How many times have I heard “There’s no point in twitter”?
“Twitter is useless.” “I don’t care what you’ve had for lunch.”
Yes, I’ve heard all of the “how to twitter” excuses. But twitter can actually be an extremely useful business tool if used correctly. Thursday morning I’ll be featured talking social media on WFHG-SuperTalk with veteran newsman Steve Hawkins. Last week we covered LinkedIn in depth. This week Steve wanted to talk twitter. (Here’s that podcast if you’d like to listen.) Here are some of the tips I shared with Steve when we recorded the broadcast. Do you have others to add?
- Fill out your profile. Be sure to describe yourself, your work and/or your passions in your profile. When others view you and decide whether or not to follow you, that is the first place they will look. If there’s nothing there they may not follow you back. Furthermore, a profile helps determine if indeed there is someone you clearly do NOT want to have following you! Then you can block them if necessary (I’ve only had to do this a hand full of times.)
- Use a nice photo or likeness of yourself. People relate to people as human beings and like to look at pictures of one another. It helps in relationship building as well as in building your personal brand.
- Follow people who have similar interests to yours: For me that’s professional marketing and public relations people and social media gurus. What are your interests? Find the people who share them.
- Shhh, listen! As in all social media, listen first, then participate in the local conversation. It is possible to talk too much on twitter. I just recently removed someone from my local feed for “clogging up” my twitter airwaves.
- Share, share, share. Twitter is all about being helpful and friendly to others. It’s about relationship building. Share pertinent information and links. I have found that the good twitter karma always comes around.
- Never auto DM anyone! If you want to DM (direct message) someone be sure it is a genuine, heartfelt message. Please skip the canned spam!
- Use search.twitter.com to follow trends. This is a really handy search that keeps me up on “the news” often before the traditional media has caught on.
- #Use hashtags Hashtags are a great way to keep up with conferences, topics and trends or start a trend yourself. On Fridays you will see people using the hashtag #followfriday of #FF. They will post the twitter names of interesting people who they enjoy following so that you can follow them. It’s one more part of the positive twitter karma.
- Find twitter chat groups of interest and participate. My two favorites are #soloPR Wednesdays at 1 pm Eastern and, when I can make it, #journchat Mondays at 8 pm Eastern. Check those or others out in your field of interest.
- Do not lock your updates. Locking is something done only by the greenest of twitter newbies
- Use twitter tools: There are all kinds of great tools available to help you manage your time and your tweets. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are two of my favorites.
- Feel free to respond to someone directly with an @ message. Remember, though, everyone is listening! Twitter is a lot like cubicle walls; super thin and everything next door can and will be heard and shared by all. At least with twitter you don’t have to share colds and flu too! Hope this helps you. I’ll be tweeting you!