Monday, November 15, 2010

11 business hints for newbie Twitter users

Twitter is now being taken very seriously by a great number of organisations, but quickly getting your Twitter activity up to speed effectively can be a challenge.


Assuming that you understand the Twitter basics here are eleven hints that will help you start to effectively explore what Twitter can do for your business:

  1. Messages posted (tweets) are more effective if they appear to have come from a human rather than being too flat and business-like in tone.
  2. www.hootsuite.com is a lot easier to use than www.twitter.com and has many features that Twitter doesn't (like team posting and scheduling)
  3. Tweets are more effective if spread out, do this by using the scheduled tweets feature of Hootsuite.  This is particularly useful for promoting newslettters on Twitter.
  4. Links in tweets are incredibly useful for driving specific traffic (visitors) to your site, but it is essential to link directly to the page/ content you are referring to.  It doesn't matter if the link is long because Hootsuite can automatically 'shrink' it for you
  5. Hash tags are a good way to draw people who aren't following you to your information.  Users clicking hash terms in other Twitter streams are automatically shown all the other tweets from around the world on the same topic, so hash tags are a good way to show thought leadership and market presence!
  6. It looks far better to have a great deal more people following you than you are following
  7. Make sure the messages that you post are as short as possible, that way they're far more likely to remain intact when people retweet them (forward them to their own followers)
  8. Retweeting interesting tweets by third parties are a good way to develop your Twitter stream as a source of relevant information for your followers, but make sure your own tweets outnumber retweets at least two to one
  9. Bear in mind that everything you tweet is potentially readable by anyone in the entire world, therefore if you need to talk to someone privately send them a direct message (DM)
  10. Hootsuite automatically displays tweets from third parties that are referencing you in a column.  You can also set up columns to track hash tags, these are very useful for keeping an eye on what everyone else on twitter (the TwitterSphere) is saying, it's your finger on the pulse!
  11. Have fun! Above all else you will gain (and keep) followers if you make sure the messages you broadcast have a human feel to them!