25 tips to help you use Twitter effectively

Twitters’ mission – To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.

For any social media, platform, it is best to understand what is it for and how it can best be used to benefit your business. With around 316 million active users across the globe*, Twitter is a social network that no business can afford to ignore. Twitter is a communications gateway that asks the question: “What’s happening?” It is a place for sharing information as it happens, and for connecting with others in real time. However, as it is a constant stream of information, it can really sap your attention so it is important to have a purpose and a plan. Here are a few tips to help make sure your time is well spent.

1. Ask questions. Twitter is great for getting opinions

Twitter is best when used to engage and communicate with your audience. Phrase your questions in a way that keeps the perspective simple and curious. For example “What do you think about XYZ?” Keep your question simple. Use questions to connect, to learn, and to provide value.

2. Provide value

Answer such questions as What has your attention? What excites or motivates you? What has your attention right now? What compels you to change something? What did you learn today? What are you thinking or feeling?

3. Use images

Images are crucial to making your marketing stand out, especially on Twitter (876 pixels wide x 438 pixels tall) When you use an image, it stands out in your followers’ streams. If you haven’t tried sharing images to Twitter, it’s very simple. Simply click on the little camera icon below the Twitter update box.

4. Build a community

Commenting on others’ tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community. Don’t forget to respond, in a timely manner, to everyone who interacts with you on Twitter. Try building relationships with a handful of influencers in your industry to tap into an even larger community.

5. Vary your Tweets so that you’re not posting only special deals or news.

Incorporate humour, inspiration and newsworthy content to draw followers in. Elevate content that will be insightful to the audience you are trying to convert.

6. Tweet more content from others or about others

About 80% of your Tweets contain links to others content, are retweets of their Tweets or replies to their Tweets. Don’t toot your own horn too much.

7. Use services like Twitter Search

Use Twitter search to see if someone’s talking about you or find something you are interested in.

8. Thank people who comment on and share your tweets.

When someone follows you, shares one of your blog posts, retweets or shares your content they are showing an interest in what you do. This is your opportunity to get to know them better and let them know you appreciate their interest.

9. Follow interesting people

If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who he/she follows, and follow them too.

10. Offer praise to other businesses

You won’t last long if all you do is self-promotion. Try promoting others by retweeting them and sharing their content.

11. Send a welcome tweet to your newest followers

Sending a direct message to new followers on Twitter gets their attention and builds a relationship.

12. Thank the tweeters that you interact with most

Tailor individual thanks to your followers. Personalizing thanks is impressive as it is not only nice for the person you are thanking but it makes other followers think you are someone who cares about people individually.

13. Use URL shortening tools

Sites such as TinyURL, Bit.ly and Goo.gl help to tidy up your tweets by shortening your url’s.

14. Usernames

The @ sign is used to mention Twitter usernames (e.g., @BlackMouseDsign). People will use your @username to mention you in Tweets, send you a message or link to your profile.

15. Use hashtags #

Hashtags create higher visibility on Twitter. The hash symbol is used to highlight keywords, topics, events or even emotions in a tweet. Using a hashtag turns the word or phrase into a link that lets you see other tweets containing the same tag. It is a way to assign categories, groups or topics to tweets that other users can also use.

16. Direct message

DM or direct messages are a way to privately message someone who is following you on Twitter.

There are some restrictions to Direct Messages:

  • You can’t send a DM to someone who does not follow you.
  • While DMs are private, they are not secure and you should not send DMs with information like passwords or bank accounts.

Use DMs when having a conversation that you think only one of your followers will find interesting or relevant.

17. Follow

Subscribing to a Twitter account is called “following”. To start following, click the Follow button next to the user name or on their profile page to see their tweets as soon as they post something new. Their tweets will show up in your Home stream. The number of people you follow can be found on your Twitter profile

18. Follow count

This count reflects how many people you follow and how many follow you; these numbers are found on your Twitter profile.

19. Favorite

Click on the star icon to favorite a tweet. Favoriting a Tweet can let the original poster know that you liked their Tweet, or you can save the Tweet for later. You can find all of your favorite Tweets by clicking on the favorites link on your profile page. For many users the Favorite is a way of giving someone a virtual pat on the back, to say “I like what you’re saying”.

20. Create and use lists

Lists is a feature that allows you to organize Twitter users in groups and manage how you look at Tweets. You can either create your own list or subscribe to a list created by someone else. Lists are not a way to send Tweets to a select group, just to read them.

21. Pin tweet

You can pin a tweet to the top of your profile page. This is a useful feature if you don’t want an important tweet to get buried under all the rest.

22. Profile

Your Twitter profile is where people decide whether or not to follow you so make it creative and informative.

  • Pick a picture of yourself unless you’re tweeting as your company. It is also the picture that appears next to each of your tweets (400 pixels x 400 pixels)
  • Create a custom background image. ( 1500 pixels wide x 500 pixels tall)
  • Write a good bio. A strong bio can lead to more followers and be an ideal way to introduce yourself to others. For those viewing your profile, a well-done bio lets them know what to expect if they are to follow you.

23. Promoted Tweets

Promoted Tweets are Tweets that are paid for by advertisers. These appear in your Home timeline, at the top of search results on Twitter and elsewhere on the platform, and are clearly marked as “Promoted.

24. Retweet

A tweet that you re-post to your followers is known as a retweet. Often used to pass along news or other valuable discoveries on Twitter. If you retweet someone you follow, it will be visible on your profile timeline. If you retweet someone you do not follow, it will be visible on both your home and profile timelines. You cannot retweet your own Tweet.

  • If you retweet someone you do not follow, it will be visible on both your home and profile timeline
  • If you retweet someone you do not follow, it will be visible on both your home and profile timeline
  • If you retweet someone you do not follow, it will be visible on both your home and profile timeline

25. Unfollow

People can choose to unfollow you on Twitter so your tweets stop showing up in their feed.

Twitter is good for engaging with current and potential customers as well as other businesses, building relationships and providing value. The key to Twitter success is persistent consistency. Create a Twitter community that continuously educates you while keeping you connected.

* source: http://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/ and https://about.twitter.com/company

Caroline Siassios

About Caroline Siassios

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