Are you using Twitter? Chances are you have an account, but you struggle with it or don’t put enough quality time on it!
But in that case you are in bad place, because everything is going to social media – social media search, businesses around social media, Foursquare, mobile apps, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+.
A lot of people aren’t evaluating social media power and Twitter enough and are loosing in the game just because of that! Every company should have active social presence and if you aren’t doing that you are loosing to all of those who are doing it!
If you aren’t succeeding on Twitter, it’s the last time to get started with this Twitter guide! I will create series about all of those social sites and how to work in them, but let’s get started with Twitter – stay with me and you won’t regret it!
How To Get Started On Twitter?
Everybody is talking about Twitter in our days, but where do you get started? How about getting answer to the most basic answer – what to tweet? And how to actually tweet in the right way? Do you know how to mix up your tweets to make it the most enjoyable experience for your followers? You need to be showing that you’re not just some kind of bot, but real person interacting with your REAL followers. You need to treat them like you would like to be treated right?
Do you enjoy a lot of affiliate links, promotions, boring links shared? No? Then make sure you don’t make the same mistake yourself. There are some niches with exceptions, big companies or celebrities can post just updates about themselves and it will work. But most people don’t have such celebrity status, they need to work hard for that.
Do you want to know how to make people like and trust you? Then look no further, in this Twitter guide I will show and tell you how to do all of these previously listed things.
Understand Your Goals
You need to understand what’s your goal you are working to before you start investing time in Twitter.
- Do you want to become celebrity, trusted authority in your niche?
- Do you want to grow your company and services through Twitter?
- Do you want to get feedback about your product?
- Do you want to show your personality, show you’re real person working behind big company?
- Understand your target market, what kind of people you would like to get message to?
Address the right questions to yourself and set your goal. In this post I will teach basics and will try to cover a lot of different aspects of tweeting experience you should consider using. While it would be great to use all of those techniques, in reality it’s very hard to do them all and clear focus on goal really helps along the way.
Have you written down your goals with Twitter? Then you know already what kind of leverage you will get on Twitter!
If you’re still not sure,let me drop down some points why it’s worth investing time in Twitter!
Why You Should Use Twitter?
- Becoming real figure – engage with your customers, many companies have too big corporate message around them, but people want to interact with real people, they want to get real relationships, friends they trust. If you’re just posting updates about your company few people may care, but you’re not really showing you care about your followers. You are talking about yourself, but not showing you are ready to listen, invest in relationships. Becoming real figure will help others to trust you.
- Get feedback fast – once you have some followers, start listening to them, start asking questions and you’ll receive the best answers how to improve your business. If your site is down or you have some small bug,error on your site, often your followers will tell you that. And if you don’t know how to solve this problem, you can ask to your followers and usually they will be more happy to help you point to the right direction!
- Super easy to connect with people – on Facebook, LinkedIn it’s much harder to connect with people straight away, you need to get them accepted as friends at first. But on Twitter, you can just start following anybody you like and connecting with them right away!
- Industry news – if you follow the right people, you will not read anything else besides your Twitter news stream, these people will deliver news straight to you!
- Everybody is using Twitter – sound silly, but with huge Twitter popularity (it’s quickly growing even after all these years), you can easily grow your business by reaching out to people who are already there.
Ok, that should be enough for quick intro and getting you assured you need to use Twitter and this guide!
So back to the question – what to tweet on Twitter?
I am big believer of mixing different type of content together to ensure maximal engagement.
Let’s drop down table of contents we will cover in this post now:
- Share useful links – boost credibility by tweeting about industry news, really useful articles (not your own content)
- Ask questions
- Tweet smart quotes
- Mix in jokes, funny images,videos related to your niche
- Interesting, personal updates about yourself, company
- Promote your best content, deals from your site (different techniques)
- Grammar and spelling, words to use
- Use hashtags
- Keep eye on following timeline, see what others are doing
- How to spend your time daily on Twitter
Share useful links
..and here I am not talking about sharing your own links, I am talking about investing time to provide value! Tweets containing links are retweeted much more! So share links! The most easiest ways to do that is to follow authority people in your niche and actually retweet (RT) their greatest findings (great side benefit – you’ll get attention from person, whose tweet you retweeted, he will like you more). The second way is to subscribe to authority blogs in your niche and keep eye for:
- Industry news
- Handy tools
- Useful beneficial reading, tips, tricks
- Books, info graphics, useful videos
Make sure you leave some space for retweeter @name (10-20 characters), you have 140 characters in tweet:
- 80 characters should be information about what you are sharing (usually automatically generated just by using their own title)
- 20 characters goes for link
- 20 characters use to add personal message showing you actually read the post, used tool yourself (very important!!!)
