We are often asked by friends and colleagues why we are so active on social networks, particularly Twitter. Our answer: because it gives us the opportunity to connect with a great many people, not just in the United States, but around the world. It has allowed us to work with so many people and has helped grow our community and jump start our business. Twitter is an amazing and powerful tool you can use to promote your business, connect with potential customers, interact with thought leaders in your industry and even find a job. We learn so much from our everyday interactions on Twitter and so can you.
Whether you are working with brands or on your personal brand or business, Twitter can be your ally. If you want to build your base you will need to start now if you have not yet done so already. Two things we have learned is that you need to be present and it will take time to build relationships and trust. Nothing comes to you on a silver platter. You will need to work for it. Here are several ways you can optimize your presence on Twitter:
1. Follow the 80/20 rule
80 percent of your tweets should be your own curated content and 20 percent retweets. Tweeting your own curated information builds your thought leadership in certain topic areas and retweeting will allow you to easily engage with other Twitter users. Retweeting is a powerful tool. If you are someone who is shy but would want to connect with other users, retweeting can help break the ice.
2. Use Twitter lists
In the beginning it will be easy to follow the stream of tweets, but as you follow more people, it will be difficult to read everyone’s tweets. The solution is to use Twitter lists. Here is how to get started:[box] Go to your Lists page. This can be done by clicking the gear icon drop down menu in the top right navigation bar or by going to your profile page and clicking on Lists. A list will allow you to group people so you don’t miss their tweets. Check out more about lists here.[/box]
3. Don’t be afraid to engage with thought leaders in your industry
Learning on Twitter can be fun if you follow the right people, but if you just follow and don’t talk with anyone, you may be missing out on one of the biggest advantages of being active on Twitter: the opportunity to engage with thought leaders in your field. don’t be afraid to just jump right in and start a conversation. Ask them questions and talk to them on stream.
Two tips you need to consider here:[box] – Be patient. If they don’t reply to you right away does not necessarily mean they are ignoring you. Some may not reply right away because they may be away from their computer or busy and will return later.
– Don’t spam them. That’s a big turn off and will usually get you un-followed or blocked[/box]
4. Share a little of yourself
This tip is particularly true for brands that feel they only need to share their professional side. To build a more personal relationship, it is also good to share some facts about you. It helps humanize your brand a business. Remember people like talking and interacting with real people.
5. Take advantage of branding opportunities
Make sure you use a logo or a photo that accurately represents your brand. You don’t want to have the default egg as your avatar. It makes you look like a spammer. No one likes to follow an egg on Twitter.
Write and post a descriptive bio. Use keywords that will tell people a little about yourself and your business. Choose your words wisely, you only have 160 characters. Add the link to your website so that people can check out more information about you or your business.
6. Participate in Twitter Chats
If you want to connect to more people with the same interest as yours or like to learn what interests people in your particular industry or simply want to join a community, the best way to achieve all of the above goals on Twitter is to participate in Twitter Chats. If you are interested in doing one of your own you can check out more information over at TweetChat Most chats are done on a regular weekly basis.
We recommend you to follow the following Twitter friends and ask them more about the chats they are involved in:[box] @JessicaNorthey – #CMChat #Twangout – Country Music
@JoyceCherrier – #Fitstudio – Fitness
@EarthXplorer – #TOT #TT – Travel
@DabneyPorte – #SMManners and #SMGirlfriends #FriendsofRicki – Social Media
@BrandCottage – #MarketerMonday – Advertising, Marketing
@LeoWid – #Toolschat[/box]
There are many topics and chats you can join based on your interests You can track them by going to the search box on your Twitter page and typing in # followed by the topic.
7. Take advantage of promoting your brand and content
If you don’t promote your business or blog posts, who else will? We often see people post their blog once and that’s it. How Twitter works is that only people online at the time you post your tweet will see it. Posting it at least several times spread over the course of the week will allow more people to see it. It is especially important for bloggers who are active on Twitter to write articles that are not just informational but are evergreen as well.
Make use of your time on Twitter to engage with your followers, talk to people on your stream, join in conversations that will allow people to know more about you, your business or brand.
8. Use tools to optimize your time
There are many tools available to help you be more present on Twitter and still leave you time to be productive with your work. Scheduling your tweets in advance can be controversial, but in reality no one can be on Twitter all the time. We recommend scheduling some of your tweets for times you’ll be away for extended periods of time. This will help maintain your presence with followers from all parts of the world and across time zones.
Using appropriate scheduling tools will help you do just that. But again, you still need to spend time engaging and talking with your followers. Don’t schedule all your posts. Here are some tried and tested tools we recommend:[box] Buffer App Hootsuite Smqueue [/box]
Aside from scheduling tools, it is also good for you to make use of measurement tools that will allow you to see the type of posts your followers actually click on and retweet as well as trending topics. By gathering actual data you are able to optimize your time more effectively. The scheduling tools we recommended above also help you gather key analytics about your tweets. You also may want to try the following analytics tools:[box] Hash Tracker Social Analytics – Topsy Tweet Stats TwitAnalyzer[/box]
9. Organize or attend Tweet-ups
One of the benefits of joining Twitter is the opportunity it offers you to grow your network. You will meet people from all over the country and the world. Meeting people is only part of the fun. Building true relationships with people is where being active on Twitter really shines. If you want to really grow your network and form friendships, we recommend you attend tweet ups in your local community.
If there is no one organizing tweet-ups, do it yourself. We’ve formed many wonderful friendships with people we have met up in real life through attending industry conferences and Tweet-ups. We’ve had many opportunities to learn from thought leaders we’ve had the chance to sit down with and chat over a cup of coffee. Let’s bring social back to social media.
Looking at this list you may say it takes a lot of work to maximize your presence on Twitter and yes it really does. Anything worth doing takes effort and hard work to do well, but the benefits are tremendous. Achieving success on any social media network involves building relationships and being part of a conversation.
Success does not come overnight, but you can have a lot of fun and will be rewarded in the end if you invest the time to do things right at beginning. If you need advice, help or training, you may contact us here to set-up a consultation. Did we miss anything? We’d would love to hear your thoughts.
About the authors:
Marty McPadden founder and CEO at PodJamTV Productions is a professional photographer, videographer, blogger, apple geek and a Production Supervisor at ESPN one of the largest sports network in the world. His vast knowledge in the above mentioned field will allow you our readers to tap into tools, apps, reviews and tips that he has learned and mastered over the years. How to’s and hacks that will allow you to have a richer online experience.
Misty Belardo-McPadden writer and producer at PodJamTV Productions is a blogger, designer and a self proclaimed Twitter-holic and an avid Facebook user. Enjoys travelling. Her experience with writing, designing, SEO and brand and advertising strategy will give readers a point of view of what happens behind the scenes in the digital sphere.