Would you like to learn to use Twitter like a pro? Have you struggled to master the basics of Twitter?
Twitter can be an effective, fun and free way of marketing yourself or your business, but if you’re new to the site it can be a little confusing. If you want to make the most of Twitter’s networking possibilities, these simple guidelines will set you on your way.
6 Simple Tips To Use Twitter Like a Pro
1. Following and followers
A good way to start is to look for people or businesses similar to you. A great site to help you with that is Manage Flitter. They provide search tools to help you find the right followers. Following them will provide you with ideas and a potential support network of likeminded people. Check out the people who are following them – this is your target audience, after all. Many people will follow back, giving you a head start on your follower list.
PRO TIP: If you are a local business, follow your local city council, chamber of commerce, and local press accounts – they are great sources of information.
A hashtag is a way of grouping tweets together to make them visible to a wider audience. Anyone can create a hashtag, or you can use existing ones related to your business. For example, #socialmedia – although something so general is likely to be of limited effectiveness due to the large numbers of people using them.
Another example is #FlipBoardFriday, a hashtag to share and discover great new Flipboard magazines, as well as connect and share ideas. Joining in with these events can be fun and will provide you with valuable contacts as well as plenty of new followers.
Try searching for short phrases which people who might be interested in your business might use, and create hashtags based on the most popular ones. You can also use tools like Hashtagify.me for advanced hashtag searching.
PRO TIP: Before you use a hashtag, research it. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you have used a hashtag associated with something unsavory or embarrassing. Also, NEVER, NEVER hijack a trending hashtag simply to get more eyeballs on your tweets. It will backfire. Just don’t go there.
3. Networking events
Specialized networking events are popping up all over Twitter. Some are geographically-focused ones such as #SMDaySD, designed to support social media day in the San Diego area for industry professionals and local businesses.
Others are industry wide events, such as #SMMW14 created to promote a specific event, in this case, Social Media Marketing World in March of 2014.* By using an event hashtag, you can connect with event goers, both within the venue and also when you are “off the clock”. Trust me, networking events are all about who you meet. The content is just a bonus!
*If you are thinking of going to #smmw14 – and I highly recommend you do! – please let come by and say HI! Here is a link to purchase tickets. (It is an affiliate link).
4. Short and sweet
Of course, a tweet is limited to 140 characters, so you need to keep them short and to the point. The optimal tweet length is 110 – 120 characters, which leaves rooms for a RT (retweet, the holy grail of the Twitterverse). Avoid too many abbreviations and text-speak, as it can be off-putting for the reader, but do make an effort to use your voice or your brand’s voice.
If you want to include a link, shorten the URL via one of the many online services such as bitly.com or tinyurl.com. It’s easy to include a photo or video, and these can really increase the impact of a tweet. In fact, studies have shown that tweets that contain images are twice as likely to be retweeted.
5. Regular, but not too regular
You need to be tweeting pretty much every day, but if you don’t have a lot of time it’s best to target the times of day when you are going to reach the most people. The best way to determine this is to know your audience. Demographics dictate the best tile to tweet. There are also some great tools to determine the best time to tweet. A great one is called Tweriod. There are others. In fact, I am embedding a List.ly list below to give you a plethora of tools and resources.
6. Be relevant and timely
Keep your tweets readable and interesting. Comment on current affairs which are relevant to your business, and ask people for their opinions. Engaging with your audience is vital to creating a professional and memorable Twitter presence. Avoid publishing lots of tweets one after the other, as people are likely to get bored and scroll past you.
6. Respond to questions
Twitter is becoming a common way for people to contact businesses with questions or feedback. Make sure you respond to such tweets in a professional manner, directing them to your email or customer helpline if necessary. Re-tweet positive feedback occasionally, but don’t go overboard. You don’t want to seem like a braggart.
Things to keep in mind
1. Think before you tweet. It may seem obvious, but think carefully about what you’re about to tweet – many people have fallen foul of libel laws or even found themselves arrested due to a careless tweet. Remember that people of all ages and backgrounds use Twitter, so take care not to cause offence or be too controversial.
2. You get what you give. Social media is foremost about giving. Sharing. Don’t forget that Twitter works both ways – it can be a useful market research tool as well. Ask your followers questions and use your interactions to see which tweets work best for you. Above all, have fun. Chances are, if you are having fun, your followers will be too!
3. This is a phenomenal list of Twitter tools. Feel free to use it, add to it, embed it, share it. :)
[listly id=”7Kq” layout=”full”]
Ultimately, the best way to use Twitter is a reflection of who you are a as a brand or a person. Although there are best practices, start by taking a look at what people are talking about, search for topics that are related to your business and have fun.
Do you have any tips? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the best way to use Twitter like a pro!