Going on a 10 day trip really throws things off. Not only did I miss a few weeks of blogging, but now it is just really difficult to get back into the routine. Either way, I’m going to attempt to get back on track and share with you some tips that you can use to take advantage of Twitter. I already gave you some reasons to why you should use Twitter (hopefully it persuaded you), but now I want to give some quick, helpful tips on how to use Twitter and get the most out of it.
1) And, you are?…
There is absolutely no reason to use Twitter unless people can discover and learn more about you. There are three main aspects of a Twitter profile that allow you to showcase aspects of your personality and help build your personal brand.
First of all, please use a relevant profile picture! Nobody wants to pay attention to and communicate with an “egg” and it makes the Twitter profile look incomplete. Take a few seconds to upload an image of yourself so that people at least know who they are tweeting with. Also, try to make it an image with just yourself in it. Unlike Facebook, there is not as much space given to the profile picture, therefore you want to take advantage of all the space you can and fill it with your beautiful face!
Next, fill out the sections in which you can enter a bio and website. Not everybody has a website or blog that they want to promote, and that is completely okay. The least that anybody should have is a fully filled out bio. This is your opportunity to talk about yourself. The style in which you write your bio depends on the reason for which you are using Twitter, but make sure you do a good job in explaining who you are and/or what you are on Twitter for.
Lastly, if possible, add a custom background to your Twitter profile. Of course this final aspect of your profile is the hardest to create but luckily there are some services that help you create a custom Twitter background. If you have some design experience and want to fully create it yourself, make sure you take into consideration the open space that is available. If this is the case, Chris Spooner has a great post on how to create a custom background using his handy template. Remember to use this background space to showcase your personality and give more information about who you are, what you do and how to get a hold of you.
2) Create a “tribe”
You may have heard of Triberr, it is a network that allows you to create an online community that shares a similar interest. When you become part of a Tribe, you share each other’s posts with your Twitter followers. It’s pretty much a “you share mine and I will share yours” system that allows for you to get more eyes on your blog posts. It used to be invite only but has recently allowed for regular sign ups, therefore you can get on there and find a tribe that best fits you.
On the other hand, it is not necessary to be part of Triberr to set up a tribe system. Use Twitter to create connections with people who you have many similarities with, but mostly importantly, make sure they produce content that you agree with. As you begin communicating and creating a connection with these people, start sharing their blog posts or retweeting their tweets and see if they respond by doing the same for you. If they do not, go ahead and ask them if you can create a relationship in which you share each other’s blog posts…it never hurts to ask.
What it all comes down to is creating a group of people that share a common interest and are willing to share one another’s blog posts. So use Twitter to create those strong connections that will eventually allow for you to create a wider reach.
3) Don’t forget about #hashtags
One of the coolest features of Twitter is the #hashtag. The purpose of these hashtags are to allow for easy and relevant searching. If you want to learn more about social media and see what people are saying, all you have to do is a quick Twitter search for ‘#socialmedia’. All the tweets with the #socialmedia hashtag show up and you can scroll through those.
So how can you take advantage of these #hashtags? First of all, you can use them to find connections and people to follow. I keep talking about how you can use Twitter to build relationships or how you should create a “tribe” but in order to do this, you need to find the right people. Using a hashtag of your preferred industry or interest will allow for you to find people who are tweeting and talking about those specific topics…people who may be worth connecting with. Secondly, people use #hashtags to create chats. It is difficult to have a proper group discussion on Twitter, therefore customized hashtags are used so that everybody in the group can follow along with the conversation. Find #hashtag conversations around topics of your interest and join in. This is a great way to get your thoughts out there and also meet new, influential people.
4) Use 3rd party tools to make your life easier
All of this relationship building, Twitter searching and #hashtag participating can be made easier by using a 3rd party tool that allows you to manage your Twitter account. There are two obvious and popular Twitter tools: Hootsuite and TweetDeck. So how do they make Twittering easier? They basically provide you with an easy layout to follow. You can create custom columns, aka steams, and choose what each column will show. For example, I like to have steams for a general feed of those that I am following, my mentions, a search for #socialmedia, my tweets that have been retweeted and my direct messages. It makes it easy for me to see what people are tweeting and talking about and therefore I can respond to Tweets quickly as I see fit. Basically, a 3rd party tool will allow you to find opportune moments for creating conversations.
5) Get involved!
The best tip I can give you is to get involved. See what people are talking about, learn from what they are tweeting and sharing and find ways to join the conversation. Whether you are a brand or an individual, Twitter can be a huge research asset. You can find out about what is going on in your industry, discover the topics that are creating the most buzz, connect with some of the “big dogs” and learn from the content that others are sharing…take advantage of it!
Although these are my personal tips for using Twitter, I’m sure there are many cool tips for this social network. What are some tips that you could share with those still learning how to use Twitter?
I just wanted to share this great post on how to optimize your Twitter account!