A lot has been happening on Twitter recently. As I covered in a previous blog as well as video they have been looking at changing the character rule as well as created curated newsfeeds which will filter tweets for content that is relevant to you.
From recent workshops and talking with people who are starting out on Twitter the biggest challenge they have is that for a newcomer it can be really daunting to start with. There is a whole new lingo as well as a way of communicating to learn. Twitter doesn’t really have a tutorial or how-to guide for people new to the platform and because of this I believe they are really missing out on converting these people to regular users. To help people starting off on Twitter I’ve decided to create a cheat sheet of tools and tactics to help make the most of this incredibly useful tool. These include:
- Completing your profile
- Creating lists
- The Content – Text, pics and video
- Taking part in Twitter Chats
- Using Tweetdeck
- + a bonus tool to help you manage followers
So lets begin,
Complete your Twitter Profile
I would look at this like I would your profile on LinkedIn. Your goal should be to reach all-star level on your Twitter profile. This can be easily done on Twitter through combining
Your Avatar – Never leave your profile picture as an egg or a blank background. Whether its a picture of your brand or of you make sure you choose and image that is:
- Makes a good first impression
- Can be identified
BlueChief Tip: Have the same picture across all your social platforms as this can help people identify you as soon as possible
With your background use similar guidelines to help choose the right image. Think of it like your Facebook background. Canva is a great tool to use if you want to create an image that is unique to you.
Website – Having a link to your website is good for SEO as well as for validation. If someone comes across you then they are only a click away from your site.
Description – This can be a good starting point for working on your editing skills as you only have 160 characters to work with. When creating your description make sure it includes:
- Details about you
- What your business interests are
- What your own interests are (this adds a personal touch)
If your profile is a business one then ask the question:
If you had one minute to tell someone about your business what would you say?
Below is an example of my profile description that tells you in a nutshell what it is I do and what my professional and personal interests are.
Hashtags – With people starting off with Twitter one of the biggest questions can be:
What’s a Hashtag?
Quite simply it marks a keyword or topic in a Tweet or in a profile. So a word of advice is needed:
Use hashtags wisely – A big error people can make is #hashtagging #every #word #in #a #tweet. It is best to avoid this at all costs. Do some research and find out some of the most popular hashtags. They are a great way for people to find you and also to find tweets and people of interest to you.
If these four areas are done right they lay a solid foundation for your Twitter experience. They also show someone that you know what you’re doing as well.
Create lists on Twitter
The best way to think of lists is like creating your own newsfeed of Tweets that are of interest to you. It allows you to mine down and find tweets that are of interest to you according to users
You have 3 options when it comes to lists
- Create a public list of users that other people can subscribe to
- Create a private list that only your profile can see
- Subscribe to a list that someone else has created.
If you’re doing research and say come across a list of the most influential people in your industry or must follow blogs if they are on Twitter simply find them and add them to a list. These are a fantastic way to not only engage with relevant people in your industry but they are also a great way to interact with people in the run up to an event.
I was at a recent Learn Inbound event and I created a list of the organisers and speakers so that I was up to date on the goings on as well as having an introduction to them before I met them in person. Lists are one of the best tools on Twitter to utilise. For relevant social media lists feel free to check out the lists I created.
The Content of your Tweets, have a balance of everything
I have often talked to people who arent on Twitter and one of the first things that they say is
“I can’t make head nor tail of what a Tweet says”
Being able to Tweet can often be a skill in itsekf (And another area where Twitter could really help out new members. As with the description you want to make sure that your tweets are optimised so that it is as easy as possible for people to find you. As a result you need to make sure you have the right:
- Text (whether it be hashtags or usernames)
- Videos/images that help get people attention, Tweets with images and video have a lot higher engagement for the simple reason that people process these quicker than text.
- Username/links – Are you engaging with a particular person, do you want to include a link? These are some of the questions you need to ask.
All of these parts go into making a Tweet. The best tweet that I ever put out combined
- The right usernames
- The right hashtag
- The right video
- The RIGHT time
Timing on Twitter is everything is crucial so it pays to put some research into this. How do I find out the right time?
BlueChief Tip: Use Tweriod, this free tools breakdowns your Twitter audience to highlight the optimal times to send Tweets out.
Take part in Twitter Chats
What’s a Twitter Chat? Simple for a fixed period of time (usually an hour) people will engage with each other on Twitter using a specific hashtag. These chats can help people find like minded people and Tweeters with similar interests. I have recently been putting a heavier focus on these chats to help get out there and the biggest benefits have been:
- Engagement with like-minded people – More followers who are interested in what I Tweet (numbers are nice and all but give me 100 engaged people over 10,000 non-engaged people any day of the week).
- Getting my name know with an audience of people offline as well as online. There have been several times where I have ended up talking with people at events that I first talked to on a Twitter chat. Be sure to check out a list of Twitterchats that take place throughout the week.
Word of warning: Always check the time for your timezone as very often they are based on PST or EST
Start Using Tweetdeck
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Tweetdeck is a terrific tool to help make the most out of Twitter. The columns feature is the biggest benefit of Tweetdeck as you can create columns according to
- Twitter Chats
I won’t go into too much detail on Tweetdeck however fear not here is some advice to help you out.
Bonus Tool: Manage Flitter
This was tool I came across after featuring as a social media expert in a blog post (yes that’s right yours truly was featured as an expert). Manage Flitter is a great tool to help you work on and manage the people that are following you.
Manage Flitter allows you to go through your followers and find
- People who aren’t active
- Fake/spam accounts
- People with a high following ratio
- People with no profile images
All of these will help you to work through your audience and create an engaged community. While it may not be very useful to begin with as numbers pick up it will become more and more useful.
Need Help With Social Media?
I hope these 5 tips (and free tool) help you break through the jargon there can be with starting on Twitter. If you need any help please feel free to drop a Tweet. You can also check out the workshops and services that we provide as well.