Top 10 things New People to Twitter Should Know
I am writing this in my Family First blog because I see Twitter as the most influential social marketing site available to the average Joe. I believe every Family First Entrepreneur should be on it. That said, I see many folks still guessing how to use twitter. Let’s dive in.
1) Twitter is a place to socialize both professionally and personally. Do both. Tell your followers about the funny or interesting events that go on through your day. I recently received 37 replies within one minute to this tweet—”My son just told me it looked like I had a beard in my arm pit.” I agree, kind of gross, but they all thought it was funny and they were my kind of folks and conversation was started. On top of that, my name showed up on the list of 37 other people, causing my list to grow. @MariSmith does this very well.
Professionally is where there is a struggle among newbies. That auto DM that goes out when you are followed that pitches a product or service right off the bat—lose it. It’s white noise and engages nothing. I won’t harp on this, but if you haven’t already, you need to read my post “How I grow relationships on Twitter.”
2) When you like something you read enough to send a reply and say “that was great,” RETWEET IT. (Signified with a RT) When you RT someone, especially someone with a large following, it gets you noticed. It’s also a more profound way to thank them or tell them you liked it. You also become a hub of good info to your followers. Then when you are talking about something you produced they will be more likely to look at it. @PeterSantilli taught me this one with a quiet slap on the wrist. I stood corrected because he was right.
3) Grow your list of followers. Go into people’s list of followers that follow you and follow their interesting people (wow, that was a lot of “follow” in one sentence, where’s a thesaurus when you need one?). Many will follow back. You need to decide how big you want to be. A large list can be very time consuming done correctly. @AlohaArleen has a giant following and she is very responsive to her peeps. That takes lots of time because she is doing it right.
4) Follow people back when they follow you. My rule of following back is I don’t follow anyone back who is amoral, is just a business, or is a bot. Anyone else, they are in. I am using Twitter as a tool to promote my book, ONO and the Family First Entrepreneur and most people on twitter are likely customers. Why wouldn’t I follow them? I want to know the person behind it. Also make sure to follow people back or often they will drop you.
5) Post a good Avatar and Background. Make it intriguing or interesting. @barefoot_exec and @perrybelcher are great examples. Notice they are not goofy--just friendly and inviting. Don’t do logos. This is a mistake I made in the beginning. I changed it to picture of myself once I realized the mistake. People don’t follow logos as often. Also, don’t change your avatar often. Many people keep an eye on their favorites with a glance, keep them used to the same one.
6) Use DM for idle chit-chat. Many “Big Listers” will disagree here, but use the DM (direct message) for idle chit-chat. If you @ things like “thanks a lot” or “you’re the man” then as you grow you will over tweet your followers with smaller lists and become white noise. Make sure if you are broadcasting something that it is something your followers want to hear. I see @juliebonnheath use this well in our conversations. While I’m on it, don’t over tweet in general. You become annoying and get read less. Pick your tweets wisely.
7) Use Third Party Applications to manage your following. There are several applications out there that will help you to better manage your following than Twitter.com itself. I personally recommend using either Twhirl or TweetDeck. I advise that small list folks use Twhirl. Once you grow over 1,000 or so followers then I highly suggest using TweetDeck. Tweetdeck allows you to sort and track the people you follow and will save you a ton of time filtering through “white noise” tweets. If you have a smart phone, make sure you get some sort of Twitter application for it. Most ideas for great tweets don’t come while sitting in front of your monitor at your desk. Be ready and available to tweet at all times with a good phone app.
8) Bring your expertise to the table as free info. You won’t give away all that you have to offer in 140 characters. Give it away, and they will come. @chrispirillo is a good example of this.
9) Get noticed by big list people. RT them. Post links to their blogs in an @ to them. Be genuine. There are plenty of big list folks you will like. The folks I motioned here would be a good place to start. A bigger following gets noticed by these folks. I call it Social Equity. Build yours, while you build these important relationships.
10) Be yourself, pick a side. If you like Obama--say it. If you don’t--say it. People want to know who you are. Don’t sit on the fence. (I don’t like Obama—he’s just another politician—guilty by association.) @Scobleizer pulls no punches.
Enjoy twitter, keep it fun and informational. Follow people you know in the beginning and they will help you find the way. If not, just ask. That’s the great thing about twitter, people are helpful. Good Luck.
By the way, you can follow me @marcwarnke.
If you enjoyed this article, here are two more of my other blog posts that offer more twitter tips: