Just because your @handle is new, doesn’t mean your profile has to look like a newbie. You have 280 characters, learn how to use Twitter and quickly grow your following and influence.
Don’t be an egg.
- Customize your header, add a profile picture and make your bio relevant to your audience. Studies show that using your face as your profile image increases followers & engagement.
- Keep tweets under 110 characters.
- This increases the likelihood it will be re-shared. RT’s tack on up to 20 additional characters to a tweet. Keeping the original content short means users do not have to edit your content to get the RT under 140. Obstacles = No Sharing. Editing is an obstacle, plus you have no control over how your content is changed.
Use #hashtags appropriately.
- Don’t hijack a trending hashtag just to get impressions. This can get you into serious trouble if you don’t know the meaning or origin of the #.
- If a word in your content is a high search term, give that word a hashtag as it appears in the tweet. i.e. “#SocialMedia is a high search term on #Twitter.”
- If you are participating in a conversation or event that has an official hashtag, USE IT. This helps others find your content.
Use search to find your audience.
- Looking to converse with Maserati lovers? Search #Maserati, or one of their models, to find folks talking about this topic. #Hashtags in their tweets will clue you in on where their conversation is and lead you to more followers like them.
- Your Twitter Analytics will show you if your followers are the same folks you set out to find.
- Follow to be followed.
Make content actionable.
- Tweets need a call to action too. What action do you want followers to take? Click a link, watch your business’ video, follow you, download your content from a site, sign up for service? Links, images, and video are all ways to get followers to engage with you.
- Twitter Analytics will tell you in great detail what actions happened that are viewable to everyone on Twitter as well as the Follows, profile expands and URL clicks only you can see.
- FYI – the lifespan of an average Tweet is 1 hour. That is why quality content is so important it increases your chance of getting a re-tweet and extending your social reach.
Sound like you.
- Be yourself. Followers like humans, not marketing robots.
- Be helpful, never spammy
- If you want another person’s followers to see your comment or reply, add . before the @ in the Twitter handle. i.e. “.@Cool_Dude51 Thanks for the advice on social etiquette.”
- Lurk on #TwitterChats until you feel comfortable joining in. Twitter chats are a fun way to meet people passionate about a particular topic. #FlipboardChat #BrandChat #IndieChat #NostalgiaChat #etc.
- Say Thank You for Retweets, acknowledge those that favor your content, then go and do the same for them.
Use Twitter Ads to schedule embedded media content.
- Even if you don’t pay to promote content or find new followers, you can use this section of Twitter to schedule native media posts. Native images and video are displayed more prominently in feeds, which gets your content noticed.
- If you decide to pay for Twitter promotion, match your campaign to what you’re trying to accomplish to ensure the quality of the engagement is aligned with your long-term goals.
Understand the reality of followers vs. impressions.
- Your tweet has the potential to be seen by all of your followers.
- Your tweet is actually seen only by the followers actively looking at their twitter stream when your content publishes. Out of 500 followers, your tweet may be seen by as little as 15 people. Some days I get great impressions and engagement, other days I get goose eggs. That’s why it’s important to repeat tweets and tweet often to reach your followers and to help new people find you.
Use 3rd party apps to maintain your sanity.
- Do not try to keep up with live tweeting all day every day. This is a sure-fire way to make you hate Twitter and wish you never jumped into social media.
- 3rd Party apps like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Socialoomph, Klout, Buffer, etc (you get the idea) allow you to schedule the tweets you want to share so when you go onto Twitter later, you have time for replying to comments and engaging in conversation.
- This is the best way to take a weekend off from social or take a vacation without going dark online. There’s always time to catch up on thanking others for RT’s and comments when you return. After all, they’re human too and also take breaks – you just don’t notice because they scheduled their tweets.
Before jumping into conversations or trending hashtags, keep this in mind:
Are you adding value to the conversation or are you adding noise? Is your comment relevant or intrusive?
Social media is experienced through mobile phones, tablets, and computers, but there are still real people on the receiving end. (Yes, I’m sure there are more real people than bots.) Behave the same as you would at any live gathering, with the same good manners, helpfulness, and tweet unto others as you would have them tweet unto you. Find your comfort zone and be yourself.
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