Learning to Tweet
There is no single right way to use Twitter, but using best practices and establishing a routine can help you get the most out of your Twitter account. The most important thing to do before you post your first tweet on Twitter is to first read what other people are saying. Use Twitter for information gathering, conversations, and sharing what others are posting, not just for broadcasting your own messages.
Some common types of tweets are:
Yes, you shouldn’t only broadcast out to your following, but you can and should share information with them relevant to who you are and what you do. Announce a new blog post that you've published or a sale or promotion. Announce and remind your followers of an event. Effective announcements - or effective tweets for that matter - contain a link that followers can click on to get to more information.
Here are a few sample announcement tweets:
My latest blog post is up: 7 Tips for Producing Winning Webinars http://linkhere.com/
Love fashion? Just a few more days to become one of the 1st Styletrekkers! Learn more http://linkhere.com
Interact with others on Twitter by using the @ sign followed by their Twitter handle. You can respond to something they've said publicly on Twitter or something they've said directly to you. When you reference or respond to someone using their Twitter handle, they will see what you’ve said in their Notifications and vice versa.
Here's an example of a response to someone else's tweet:
I am now off the grid for a few days - special retreat!!
@MariSmith A retreat sounds wonderful! Enjoy!
Reposting what someone else tweets is good form on Twitter and gives you the opportunity to share information from people, organizations or companies you trust along with your comments.
There are several ways to retweet. The first is to use the Retweet button that Twitter provides at the bottom of each tweet. When you do this, you have the choice of either retweeting the exact tweet someone else has composed or quoting their tweet and adding your comment above it.
Two other commonly accepted retweeting formats are using the RT or using “via,” for example:
RT @AmberCadabra First thing I look at when following back? Your last tweet. Do your communications show that you're a human back there?
REPORT: Only 47.6% of companies believe business case for social media is clear http://dld.bz/fpud via @DanSchawbel
Making a statement can take the form of a quote, a tip or even a brief narrative. Others can then retweet what you've said with or without comments. Here are a few examples:
Gotta love a hotel that says this: "Nightly Bed Time Cookie Buffet (8-10pm)"
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama
Tech Tip: Always remember to back up your computer at the end of each day. Better yet, backup in the background throughout the day.
Tweet out questions to spur conversation. Others may not always notice your questions so you may receive few responses, but questions often give people the impetus to tweet back to you.
Here are some sample questions to tweet out:
Who are the best companies to follow on Twitter who use Twitter well?
Business owners: What are your favorite marketing tools?
With all the different types of tweets out there, Twitter can draw you in and consume a lot of your time. Here are some steps to use Twitter more efficiently.
- Peruse Twitter to read what people who you follow are tweeting about.
- Retweet a few interesting and relevant tweets to your followers.
- Check to see if anyone has referenced you in a tweet and respond appropriately.
- Check to see if you have any direct messages or DM's and respond appropriately.
- Send out a few strategic tweets to promote your business and provide value to others.
- Ask a question to see what your followers are thinking about a particular topic.
Then move on to the next important business task at hand. Return to Twitter periodically throughout the day and follow the same process without getting distracted. Establishing a regular process for using Twitter can help save you time and keep you focused.