Twitter has become a household name thanks to the media and its continued growth. Twitter surpassed the 500 million user milestone earlier this year, and over 150K new users sign up daily.
While Twitter has become very popular over the last few years, many of the registered users fall off the face of the Earth. Only about 100 million are active on a monthly basis. Well 100 million active users is impressive, and there are no signs of Twitter slowing down. Twitter is only going to get bigger.
If you’re a business and not taking advantage of Twitter you’re likely doing yourself a disservice. Your Twitter account needs to be managed and run efficiently for success. Twitter gives your customers and prospects another format to communicate with your business. It also serves as a venue to promote your business.
With a max of 140 characters per Tweet, Twitter would seem like a cinch. In theory it is a cinch, but there are pieces to manage that make your experience efficient and worthwhile.
Give it time – If you’re new to Twitter or inactive you need to have patience. If you’re expecting fireworks in a day, week, or month of use you need to change your mind set. It takes time to build a following and achieve your desired results. You need to give Twitter six months before making an evaluation of its value. You will build relationships in this sea of users if you give it time.
Be Active – You must be active. Tweeting here and there is not going to cut it. Have a plan where you’re going to be tweeting daily. At the minimum you should send 8-10 tweets per day. Any less is just not enough. If you want to be really active send a tweet out every 20 minutes. That is good activity without coming off as spammy.
Create Lists and Use them – This is the foundation of an organized Twitter experience especially as your follower count grows. Twitter allows you to have 20 different lists with a maximum 500 users per list. As a business you should create a customer list and prospect list right off the bat. A list allows you to see a group of specified users in one place. This makes communication with these users more manageable. You must create lists.
Use Tools – While Twitter recently changed its API rules for third party apps, there are still many out there that will highly increase your efficiency. Using the Twitter interface alone puts you at a disadvantage. HootSuite is one of the best free tools on the net. It takes your lists or any searchable word/phrase and separates them into streams. HootSuite filters your Twitter account and allows for easy management and analysis. You can and should schedule tweets through HootSuite. Sending tweets manually at a certain time can be exhausting and defeating. Scheduling your tweets in the morning over the course of the day(s) saves you a great deal of time. Another tool that is suggested is Tweepi. Tweepi allows you to manage your Twitter with ways to follow and unfollow users based on certain criteria. As your number of followers becomes greater Tweepi is almost necessary. Tweepi offers both free and premium service. Under no circumstances ever buy followers. You see the ads all the time, “Gain 10K followers for $100” but it is total garbage. They are not real users and will serve you no purpose.
Avoid one-way Communication – Don’t fall into the habit of just broadcasting. While providing good content is important, you want to communicate with your followers. That’s how relationships are built. Do you have to tweet a “thank you” every time someone mentions you or retweets your tweet? No, but you do want to acknowledge that user by retweeting one of their tweets, mentioning them, and/or adding them to one of your lists. If you add them to a list you’ll be able to see their activity through a stream in Hootsuite that you’ve created. You can then schedule a retweet or mention of one on theirs tweets if it is relevant to your audience. If you’re asked a direct question on Twitter, do everything in your power to reply. If you someone asks you a question in person, do you keep walking or stay silent? Probably not, so it shouldn’t be any different online.
Easy on the Self-Promo Cowboy – Many use a 80/20 rule of thumb with 20% of your tweets promoting your brand, products, and services. In the Social Media space you’re better off keeping that promotion ratio under 10%. Self-promoting can be a turnoff to follower real quick, so you really want to be aware of it and space out your tweets accordingly.
How do you manage Twitter effectively and efficiently?