When I first started using Twitter, I haven’t had a clue how 140 characters could simply convey your message to others. If you ask me about typing 140 characters on an SMS? Yes I can!
Back then Twitter was a bewildering world of a blue background, a cute blue bird, a tweet feed, profile info and a text box giving you enough space to write ONLY 140 characters. It was easy to key in 140 characters but how to turn 140 characters into something useful puzzles me. I don’t have a clue how Twitter can be so powerful for your website. Social media and Twitter experts began to rise and I soon learn how Twitter can be really useful for not only your website but also your business.
The trouble is there is a lot of noise! Everyone claims to be an expert and social media makes this annoyingly easier. So let’s start for all those of you who don’t know how to use it properly yet..
Personalize Your Profile
Everyone starts off with the blue background, the egg avatar and the blue white interface on Twitter. Don’t be the same as everyone else. Personalize it! This is the one of the most important things you need to do when you start your account. The moment you start having a Twitter account is the moment your brand begins. You should also do this:
- Your Name – relevant to your website/business/blog
- Your Bio – Make sure you fill this up properly and explain who you are, what you do
- Your Avatar - We don’t wanna see an egg face there! People are more likely to connect with your real face. It’s best to standardize your avatar across all your sites. Don’t confuse them with too many different avatars
- Your Links – Link to your blogs/website. There are suggestions that linking to your landing pages convert better than directly to your blog/website.
- Your Location – Location based search is becoming a more commonplace. Adding location helps Twitter search for people relevant to your profile.
- Change your background - I highly recommend using a custom background of your own and NOT Twitter’s background.
It only takes 10 – 15 minutes to add your name, bio, links and location. So there is no excuse why you can’t do it FIRST the moment you start an account.
If you have already followed some people, they need to know everything they need to know about you from your profile and from your Twitter background too. If you look at mine, you will know what I mean.
Follow Relevant People
If you haven’t started following people yet, Twitter has a feature that tells you related people to your profile. The good thing about this is that it filters all the bad accounts and give you good ones. I’ve discovered a lot of people related to my niche just by using this simple feature on Twitter itself. But I always tend to narrow down and get a bit more specific by checking to see what they do before following them. You can sometime see their Klout score. A higher Klout score means the profile has higher social influence.
Use The Search Feature
If you wanna go the extra mile, search for people related to your niche using the Twitter search feature. If you want to find people in your local area, by all means just add that to your search terms.
Don’t Follow Those Who Follow You
I have close to 2000 followers on my Twitter account. Everyday people follow and unfollow me. But I’m not bothered. Why? Some of them are just not worth following at all. Some of them are either not related to your niche, post spammy tweets, Twitter accounts with 60 000 followers and 5 tweets or “Hot Chick” Twitter accounts with useless tweets.
This sounds very dodgy to me. I know there are a number of places where you can actually buy targeted followers to your profile but I rather spend the time trying to find followers who actually care and listen to what you are saying. You might get 5000 targeted followers but can you actually keep track of all of them and does every one of them visit your website every time you publish a post? No matter how hard you try you will never get to know all 5000 followers well enough compared to 100 followers. I’m much happier with 100 people on my list that I actually know and follow. If you don’t believe me, top bloggers have a much smaller follower list to following ratio. On Twitter it’s “Who you know?” that counts not “How many you know?”
Start Tweeting… Duh!
Obviously that is your main activity on Twitter. Tweeting… Tweeting… Tweeting… But it is very easy to make mistakes while tweeting. Undoing is MUCH harder. So bear in mind the following 5 Tips when tweeting.
1. Don’t Sell With Your Tweets
I personally think most people on Twitter are real people but they don’t know how to use the 140 characters properly. They think posting a link to their affiliate products or selling something through a “http://bit.ly…. “ link is the best way to use it. When I see a tweet like that I’ll probably click the link and not buy anything from it or just not care about it. Another wasted tweet…
2. Don’t Tweet Spam
The quickest way to lose a following is to post spammy tweets. Tweet Spammers are everywhere. Even legitimate Twitter account users spam. It really depends on how you use it. Posting the same link 10 times a day may be the best way to get my attention but it only takes one click on the mouse to unfollow you. Don’t tell me to “Buy From You” or “Click Here” on your tweets because you will suffer the same fate too.
3. Tweet Links and Share
You must not think that tweeting links are bad. The message I’m sending across here is to find links that are relevant to your followers and share it with them. These links can be links on your blogs, articles, guest posts or other people’s blogs. They will be glad you did and retweet! Keep doing this and share content. Eventually more will follow you and more will be interested to follow your tweets.
As John Paul mentioned on his blog, the first thing you need to do is to:
“Get your post or video in front of the most targeted readers as you can.
Second, engage with those readers on a daily basis.”
4. Don’t Forget Retweets
This is actually a continuation from the previous point. Retweeting other people’s content is a sign that you recognize the original blogger’s work. This is great as they will definitely be able to keep track of people who’ve mentioned their tweets. They’ll be glad you did and who knows put you on their #FF list (Follow Friday List). If you are wondering how this can benefit you then let me explain. People who realize that you’ve retweeted them may have another group of followers and have bigger lists. Their followers might like it and retweet it too. See the viral potential of Twitter? Twitter is great when it comes to doing things viral.
5. Add #Hashtags
Don’t forget to add hashtags into your tweets as there are helpful in getting your tweets into Twitter’s searches. But use this without people thinking that you are trying to spam the searches. For me, I usually add hashtags to my post tweets.
Don’t forget Tools
Here are a list of tools you should consider using. From Day 1 of using Twitter, you must bear in mind that you cannot sit in front of Twitter all day finding things to Tweet or RT. You need some tools to help automate tasks that will otherwise be mundane or time consuming.
- TweetOld Posts – This is a plugin I use myself here to retweet certain posts randomly.
- TweetMeMe – Don’t forget to add this to your blog. You don’t have to use a plugin for this. There are websites that teach you how to add the tweet button without coding. If you are using Thesis like I do, then get the code here WITHOUT the plugin.
- Hootsuite – This tool is my FAV! I’ve done a video review on this tool before.
- SocialOomph – This site helps you automate tasks such as auto-messaging people who follow you and an option to rotate these messages randomly. There is also an option to auto-follow those who follow you but I highly not recommend this practice.
- TwitterFeed – You can use twitterfeed to help you tweet RSS feeds of any content e.g blogs, news, articles, etc…
Bear in mind that you should automate wisely. It’s sometimes useful to use third-party tools to manage your Twitter account, but don’t forget the human touch from your updates.
Any more to add? Let me know
Disclaimer: I don’t consider myself an expert in this field but I do know that I practice what I’ve mentioned right here. Twitter is fun and easy to use but it’s much easier to use it the wrong way than to learn it the right way. The most important thing is to learn the good habits and stay away from the bad ones as a newbie!
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