Ten Twitter Tips

After using Twitter for more than a year, I’ve come up with a list for the beginner. This assumes you have filled out your profile and added a picture. Without those people probably won’t follow.

1) Be genuine and be real. Be authentic and people will want to follow you and develop a relationship with you. Post about yourself, your day, your business and your family. Add some humor, some inspiration, some wisdom, some tips and hints. Then plug away with your business, your blog or your links. It will be natural and we’ll be interested. Reverse this and you’ll be in for a long haul.

2) Use the @ symbol before someone’s user name or handle to reference them in your tweet. This is what I love about Twitter and it’s viral nature. It’s make the world a lot smaller when we connect the dots to who knows who.

3) Linking is a good way to showcase your content, your blog, your website and articles you read which others would be interested in. Shorten the URL if you’re using Twitter.com.

4) Retweeting others is also a great way to reward the good content of others and to share meaningful tweets with your followers. Remember just because you’re following someone doesn’t mean your followers are too.

5) Remember if you want to get retweeted then you must give people a chance. Keep your tweet to 120 characters instead of 140 and then others can easily retweet without having to edit parts of your message.

6) If you’re looking for followers then tweet like Goldielocks. Not too little, not too much but just right. If I see someone’s face for 10 tweets of my past 15 then that person gets unfollowed. If someone just lurks and never says anything, there is a chance they may get unfollowed too.

7) If you, as a new user are still wondering what’s the big deal with Twitter; then check out Search.twitter.com

8 ) If you’re looking for followers right out of the gate, then go back to the person who introduced you to Twitter and scan their following list. Follow those who interest you. They will probably reciprocate.

9) If you’re looking for followers right out of the gate, then follow an entire list created by another user. For instance you keep up with golf and you see someone with a great list of all things golf. You can follow the whole list blindly or you can revert back to step 8.

10) Have fun. Make connections. Build relationships. Then meet the people in person for coffee and you’ll feel like you already know them.

Twitter.com has it’s own resource for new users. Here it is.

Social Media Workshop

This post is mainly geared for a free workshop I did today. However, I think most folks who are new to social media will learn a lot.

Here is a quick summary of some bullet points from today’s talk:

LinkedIn is probably the most professional of the tools we discussed today, but also probably the most in depth. Within LinkedIn there are many directions you can go with your job search or networking. There are groups to join, connections to be made, recommendations to write and to seek out, and much more.

The biggest key is to first set up your account. Then set up your profile. From there you can get more acquainted with the site and tools over time. If you have at least created an account and set up a profile, then people can connect with you. Google can also index your results. Again this means that if someone Google’s your name (it’s become a verb), they can research you. Todd Doyle did a great job explaining LinkedIn and it’s value.

Twitter- is a great and simple tool that can help you to encourage others, promote others, contribute to discussions, plug yourself, and it’s also a lot of fun. Everything in Twitter is based on permission. People follow you based on the content of your tweets (posts). You choose to follow them back based on their content or by searching for people via (searchtwitter.com) Don’t forget to bookmark or favorite these links in your browsers. Another great way to find people to follow is by looking at the followers of your followers. For instance if you looked at my list you may see some people we know commonly. Then so on and so forth. Twitter followers are very faithful about reciprocating as long as you don’t over do it with a far too many posts or spam them with lots of unwanted solicitation type tweets. Mixing in the occasional plug, link, cause or promotion is not only expected but helpful to the entire community.

Twitter can help you connect and develop relationships when you genuinly become interested in others and when they reciprocate. Often people share information, job opportunities, new promotions, referrals and much more on Twitter. After you create your account and set up your profile, you will start to tweet. You only have 140 characters. Once you’ve went over that limit you’ll start to see the screen change colors. It’s a good idea to make your thoughts as concise as possible. Over time you will see many of the tricks and hacks that people use to get the most out of the 140 character limit. It’s simply brilliant and brilliantly simple in the way this works. Don’t forget to add a picture, a bio and a link to somewhere online that you have a presence. LinkedIn or Facebook profiles work well.

I’ll leave you with a few tips that will save you time and energy. I learned these the hard way by watching and by trial and error.

  1. If you want to link to someone else on Twitter in your tweet- @username is the format. You can look up their user name on their profile page or through a search.
  2. If you want to add a link then this website can help you shorten the link so it takes up less characters. You simply copy the url (the address in the bar up top) and paste it into the box on the website I’ve linked to above. Then you click make tiny and copy the new link and paste it into your tweet box. It sounds a little complicated but it’s really not. If you use a mouse then highlighting and right clicking will let you copy and paste easily. If you prefer using your keyboard – On a PC -Ctr button + C = copy while Ctr button + V = paste. On a MAC Command button + C = copy while Command button + V = paste.
  3. If you like what someone else says you can copy it and paste it into your twitter box and put the letters RT in front of it. This is called a retweet. It is the highest compliment to retweet someone elses tweet (post). You can make it easier for someone to retweet your material by making your tweets 120 characters instead of 140- don’t try and understand that one yet, just trust me. Here is the magic in the retweet. If someone has 15,000 followers and you say or link to someone interesting, many of their followers may quickly follow you. Viral marketing at it’s best.
  4. Don’t tweet too much and don’t tweet too little. A couple times in the morning, at lunch and around dinner is plenty to start with. At least try it once a day if that’s not possible.

Next week we’ll talk more about blogging, facebook and Ning. Also we can have a Q&A for those who have jumped in sideways into Twitter or LinkedIn.