In just a few short years, Twitter has transformed from an odd little sort of public IM service where people posted what they just ate for lunch or what their cat was doing at the moment into one of the big four social networks and a significant channel for news, PR & marketing, politics and more. It has enabled revolutions in real life as well as in digital marketing.
Twitter’s 200 million users collectively tap out a billion tweets per week. Nearly 3/4 of active Twitter users are bloggers. More than 80% of U.S. governors, senators and congressional representatives use it, as do 87 of the Billboard Top 100 musicians. Twitter users are twice as likely to purchase from companies they follow than are Facebook users.
So how can marketers and PR professionals use Twitter more effectively? What’s the best way to build a quality, relevant Twitter following? Of the hundreds of third party Twitter tools out there, which are really worth utilizing? How can Twitter to used to support SEO efforts?
Discover the answers to those questions and many more here in 45 of the best guides to Twitter tips, tools and tactics of the past year.
Twitter Tips, Tactics and Techniques
40 Examples Of Creatively Designed Twitter Backgrounds by Tripwire Magazine
Got a boring Twitter background and need some inspiration to help you liven it up? Dustin Betonio here presents 40 “awesome and creatively designed Twitter backgrounds which use various and innovative illustrations to create a visually attractive and appealing look to their profiles” to get your creativity kick-started.
25 Suggestions For How To Use Twitter by Dave Fleet
Dave offers “25 ideas for ways you can get value out of Twitter, with a mix of business and personal focus,” such as meeting new people, staying on top of the news, influencing the influencers, and re-purposing content.
10 Twitter Features You Might Be Missing by GigaOM
Aliza Sherman highlights 10 features of Twitter that not all users may be aware of–including a few that may be news even to power users–such a list of helpful Twitter keyboard shortcuts.
Community manager Jen Lopez explains how SEOmoz increased its total Twitter followers by 250% to over 27,000 people. Hint: it helps to have a community manager.
Top 7 Ways to Save Time on Twitter by OPEN Forum
Noting that the top barrier to increased business use of social media is a lack of time and resources, Leyl Master Black shares “seven Twitter tricks from the pros that allow you to spend less time on the mechanics and more time engaging.”
20 Guidelines for Twitter Success by Global Copywriting
Sarah Mitchell presents 20 tips for success on Twitter, divided into four categories: Always Try To (e.g., answer every mention), Never Fail To (e.g., say “thank you”), Things NOT To Do, and “Keep in Mind.”
The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Marketing by Copyblogger
Curating the curator here, as Gabrielle Conde links to and summarizes 100 educational posts about Twitter, covering the gamut from setting up a Twitter account to using hashtags to marketing and prospecting strategies, from authors like Marian Schembari, Michael Brenner and the ebullient Diana Adams.
12 Most Stimulating Twitter Chats by The 12 Most
If you’ve never sat in on a Twitter chat, it’s quite an experience. If you have, you understand the metaphorical meaning of “drinking from a fire hose.” Think of those people-talking-over-each-other Sunday morning political talk shows and multiply it by a large number. In some cases, a very large number. Among the 12 best Twitter chats chosen here by Daniel Newman are Blogchat, hosted by Mack Collier; GetRealChat, moderated by the exuberant Pam Moore; and LeadershipChat, hosted by my fellow Lebronian Lisa Petrilli and Steve Woodruff.
The Right Way to Build Brand(s) via Twitter by iMedia Connection
David Sonn recommends a strategy combining a corporate Twitter account with accounts from key executives and other (properly trained) key individuals within a company to maximize credibility, interaction and business impact.
55 Tips to Get Retweeted on Twitter by ZoomFactor
The awesome Pam Moore supplies an extensive list of tips for getting retweeted more frequently and consistently, such as using your real picture, knowing your audience, knowing Twitter lingo, and making people laugh, cry, or learn something.
The Hidden Guide to Using Twitter Effectively by KISSmetrics
***** 5 STARS
The delightful Kristi Hines digs deep into Twitter, explaining how to do things like deleting a “Recent Image,” create customized RSS feeds from Twitter, use Twitter’s Advanced Search, search Twitter results using Google, get the most out of your Twitter bio and more.
Twitter: Marketers Still Struggling To Understand Social Channel by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Laurie Sullivan summarizes a report from Forrester Research outlining the challenges and opportunities marketers face in using Twitter effectively. One key finding: “Forrester analysts believe it’s not only the 1 billion tweets that matter, but rather the 6.2% of online adults creating 80% of the influence from impressions. The research firm calls these users Mass Connectors…Along with Mass Mavens—representing 13.8% of online adults creating 80% of the posts, comments, rating—they are small in number, but strong in power when it comes to influencing others.”
