The Art of Twitter
Part 2 of my 3-part series on Rachel Goodchild‘s Twitter and Blogging workshop. In it we look at using Twitter to direct traffic, what to do once you’re on Twitter, what to tweet about, the Twitter browser pages, when to tweet and how often, and how to clean up your Twitter account.
To start with, Rachel gave us some fascinating statistics about Twitter usage:
- Twitter is much more effective than other media as a marketing tool.
- One in six Brits tweet.
- There are 140 million active users worldwide.
- 82% of global Fortune 100 companies have at least 1 Twitter account.
- 34% of marketers gain leads via Twitter.
- 72% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy something from a business after following it on Twitter (Marketprobe)
Using Twitter to direct traffic
Following the marketing funnel (see part 1 of this series), when you tweet you are always funneling traffic through to an end site, whether it’s a website or a blog (which will itself direct through to an end site). So always link to one or the other, whether it’s in your tweet itself or by making sure your website is listed in your Twitter profile. But be judicious: Twitter will pick up if you constantly tweet your own URL (known as ‘look at me’ tweeting).
I’m on Twitter – now what?
Rachel gave us some useful do’s and don’ts for tweeting:
- When you tweet something, don’t use up all 140 characters: leave some space for people to comment when they retweet.
- Have your location disabled so that people can’t see where you are.
- Don’t ask people to follow you (that’s outbound marketing).
- Don’t talk about your follower numbers, as in ‘Nearly at 500 followers, yay!’
- To avoid being distracted by your Twitter feed, turn off notifications. Use the plain old Twitter page in your browser and organise your Twitter feed with lists (see below).
- Tweet at least once a day. Twitter loses the names of people who don’t tweet regularly.
- Think of tweeting as a being at a cocktail party: don’t just stand there talking about yourself all night. Interact, chat to other people.
- It’s good practice to thank people for RTs or for following sometimes, if relevant.
- When replying or including someone’s Twitter handle, don’t start the tweet with @xxxx, as only that person’s followers will see the tweet. Always add text in front of the @xxxx, even just a full stop. So never reply:
@RachelGoodchild Great post!
Great Post! @Rachelgoodchild.
So what do I tweet about?
Always aim for a mixture of content. You can tweet original content, retweet other people’s tweets, tweet photographs relevant to your work, events, news items – and yes, it’s fine to tweet the odd picture of your pet as it shows you’re human!
Always tweet your blog posts. You can tweet the same blog post several times on different days with different captions to capture a wider audience. Rachel tweets her new blog posts once a day for a week.
Profile yourself as helpful in your post to attract more followers.
The Twitter browser pages
This is the page the public sees. So use the same profile picture as you use on your other social media, LinkedIn, Google+, FB (if for business), website etc.
Change the display picture with the seasons: people prefer dark for winter, lighter for spring/summer.
Also ensure consistency in your branding. Rachel showed us Catherine Christaki‘s profile as an example: her Twitter feed, her Adventures in Technical Translation blog, and her website www.linguagreca.com are all branded consistently, with a fresh, clean look.
The page that displays all your Twitter activity, stats on your tweets, followings and followers, etc.
When someone follows you, check their feed. Is it varied, do they engage with others, are they relevant to you? Or is it only about them?
Don’t follow people who only use the Twitter egg as their profile picture as they are probably spam.
People often follow other people in order to build up a good directory of possible suppliers. So don’t tweet too much information on what you’re doing now: avoid ‘look at me’ tweeting.
This is where you can see what is happening on your Twitter account: who has favourited you, retweeted your tweets, etc. Underneath ‘Notifications’ at top left of the page you’ll also find ‘Mentions’, where you can see all the tweets in which you have been mentioned.
Don’t use Favorites like a Like button on Facebook! Rather think of Favorites as a way of bookmarking a useful person/company. Twitter users check other people’s Favorites lists.
Rather than favouriting a tweet you like, tweet a word or two of appreciation back.
Lists are a very powerful tool. They enable you to filter your twitter feed by category, giving you more chance of finding and responding to tweets by relevant people – such as clients or prospects – which may otherwise be lost in the maelstrom of tweets.
Create your own lists by clicking on your profile picture at top right and going to Lists. You can create lists for subject areas, themes, fields, etc. Rachel has a list called ‘Awesome people’!
When you follow someone, you can assign them to a list by clicking on the Settings cogwheel on your Following page and going to ‘Add or remove from lists’. You can also create new lists there.
Lists can be private or public. You can also add people who you aren’t following to your lists.
When you add someone to a list, they are notified. It’s a compliment, like saying ‘May I have your business card?’. You may also get thanked by people you add. Likewise, thank people for adding you to theirs. This builds up engagement, interaction and recognition.
Other people may also check out your lists as a way of establishing how useful you may be to them, so keep them meaningful.
These are the highest-level method of tagging: anyone in the world can find your tweet when you use hashtags.
When to tweet and how often
2-3 times a day is good. The best times for tweeting are:
- Early morning
- Lunchtime/coffee break
- Late afternoon/early evening
If you’re going on holiday, you can schedule tweets to go out while you’re away to keep the momentum going. They can simply be tweets of blog posts, with slightly different wordings.
Cleaning up your Twitter account
Clean up your Twitter account using Crowdfire.com (formerly JustUnfollow) to find out how many active/inactive followers you have, who has unfollowed you recently, and so on.
In the final part of this series I’ll be looking at Blogging.
Picture credit: Twitter bird/