New to Twitter and completely confused? You’re not alone. This social network can seem like mayhem when you first start working with it, but don’t let that stop you.
Everyone feels the same way at first. You’ll soon get used to it, and will be tweeting like a pro.
Let’s look at the ten best twitter tips you haven’t considered.
1. Say “welcome!” – Create a Twitter-specific profile page link
Are you linking to your website’s Home page from Twitter? Consider creating a Twitter-specific page, for anyone who finds you via Twitter, or the Web: “You found us via Twitter, welcome!” Your Twitter profile page can link to any Web page you choose, and you can change this link at any time.
On your website’s Twitter page, you can encourage people to join your mailing list, or you can offer special deals to your followers. This Web page will be an introduction to your business for many people.
To change your Twitter profile link, click the gear icon on the top right of your Twitter page, and go to Settings. Then click Profile in the left sidebar.
2. The more the merrier: tell people you’re on Twitter
When you first start out on Twitter, you’re a lone voice in the wilderness, talking to yourself. To prevent the echo effect, import your contacts.
Here’s how. Go to #Discover on Twitter’s top navigation bar, then Find Friends. You can search your address books on various email services, search Twitter itself, and can even invite your friends by entering email addresses.
If you send out a newsletter regularly, add a small note to say that you’re now on Twitter, and to invite people to join you there.
3. Promote your Twitter ID everywhere
Now you’re on Twitter, make sure people know about it. Add your Twitter ID to your signage, and all marketing materials. Twitter provides buttons you can add to your website and blog.
It’s easy to miss the obvious: add your ID to your email signature file, and to your customer service pages and documentation.
4. Make Twitter your customer service center
Twitter can improve your customer service. Customers love knowing that if they have a problem, they can get quick results via Twitter.
Look on your responses as public relations: you never know who’s listening. Journalists browse Twitter, and search for sources.
5. Save time: schedule your tweets
Social media can be a huge time sink if you let it. It’s easy to create tweets in advance, and schedule them to go out when you choose. Do a little testing to see which tweets get the most responses, and at which times.
Use free services like HootSuite and Buffer to schedule your tweets.
However, although scheduling your tweets is sensible and can save you time, nothing beats real-time interaction. Take five minutes occasionally to go through your Twitter stream and respond to tweets and people, and to retweet others. Responding in real-time increases trust and engagement.
6. Use Twitter for competitive intelligence
Twitter offers lists. This function allows you to collect groups of people and businesses and add them to a list. Your lists can be private or public. Of course any lists which will be used for competitive intelligence should be private. You don’t have to follow a Twitter account to add it to a list.
When you open a list, you’ll only see tweets from the people you added to that list. This makes it very easy to go through your competitors’ Twitter streams to see their interactions.
7. Optimize: collect keywords and hashtags
If you’re running a Pay Per Click campaign, you know which keywords are profitable for you. Use these keywords in your Twitter promotions.
Use hashtags for your promotionstoo. Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the hash symbol; they identify messages on a topic. For example, if you’re running a coupon offer, you could create: “#myoffer”.
8. Use image tweets: images increase retweets
Not only do images make your tweets stand out, they increase retweets. To add a photo or other image, click the camera icon in the “Compose” box and choose a file.
9. Twitter marketing: offer Twitter coupons
Reward your Twitter followers with coupons. TwtQpon makes creating them easy, whether for in-store redemption, or online with codes and links to your online store.
10. Track Twitter contacts and thank them
One of the easiest ways to increase your interaction on Twitter is to thank the people who do kind things for you.
When someone retweets one of your messages, or mentions you in a message, thank them. You can do it in seconds.
Responding demonstrates that you’re listening, and are willing to engage on Twitter.
Angela Booth is a copywriter and author. She wrote one of the first business books on using the Internet for business, and loves working with clients to enhance their marketing. She blogs regularly at The Creativity Factory. Contact her at any time. Image courtesy Manuel Iglesias