Being on Twitter is one thing, but using it well is another. Here are a few little tips and hints I’ve picked up along the way that might make your time on Twitter a better experience. These are particularly handy if you use Twitter for the purpose of marketing your business or organization.
1. Write to get the re-tweet – In order to maximize your efforts and experience the viral nature of Twitter, you want to get re-tweeted. Hopefully your content is worthy of being re-tweeted. But the problem is that if someone wants to re-tweet your post and it’s too long, many will just give up rather than try to shrink your tweet. Don’t think in terms of 140 characters. You need to take into account the length of your username plus the spaces needed for the terms “RT” or “via”. As a rule of thumb – subtract the length of your username + 8 characters from 140
In other words, my username is: @Mark_Northall which is 14 characters long. If I add 8 to that, I get 22. I subtract that 22 from 140, and my maximum number of characters should be: 118. That means that in order to get re-tweeted most effectively, my tweets should be no more than 119 characters in length. Many people won’t re-tweet something that requires them to edit or work. Plus you run the risk of someone editing your tweet improperly and adding a different meaning.
2. Use URL shorteners – There are two reasons for this. First, it allows you to add more content to your tweet (and thus be re-tweeted more easily). Secondly, if you use the proper URL shortener, you will be able to get some useful tracking and analytics. In particular, the best for this is bit.ly.
3. Use an id Picture! – This is a no-brainer, and you’ve probably heard it before. In general, this should be a picture of you. I use a picture of myself for my feed . But if you merely go with the Twitter default egg, it looks like you either don’t care, or don’t know what you are doing. Or both. Remember no-one wants to be an egg!
4. Be Happy! – Don’t be so serious. Have fun and be a real person. And if you are using Twitter as a marketing tool, stay on message, but don’t be so serious. This isn’t advertising copy. Write conversationally and engage!
5. Share and Promote – If you see something you like, tweet it. If a friend shares something you like, re-tweet it. Just make sure you give proper credit!
6. Respond to people – I’m just as guilty of this as the next person, but when someone @replies to you, acknowledge them with an @reply back. And try to say something useful, not just “Thank you.”
7. Share photos – I love clicking on links to photos that my friends post on Twitter. You never know what’s on the other end. There are a number of apps for doing this, but I find Twitpic is the best, and works well for sending photos from your mobile while you’re out and about.
8. Don’t do the Follow/Un-follow trick – A lot of people try to build their reach by following a lot of people at once, and then unfollowing them once they get that person to follow them. Got that? Read it again. Again, this sends the message that all you care about is yourself. Twitter is a conversation, not just a place for you to sound-off without listening.
9. Stay current – Read and subscribe to blogs that discuss Twitter. Stay up on the latest trends, rules, advances, etc. If you are using Twitter, chances are you are ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging technologies.
I’d like to thank Inkling Media for there thoughts that lead to this blog. If I can help you with anything Social Media related please contact me.