Tweets are popping up everywhere, and everyone from celebrities to executives to politicians to your kids are using the remarkably effective platform that produces them, Twitter. Despite its popularity you may still be unsure what it is all about. So, what is Twitter and why are so many people using it? Twitter is a microblogging platform that allows you to post 140 character updates to the internet and connect with your followers. It is succesful because it is “easy to use, free to use and fun.” (Gunelius) Essentially it allows you to send a short message out to your friends and followers rather than sharing your message via a blog, hence the term, microblogging.
Twitter is an amazingly simple way to share news, updates, thoughts and ideas. Furthermore, it is a great way to build relationships, grow a base of followers and reach people around the world. However, although it is simple to use it is not always simple to master. Many social media managers take weeks, months, or even years to become effective twitterers. Try using the following tips to develop your ability to use Twitter meaningfully.
1 Develop your voice and community
Develop your own unique Twitter personality. As Heather Mansfield puts it, “share opinions and contribute to discussions.” (Mansfield) Let your followers get an understanding of who you are so that they feel comfortable connecting and engaging with you. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Once they recognize that there is a genuine, living, breathing individual behind each tweet they will react far more positively and you are less likely to find your tweets being ignored, or worse, your account un-followed!
2 Share Your Own Great Content And Other Twitterers Content Too
Great content is vital to the survival of your social media strategy. However, if you constantly only tweet about your business or organization your followers will quickly become disinterested. It will appear that you are only online to promote your own agenda. Find other great content to share. Tweet about breaking news relevant to your business or organization. Tweet about similar organizations, articles from blogs, online newspapers, and anything that interests you and makes sense for your business. If you find that you are not getting any retweets or mentions then perhaps it is time to rethink your Twitter strategy and find different aspects of your business or organization to talk about.
3 Tweet, Retweet, Mention and Follow
Being retweeted and mentioned is the lifeblood of Twitter growth. But how can you expect to be retweeted if you don’t retweet others? Why would you expect to get mentions if you don’t mention other tweets? It’s not simply the polite thing to do. Engaging with others also increases the likelihood that you will find more followers and strengthen your presence on Twitter.
4 Use And Follow Trends And Hashtags
Try to find trends that relate in some way to your business or organization. Use them in your tweets. However, beware of using more than 2 or 3 hashtags or you may be seen as guilty of hashtag spamming. Begin by searching the hashtag to see if it takes you where you want to go. Then decide whether or not to use it. Create new hashtags that are relevant to you, your business and your message.
5 Aim For Five Tweets A Day
If you want to maximize your use of Twitter, aim for four to six tweets a day, or five on average. Perhaps this seems daunting but if you spread out your tweets throughout the day it will not be so challenging. Remember you don’t have to provide all the content, you can use other people’s content too. If it is confusing to keep track of this many tweets, try using Hootsuite or another social media management tool to help you schedule your posts for the day or week. Using a management platform has the added benefit of helping you to keep track of all your social media activities from one convenient location.
6 Use Twitter To Advertise Specials And Deals
Do you have a business? Twitter is a great tool to use if you have a retail operation or a restaurant. You can quickly promote a product, reach your followers and attract interest from others as your tweet is retweeted or mentioned. Give away coupons, free products and services, prizes. The sky is the limit. Use your imagination.
7 Don’t Neglect The Power Of The Image
Photos, images, and videos catch the eye and draw attention to your tweet. They generally receive more attention than simple text. Take the extra time and effort to increase the number of visual stimulating tweets you send.
Twitter is an excellent social media tool, but like any tool, it should not be used in isolation. View it as an integral part of your social media strategy as it is one of the most important social media apps you can use.
Gunelius, Susan. 30-minute Social Media Marketing Step-by-step Techniques to Spread the Word about Your Business Fast and Free. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 81. Print.
Mansfield, Heather. Social Media for Social Good: A How-to Guide for Nonprofits. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. 97. Print.