Learning to Tweet
There is no single right way to use Twitter, but using best practices, making a plan, and establishing a routine can help you get the most out of your Twitter account. Use Twitter for information gathering, conversations with customers, and sharing what others are tweeting, not just for broadcasting marketing messages.
An important thing to do before you post your first tweet, whether your account is brand new or posting your first tweet of the day, is to read what other people are saying so what you post is appropriate.
Some common types of tweets are:
While you shouldn’t only broadcast out to your following, you can and should share information with them that is relevant to who you are and what you do. Post a promotion or sale. Announce and then regularly remind your followers of your upcoming event. Link to a new blog post that you’ve published or an article your company is mentioned in. Links in tweets can lead people to more information.
Here are examples of announcement tweets:
My latest blog post is up here: 7 Tips for Producing Winning Webinars http://linkhere.com/
Love fashion? Check out our upcoming fashion show and sign up to attend! http://linkhere.com
Interact with others on Twitter by using the @ sign followed by their Twitter username or handle referred to as an “at mention” or “mention.” You can respond to something they’ve said publicly on Twitter or something they’ve said directly to you. When you reference or respond to someone using their Twitter handle, they will see what you’ve said in their Notifications and vice versa.
Here’s an example of a response to someone else’s tweet:
I am now off the grid for a few days, a special retreat!
@MariSmith A retreat sounds wonderful! Enjoy!
Clicking the reply link automatically adds their Twitter username to the tweet response you’re composing.
Reposting what someone else tweets is good form on Twitter and gives you the opportunity to share information from people, organizations, or companies you trust along with your comments.
The main way to retweet is to use the Retweet button that Twitter provides at the bottom of each tweet. When you do this, you have the choice of either retweeting the exact tweet someone else has composed in the same format with their Twitter profile image or quoting their tweet and adding your comment above it.
You can also give credit to the person who originated the tweet by mentioning them in the tweet like this:
REPORT: Only 47.6% of companies believe the business case for social media is clear http://dld.bz/fpud via @DanSchawbel
An older way of labeling a retweet is to use RT before a direct quote from someone else’s tweet:
RT @AmberCadabra First thing I look at when following back? Your last tweet. Do your communications show that you’re a human back there?
A statement tweet can take the form of a quote, a tip, an opinion, a brief narrative, or a call to action. Others may respond to your tweet or retweet what you’ve said with or without their own comments. Here are a few examples:
Gotta love a hotel with a sign that says this: "Nightly Bed Time Cookie Buffet (8-10pm)"
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. - Dalai Lama #quote
Tech Tip: Always remember to back up your computer at the end of each day. Better yet, backup in the background throughout the day.
In addition to the increase in tweet length limit from 140 characters to 280, Twitter now provides a feature letting you add comments to a tweet to create a string of tweets that form a longer narrative.
Tweet out questions to spur conversations. Others may not always notice your questions so you may receive few responses, but questions often give people the impetus to tweet back to you.
Here are some sample questions to tweet out:
Who do you always pay attention to on Twitter when they tweet? What is most interesting about them?
Business owners: What are your favorite marketing tools?
To increase the chance of getting responses to your questions or to bump up engagements with your tweets, consider paying for Promoted Tweets ads.
With all the different types of tweets out there, Twitter can draw you in and consume a lot of your time. Here are a few steps to use Twitter more efficiently.
- Check to see if anyone has referenced you in a tweet and respond appropriately.
- Check to see if you have any direct messages or DM’s and respond appropriately.
- Peruse Twitter to read tweets from the accounts you follow.
- Retweet a few interesting and relevant tweets from others to your followers.
- Send out a few strategic tweets to promote your business and provide value to others.
- Ask a question to see what your followers are thinking about a particular topic.
After that, move on to the next important business task at hand. Return to Twitter periodically throughout the day and follow the same process without getting distracted. Set a timer if it helps you stay on track. Establish a regular process for using Twitter to help save time and keep your focus.