Let’s get something straight from the start. I am not Lady Gaga, Guy Kawasaki or Sir Richard Branson. I do not have millions of followers; I have not started revolutions or overthrown governments through the power of a tweet. If they are your intentions then this post is not for you. However, if you want to know how to use Twitter effectively then stick around because in this post you will learn exactly what I did to get a following off near 13,000.

That number is not to impress you, because in all honesty it is not that impressive, it is there to impress upon you that by following the advice laid out in this post you too could grow a sizable following and more importantly create a community of people who like, share and support your passions and goals, whilst building some quality relationships in the process that can lead to future business propositions.

Whether you are completely new to Twitter or you have been on the platform for years here are;

8 Ways to Get the Most Out of Twitter!

Forget Numbers

Collecting followers on your Twitter account will do absolutely nothing for you. It may look good but in reality those followers are no better than bots, they are not listening, they are not engaged and they certainly are not clicking on the links in your Tweets.

100 followers with 20 people engaged, conversing and sharing is just as effective as having 1,000 followers with 20 people engaged. Although 1,000 might look better it is just a sideshow to the fact that your community is pretty stale.

Know Your Objectives

Twitter, as with any other social media campaign is going to take time and resource. If you are going to commit whole heartedly then take the time to put together a list of objectives. These could include:

Whatever you decide the objective of your Twitter marketing campaign will be, support this with SMART goals.

Seek out other thought leaders and Promote those First

There will be someone in your niche who has branched out and mastered the art of Twitter for business and how to engage a community. Seek them out. Why? Because the likelihood is the audience of that person will be similar to your target demographic. When you succeed in starting a conversation with that thought leader others will take notice and curiosity will lead them to you.

Go to their blogs, comment on their posts and then Tweet this to your following using their Twitter name (mine is @james_debono), that way when you tweet it will show up in that persons mentions and they might respond to you.

Retweets are Good, Replies are better

When you hit Retweet it is very difficult for the person on the receiving end of that Retweet to acknowledge you. To do this

  1. Highlight the tweet by dragging your left mouse button over it.
  2. Click the right mouse button
  3. Select copy
  4. Press the reply button
  5. Click the right mouse button and click paste.
  6. Before the person’s twitter name put “RT!”

As an extra step you could add your own comment on the tweet like “great advice” or “must read” to show the receiver of the tweet your thoughts and also give your followers that extra reason to click through.

Read more about becoming a content sharing King

Strike While the Iron is Hot

You are not the only person vying for attention. There are 140 million active users on Twitter and an average of 340 million tweets per day. That means your solitary Tweet needs to work hard in order to stand out and be sent at exactly the right time.

In order to perfect the art of sending your Tweet at the right time there are several apps that you can use.

  • Tweriod – Gives you the best time to Tweet by analyzing your Tweets and those of your followers to make sure that your Tweets get heard.
  • Timely –Timely is another tool that connects to your Twitter profile and analyses your last 200 Tweets to find out what time is the best to schedule your tweets for maximum impact.

It makes sense to talk to people when they are there. Think in terms of TV. When brands want to get their message across to people they pick the Superbowl or American Idol.

Maximise Your Time

We have talked about sending messages at the right time so they get heard next we are going to talk about your time. Your time is precious, you have a multitude of things to do and spending time on social media is not really going to be one of them.

Unfortunately I am not going to tell you here that you can set something up that just fires out message after message after message. There are tools that allow you to do this, people do this and some see success. However I am not advocating it as quite simply it looks spammy, there is no engagement and you just look like a Robot.

Instead use scheduling sparingly. If you know you will be travelling or away from a laptop for a few days then you can schedule tweets using tools such as:

Make it Snappy!

In that brief second that your Tweet is at the top of your followers’ timeline you need to grab them by the balls and make it damn near impossible for them not to click on your link, share or reply to your tweet.

Don’t give all of the information away up front. Instead, write a compelling teaser that will entice your followers to read more. After all, which Tweet do you find more interesting? “The best Tweet to Guarantee engagement is …” or “New research indicates the best Tweet to encourage engagement.” The first one, right? Just remember—when it comes to Twitter, a little bit of copywriting skills can go a long way.

A great example of this is a Tweet that I received via @sernovitz

How to use Twitter Effectively - A great example of an enticing Tweet!

Don’t Make a Hash of #Hashtags

Twitter defines a Hashtag as:

“Users often prepend # to words in their Tweets to categorize them for others eg: “Check out our new products for the Fallhttp://t.co/link2 #fallsale” Think of hashtags as the theme of your Tweet. Users can then click on a hashtag to see other similarly-themed tweets and find yours in search.”

Other terms that will help you use Twitter effectively explained on the Twitter Glossary

There is also a good post on Sprout Social about how to Use Twitter Tags

Use hashtags sparingly, along with abbreviations. Filling your tweets with too much Twitter jargon can make them confusing and difficult to read. Always remember that it is a human being reading your tweet so make sure it is legible.

140 Characters is not much so make it count.

The 140-character limit can be tricky at first. You’re forced to be brief and to the point. As discussed earlier if you’re sharing a link or other content that you’d like others to RT, it’s best to keep your tweet under 120 characters so that others can easily share without having to modify the existing message.

As Jack Dorsey the Executive Chairman of Twitter said

how to use Twitter Effectively

As a little bonus here is one extra little tip:

Learn to put a sock in it.

Every now and then you may feel that the world is against you, business may be poor, relationships may be stressing you out, but don’t feel the need to share these negative emotions. I for one certainly don’t want to follow and share negative tweets and it can have a negative impact on your brand or image.

If you are feeling down then just step away from your computer, sit on your hands or put a sock in it. Be positive, purposeful and share meaningful content and your following will appreciate you for it.

If you practice these tips you will be well on your way to creating your own valuable following that can help spread your brand and your content across the social media spectrum while building a truly engaged and enthused audience.

If you like what you have read and you think this post “How to Use Twitter Effectively to Create a Quality Following” this information has been valuable then share it with your Twitter following and help yourself become the thought leader in your space by hitting the Twitter button below. I have made it so easy for you! (Don’t forget to follow me!)

What other techniques do you use that drive your following crazy and result in great conversations and a bubbling community. let me know by leaving your comment below!