Do you tweet? (Or as someone once asked me, “Are you on that Tweeter thing?”) Does it feel like you’re accomplishing anything? Or, at the end of the day, are you just confused what the buzz is about? (If you haven’t heard, Twitter recently went public, and it was kind of a big deal. –> Twitter’s IPO Created 1,600 New Millionaires)
Whether you’re tweeting for personal or professional reasons, the following tips should help you stand out from the crowd.
–> Join the conversation! You may notice that CCC is always asking you to join the conversation. What exactly does that mean? Talk to people! Respond to tweets that interest you. Retweet them to share them with your followers. Favorite them for later reference. Thank others for retweeting you. Search hashtags that interest you or your company and jump into discussions that you can add value to (not necessarily with a sales pitch though).
Social media is all about getting social, so talk to people as much as possible. Try not to just broadcast information all day long. People are social creatures; they want to interact with you. I’ve connected with some of the coolest people just by thanking them for a RT and asking a question or commenting on something in their profile. Profiles are dynamite for conversation fodder, which is why it’s so important to have a good one. –> What’s in a social media profile? Everything. Profile and cover pictures are another fantastic icebreaker. –> Why do you want to be an egghead?
–> Forget the rules — Everywhere you look, someone is laying down the law about something on Twitter, or social media in general. Tweet every hour. Don’t tweet more than 5 times per day. Automate. Don’t automate. Schedule. Don’t schedule. Don’t self-promote. You have to self-promote. Respond to people immediately. Unplug once in a while. Send direct messages. People hate DMs.
Honestly, it all boils down to common sense. Would you contact someone 30 times a day? Probably not, so don’t do it on Twitter. Would you say that to someone’s face? Probably not, so don’t say it on Twitter. The problem with rules is that you can become paralyzed by them. Pay attention, treat (or tweet) people with respect and you’ll be fine. Plus, you’ll start to find your style and settle in. One good rule to follow? Give people a heads up when you’re going to live tweet an event or webinar, participate in a Twitter chat or tweet a lot more than normal. (h/t @kathyyoho)
–> Be Yourself. Stay true to your self (or brand self); do what’s comfortable to you. Basically, let your personality show. People shouldn’t be surprised when they meet you in real life, because you’re really different from your Twitter persona. It’s difficult to keep up a fake persona anywhere online, so don’t waste your time. Plus, when people find out who you really are (positive or negative difference), it can be unsettling and hard to trust you. Would you want to work with, hire someone or recommend someone who’s put up a false front? Neither do other people.
Automation also falls into this category. To automate or not to automate? If you’re going to automate tweets, make sure that you trust the source completely. It’s not that a blog or site is likely to post offensive content (although that happens); they may blog about a topic sometimes that you don’t want to share. Also, if you schedule, it’s imperative that you (or someone you trust) have access to modify or delete these tweets before they go out. Some brands have gotten into hot water this year due to pre-scheduled tweets that went out as scheduled when they were no longer appropriate.
–> Treat (or tweet) others with respect — Don’t say something to someone (or even retweet something) that you wouldn’t say to their face. Remember, everything that happens online affects your life. (Thou shalt not destroy your reputation online.) You can delete a tweet, but you can never really delete a tweet. It’s stored somewhere. That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid sarcasm or never joke around. Just make sure that people understand the situation. If you’re pissed off about something, venting on Twitter isn’t a good idea.
Also, don’t smother famous people or standouts on a particular platform. Feel free to follow and engage with anyone (that’s why they’re on Twitter), but don’t ask special favors of or get upset with people if they don’t agree with you or respond immediately. We’re all human; sometimes we miss tweets or are busy in real life. Think about it. Would you want to engage with people when you have 500,000 followers if all they do is ask you to RT them, donate to a cause or recommend them to someone? No, you wouldn’t. So remember to treat others as you’d want to be treated on Twitter and elsewhere. Life usually works out when you do.
Join the Conversation
What do you think?
What would you add to my tips?
Anything you’ve learned after tweeting for awhile?
Tweeting since ’09,