Cover the Twitter Basics First!
Here are some ideas which will help you establish a baseline of good techniques on Twitter. However, before you get started give some thought to your overall strategy for your Twitter account. A strategy will have multiple aspects to it and some of them are vital and essential.
Here are some examples of good objectives for a Twitter account for a real estate company, a B&B, and an artist. I use these examples as illustrations. You need to define your objectives. Use these examples to stimulate your thinking. Once you have established objectives for what you want to be you can then move to working on these five essential aspects (listed below) to achieve your objectives.
Let’s look at some overall objectives.
Real Estate: To have the best Twitter account in your served market and to promote the area, your listings, and your company in an informative and entertaining manner. Moreover, to link to articles on your blog, to video content on your website and to specific listings to drive traffic to your center of content.
You need to be able to showcase your superior Twitter account to homeowners during your listing presentation as this will help you to gain more and better listings.
Ultimate Objective: Use Twitter to gain more listings.
B&B: The educate people on things to do, places to go and nice places to eat and relax in the area. Again, establish your Twitter account as the best in the area where your B&B is located.
A B&B Twitter account should do two things:
- Compel people to come to your area and
- Stay at your B&B
Like for real estate, send people to your website or blog for more information about the area. Your website and the associated blog should be populated with content that helps people to decide (at any time of the year) to stay in the area and stay at your B&B.
Ultimate Objective: Book more business.
Artist: Educate people on your work. Provide them with a look “behind the curtain” so that people who follow you get special insights into your work. Links to blog pieces and a photo gallery with additional information about your work would help to add even more depth and insights into your work. Let people get to know you.
If you display a drawing or painting, then set up the graphic to include space to also provide some insight or history – something that will help people to appreciate the work in a more meaningful and engaging way.
If Vincent van Gogh had a Twitter account, he could display a painting and then provide some special insight as below.
If you want to be accessible to people, then you may want to set up a special e-mail account just for people who may contact you through Twitter and define this e-mail account in your bio or in tweets.
Ultimate Objective: Increase exposure, promote work and exhibits.
These are three examples, but any business or individual can define a clear objective for their account.
Twitter is a platform where people are familiar with clicking away from Twitter to gain more information on a topic. Some of this greater depth of information needs to be delightful content on your website or blog. Traffic from Twitter to your website or blog can be very valuable as when people come from Twitter it means they are interested in learning more.
You can establish yourself nicely on Twitter once your strategy is defined and by using tactics listed below. Make your Twitter account something you will be proud of.
Like anything, you will get out of it what you put into it. Once you get started you will see things start to happen and you can experiment doing different things with your Twitter content to further refine your approach.
You don’t have to be an expert on Twitter – in fact, to be an expert may work against you. Experts tend to know how to do everything and this can limit their creativity. Be creative on Twitter – do experiments with your content and observe the reactions and the engagements.
OK – with that said, here are five essentials that you need to take care of well.
5 Essentials of Twitter
1. Create Great Tweets and Link to Even Greater Content
Make great tweets a priority. Make them clear. Make them so good that people will share them (retweet). Use links to provide access to more information when appropriate. People know that the short (now 280-character limit) nature of Twitter requires people to provide links to learn more.
Use Ripl to make some tweets that will grab attention and Ripl even enables simple animation to help even more.
Use Buffer to schedule tweets so that they are being delivered when you are not available to deliver them and use Buffer to optimize the delivery schedule to increase the exposure level of your tweets.
Use link shorteners such as ow.ly or bit.ly and note that Buffer has a built-in link shortener. Link shorteners help you to use your precious 280 characters on your message rather than on the link and some links can be very long.
Pin one of your extra special tweets to the top of your feed.
This pinned tweet effectively becomes part of your profile and helps people to know more about you – what you feel is important or cool – what you emphasize.
2. Realize People Use Twitter to Search for Ideas and Solutions
People go to Twitter for various reasons. Some go for news others for entertainment. Twitter has become a go-to source for many people. I use Twitter all the time to find content or insights on a topic I am interested in. I also use Twitter for entertainment.
Therefore, realize that people use Twitter as a form of search engine. They follow people of interest to them, users use hashtags to find, sort, and gather tweets on specific topics.
If you create content on a specific topic then make this known in your bio. Put some key information in your header graphic. To do this enables people to find you and your content (your tweets) and when your bio is clear and compelling then these people can make an easier decision whether to follow you (or not).
Use RiteTag to do research on which hashtags to use. Use hashtags with the tweet to emphasize what the tweet is about and to help people to find this content. Don’t overdo it with hashtags – perhaps no more than four and it is always a good idea to use one or two rather than none to help you gain exposure.
3. Research and Use Hashtags and @Mentions
You will need a tool to help you to understand which hashtags to use. I use RiteTag as noted above.
Here is an example using RiteTag for hashtag research.
#Author – People who use this hashtag and tweet at a rate of 100 tweets per hour (1 tweet about every 36 seconds). The pace is fast. Your tweet will be pushed down into the tweeter stream for this hashtag quickly and the tweet will have a short lifespan.
However, on the flip side, the potential viewers of your tweet are 2,694,533. Which is a very big number.
#Authors – People who use this hashtag tweet at a rate of 1 per minute and the potential viewers are 3,236,379.
It appears that #Authors is the better choice as the competition is lower (fewer tweets) and the potential audience is larger.
Of course, you could use both.
Another good use of hashtags is to find people to follow.
If I use the search function at the top of the Twitter page and search using the hashtag author (#author) and switch to “people” I get search results of accounts that are associated with the term “author”. This is a useful way to find other interesting accounts related to this hashtag and helps to find people to follow and conversely, people can use this technique to find and follow you.
4. Create a delightful Bio and Header Graphic and Experiment to Refine and Improve It
There are four main components to your Bio. These are your:
- Bio Image
- Header Graphic
- Bio Text
- Pinned Tweet
It is essential to do a good job with these four elements as they are fundamental to people taking you seriously. You want people to take you seriously as this is a major factor as to whether they will follow you.
5. Be Active and Stay on Theme
It is important to be active. No one wants to follow someone just for the sake of following. They want to benefit from the action of following. What will they receive? Is the content valuable, entertaining, or inspirational?
If an account does not tweet much, then a potential follower may conclude:
- Very little is going on. Does it mean you have nothing to say? Does it mean you have lost interest in your topic?
- You don’t care. Does it mean you don’t care about your followers? Does it mean you are easily distracted and cannot stay focused on providing valuable, entertaining or inspirational content?
None of these questions lead one to follow you.
Stay active and create delightful content.
Twitter is an active place and you need to be active too.
Crowdfire is a tool that you can use to see statistics for your account and the account that are following you. Crowdfire provides insights into whom you may want to follow and whom you may want to unfollow (for lack of activity for example).
Keep in mind that while you may be monitoring other that others may also be monitoring you.
Follow and be followed, retweet and be retweeted, like the good work of others and do good work and your work will be liked too. This is all part of being active.
Also, respond to the people who are liking, retweeting, and commenting on your work.
Once you start to engage with people on Twitter they will start to engage with you.
Here is a place to go to learn more about Twitter. It is a category of my Blog dedicated to Twitter Tips.