Yesterday was my 3-year twitter anniversary. To celebrate, I sent one small “humble brag” as one of my twitter friends called it. Hey, I’m a late-comer: @jack sent his 1st tweet over 6 years ago!
In the course of those 3 years, I have interacted with some of the smartest business and marketing people on the planet.
I sent over 18,000 tweets. That’s roughly 17 tweets per day, and over 500 a month.
So I thought it was a good time to share some of my top Twitter Tips (and not to brag with stats that mean nothing to anyone) …
Twitter Tip 1: Listen Before You Tweet
I am no crazy expert like Scott Stratten (@Unmarketing) who wrote one of the most shared blog posts ever about his 50,000 tweets, but in looking at my Tweetstats, I noticed something interesting: I waited 3 months before sending a single tweet. Then in October of 2009, I sent 55.
I watched. And I listened. I followed early adopters like Chip Rodgers (@ChipRodgers) and Mark Yolton (@MarkYolton) from my own company but also Scott and Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer) and many, many others. Then I jumped in with both tweet (sorry couldn’t resist).
Twitter Tip 2: Share Great Content
Twitter is an amazing mechanism for distributing news, tips, blogs and other types of information. I am somewhat voracious about my desire to scan, filter and share great content. And to me, this is the greatest way to gain followers and become known as a valuable content curation source for your audience.
Twitter Tip 3: Engage With People
Twitter is an amazing information channel but it’s real power comes from the ability to interact with people in real-time, from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Looking for someone to follow who really understands engagement? Follow Aaron Lee (@AskAaronLee) from Malaysia. Aaron has over 342,000 followers but somehow finds a way to connect with lots of people all the time.
Twitter Tip 4: Find Your Voice
If you are interested in business, cats and knitting, then you should find a way to build that in to your tweeting habits. It’s important to define your goals for being on twitter and then to find your voice in support of that.
By sharing content about topics you are interested in, you will attract an audience with similar interests. Then you can slowly become more influential within that community.
Twitter Tip 5: Have Good Manners
I always say “thank you” in social media. I also try to follow back everyone of my followers who looks like a real person, has a real bio filled out, a profile picture and interacts with others.
So make sure you fill out your profile. Load up your picture. Explain where you work, what you are interested in and anything else important. Include a link to your blog or Linkedin profile.
If you read my top tweeted words over the course of my 3 years on twitter from the image above and string them together, they would read:
RT Thx Social Media Marketing Great RTs B2B Content Business Blog
Twitter Tip 6: Mix It Up
Sometimes I follow all the people who RT me. Other times, I thank them. Other times I RT one of their tweets. And other times, I will go and comment on one of their great blog posts. I try to find different ways to engage with people and test new approaches.
Also make sure you follow some version of the 4-1-1 or 9-1-1 rule (depending on your goals), where you share 4 or 9 articles from other people, and engage in 1 conversation, for each (1) self-promotional tweet you send.
I try to be more like 9-9-1 (9 articles from others, 9 @ replies for each 1 link to one of my blog articles) but you should find what works for you.
Twitter Tip 7: Use Twitter Tools
I rely heavily on Twitter Lists to filter accounts into important groups like “people I work with,” “great bloggers and media accounts” and other important segments. I use Tweetdeck and the columns to scan my lists and schedule posts. I use Triberr to curate great blog posts. I use Buffer when there is just too much great stuff out there and I want to spread my sharing out over a few days.
The trick with using tools is not to over-rely on them. I am not a fan of total twitter automation and will always use Twitter to engage with people on a personal level.
Twitter Tip 8: Use Hashtags Sparingly
Hashtags are a great way to have your content exposed to people outside your circle. But try not to over-use them because it feels a little SPAM-ish to me. You should know what hashtags to use and when to use them for the greatest effect.
Twitter Tip 9: Attend As Many Tweetchats As Your Time Permits
When I first started, I participated in a lot of Tweetchats. I found them to be a great way to find people with similar interests and to engage on topics I was interested in.
I don’t always have the time but tweetchats are a great tool!
I could probably go on for a while, but these are my “top twitter tips.” Feel free to check more tips on how to get started on Twitter where I explain why you should tweet, who you should follow, how to manage your twitter time and more.