The No BS Guide to Using Twitter Effectively

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What Twitter Is (and Isn’t)

The popular micro-blogging platform Twitter has become more powerful over the last few years. While it hasn’t inspired producers to make a whole film about it, many books (and e-books) have been written to explain and help make better use of this social media channel. Shel Israel’s book Twitterville is one of the books that concentrate on how businesses take advantage of Twitter, including Coca Cola.

Twitter’s also being mentioned on popular TV shows. However unlike Israel’s book, TV shows tend to show it as a fluffy little site where you can post anything you want, no matter how trivial it might be.

Then there’s this extreme Twitter enthusiasm between people who do business online. There’re many people claiming you can make thousands of dollars, merely by posting your sales links.

However Twitter is not a magical place where you get to make more money as you increase the number of your followers. It’s also not a mere chatroom where people gather to make comments about their recent meals.

You can do a lot of things with Twitter, so as long as you know this medium well.

Things You Need to Know to Know About Twitter

“The more, the merrier” concept is a myth.

While a person with 60.000 followers might appear more impressive than a Twitter user with only 600 followers, quality means a lot more than quantity. So thousands of followers that don’t really care what you have to say aren’t as valuable as the hundreds who are hanging on to your every word.

Following as few people as possible is a bad idea.

Some people believe that having a lot of followers while following only a handful themselves indicates authority. But you need to keep in mind that social media is about proving value and reciprocity. Not following (relevant) people back might make you look unresponsive. And remember, there are a lot of free tools people can use to check whether they are being followed back so followers can easily click the “unfollow” button.

As long as your followers have taken Twitter seriously enough to fill in their profile and not tweeting spam, you might want to follow them back.

You really can get your message across in 140 characters.

The character limit is not as bad as it sounds. It might seem difficult at first but you can tell significant stuff, in an interesting way. It just might take a little exercising at first.

You do need to fill in your profile.

If your Twitter account is about your business, you need to fill in your profile. It is also better to customize the background image with screenshots, photos logos.

It is possible to monetize Twitter, both directly and indirectly.

There are many advertising networks that bring advertisers and tweeters together. You can choose to post sponsored tweets of products and services that you trust and that are relevant with your niche.

You can advertise on Twitter.

Just like you can tweet about sponsored stuff, you can advertise through Twitter as well. There is a pay per click price- the more influential the tweeter is, the higher his pay per tweet price can be. You can choose to work with tweeters only from a certain area as well.

You can analyze your Twitter stats.

There are free programs that give you your Twitter statistics. You can measure the rise/fall of the number of your followers, the number of your tweets, how influential you are on this medium and more.

You can engage in conversations.

Tweets don’t have to be one-sided. You can talk to fellow users with your Tweets, without using direct messaging. All you need to is to add a “ @ ” in front of the person’s name and they will know you are talking to them.

You can apply for jobs or get business deals through Twitter.

Engaging in conversations might also bring you business. There are people who snatched social media positions because they were following the company’s tweets and knew about the jobs before everybody else did.

You can connect other social media accounts with Twitter.

You tweets can appear pretty much on any site. Most websites give you the chance to combine your accounts with Twitter, even create accounts using your Twitter login information. You tweet something once and it goes public on other sites as well.

You can put Twitter buttons on your site. You can also stream your tweets.

You probably already chose one of the Twitter buttons from Twitter and put in your site, making it possible (and obvious) for your readers/customers follow you. You can also choose your tweets to appear on your site as well.

You can “tag” your tweets with hashtags (#).

You want your tweets to appear in search results? Then add # in front of the words you want to get found with.

You can create contests based on Twitter.

You can announce contents on Twitter or you can create contest that are all about Twitter. One coffee shop gave out a new notebook to one of its Twitter followers who managed to get as many of her friends to re-tweet her message about the contest.

When it comes to Twitter, there is a lot you can do. As long as you don’t underestimate or overestimate this medium, it can help you grow your influence. Develop a Twitter strategy that suits the nature of your business, respect your followers and you’ll be on your way to reap the benefits.

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