- and last 20 leave free so your article can be retweeted!
Little science but simple enough right?
Check Dan Zarrella’s info graphic for more tips what to tweet – [Infographic] 5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get More ReTweets.
People actually are very generous human beings, they like to help other people! So let them do that by asking interesting, simple questions, they can quickly respond to! Ask something specific and targeted to your audience!
If your audience are interested in Twitter marketing, ask them – what are their biggest challenges on Twitter! And if you have blog tied with Twitter, create article out of it, post their answers on blog, add summary and answer to their challenges!
You can easily embed tweets now in your site!
Extra tip: if you go so far, also let people know you featured them on post. They will promote it for sure!
With questions you can easily increase your follower engagement, heck – you can even survey them! Create surveys in no time with Polldaddy or Wuffo. All you need to remember is to keep those questions short and simple, so it doesn’t take a lot of time to complete. Usually one simple question with few simple choices provided will do the job. And people will enjoy to see the results!
Tweet Smart Quotes
Quotes are big thing as well! Everybody loves to be associated with some smart guy or invent smart quotes on themselves. Either way, quotes work and are getting retweeted a lot so use them!
But there’s more!
Fill your own articles with cool quotes and short takeaways and make your visitors tweet them! This can give you up to 200% more tweets!
This is really a new trend in the blogosphere and it’s called “Tweetable Quotes”.
When you will be writing your next article, see if you can plant a few tweet-sized quotes, takeaways, ideas, statistics or any other catchy phrases and use TweetDis plugin on them.
Use Tweetable Quotes to give your readers some great copy to pull to their Twitter updatesClick to Tweet this!
Mix in jokes, funny images,videos related to your niche
No matter of the niche, everybody likes to have fun! Instead of talking babies maybe you can find some comics, images, videos related to your niche? Targeted jokes will work much better as general ones!
It depends from the niche, but see how TheOatMeal is owning niche with his various comics about various trendy topics happening online. For example I am doing great by creating and posting my own comics and design related jokes on Facebook! It’s a lot harder to find targeted jokes, but they work really well no matter of social network you use, here is one more example with Pinterest joke board.
Of course it’s easier to promote images and videos on those visual social networks, but it really doesn’t matter!
Just remember to mix these in, don’t overdo it though. Here is some inspiration for you:
Interesting, personal updates about yourself, company
Yes, now we finally can talk about your business, yourself! I would suggest to % make personal updates about your brand just 10-20% of all tweets.
Besides promoting your own postings, deals, also let your followers know what’s happening behind the scenes on your side! It will help to build your personality and create a feeling in followers that they actually are starting to know you.
That’s one side of the coin of building relationships, small portion, but important one as you will continue to grow. But remember however, don’t talk about yourself too much, be more interested in others. You need to be perfect listener!
Few examples of personal updates:
- You reach some milestone. Nothing big – you reached first 500 twitter followers, got your 100th sale, released your 5th,10th product.
- Big changes in your life, your company, hired new person in your team?
- Went to conference, met some new,great people (in life or virtually).
Don’t post bad things though – everybody loves success stories, but not so much tragedies. One exception though – if something bad happens, let people know you’re working on problem, always be honest about that, don’t try to hide these big problems which can involve other people.
This may seem scary at first, but read these stories:
- How to Turn Disaster Into Gold
- Path’s Apology Will Save Its Reputation
- “We’re So So Sorry”: An Apology Form Letter For Startups – sort of joke, but show how many companies apologize and turns around bad publicity.