Twitter’s New Look and Feel
Jolie O’Dell summarizes the changes in Twitter’s new interface, such as the “new Activity tab, which shows all the non-tweet activity from people you follow. You can see new follows from your friends, friends’ retweets and their favorites.” Overall, the UI is an improvement—with the exception of losing the ability to see how many lists a person is on. Hopefully, Twitter listens to user feedback and restores that feature.
Katelyn Watson explains how Twitter’s recently announced brand pages work, what Twitter is aiming to accomplish with the redesign, and the benefits brand pages will provide to marketers.
David Foster summarizes Twitter’s design changes and new capabilities, including four-tab navigation and the ability to embed tweets on any website.
Twitter and SEO
The Tweet Effect: How Twitter Affects Rankings by The Daily SEO Blog
In this somewhat long-winded but thoroughly researched post, John Doherty describes a number of experiments he ran to determine the effect of Tweets on a page or blog post ranking. The conclusion? Even a single tweet helps a page or post get indexed more quickly, though it has little effect on rankings. Retweets from relevant and highly influential Twitters, however, can have a significant impact on ranking.
7 Key Ways to Optimize Twitter for Search by HubSpot Blog
Anum Hussain details seven techniques for optimizing your Twitter presence for search, among them, “Don’t completely believe the “nofollow” warning…both Google and Bing (have) confirmed that tweeted links are in fact a signal for a search engine’s organic and news rankings,” create a special list of Twitter keywords, and use 1-2 core keyword phrases in your bio.
Finding Twitter Followers and Interesting Twitterers to Follow
How To: Get More Qualified Followers on Twitter by Social Media Today
Tracy Gold suggests eight tactics for increasing your Twitter following the right way—gradually building a relevant group of followers by using best practices such as hashtags, retweets and replies, as well as creating and adding followers to lists.
How to Find Twitter People that Don’t Suck by Soshable
JD Rucker presents a series of steps, starting with defining your goals on Twitter, to help find quality people to follow on Twitter. Each section is divided into guidelines for personal accounts and for business.
How to Get More Followers on Twitter by Graywolf’s SEO Blog
Michael Gray lays out an effective seven-step fan for gradually building a relevant Twitter following, starting with “raiding” the accounts of competitive and complementary Twitter accounts and using tools like Raven Event Tracking and manageflitter.
Twitter for B2B Marketing
5 Ways Twitter Can Be Leveraged for B2B Search Engine Marketing by Search Engine Watch
Derek Edmond details five ways B2B marketers can use Twitter as one of their online marketing channels, such as for link building initiatives and brand monitoring.
9 Twitter Tips for B2B Marketing Success by Modern B2B Blogs
Maria Pergolino shares nine tips for B2B marketing success on Twitter, such as sharing the workload for the corporate Twitter account among several people, sharing valuable content, and using Twitter tools (see below) to maximize productivity.
Twitter for PR and Media Pros
9 easy steps to add Twitter to your PR mix by ragan.com
The illustrious Anne Deeter Gallaher lays out a nine-step path to Twitter expertise for PR professionals, including using TweetDeck to follow multiple topics of interest simultaneously.
4 Ways to Build Your Influence on Twitter by Laura Kinoshita
When building influence on Twitter, start by following 10-20 people with modest follower counts (which makes it easier for you to stand out) who are connected to a key influencer in your market, then gradually build an influencer map for your industry.
Twitter Launches Twitter for Newsrooms by BizCloud
A review of the Twitter for Newsrooms guide, designed to “help reporters get the most out of the micro-blogging service. The guide contains valuable resources that will educate journalists and media organizations on how to best leverage various Twitter tools for finding sources, publishing their stories, and also for promoting their content.” Something PR professionals may want to take a look at as well.
Though his English is a bit spotty, Richard Darell provides helpful reviews of eight tools corporate recruiters can use to evaluate potential hires (and the rest of can use to evaluate anyone) on Twitter, including Retweet Radar and Twitalyzer.
These Two Twitter Clients Are The Best Conversation Agents for Digital Marketers by iMedia Connection
Noting that “88% of small businesses and 74% of midsized organizations now use Twitter as their social media application of choice. However, marketers do have a preference when choosing their conversation agent,” Courtney Wiley reviews her two favorite Twitter clients.
