A lot of people are still trying to learn best practices on using Twitter.
What to say.
When to say it.
And how often.
And when I consult for companies or chat with friends about Twitter, I often get a curious look. As I walk them through my process for connecting with their customers or potential new friends. So I created a simple checklist of things to do each day.
But first, here are the five keys to success on Twitter. To provide some context for the checklist.
Using Twitter: Know your purpose
Why are you taking time out of your busy day for social networking? What are you trying to accomplish? It’s not really that hard to get followers if you follow a lot of people. But to get the right followers, you have to know your purpose. If your goal is to meet new people in your industry, that is a pretty good purpose. To find a job. Or introduce yourself to potential clients.
Using Twitter: Be interesting
Some decide to venture out without a photo. Missing a real name. And no bio. In her short post on the importance of a Twitter bio, Kirsten Wright had this to say: “I have noticed a trend on twitter of either missing bio’s or bio’s that say absolutely nothing about who they are. And this is just an absolute waste of space . . . in 30 seconds, they read it, judge you and go, yup; I want to follow more of what this person says.” Again, if you know who you are (your personal brand) and know your purpose on Twitter, you should be able to come up with an engaging short story for people. And a smiling photo.
Using Twitter: Talk to people
If you are using Twitter solely as a broadcasting tool. A place to sell your stuff. You are not very interesting to me or most others on Twitter. In fact, beyond being rude or offensive you might be un-followed or ignored if you never use the @ symbol. Use of this symbol says you are talking to people. Either directly or through the sharing of other ideas (a re-tweet). I’ll explain more below.
Using Twitter: Stay on message
There are many reasons people will follow you on Twitter. If you are trying to build a following of basketball lovers like @AskCoachBeez, you need to spend the bulk of your time talking about basketball. Sharing tweets about it. And engaging people on the subject. If your bio is all about your love of the game but your tweets focus on music, wine and crab legs. We’re going to have a problem.
Using Twitter: Be consistent
You can’t just dip your toe into the water and expect to become a good swimmer. You have to get your hair wet. On Twitter, it’s about regular tweeting, sharing and following. Daily is ideal. And I’ll show you below how to do that with purpose.
Using Twitter: Be a list maker
Creating a list on Twitter allows you to categorize those that you follow (for easier following). It also allows you to reach out to people. Everyone likes being “listed”. Being listed, along with many other factors, contributes to the influence score with tools like Klout.
And here’s the simple daily checklist that you can finish in 10-15 minutes each day:
1. Pick a keyword related to your purpose on twitter. One that will stir up names of people who like to tweet about your favorite subject. Experiment with single words or try longer phrases. For my new friend and former pro basketball player @AskCoachBeez, it is “basketball”. Or it could be “coaching”. Perform a basic twitter search on that term and see who is tweeting about basketball.
2. Choose five people to follow that are using your keyword (and seem interesting based on their overall relevance, bio, consistency and use of the @ symbol).
3. For each one, do the following:
a. Click the follow button – this one is easy
b. Add them to a list – or to multiple lists if relevant
c. Send them an @ message (example: @TimsStrategy Like your daily checklist for Twitter. Helps a lot!)
d. Re-tweet them – find a recent tweet of theirs that your followers would enjoy and re-tweet it. Even better? Add a comment like “love this!” at the end (if you do).
e. If you have time, click the link in their bio. If they blog, leave a quick comment on their blog.
f. Add one or two original tweets and you have just now set a schedule that will have you tweeting 10-15 times a day. Not counting conversations you may have with new followers. What should you tweet about? Here’s what Neal Schaffer has to say on Twitter content.
Want more results? Follow five in the morning and five in the evening.
If you do this every day, you gain more followers and begin to get the social ball rolling. Once people see that you are relevant to them. And are ready to communicate and share their ideas. You become more interesting.
And, whoops, a social friendship begins. And this is one of the ways you begin to establish social credibility.
If you’d like to print out this simple checklist. And stick on the wall above your computer, you can download it here:
What else would you include on a daily checklist for Twitter?
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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: checklist | checklists | Job Search | online social networking | social networking
Categories: Using Social Media