive your @username into social graphs outside your usual circle giving you ‘clicks’ through to your profile. Keep an eye on your re-tweets using re-tweetiest.

Secondly, what does your bio say about you? Your tweets and replies will mean nothing to someone that doesn’t know you. Fill in the bio – it’s the only place you have to describe yourself and tell people why they should be interested. Having a bio will also encourage people to add you when it appears in the suggested twitter users page.

Thirdly, links are vital. Add links to your twitter profile everywhere – Facebook, Linkedin, your blog, email signature and anywhere else you can think of.

Fourthly, tweet about anything you have enthusiasm for – this will shine through your tweets. Also don’t forget to hash tag # them. Great content united with an easy way to find it can work wonders.

Finally, upload images. Images are far more likely to be re-tweeted than words. Twitter has now made it very simple to add pictures to any tweet by simply selecting the camera logo below the ‘what’s happening’ bar.

All of this is of course pointless if you don’t track your results.

Twitter-counter can be helpful. It will show you how many new users you’re adding per day and Quitter will let you know if you get un-followed after a tweet.