A Twitter fan base can be very rewarding with the right type of fans, in other words, relevant fans.

Having relevant followers ensure that you can communicate your message to your followers, they can respond and a conversation can start. If most of your followers are not really interested in your message and only followed you in the hope that you will follow them, your tweets will have little response.

Here are some tips in growing a strong following on Twitter:

Provide value

When you provide value and fill a need, people will follow you. People will follow you because they have found your tweets contain links or information that provides them with solutions to their problems and enriches their lives in some way. Decide on a theme and then provide valuable information to your followers. When your followers interact with you, people following them will notice that they are interacting with you and check out your tweets.

Be yourself

Nobody likes a fraud. So be yourself and let people see the real you. You don't have to share personal or sensitive information. Allow your followers to get a sense of who you are in your tweets, even if you are just tweeting a link or a photograph. Tell your followers something about the link and what you think about it. It is important to come across as genuine, otherwise your followers might think you are a robot.

Tweet during business hours

I have found that most people tweet during the United States business hours. As a South African I have found that I need to be on Twitter in the evenings or during the night to be able to interact and have people notice my tweets. I see my following increasing compared to when I tweet during the day. If you are in the US, tweet during the day, it will make a difference to your following.

Use Hashtags

When you comment on something or post a link that fall into a category, there is an easy way to put your tweet into that category. Add a hashtag at the end of your tweet. Hashtags makes it easier for people to find your tweet among the millions of tweets and find that it is relevant to what they are interested in.

How it works is add # after your tweet. Here is an example:

Is it true that a new MS Windows is on sale? #microsoft

By adding the hashtag at the end, people who are searching for Microsoft related tweets, will see your question and probably respond to it. They might even start following you and some of their followers might also follow you.

Tweet often

This tip is self explanatory and it is important to tweet often, but don't overdo it. When you post a couple of links, have something personal to say in between. The same goes for when you reply to people. When you reply to comments from other people, throw a tweet or two in for your followers that are not into the conversations you are having. People can easily feel left out and that will make them unfollow you.

Link to your Twitter profile

If you have a blog or you are on a social media website with a profile of yourself, just add a link to your Twitter profile. If people enjoy what you are writing or they enjoy interacting with you on another social media website, they might be very interested in following you on Twitter.