Some Thoughts on Twitter Best Practices

Before You Even Create an Account:

1. Define your purpose on Twitter. What do you want to achieve? If you are on it “because xyz told you you should be,” it’s the wrong reason.

2. Decide on key influencers in your industry. Twitter Advanced Search feature can be helpful for this. You can also search (on Google, for example) for your industry-related keywords + blogs or + mentors, etc. Then, see if they have a Twitter account that is beneficial. If you are looking to interact with small businesses in your area, pay specific attention to the locations using Advanced Search.

a. Tip: See if the accounts have tweeted back. If they are just posting and not engaging, it might not be worth your time.

3. Find hashtags and chats that can enhance your reach based on your industry. Many people sponsor Twitter chats and it’s a great way to start engaging those who are interested in the same things you are as well as increase your following.

4. Get all of your graphics ready. With the new Twitter you now need: a profile image, a header image and a background image. For the most part, people only visit your background once when they first start following you so if you need to slack on one, that’s the one. Profile and header are seen a lot so make sure they fit the space correctly, aren’t grainy and play into your higher purpose. The header image is valuable real estate to help people understand more about you or your brand.

Go Ahead and Sign Up Now:

5. Choose a handle that represents your brand but is easy to spell and remember.

6. Complete profiles are a sure-fire way to look legitimate. Be sure to fill out all of your information. Put a location, especially if you operate locally. Fill out your website and include your specific address and phone number in your description if you are a local business. This does two things:

a. It helps with your SEO

b. If a customer needs to reach you, they can find your info easily

7. You only have 160 characters for your Twitter bio so make sure what you say is relevant. If there is a specific hashtag you are targeting, consider putting it in there.

Let’s Tweet:

8. You have to follow and provide value to get followed back. So, follow people you want to follow you back and interact with them!

9. Have a consistent brand voice. Even if using multiple tweeters. This can be hard so decide if your brand is best served to indicate the different people tweeting. Usually initials at the end of the tweet are good enough. This can be a good way to drive people to your website to learn about the different tweeters by providing bios and a pic.

10. Top down social media is huge now. People are not only looking for brands on social media but also the executives. It’s another way for your brand’s message to reach a great audience. Your employees can be your biggest brand advocates if enabled to do so.

11. Use your hashtags, you know, the ones you researched before starting? This makes you more searchable on Twitter. You can also create a unique hashtag for your brand. For example, I use #healthiswealth and #consultantlife for a lot of my tweets. People can use those to find my other tweets relating to those topics.

12. Join in on Trending Topics occasionally. See what’s relevant in the world of Twitter and jump into the conversation. Just make sure it’s related! Look for people to follow within the hashtag that might be interested in your brand.

13. Talk back! If someone mentions your brand, you need to respond whether they are talking negatively or positively. People expect a response.

14. Be sure to track people talking about your brand. You can use any number of tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to set up a stream of search terms. Use the hashtag and non-hashtag versions of your brand to capture all of it and monitor!

15. Retweet, retweet, retweet! It’s hard coming up with all original all the time. You have to retweet information from your followers that you think your other followers would enjoy. Plus, it’s just sharing the love.

16. Use URL shorteners to give yourself more space. It also makes the tweet look cleaner!

17. The best tweets are actually shorter ones. Yes, you have 140 characters but if you want others to share your info, you have to give them room to do so! Studies show about 100 characters is ideal.

18. I typically save my hashtags until the end unless a specific word is of interest.

19. Mixed media is your friend! Use an array of text, photos and videos to get the best engagement.

20. Don’t underestimate the power of a promotion or a contest!

If you want to know more about Live Tweeting you can check out the page I created for it and I will be posting a blog about it soon! It’s one of my favorite ways to get a buzz going about a product, service or event!

What are some of the Twitter practices you have adopted as you’ve learned more about the platform?