15 Useful Twitter Tools for B2B Social Media by Social Media B2B
Frequent best-of contributor Adam Holden-Bache reviews 15 helpful tools for managing Twitter, including Twtpoll for polling, Tweetreach to see how far your tweets travel, and Backtweets for better Twitter search.
The Top Ten Twitter Statistics and Analytics Tools by Dead Dinosaur
Two Great Twitter Visualization Tools: Twiangulate & MentionMap by Affiliate Marketing Blog
Geno Prussakov reviews two helpful tools for finding relevant new Twitter followers. Twiangulate, which looks very cool, lets you “see the biggest (or the most influential) followers of any two or three Twitter users, as well as mutual followers and mutual friends, compare lists, and do much more,” according to Geno.
5 Great Twitter Track Tools to Organize Followers by Search Engine Journal
Noting that unlike other social networking sites, Twitter is an “open-format chat setting that invites communication and connections with anyone who happens by. This is why you might need a little extra something to help keep track of all of your followers,” Ann Smarty reviews five helpful tools to help accomplish that task.
Leo Widrich outlines the features of 10 popular Twitter tools (including his own Buffer App for scheduling tweets) as well as what makes each one “killer.”
Twitter Noise Reduction: The Twit Cleaner by Social Marketing Forum
Jim Ducharme review Twit Cleaner, a handy tool to help keep your tweet stream clean by identifying people you follow who are Dodgy (spam phrases, @ spamming, duplicate links etc.), Absent (o updates in a month, or fewer than 10 tweets), Repetitive (igh numbers of duplicate tweets or links) or guilty of other Twitter sins. You can also have the tool evaluate your own behavior to make sure you aren’t crossing any lines.
6 Ways To Monitor Your Brand On Twitter by OPEN Forum
Organize Your Twitter Following with Formulists by Business2Community
Kristi Hines explains the features of Formulists, “a service that will allow you to create customized Twitter lists and automatically update those lists with new followers that fit your specifications”—ideal for organizing large numbers of Twitter followers without manually picking through all of your followers.
Angela West looks at how Twitter analytics (based on their acquisition of BackType) work and the key benefits they provide to business users.
The 11 Twitter Tools and Apps I Use Every Day in 2011 by Business2Community
14 Twitter Tools for Enterprise Business by Sprout Insights
In a slightly different twist, Susan Gunelius presents 14 useful Twitter tools based on the function that would benefit from them (Marketing and Customer Service, Human Resources, and Communications and Networking).
10 Tools to Significantly Increase Your Twitter Efficiency by arkarthick.com
Guest poster Leo Widrich details his top ten tools for Twitterers to “check out to step up your Twitter game and significantly increase your efficiency,” including Twinbow, Buffer, Tweriod and PeerIndex.
Twitter Facts and Stats
Twitter Growth Skyrockets, Settles Privacy Case With FTC by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Laurie Sullivan reports on some interesting Twitter statistics, such as that Twitter users now collectively post about one billion tweets per week, and mobile use has increased 182% in the past year.
Twitter Stats that will 100% get you tweeting by Carvill Creative
Michelle Carvill amplifies some stats to win over Twitter skeptics, among them: there are 200,000,000 registered Twitter users,with 450,000 new accounts created each day. There are 1.6 billion Twitter search queries every day. The majority of twitter users are between the ages of 30 and 49. And 67% of users are likely to recommend a brand they follow to others.
Big Brands Tested On Twitter Effectiveness by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Mark Walsh reports on an experiment by a digital agency “not to see whether corporate Twitter hands could answer tough questions, but to find out if they would engage in a conversation at all.” Among the findings: of the Fortune 50 companies in the study, 16 apparently don’t have corporate Twitter account. of the remaining 34, 23 responded to the test tweets, with GM, UPS and Best Buy responding most quickly.
Guest author Shannon Downey extols the virtues of Twitter for enabling Tweetups and shares some interesting stats showing that brand followers on Twitter are roughly twice as likely as brand fans on Facebook to purchase a brand after following, and 50% more likely to recommend it.
Twitter’s Changing Complexion by iMedia Connection
Daniel Flamberg shares some fascinating intelligence on Twitter users, such as that:
- • 72% of active Twitter users are bloggers
- • 61% write at least 1 product review per month
- • 56% write articles for third-party sites
Michael Brenner makes the business case for using Twitter, answers some common questions about the network and shares a selection of stats like: 84% of U.S. state governors, 82% of U.S. congressional representatives and 83% of senators use Twitter. 87% of Billboard’s top 100 musicians are there. And more than half of all Twitter users log in daily.