photo © 2010 Dave Mott | more info (via: Wylio)
I was asked by an acquaintance, at a networking event, why he should be on Twitter. He knew that I was active on Twitter and wondered how to get started since it seemed so daunting. I turned to my friends at Twitter Strategies Group on LinkedIn to help me answer the question.
I asked them to tell me “What are the first five things you should do once you join Twitter?” Here are some of their answers and of course, some of the information I shared with my acquaintance, who asked the question.
- Engage in conversation. Don’t be discouraged if others don’t respond right away.
- Follow new folks every day but also check in and maintain your friend/follower list on a regular basis.
- Be real, be authentic, and engage in real conversations.
- Just like a real conversation, listen first and look for topics to talk about that others may find interesting.
- Engage in conversations with those who @ reply to you.
- When someone follows you. Direct Message (DM) them to personally thank them for following you.
- Get listed in Twitter directory, as relevant.
- Add a link to your Twitter profile on your web site.
- Be patient and persevere. Twitter is often hyped as an instant thing, and in the sense that it’s a relative stream of information that’s true – but there is no real shortcut to building a meaningful set of relationships.
- Complete your profile with picture, description, web site link and a decent background. No need to spend money on a custom background.
Finding People to Follow
- Look for interesting or entertaining people that follow people you follow. These would be second level connections that are made into first level connections.
- Check out wefollow.com (link) and twellow.com (link) to find folks by interest and location.
- Check out #FF (Follow Friday). Others are sharing interesting people to follow.
- There are tons of apps to tweet from, check out a few and find one that works for you and integrates with your URL shortening service.
- Investigate URL shortening tools like bit.ly (link) for use for your blog posts/web site. Make sure the one you select has an analytics package to help you analyze your hits.
- Place Facebook or LinkedIn URL above the bio so people can link up and offer a personal connection immediately.
Constructing Your Tweets and Retweets
- Keep your ratio of self-promotion, to “one for you” to “four or five informing them.”
- Think before you post. Keep your posts consistent with the thrust of your account.
- Be willing to and embrace changing your Twitter strategy as you learn more.
- Re-tweet things people you are following have said if you think others may be interested in them.
- Respond to tweets honestly and share info your friends will find interesting.
- Sign in and check for interesting tweets at least two or three times each day.
- Vary your tweets to include 1) a funny story or video, 2) link to amazing stuff, 3) asking for advice, and 4) sending people to your Facebook and LinkedIn URLs.
- Write a tweet sharing a new followers’ tweet name (@____) so others can learn about them.
Twitter is a fabulous tool whose value keeps evolving. Dive in and start using some of the many tips or “To Do’s” to be more of a power user.
Those are the ideas that I collected. What would you add to this list? Please comment below.
1. How would you describe your level of comfort with Twitter.
2. What tips would you add for getting more value from Twitter?
3. Is your Twitter usage increasing, decreasing or staying the same?