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Presenting….Twitter!

11/12/2011

englishmamash

Hello and welcome to the first installment of the “big 4” social media beasts. I hereby present to you….TWITTER.

Twitter is perhaps the easiest beast to tame, but requires a bit of time until you develop a proper strategy. For those just starting out, Twitter is a social network designed to provide frequent, brief updates to your nearest and dearest. Each “Tweet” (update) is limited to 140 characters, including spacing. Unlike Facebook, on Twitter it is perfectly acceptable to “Follow” someone you don’t even know. If someone Tweets about an interesting topic, go ahead and follow them! Also, please tell me so I can follow them too.

Here are some basic steps to mastering Twitter:

  1. Pick a cool name (aka twitter handle). It will start with the @ sign , as in, @englishmamash. Your name can be your birth name, business name, stripper name, you name it.
  2. Find some people to follow. A good start would be family/friends/colleagues. Then, do a search of key words of interest to you, and look for interesting people to follow. Due to bizarre twitter algorithms, in an effort to be more visible, many people you follow will actually follow you back.
  3. Your first post. Make it a good one. Introduce yourself to the world (meaning your 2, maybe 2.5 followers).
  4. Your second post. Time to start providing value to your 2.5 followers. Honestly, no one care that you just farted, or that you had yogurt for breakfast and that’s what made you fart just now. Don’t post for the sake of posting, for the love of God, PROVIDE VALUE to your followers.
  5. Link, link and link. Post links to interesting news stories. Everyone likes having something to read when they should be working.
  6. Speaking of posting links, use a link-shortening website, such as tinyurl.com, to shorten any link. Copy and paste your link into the site, and then copy and paste the new, shorter link the site spits back out. When you’ve only got 140 characters to work with, ya gotta spend them wisely.
  7. Engage with your followers. What better way to get a convo started then by re-tweeting someone else’s tweet, or referencing someone by their twitter handle by using the @ sign? An example would be the following: Went to an awesome hi-tech conference with @englishmamash – the future is here! Then, englishmamash will re-tweet this on her own twitter.
  8. Use hashtags, and use them wisely. Hashtags (#) are funny symbols that help people find your tweets. Take the above tweet, for example. If I change hi-tech to #hi-tech, anyone who searches #hi-tech has a good chance of coming across my tweet.  Limit yourself to only 1 or 2 per tweet, though, or your tweet will be unreadable and look like grade-A spam.
  9. Tweet often – minimum one time per day. Gotta keep the content fresh and the people hungry.

Whoever said Twitter was easy? What are some of your best practices?

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