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Twitter 101: The Do’s and Don’ts When Getting Started

TwitterDo you use Twitter? I love Twitter and use it a lot, but it’s funny how many people tell me they don’t get it and don’t use it. If you fall into that camp, this blog post is for you. Here are some do’s and don’ts for Twitter novices.

Building a following

Do: Build up your number of followers by following your clients, business partners, vendors, friends, colleagues, former colleagues, and people in your network (especially on LinkedIn). They will most likely follow you back.

Don’t: Automatically follow everyone back. Be selective and choose people and businesses whose Twitter streams are full of interesting tweets and conversations.

Don’t: Keep your Twitter account locked and private. Twitter is a social media site, not an exclusive country club.

Optimizing your Twitter bio

Do: If you have a Twitter account for your business, your Twitter bio should include a short and sweet value proposition and link to your website.

Do: For your individual Twitter bio, include what you do for a living, what you tweet, and something fun and personal. Include relevant hashtags (#hashtag) and Twitter handles (@yourname). For a Twitter bio example, here’s mine.

Don’t: Fill your Twitter bio with hashtags or vague, meaningless statements (“I am social.”)

Include links

Do: Link to content – a blog post, image, article. Write a compelling intro to that content to increase click-through rates.

Don’t: Cut and paste the link into a tweet without shortening it. You can use Bit.ly, though if you use a social media dashboard (I use Hootsuite), they have built-in link shorteners.

Keep your tweets short

Do: Try to write tweets that are shorter than 140 characters so followers have room to add their own comments when they retweet it.

Don’t: Write in shorthand like a texting teenager. 1), It’s hard to read and 2), it doesn’t look professional.

Use hashtags and handles properly

Do: Use relevant hashtags to organize information around one topic, so include them in tweets when relevant (you can find hashtags by conducting a simple search).

Don’t: Create a hashtag without doing research first to make sure it’s not already taken – or being used for an entirely different topic.

Do: Use handles to give authorship credit or a shout out, or to communicate.

Don’t: Begin a tweet with a handle, as your tweet will show up in that person’s or business’s stream as a message (not as a direct message or DM, which is private, but as a public message).

Create conversations

Do: Create conversations around a topic or idea to increase engagement and find new followers.

Don’t: Broadcast information. Twitter is not a bullhorn.

Do you understand Twitter better now? What tips do you think are most useful?

Image courtesy of greenlights.org


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