I recently published a blog entitled “Twitter: Delete Your Followers” that clearly outlined the need to properly manage your social networks on a daily basis and keep a good watch on your Twitter followers but due to a recent trend in individuals finding themselves lost by the Twitter onslaught, I felt it necessary to publish some helpful tips for those new to Twitter as well.
Twitter is a place to share, connect and quickly adapt to cultural trends. I don’t recommend it for individuals who expect to find Facebook or MySpace features such as commenting on ‘wall’ posts or posting long bulletins. A recent report stated that nearly 60% of Twitter new user registrations are almost immediately left vacant. I believe that this is because people find it surprisingly difficult to understand the simple concept of Twitter. There are dozens of articles, a few books and I believe even a movie coming out but some people still just do not know how to make Twitter work for them. So, even though I am posting back-to-back Twitter related blogs, I want to do so in an attempt to help the new Twitter community understand how to get started and understand these tools with three easy tips and a short list of popular Twitter trends.
Note: If is impossible for people to find you or share information with you if you protect your tweets.
1 – Seek out People with Similar Interests – One of the features that make Twitter different is its search function. You can search for keywords or phrases quickly and results are sorted by the most recent tweet containing that specific keyword or phrase. This means that if you enjoy fishing, type ‘fishing’ into the search box and see who is talking about it to find people with similar interests. Most of your favorite businesses or organizations should be on Twitter and you can find them by using this feature or simply clicking on the ‘Find People’ button at the top of every page to search for their name. This is a good way to build new relationships and improve your following/follower count.
2 –Do Not Use Twitter for Heavy Advertising or Self Promotion – The most deleted follower on Twitter is known commonly as a ‘spammer’. These spam-artists can range from real people to computer bots. Both share a single trait – they contribute nothing useful to the Twitter community. It’s important to resist all temptation for heavy advertising or self promotion. Don’t get me wrong, I post links that promote my new blogs every so often and like to point traffic to my personal website but I do my best to limit the self promotion and build my credibility with useful and thoughtful 140 character tweets.
3 – Contribute Something Interesting Daily – When first joining Twitter, it is often difficult to find something to share. This is the point where most people never return. There is a growing list of people who sign up, tweet once and leave (this is the 60%). One of my co-workers did this recently and I finally confronted him about it. He told me that he didn’t know how he could make Twitter fun or what it was he had to contribute. I told him that he was one of the funniest guys I knew and that he could use Twitter for posting great jokes or funny thoughts and that people would follow him or even mention him based on his daily humor. Since that conversation, he has posted nearly 25 times and has gained several followers that share in his enthusiasm for comedy.
In addition to these steps, I will quickly reference some of the most common terminology used on Twitter and give you brief explanations.
Tweet – This word is the Twitter version of ‘post’. Every time you post something via Twitter, you are ‘tweeting’.
Tweep -The Twitter community refers to its members as Tweeps. If you follow me on Twitter, I am your fellow Tweep.
RT (retweet) – Retweeting is integral to your success via Twitter. Social media expert Ben Parr of www.Mashable.com says “Retweeting is how Twitter users share interesting tweets from the people they are following. They copy and paste the original tweet and send it out. To give credit to the original person, users usually put “RT” plus the originator’s username at the beginning of the tweet.”
@ – To mention a Tweep or respond to them directly, be sure to include the ‘@’ symbol before their username. This will link the username right to the users profile and help promote your fellow Tweep.
# – Hash tags are used to better organize information to be searched by other users. For example, a common hash tag tweet is ‘#thingsihate’. If you find yourself in a situation that is less than favorable, add ‘#thingsihate’ to the end of your tweet so that others involved in similar situations can quickly find and relate.
#followfriday (or FF or followfriday) – Every Friday you will see a trending topic listed as #followfriday. #followfriday is a game that was started to help you connect with other valuable Tweeps via friend suggestion. If you feel that you are following someone that has something valuable and interesting to offer, promote them by simply tweeting ‘#followfriday’ and their username. (Don’t forget to place the ‘@’ symbol before the username). For example, because I enjoy the tweets of Thomas Baekdal and Quality Logo, on Friday I would tweet something like this:
I hope this somewhat brief introduction to Twitter was helpful and that you can use these tips to better position yourself as a useful Tweep!