Twitter is a great way to communicate ideas, questions and share information. This article will help you with managing and growing your microblogging site.
Content is King
Coming up with good content involves careful planning before you begin microblogging. When you set up your Twitter account, ask yourself why are you tweeting? What is the voice you will use? And carefully select the subjects you will tweet about. This will help you to plan your content, follow those who share the same ideas and allow you to retweet content you and your followers are interested in.
Interacting with Other Followers
When you first log into Twitter, you will see those you are following in the news stream with posts happening in real time. You can interact with those in your immediate stream by replying, retweeting (clicking the Retweet to Followers button, or copying and pasting another user’s post into your Compose new Tweet), or asking questions to followers about their content (hit reply). These are great interactions, but great conversations and content could have happened hours earlier. To tackle that issue, you can go to the profile of users with reputations of interesting content, or you can create a list on a topic (for instance, “Online Marketing) and assign those you follow who are experts in that topic to the list.
Read the following list of Best Practices to help you increase your following.
- Tweets should be short – it compensates retweeting by your followers, and studies have shown 17% higher engagement when tweets are about 100 characters.
- Links are good – you get a higher retweet rate with links.
- Hashtags allow users to follow a certain subject. Use them when it is proper (for example, #Marketing allows those wanting information about “Marketing” to follow those conversations. Make sure you don’t use more than two hashtags in a post.
- Tweet four times per day or less. To build a following, you need to be dedicated to updating your Twitter feed each day. The more you tweet, the more opportunities for people to see your content and decide to follow you.
- Use images when possible to create interest and to increase retweets.
- Ask questions on Twitter, you may get answers back and a conversation going. This is the key to a successful Twitter account: interaction.
- Create lists to follow those you find interesting, or have good content, much more easily.
o You can create a list by clicking “Twitter Followers”
o Go to the left-hand submenu and click on “Lists”
o You can then click on “Create List”
o Name the list appropriately, for instance “Marketing Experts”
o Go back to your list of people you follow and select the down arrow next to person’s name (see below)
o Select “Add or remove from lists”
o Click on the check box of the list you wish to assign the person and close out the dialog box
o You can now click on your list anytime you log in and see content from those you follow whether it was posted 24 hours ago, or 2 hours ago.
- When someone talks to you, talk back. If someone mentions you, thank them.
- #FF – Follow Friday is a hashtag trend and helps to get others to follow you. Shout out to new people you are following, or who have followed you by #FF – it is like a great way to thank them.
- Follow your followers…but avoid those who are only list building. List building are those Twitter users who follow you only to get you to follow them back. They immediately stop following once they see acknowledgement of you following them. You can use a program like Tweepi (http://www.tweepi.com) to see who you are following, but they are not following you back. Remember, you won’t get everyone to follow you (say @CNN or @TomHanks, etc.).
- You should have a good ratio of number of followers and those you follow. Keep the gap low. I keep about 30 to 40 followers as a gap and try not to go any further than that.
- Are people listening? You can use Klout (http://www.klout.com) to gauge how “influential” your tweets are in the Twitterverse.
The thing to keep in mind before you start microblogging, you must invest time into the process to get any kind of following, so if you don’t have the time, don’t move forward with your new account.