If you screw up, apologize and fix the problem! Twitter is great way to keep your followers updated about what’s happening behind the scenes! Use it!
Promote your best content, deals from your site
There are quite a few different techniques you can use to promote your own best content, let’s look two of the most popular of them.
Small update: If you have just small update, average article tweet it just once on Twitter, just pick the right time, when most of your followers are online.
To increase chances to get your article retweeted, post several tweets on short time. You need to do this, in order to be noticed in other people timelines. Usually there are a lot of things happening there, so if you post just once, your one tweet will easily disappear in the crowd. But if you will post of small chunks your third tweet will get more chances to be noticed and retweeted.
- Post useful link you found
- Post smart quote or quick anecdote
- Post your own article
Outstanding content, very special update: if you really worked for something – let it be your latest product, info graphic, book, in depth article you will definitely want to get the maximal attention possible.
Have you heard about A/B testing? What you will need to do is to post 3 tweets with the same link on day with different titles. By doing that, you’ll push your content 3 times out there and then you’ll analyze which title works the best so you can post it again in next 3-7 days.
You can analyze your tweets by using Bitly or BufferApp (BufferApp is tweet scheduling app, which is using Bitly links) services. Those tools are useful for url shortening and they will also work as your A/B testing tools. It’s super easy – just use their link and wait until results come in! Also Bitly is the most retweetable of url shorteners, even more important to use it.
Here is example of tweet I did on my @1stwebdesigner account:
Now when you know how to promote your own content, there is one more thing which is very important – which is the best time to tweet? Timing is very, very important, that’s why I am using BufferApp scheduling tool to post important updates for me to ensure the best possible performance. I really recommend you using it as well!
In summary the best time to do any daily update is on 16 PM EST, when the most people are online, their job is ending and they are in the best possible mood. Check this info graphic to decide on your own, when you want to post:
If you really want to understand the science of social timing, read those articles:
- When’s the Best Time to Publish Blog Posts? – title is a bit misleading since it’s published on Problogger, but it’s great guide to understand how people interact online.
- The Science of Social Timing Part 1: Social Networks – beautiful info graphic, showing how people interact on social networks.
- The Science of Social Timing Part 3: Timing and Blogging – usually you will promote blog posts on social accounts, it starts with your blog and continue with Twitter. Pick the right time to publish your post and then push it straight to Twitter!
Grammar and what words to use to increase like ability to get RT
Twitter audience in general is really smart and while of course it depends from your niche, but usually you will need to use more advanced words with more syllables and always remember to check your spelling and grammar. Respect your followers and keep your tweets friendly, easy to understand, but in the same time don’t be afraid of using smart words.
The following analysis I will present here come from Dan Zarrella e-book “The Science of Retweets“. I am referencing so much to him, because he’s proven social media expert known by doing his detailed analysis. These analysis give you easy insight and understanding what works, what doesn’t. If you play computer games, then you can refer to this book as cheats, hacks – because they really are! Walk through to the glory in Twitter!
Here you can see the most retweetable words and phrases on Twitter. How to use them?
You need to mix those little keywords together with your headline you will A/B test. Few examples:
- Check out new blog post: headline
- Please retweet new post: headline
- You should check out this post: headline
Also notice other keywords which you can use while creating headlines. Social media and Twitter posts will work very well on Twitter. The same way free stuff, great top 10 lists, how to articles, articles helping out to others works! Use those proven keywords!
The same way also keep eye on the lest retweetable words, words you should avoid. In summary, nobody enjoys negative emotions or you telling how you are bored, listening to something or are going to bed. I also didn’t know that I should avoid using – “Hey” in my tweets, especially if I am seeking for retweets.
If you want to read more, check this post – 10 Words That Will Increase (or Decrease) Your Twitter CTR.
Here you will see more keywords you can use like:
- daily is out – very popular using together with Paper.li
- via – share the juice, people enjoy that, if you can give credits, give them.
- Please, RT – the same way as Please Retweet is popular, you can use shortener RT.
Don’t mention marketing keyword and don’t show any sign tweet is automated.
