You may already use Twitter and consider yourself a beginner to intermediate user, but know there may be more to this social media channel.  Becoming a more effective Twitter user happens when people create a complete profile, use hashtags to make connections, and engage in a conversational tone with other Twitter users.

Review your Twitter Profile

Even if you have used Twitter for a while, you may not have made the most of your Twitter profile.  When this is completed well, it increase your chances of being found through this channel.   Although there are character limitations, you can fit a fair among of info into your Twitter bio if you use short phrases, such as “Accounting Professional” or “Customer Service Rep.”  Using phrases instead of full sentences helps you maximize this limited space and make you searchable among people with similar interests.  Ensure your business or personal website is included as a hyperlink in your profile so people can learn more about you.

Search Hashtags

Become familiar with what people in your industry are discussing.  For example, since this is the time of year people change their insurance policies, those in the health care industry may want to search on the hashtag #healthcare. The “#” sign is what indicates something is a hashtag, or a keyword.  Do not worry if your hashtag of interest is not being used yet.  You can try any combination of keywords with the “#” sign to see if it is trending.

Follow and Respond to Users

Based on what you found in your hashtag search, some of those results may show people you want to connect with on Twitter.  You can follow them to indicate interest and they will receive a notification that you have followed them.  In addition to following them, look at some of their recent posts and add anything if they post updates in an area where you have expertise.  This demonstrates you want to have a genuine conversation and are not only concerned with being self promotional.

Share Relevant Content

Now that you have a complete profile, have done a search with hashtags, and begun conversing with people you follow, it is your turn to add to the conversation.  Add information that is relevant to people rather than only promoting your specific products and services.  For example, as a retailer, you naturally want people to come to your store during the holiday season.  However, rather than plugging your retail web site, a more appealing post could be something about “How to find great Christmas deals.”  This type of post will help people without pointing to your brand. Once you show that you are helpful, people will be more inclined to be interested in what you have to offer.

Following these simple steps will increase your chances of seeing a return with your social media activity.