Basic Twitter Strategy
Can you easily conceptualize 340,000,000 of anything? I’m having a hard time, too, even though that’s just an average day on Twitter. There’s no publishing platform in history that can compare to the volume of information that passes through the social media network on a daily basis. Whether you’re an avid Twitter junkie or just getting started on the site, we’ve compiled 17 tips to ensure you stand out among the abundance of content:
1. Don’t Spam Your Followers
If you want, feel free to post the same tired link 300 times in a row every 5 minutes. Your followers don’t really mind, because they can just unfollow or block you.
2. Follow Back
If you’re just getting started on Twitter, it’s going to win you a lot more fans if you make a point of following real people back.
3. Publicize Your Twitter Presence
You could have colleagues, associates, clients, or prospects who’d love to follow you on Twitter but didn’t know you were using the network. Publicize your Twitter presence by including links to your handle and your website in your email signature.
4. Tweet Other People’s Stuff
Sure, Twitter is a really effective platform for driving traffic to your company website, but you’ve got to share some love, too. Find people with digital influence and Tweet their content. Include some intelligent commentary on why your followers should click through. Chris Brogan recommends a 12:1 ratio of Tweeting your own content versus that of other people.
5. Promote Your Contemporaries
For every Guy Kawasaki or Rand Fishkin, there are hundreds or thousands of talented bloggers just starting to talk about entrepreneurship, social media, or SEO. Promote the big names, but also promote people who are starting out. There’s a better chance they have the bandwidth to engage and connect.
Haven’t taken the time to fill out your bio and upload a profile picture and banner? No wonder you’re not accruing any followers; people probably think you’re a spammer. Even if you don’t use your own personal photo, make an effort to be the most human and likeable brand you can be. Pictures of the humans or animals who work in your office make an awesome banner!
7. Stop Trying to Be Super Human
If you’re Tweeting with a larger goal than just having fun and maybe driving some traffic to a personal blog, you need to start scheduling. We recommend HootSuite or HubSpot–a 24/7 social media presence makes sense for most companies and you don’t want to wake every hour on the hour to hit “Publish.”
8. Shorten Your Links
There’s a lot of compelling reasons to start shortening links to the content you Tweet in bit.ly. For one, people really trust it. Besides, experts recommend you cut your Tweets short to enhance the chances you’ll earn a ReTweet and you definitely don’t want to use up all your characters on the longest URL ever.
9. Cut Your Tweets Short
Did we mention that it’s statistically more likely you’ll earn a ReTweet if you keep your tweets to 120 characters or less? It’s true.
10. Don’t Be a Hashtag Jerk
There’s a lot of ways to abuse hashtags on Twitter, and just a few ways to use them well. We won’t go into great detail here, but keep your hashtags short, employ camel case and keep it to no more than 1 or 2 tags per Tweet.
11. Beware Automatic Posting
Be very careful of any software or app that will automatically Tweet things for you, especially if you’re a FourSquare addict who checks in dozens of places each day. There’s a good chance that most of your followers don’t want to read that.
ReTweeting a Twitter follower’s glowing commentary on your company or a link to the charitable event they’re planning? Cool. ReTweeting a follow Friday you’re mentioned in or something simple like “Thanks for the follow?” Unnecessary.
13. Don’t Read Every Tweet
When you start following more than about 13 people, you’re going to quickly run out of time and bandwidth to read their content. Don’t stress it. Build Twitter lists for your prospects and thought leaders and accept the fact that the network runs faster than Usain Bolt.
14. Answer Questions
You could Tweet your content 96 times a day, but it might drive less ROI than finding one prospect with a genuine question about your product. Search keywords and hashtags that are relevant to your industry (the process is easy in HootSuite), and spend at least a few minutes each day responding to queries.
15. Don’t Just Tweet Titles
If you’re writing blog titles that earn ReTweets, getting lots of attention, engagement and traffic should be easy. Don’t take a one-size-fits all approach though, especially for high-performing content. Tweet questions, stats, and witty lines from the text to increase your Twitter’s performance even more.
Struggling to come up with topics and concepts to fill your content calendar? Crowdsource. Ask people a question and see what you get in response. Don’t worry about asking questions that seem inconsequential. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, even crowdsourced her son’s name.
17. Set a Timer on Your Phone
Are you a Twitter-hater who’s just using it because you have to? More than one of us started out ambivelent to the network, but let me warn you, it’s addicting. Before long, you’ll have to set a timer to ensure you don’t get sucked in. It’s easier than you think.
What are your best tips on using Twitter for small business growth and branding?
image credit: the ecstatic