Blue BirdThere are Twitter users, and then there are influencers. You know the ones: maybe they’ve got  thousands of followers, and everyone turns to them to get advice on a particular subject. Or maybe they carry on engaging, far-reaching conversations. Or maybe they always have something interesting to share, and their content spreads.  People hear them, and they have a presence.

Big in this sense isn’t about numbers of followers necessarily (although you need some kind of following). Big in the world of influence means “impactful.”

So how can you get from where you are to where they are? Begin with these helpful tips.

Start by Following the Right People

While it might seem like the path to success is in simply following a massive number of people in the hopes that they will follow you back, it’s actually more about quality. Follow those in your industry, including those influencers you wish to emulate.

Resist the urge to follow back everyone who follows you. Many don’t care about your message and don’t fit the demographic you’re marketing to.

Do follow people who are using Twitter well, as well as those who are most likely to amplify your message. They’ll be your key to growing your following quickly.

Have a Voice

It’s easy to simply click the Retweet button on other people’s content or share your own. But that won’t make you an influencer in other people’s eyes. Figure out what you want your stance to be. Maybe you’re controversial and find arguments against common assumptions. Or maybe you focus on being the first to break industry news. Whatever your voice, own it.

Be Responsive

If you pay attention to top influencers, you’ll notice they’re quick to respond when someone sends them a tweet or mentions them. They’re always gracious when people share their content, and they reciprocate.

You won’t, however, get big on Twitter if you only check your profile once a week. If it’s important to you to grow your network, make checking in once or twice a day at least a priority.

Be Consistent

While you don’t have to write all your tweets in real time (there are tools like Buffer and HootSuite to help you schedule posts), you do want to deliver a steady stream of content and updates, as well as vary it to keep your audience engaged.

Share What Others Aren’t

Twitter becomes an echo chamber when everyone shares the same content as everyone else. Be different. Tune into what’s breaking in your industry by setting up Google Alerts or scanning collaborative news sites. Then share the news promptly, putting your touch on it.

Be a Good Follower

Simply by being attentive to the people you’re following, you can grow your Twitter network. Retweet great content, and respond to people’s questions. Favorite their updates to let them know you’re paying attention. Really engage with people rather than spraying out your content and ignoring the rest.

Take a Page from Those Influencers

See what those “Twitterati” are doing that makes them so popular on Twitter, and mimic it as best you can. Share their content and engage with them directly and see if they respond. Use their strategies for your profile, and add your own techniques to the mix.

Getting big on Twitter takes time and effort, so have patience. Over time, you will see more people sharing your content and following you, which should translate to more clicks to your website and an increase in sales.