As social media goes, Twitter provides the most pronounced sink or swim moment: first-time users of Twitter either get it immediately or need to spend a year of significant use learning how it works.
We want to help speed up the learning curve. If you already get Twitter, you probably already know how to best leverage its system–but like many networking tools, there’s always something more to learn.
The best way to explain Twitter to the uninitiated is to compare it to Facebook. Twitter is best for networking with people while Facebook is best for staying in contact with those already in your network. Keep this in mind; you’re always trying to make a good first impression on Twitter.
Tips To Make Twitter Work For You
Get your profile perfect. This is your elevator pitch. Introduce yourself and elude to what type of content you are going to tweet about. A lot of folk will decide whether to follow you or not based on what you put here. Take the time to get it right.
Instead of writing a Tweet, write a headline. Early on, it’s easy to stumble over the 140 character limit. That’s why it’s best to think of a Tweet as a short and sweet introduction to whatever you are linking to (this obviously doesn’t apply to quotes or deep thoughts; those stand for themselves).
Don’t try to sell. The only way to get sales through Twitter is to not actively sell. Show your expertise. If you are in real estate, share links to articles about the shifts in the market. If you’re a lawyer, tweet links to interesting cases.
Interact with your followers and the people you follow. While a decent percentage of your tweets should focus on the tips mentioned above, the rest should focus on other users. If they ask a question, answer it. If they tweet something that makes you laugh, tell them about it. And above all, retweet everything you find interesting. Upwards of half your tweets should be retweets of other people.
Create Lists. It’s impossible to keep a thousand different people that you follow straight. Create lists and treat them the same as verticals; it will save you time in the long run. Users that maintain good lists get added to other people’s lists and it becomes the most effective way to gain traction.
Keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Maintaining data is key for Twitter. Keep track of what times in the day you get the most traction and the voice in which you write your Tweets that is the most effective. Get a web app to manage your Twitter account (we like Buffer) and pay attention to your analytics and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Variety is the spice of life. Every once in a while, tweet about something off topic. It shows depth and reinforces that a person is tweeting, not a machine…which, by the way, is the worst thing you can do tweeting. Let your personality shine through or your voice will be washed out by the white noise that perpetually threatens to take Twitter over.
Tweet often. You don’t need to tweet every five minutes, but ten to twenty a day is good. And don’t be afraid to reshare links (as long as you rewrite the verbiage of the tweet). There is such a constant flow of information on Twitter that it won’t come across as spam.