TWITTER TIPS — I get an email almost every week from new bloggers asking for tips on Twitter and blogging in general. I even get questions about it from friends and family who have still not warmed up to the idea of this microblogging social media or have newly started. Using Twitter consistently for almost a year and earning my certificate in Digital Media Marketing from New York University have definitely taught me some tips and tricks of the Twitter trade. While there’s never any hard, fool-proof rules, I can most certainly share what works for me and what I do.
I’m one of those new Twitter converts– the kind that didn’t see the point of this social media platform before starting a blog, so it’s been quite the learning experience. Almost eleven months in, I’m practically addicted to tweeting, checking my feed multiple times a day, during any spare moment. It’s now my news source, favorite social media, forum to meet other like-minded individuals, and so much more!
The following 11 tips have worked for me, but they might not work for you, so don’t be afraid to do a little trial and error.
1) Precision and concision in your Twitter bio are key.
Firstly, use a photo, so people can put a face to your tweets and content and inject some life into your cyber persona. It’s essential in building connections. Help people know who they’re following and why. Also, use keywords in your bio that you would want to show up in searches. For example, if you focus on luxury travel, make sure the words, “luxury travel” appear in your bio. Lastly, make sure the link to your website is in there somewhere.
2) Use hashtags, but use words/phrases that people will actually search for.
#Don’t #hashtag #excessively, to the point that it’s incomprehensible and the entire tweet looks like one giant hashtag. If it’s a post about Paris culture, for example, use hashtags such as “#Paris,” “#culture,” or “#France.” Also pay attention to the audience you’re trying to target and see what kinds of existing community hashtags are out there that will likely lead your post to the right eyes. Some good ones to use are relevant chat hashtags or trending hashtags. To see how popular a hashtag is and to gauge its reach, check out programs like Hashtag, TweetReach, and/or Hashtracking. Also use #TravelTuesday (#TT) and #FollowFriday (#FF). Both of these hashtags are great ways to find interesting content and other great likeminded individuals. And it’s a good way to give people a shout-out, especially if you’ve really enjoyed their work.
3) Participate in Twitter chats.
Twitter chats are like cyber parties, and there’s so many out there, so find one or a few that fit your style and interests. It’s a great way to build a community and engage with other bloggers. Twitter is all about sharing interests and creating friendships and contacts through those commonalities. With hundreds of chats out there on just about any topic, I’ve created a list to narrow down my favorite Twitter travel chats.
4) Do not send automated direct messages when people follow you.
This annoys me beyond belief and I’m likely to hit the “unfollow” button when I see this. When someone follows you, don’t send the automated direct message that invites them to “like” you on FB too! Frankly, I’m following you because I found something interesting in your bio or on your stream, so I’ll probably make my way to your other social media channels automatically. Also, don’t send out the TrueTwit validation direct messages either — it makes me think you’re too lazy to personally check if I’m a legit site or not.
5) Check your Twitter analytics to see what kinds of posts do well.
To see what kinds of posts are receiving the most engagement, check out the Twitter analytics tool that has now been made available to everyone. You can check how many RTs, replies, favorites, and clicks each tweet has received.
6) Do not use your feed as an exclusive personal PR stream.
Twitter is meant to be a collaborative sharing platform, so make sure to promote the work of others in addition to yours. Share compelling content and make it worthwhile for your followers. Be interested to be interesting. Diversify your stream with conversation, your content, others’ posts, quotes, interesting news articles, etc.
7) Use lists to break up your followers and to get the most out of your stream.
Lists are designed to categorize your followers and their content. So if you create a travel bloggers list, for example, you can find concentrated content from all your favorite travel bloggers in a smaller stream. And if you’re following thousands of people, it makes it much more manageable to find what you want when you want it. I also use the lists feature to build a community for my #SeeTheWorld chat.
8) Use social media management tools like TweetDeck and HootSuite.
If you’re trying to manage multiple social media platforms, use management tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck to make your life easier. You can manage everything from one screen as opposed to having to check each one separately. It makes it easier to cross-post your content across all your social media channels for maximum exposure. You can also schedule your tweets using these programs, which is particularly helpful if you know you’ll be away for awhile but still want to maintain the consistency on your stream.
9) Mind your manners.
Good manners are just as relevant (if not more!) in cyber space as they are in the real world. If someone mentions you in a tweet or RTs your content, show your appreciation, respond, and thank them. Engage. Engage. Engage.
10) Use pictures in your tweets.
A picture is worth a thousand words. We’re visual creatures, so it’s no wonder why we’re more attracted to tweets with photos.
11) Tweet throughout the day to account for the different timezones.
There’s certain hours that are busier than others, but as a general rule, for maximum exposure, pay attention to the time differences. If you’ve just published a new post, tweet it a few times a day to make sure that you’re hitting the right people in all timezones.
Do you have other Twitter strategies/tips that work for you?