You can use Twitter for trivial babble, or a strategic networking tool to build your online reputation and increase traffic to your website(s). This CyberKenBlog post includes ten tips for using Twitter the latter way, for whatever business you’re in.
Twitter’s a really fast way to get information from people in the know, and to stumble upon stuff you weren’t really looking for, but are delighted to discover.
The virtue of Twitter is its brevity. If you have ever done academic research you probably have used catalogs of abstracts, which are very short summaries of articles and books. Twitter is an up-to-the-second listing of abstracts on just about any subject imaginable! It’s really easy to run down a Twitter stream and decide whether you want to follow a link or not. Very fast, very convenient!
Here are ten tips to help Twitter beginners build a good reputation and larger following:
Tip #1: Don’t follow just anyone. Pick people who are well-informed and wise in your field(s) of interest. Don’t follow someone just because they followed you first. With people you know well this is a wise courtesy, but don’t reciprocate for just anyone. You’ll notice that some Twitter users follow thousands! They won’t be offended if you don’t follow them. And besides, they probably followed you because a key word in your profile or tweets activated a bot program to follow you. This is nothing personal! Don’t follow them if you’ve no mind to.
Tip#2: Post useful, interesting, meaty stuff, not trivia. Every post will add to your online reputation. If you post good material you will gain followers. And if you post really good material with wide appeal, some readers will retweet it, and that will bring you more followers. You want to increase the eye balls on your stuff. That’s the overall business strategy for using Twitter.
Tip#3: Post as often as you can without diminishing the quality of your posts. The more you tweet, the more likely it is that your posts will be noticed. But make sure that you sustain your quality. Your profile icon is immediately recognizable in a reader’s stream. Make sure that your icon gets associated with good material! That will increase the likelihood that your tweets will get read.
Tip#4: Use wording that ‘s accurate, but also grabs attention. Sometimes it helps to ask an intriguing question. How-to posts are popular. If you’re trying to get one noticed, put “how to” in the tweet.
Tip#5: Use hash marks in your tweets, and to find other users to follow. A hash mark makes a search tag of whatever characters immediately follow it. This makes it easy for other Twitter users to find your tweet when they enter search terms into the “Whom to Follow” window at Twitter.com. For instance, let’s say you use the string, #gardening, in a tweet. Other Twitter users interested in gardening are more likely to come upon your tweet when they use the search tag, #gardening. A hash mark adds just a single character to a tweet, but improves considerably your chances of finding what you want, and having your tweet found by others.
Tip#6: Retweet good material. Remember that what you retweet reflects upon your judgment and adds to your reputation as a wise reviewer. Of course, retweeting increases your own Twitter address’s presence in your followers’ streams. But don’t retweet just anything, only worthy stuff that you think others would appreciate reading.
Tip#7: Tweet your thanks to users who retweeted you. But don’t just put their Twitter address in your thank-you message. Also include a short phrase that indicates why you’re grateful, a phrase that will get the attention of readers. You will notice many thank-you tweets containing nothing but Twitter addresses. These tweets are courteous, of course, but they aren’t likely to increase readership for the persons you’ve thanked. And that’s what they would really appreciate: more eye balls on their stuff!
Tip#8: Tweet at the most fertile time of day, the time when your followers’ daily schedules give them time to check their Twitter streams. You want your tweets to be near the top of their tweet stacks, not the bottom. Since a great many users check Twitter only once a day, you will want to tweet then. But when is “then” for most users? Well, at the beginning of their work day, say around 8:00 or 9:00 a.m., or during the noon to 1:00 lunch hour, or, just before supper time, say 5:00 p.m. How is one to account for time zones? How can you time your tweets so that you reach most of your followers, spread across several time zones? Well, if you live on the East coast of the U.S. and you tweet at noon, your tweet will appear in your West Coast followers’ streams at 9:00 a.m. their time, at lunch time for your near neighbors, and around 5:00 p.m. for Londoners. That’s not a bad strategy for maximizing the eye balls on your stuff.
Tip#9: Use Twitter lists to shorten the time it takes for you to organize and scan incoming tweets. Also, if some of your followers have Twitter lists, check those to find other people to follow. It’s not a bad bet that Tweeters whom you find well-informed and wise follow other people who are as well.
Tip#10: Communicate honestly, sensitively, and respectfully. This behavior will strengthen your reputation, and the community. Remember that Twitter is a social network of people who want a quick way to be informed and to inform. A social network works well to the extent that the people in it trust and respect each another.
- Monitor Your Online Reputation with Social Networking (customerthink.com)