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50 tips for using twitter effectively

Twitter is a great marketing tool for small businesses – follow these simple tips to ensure you’re using it effectively:
The Basics

1. Upload a profile pic – eggs do not encourage followers.
2. Optimise your bio – you only have 160 characters to play, if in doubt enlist the services of copywriter.
3. Enter your real location into your profile.
4. Add a url to your bio – when someone checks a list of followers they can easily click your link without having to go into your profile (which most people won’t bother to do).  Ensure you add the whole url, including http:// otherwise it won’t work. Continue...

Add a url to your bio to encourage clicks
5. Brand your background.  I use my logo and a wordcloud with a white background – simple but effective.
6. Select to receive emails when “I’m sent a Direct Message” and “I’m sent a reply or mention” to ensure you can quickly react to enquiries, recommendations and customer service issues.
7. Interact – the key is to build up relationships.
8. Take part in twitter chats – they’re a great way to meet new people.
9. Answer questions – if someone asks something try your best to answer it, even if it takes a bit of time to find the info they need.
10. Add value to retweets – don’t simply retweet a post, add a comment.
11. Keep tweets to 120 characters – it enables people to retweet your post and add a short comment.
12. Thank people for retweeting – we all like to receive a thank you and it will encourage them to retweet your content again in the future.
13. Do more with your Friday Follow (#FF) list – instead of a long list of names with the hash tag at the end, choose one or two people and give a reason why others will want to follow.  For instance “If you’re looking for great typing and transcribing services follow @BridiesTyping #FF”
14.  Interact – yes, I know I already said this but it’s THE most important factor.

Twitterfy your website
15. Add a tweet button to your blog or website to allow easy sharing of your content.
16. Go one step further by adding a branded tweet box to your blog.
17. Add twitter testimonials to your site to showcase how fab you are.
18. Set up a twitter box which displays your recent tweets.
19. Add the twitter follow button – it allows people to follow you from your website with just one click!

Other Social Media Applications
20.  Link your twitter profile with your LinkedIn account BUT choose the option to only display tweets marked #in – it cuts out a lot of unnecessary noise and ensures your LinkedIn connections only receive the tweets that are most important.
21.  Link your twitter profile with your Facebook page, with the same proviso.
22. Use Twylah to create your very own branded twitter page.

General bits and pieces
23.  Add your twitter profile name to your business card.
24.  Include a link to your twitter profile in your email signature.
25.  Check through the list of people you follow on a monthly basis and stop following anyone who hasn’t tweeted in the past five weeks.

View twitter as a virtual coffee shop
26.  Stop following anyone who constantly tweets sales and promotional messages.
27.  If you’ve taken time to help someone and they haven’t acknowledged it give them a nudge.  If they still ignore you then unfollow.
28.  Don’t waste time following people who promise to follow back – they’ll add nothing to your twitter experience.
29.  If you want to make an @reply more public put a full stop in front of the @ sign so all your followers will see it.
30.  Don’t just broadcast to people – use the 80/20 rule – 80% interaction, 20% advertising and promotion.
31.  Take advantage of applications like twitpic and instagram to add images to your tweets – makes it a bit more interesting than just text tweets all the time.
32.  Make good use of hash tags.  If you’re attending a seminar or conference end your tweets with #seminarname so people can easily follow what’s going on.
33.  Take the time to tweet several times a week – there’s no point building up a following if you can only be bothered to tweet occasionally.
34.  Don’t click on links sent by people you don’t know.
35.  Add your twitter profile to your email marketing campaigns.
36.  Make use of an application like HootSuite or Tweetdeck – it makes keeping tabs on your @mentions and Direct Messages far easier.
37.  Use a url shortener (like to condense long urls – it leaves you more characters to add value to the tweet.
38. Better still, use Buffer – it gives easy access to your analytics so you can see how many retweets, clicks and mentions your tweet generated.
39.  Be wary when allowing third party applications to utilise your twitter profile.  If in doubt don’t do it.
40. Regularly check the list of applications you’ve connected with your twitter account and delete any that are no longer relevant.
41.  Avoid the use of automatic Direct Messages – most people don’t like them and some (like me!) instantly unfollow.
42.  Don’t use an application that has to verify twitter users before they’re allowed to follow – it discourages followers and is unnecessary.
43.  Don’t set your profile up to protect tweets.  Twitter is all about interaction – how can anyone interact with you if they can’t read your tweets?
44.  By all means set up automatic tweeting if you’re unable to tweet at the appropriate time, but don’t over use them.   People like to follow people, not software.
45.  Tweet new content four times over a two day period at different times each day to ensure it reaches the broadest audience possible.
46. Don’t tweet about your business to random people – you’low level come across as spammy and may end up getting blocked.
47. Avoid the use of automated Direct Messages – they are a huge twitter turn off!
48. Be careful with your use of hashtags – don’t use more than 3 in a tweet and never, ever interrupt a twitter chat with an irrelevant hash tagged tweet.
49.  Be yourself.

And finally
50.  Interact.
Yes, it’s been mentioned twice already, but if you don’t interact you’re missing the whole point.  View twitter as a virtual coffee shop, somewhere to take a break and chat.

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