To win any of our giveaways via a Tweet entry, you must have 30 or more followers on Twitter. Don't worry, though, as it's not hard to get past that number if you follow these steps:
1. Don't be an egg. Most people assume that the eggs are spam. Change your egg to a picture (it doesn't have to be a picture of you) so that people know you're a real person. Fill in your profile so it says something about you - that way people know whether you have things in common.
2. Follow 'real' people. If you want to follow celebrities or news outlets that's fine - they're often funny and informative. However, they won't follow you back. You need to make sure you find and follow some real people.
3. How do you find 'real' people to follow? Let's say you have a child who is autistic. Search twitter using the hashtag #autism and see who is tweeting. If you find someone you like the look of, follow them. If you really like them, take a look at their twitter stream and see who they chat to and follow their friends. A lot of people will make Follow Friday recommendations (#FF) listing people they like most on twitter. If someone you like does a #FF recommendation then follow the people they recommend.
4. Use lists. Many people will set up lists for the people they tweet with - like parents of autistic kids or people on the autism spectrum. If a good tweep has set up lists then look at the ones that seem interesting and follow people on the list if they have things in common with you.
5. Follow back. When a real person follows you, follow them back. Look at their tweets and if you think this is someone you'd like to chat with or someone who tweets useful info, get to know them.
6. Re-tweet. People love it when something they tweet is shared with others (called re-tweeting or RT) - if you follow and re-tweet people it makes them more likely to follow you back.
7. Interact. Talk to people. If someone comments that they're having a bad day, reply and commiserate. If they say that their 5 year old just peed on the toilet for the first time, reply and join their party. Just like an offline gathering, it's tough to make friends if you don't socialize.