SPOTLIGHT: IT’S TWITTER MONTH! Love it or hate it, it’s a FABULOUS networking tool ready to be taken advantage of! Do you need to be on Twitter? In this two part series, we will discover everything from the basics to how to grow your followers so if you aren't on Twitter yet or looking to boost your profile, this is the series for you!
Have you seen our blog full of social media quick wins? This is just the start! Do all the @’s and #’s make you feel a bit overwhelmed? Well fear not - we are here to give you some top tips so you feel ready for this world of tweets!
Twitter is a social network which allows members to post short microblogs called tweets. You can post what you want – about your day, about what you like or dislike, even the latest news - and you can follow other users as well to see what they are up to and what they like.
It is a great way to network and communicate with specific users, groups, and businesses and get to know your peers and potential clients.
Before you start tweeting away in all the excitement – it is good to check out some other user’s profiles first. This will give you a great idea of what other people are posting, and what etiquette people use on Twitter (we explain more below!).
As with all social media it takes some time and patience to build up followers. But this is a great time for some practice!
Tweets are basically comments, or phrases or just generally thoughts. They have a maximum 280 characters of text, and you can add photos, videos, and other forms of media too.
Followers are as they sound, they choose to follow your tweets and like to see what you are up to. To gain followers you need to be posting some interesting and useful information that you think would interest your preferred audience. This is the same with all social media. The better and more engaging your content is – the more likely users are to follow you and this is what you want, lots of followers that are excited by your content!
Think about what would make you want to follow another user and use that as your baseline. Also make sure you follow your own style. You can get great ideas from other users, but you know your business the best and your Twitter account should reflect you.
Pictures tell a thousand words – and they are a great way of getting people to notice your posts. They stand out on feeds and can help your followers notice you.
Remember – twitter is not the place to post your blog – it is the place to post a link to your blog…280 words isn’t exactly blog standard! Links are included in your character count so if you are struggling with fitting your message and URL into Twitter , you can use a URL shortener like https://goo.gl/.
Retweets are massive on Twitter. They are reposting another user’s tweet to your own timeline. It is done by hitting the retweet button – then this post will be posted on your timeline with the original tweeter’s photo and it will show that you have retweeted it. You would use this to show interest in their post and because you find it interesting enough to share it.
Using hashtags helps to put tweets into categories, which makes it easier to follow tweet topic that you are interested in.
Clicking on a hashtag in a post will take you to a feed of the public and recent users that have mentioned that hashtag. You can use hashtags in your posts so that a wider group of users can see your posts.
But just a tip, don’t overuse them or it may look like you are trying too hard and it may get lost in the sea of hashtags. If a hashtag is used a lot in one period it is called a trending topic – join in on these when they are relevant for you! #celebranthour is a perfect example of this. This event takes place every Tuesday at 8PM UK time and buy using this hashtag you can follow the conversation and join in!
If a message begins with @username and then is followed by the post it is a reply to another post. It is a direct reply to a message and will appear on your and other user’s timeline. It can also be seen by people following both of you.
If the @username is not at the start of the post its usually a mention. The @username will get a notification that you have mentioned them (great for getting people to see posts they might be interested in).
This is your account name. Ideally you want your handle to be the same across your social media networks so that people can find and follow you easily. When you sign up to Twitter you will get the option to choose your handle.
They are used in different ways. The intention of Twitter is to share information with everyone. Twitter is very public therefore great for businesses. With Facebook you can restrict who sees what you are posting. Whatever you post on social media you would need to consider that a lot of people can see it – but it is just worth keeping these differences in mind.
To get the best out of Twitter you need to build up your followers – but this should be done organically through being a good follower yourself and using tweets to engage with others. Follow influencers, related companies and industries and you can learn a lot of ideas for yourself!
Don’t just measure your success by quantity of followers, you need to consider the quality of your followers as well. Are they engaged and interacting with your tweets? It is much better to have a smaller number of followers committed to you than a large number of unengaged followers. Your committed followers will help you longer term with building up a loyal following which is what you want for your business!
As with all social media timing is important. You might write the most interesting and amazing tweet ever – but if you post when your followers aren’t looking at their feed they may not see it. It’s pretty fast paced.
Timing is something you will need to adjust – you will need to work out the best times for your specific followers by a bit of experimentation.
Also – you need to be consistent. Make sure you are posting regularly enough to keep users interested – but not so much as to overwhelm them. This may also need some trial and error but keep at it! We recommend to start with 2 tweets a day and build up to a maximum of 5.
Live tweeting on Twitter is great – but it isn’t always realistic due to busy schedules, not being by your device all the time – or just not being in the right mind to come up with your best tweets on a schedule! Use tweet scheduling to help yourself out. When you are inspired – create your tweets then. Tweetdeck is a fantastic tool to help you do this.
Don’t just retweet or favourite a tweet that you are mentioned in – start a conversation! Even if it just a ‘thanks’ or ‘great article’ people really appreciate the extra effort to engage – give it a try!
Twitter is a great place to connect with like-minded people, build your exposure and show off your personality. So, what are you waiting for?!
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