I’ve been on Twitter for a while. Almost 4 years now. For some reason over 100,000 people choose to follow me. I’ve still got heaps to learn about how to use it, but hopefully I’ve picked up a few things you might find useful.
I’d love to hear your top 3 twitter tips in the comments below. Share And Enjoy! :)
1. Don’t Use Twitter.com
Did I throw you with that one first up? Hehe :D
You’ll get the best use out of twitter by using it through a third party application. My favourite at the moment is Hootsuite, but I’ve used pretty much all of the others as well.
I don’t have anything against the web interface, but it’s kind of like driving your shiny new Lamborghini around the CBD. It’s ok, but you really should be taking it to the racetrack to get maximum enjoyment.
With Hootsuite, you can:
- Schedule posts
- Run multiple accounts from one place (like your personal and business accounts)
- Shorten links on the fly with their inbuilt shortener
- See pretty detailed link analytics
- Integrate with Ping.fm
- Put your website’s RSS feed into it, so it automatically posts to the different social services when you write a new post
- Save searches as a column so you can keep an eye on who’s mentioning your website or business
- And do all the other things Twitter.com allows you to do.
I’ve heard Echofon is also pretty awesome, but because they only serve Mac users and I’m cross platform it’s no good for me. Also check that out if you’re only on Mac.
Go, get onto the racing track & enjoy that Lambo.
2. Engage In The Conversation
If people talk to you, respond. Seems kind of obvious, but so many people fail to do it. You don’t need to go overboard and thank everyone for a straight retweet. But if that’s your character, then go for it.
Remember I said “engage”. Don’t just do a straight retweet unless there isn’t enough characters left after the RT @username. Add a brief thought or your spin on the tweet or whatever is being linked to.
Along those lines; make sure you leave enough room in your tweets for people to retweet and engage. Knowing your RT number is key. That’s the number of characters in your username plus 6. Mine’s 16. It allows people to add:
at the start of the retweeted tweet. There’s a space after the colon in case you were wondering where that 6th character went.
3. Use Lists
Lists are awesome, particularly as you increase the number of people you follow. I have my main VIP list for key influencers or friends that I really pay attention to on Twitter. There’s around 250 people in that list (remember the discussion about Dunbar’s Number?) which is about all you want in a list. I also have different lists for key people in my industry and city.
This allows you to segment who you hear from at any one time, focusing the tweets and cutting out the noise.
The reason you should have multiple lists is because it’s really hard to jump from reading about your friend’s new baby to Guy Kawasaki’s latest cool story, to Brian Clark’s super useful writing tips, then on to Cynthia Yildirim’s torrent of hilarious yet informative information… you get the point.
It’s really easy to keep up with these lists if you’re using a 3rd party application like Hootsuite. You just add another column with that list, then flick to it when you do your twittering.
Bonus: Sip, Don’t Drink From The Firehose
It’s really easy to think you can stay up to date with everything that’s happening on twitter. You can’t. Just accept that and move on.
Set your own times for checking into twitter. Set a time limit, whether that’s arbitrary (when the kettle boils) or a set time (5 minutes – but set an alarm). Check into twitter, do what you want/can in that time, then get off and go about your daily life. Twitter will still be there when you next get back on. The beauty of the conversations there is that no-one cares if you respond to a tweet several hours afterwards.
So what are your top 3 twitter tips?