Effective Usage Of Hashtags
With more than 140 million active users on Twitter and more than 340 millions Tweets each day, it’s very easy to disappear in this huge crowd. Everybody is talking how search is changing towards social search as no crawler can find news as fast as people will spread news on social networks naturally.
The same way you work on keywords to make Google like you, the same way you can make sure your tweets are found by using hashtags. To see the importance and how tweets are found by using the right keywords (hashtags in Twitter), check Twitter search. Of course, you can avoid using hashtags and your tweets still will be found, but just by putting # mark before right keywords you can highly increase like ability to be found!
Hashtags will help organize your tweets, help target the right audience to you and finally it will get you more visibility and retweets!
Do you see on Twitter trending topics, how keywords with hashtags are 3 top ones?
How many hashtags to use?
Very small number of people use and know power of hashtags, by using that you have good leverage! The best would be to put 1-2 hashtags in your tweets and remember not to spam. Use hashtags in the right time and the right place, don’t spam. Use further Trendistic link and Twitter official search to see what keywords are the most popular in your niche and what keywords are searched. Use Google Keyword Tool, it’s not targeted to Twitter but generally the same keywords which are used on Google are used elsewhere on social networks as well.
- Trendistic – see trends in twitter, which are used right now, a bit more advanced tool than Twitter search itself giving some useful analytics
- What Are Hashtags (“#” Symbols)? – official Twitter help center article how to use hashtags and how helpful they are.
- About trending topics – Twitter official guide about trending topics.
Keep eye on following timeline, see what others are doing
In the end I will suggest you to always keep an eye what others are doing. I told before that everybody is interested in himself only, so if you spare some time to take special interest in particular person, he will real appreciate it and you will grow good relationships!
Always be genuine, friendly, if you see somebody tweeted good link, retweet and add his @account_name to give credits. Such deeds always are working and when time comes, you will return the favor back for sure!
Let’s drop down some general tips of Do’s:
- Share other people links, retweet them, add their credentials RT via @username
- Visit their accounts, ask personal questions after you read their post, checked their profile, checked their blog
- Respond to others by asking easy questions to them, they would enjoy to answer.
- Be friendly, try to relate with other people and build relationships, for example – if somebody is telling how hard the day was, relate to that – telling it was crazy day for yourself, and asking what did he do this day.
- Don’t be afraid to approach to unknown people, everybody is tweet away. Don’t target those super popular people though, to get their attention, you will need to work much more than people who have 100 or 1000 followers for example. Warm up with people like you and then once you have experience and some branding, reach for the stars!
- Don’t spam, be friendly not obtrusive! Nobody likes to be pushed or advertised to!
- Don’t talk about yourself. You can relate to people by referencing your own story, but keep it short and always be super interested what others are telling to you.
- Don’t ask from your followers anything – help them all the time and they will return the favor willingly on themselves
If you will stick to those do’s and don’ts you will build genuine online relationships, friendship! Remember that it doesn’t matter how many followers you’ve got, but how good relationships you have with your followers.
Do these techniques and you will notice slowly getting more followers, retweets, favorites and traffic to your site! And beware, if you start to work on Twitter, then be ready to put time there at least 1 hour daily. If you aren’t ready to spare that time, then don’t start, because you will struggle all the time. Go all in or don’t waste time at all.
How should you split your time on different actions regarding Twitter?:
- 40% of time goes into reading daily news, RSS reader finding articles worth sharing! Find those quotes, add jokes, mix in different content. I suggest you to use BufferApp, so you can schedule articles for whole day and sync those links with Facebook, LinkedIn as well.
- 40% of time goes in interaction, working in Twitter, talking with your followers, working on relationships with new ones, retweeting.
- 20% of time goes into working on promoting your own links, sharing news what’s happening on your side. The most time will take A/B testing, working on several headlines to see what works. Rinse and repeat. Here is great headline creation guide for you – 52 Headline Hacks by Jon Morrow.
That’s it, are you ready to get started? Good luck and remember building your account, getting ReTweets isn’t art, it’s science and use this as your own personal and only Twitter guide you need for your success on Twitter!