8 Things You Need to Know About Twitter (But Don’t Know to Ask)

How well are you using Twitter as a part of your Social Media Marketing Strategy?

While thinking about starting  my own business I read everything I could get my hands on about how to promote a brand through social media.  One article led to another and now I have a stack of white papers and books that I’m still making my way through.

Some days I feel like the more I read, the less I know.  Truth to be told, the thought of using Twitter intimidated me.  It felt like it was going to be complicated to figure out hash tags and I couldn’t comprehend how anyone managed to find the time to Tweet all day long and get anything else done.

As I read, it was impossible to ignore the recurring theme – If you’re promoting a personal or business brand you need to take advantage of all of the social media platforms and Twitter may well be one of the most important.

After years of resisting, I jumped on the Twitter train a few weeks ago.

Once I put my toe in the water, I discovered that it’s really pretty easy to useblogging bird_Twitter tips and suddenly I found myself having conversations with  friends about followers, tweets, mentions, and hash tags.

People do not Tweet 24 hours a day – Well of course some do.  But for the rest of us, there are some great tools that can help you schedule, monitor, and engage in Twitter as well as other platforms.  I’ve done a test drive with SproutSocial and am currently evaluating Hootsuite.  I plan on taking advantage of the free trial for SocialOomph before I make my decision.

I’ve also already learned a couple of things the hard way.  Like when my Klout score took a nose dive because I was focusing only on Tweeting and Retweeting, not on engaging with others.

As it turns out, from the perspective of measuring influence, it’s better to have a smaller following with interaction than it is to have a lot of followers and not be engaged.  In other words, if you care about your Social Score (and you should), focus on quality not quantity.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that a Tweet can only have 140 characters, content still counts and maybe even more so. If you don’t post good stuff, people won’t click, Retweet, or mention you and that equals a lack of engagement.  According to Twitter founder Evan Williams, Twitter already has  “a (secret) reputation score for every user.”  You want to follow quality Tweeps and have quality Tweeps follow you.

If you want Twitter to work for you and really help grow your business or personal brand, it’s important to engage thoughtfully and authentically.  It’s tempting to take shortcuts that seem OK on the surface, but in reality may hurt your Twitter reputation and your overall Social Score.

Intrigued by the headline, Twitter is about Quality not Quantity, I authorized an app called Twit Cleaner.  I’ll leave it at, the results were very interesting – run it and see for yourself.

 

8 Things You Need to Know About Twitter

(But Don’t Know to Ask)

  1. Tweet more than just links to websites – If you post nothing but links, you run the risk of being identify as “spammy”
  2. Don’t repeat yourself too often – repeating the same URLs more than 25% of the time isn’t going to engage your followers.
  3. Tweet fresh content– Retweeting is good, but be sure to have more original content than Retweets.
  4. Be original – It’s great to be inspiring, but also be interesting – no more than 50% of your Tweets should be quotes.
  5. Be polite – If someone follows you, follow them back.  You don’t have to follow them forever, but at least give them a chance.
  6. Use Rss Feeds and automatic up-daters with caution – You don’t want people to think you’re a Bot or spammer.
  7. Engage with your followers – What’s the point of having followers if you don’t interact with them?  If you don’t have time, hire someone to do it for you.  Say thank you for the @mentions and promote their tweets (the good ones).
  8. Don’t be a conversation hog – Believe it or not there is such a thing as too much tweeting.  If you average more than 24 public Tweets a day you’re actually hurting yourself.  A good rule of thumb is more than 10 and less than 24.  I set a goal of 10 – 15.

It’s interesting to consider that Twitter shouldn’t be any different than any other social platform, if you post boring content, repeat yourself a lot, or only talk in quotes people aren’t going to stick around.

The objective of using Twitter or any other social media platform is to gain customers and in my mind also to network with and form relationships with people who can be strategic partners. If that’s the case it seems important to approach Twitter with a mindset of providing a great experience and adding value, not just Tweeting to get followers.

I’m new to the Twitter landscape and still have a lot to learn.  In fact, just as I was finishing up this post I got a mention which was a thank you for Tweeting someone’s content.  Note to self: Be sure to say thank you for Retweets as well as mentions.

What’s one thing you think you could do differently to improve your followers Twitter experience?