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Using Twitter Effectively

Social media marketing and networking is here to stay. Using Twitter effectively will definitely help you connect to people. I'm going to share my experience to help you build your Twitter network.

In April of 2008, I signed up for my Twitter account. I'd been hearing about it among internet marketers, both pro and con, so I was curious. Knowing very little, I researched how to get started, and started following the well known internet marketers. After six months, I was following almost 1500 Tweeples and had about 600 followers of my own.

It was logical to me the more people you followed, the greater the odds of people returning the favor and folowing you. What I noticed though, was only about 30% returned the favor and followed me. And more importantly, the more well known would almost never follow in return.

What was needed, I figured, was a list of people who were more inclined to follow those who followed them. I wish I had came up with this first, but I didn't. A fellow Tweeple, @thebusybrain cleaned his list of those who didn't refollow him and submitted it to the Twitter community as "Tit-for-Tat", or "600 Twitter Followers in 24 Hours".

Basically, it is this: follow these people and they'll follow you back. Here's where his list is located, http://bit.ly/TwitterFollowers. He claimed he got 600 new followers in 24 hours! I took up his challenge and had spectacular results, too. In 36 hours, I accumulated almost 500 new followers.

Honestly, the "600 Twitter Followers in 24 Hours" caused quite a commotion. Actually, among some, sharp criticism and even outright anger! But the upside is, it's brought awareness to the fact it's courteous to follow someone who is following you. You don't have to, but I think it's a good practice providing that person fits into the overall scope of why you're using Twitter.

Saying that brings up the subject why people use Twitter. I can't speak for the millions of users, but from my perspective a hefty number use it in order to expand their network of business aquaintances. And, in all honesty, that is one of my reasons. I also use it as a resource. For instance, through Twitter, I found a lady to create quality graphic images for my ebooks at a very reasonable price.

As I said earlier, the more prominent and well known Tweeples have a tencency to not return the favor of following. Below are images of actual people with thousands of followers and few who they follow in return.

 




Obviously, these are people you don't want to follow unless they have something to say you want to know.

Here's my suggestion. Keep your list of followers clean of those who haven't returned the favor of following you back. It takes some time, but well worth the effort. Naturally, you may have some famous people or gurus who you want to follow even though you have no hope they'll follow your tweets. I have a few now, I used to have hundreds.

There are many tips for Twitter and to help you, here's 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business by Chris Brogan.

50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business

We really canít deny the fact that businesses are testing out Twitter as part of their steps into the social media landscape. You can say itís a stupid application, that no business gets done there, but there are too many of us (including me) that can disagree and point out business value. Iím not going to address the naysayers much with this. Instead, Iím going to offer 50 thoughts for people looking to use Twitter for business. And by ďbusiness,Ē I mean anything from a solo act to a huge enterprise customer.

Your mileage may vary, and thatís okay. Further, you might have some really great ideas to add. Thatís why we have lively conversations here at Chris Brogan.com in the comments section. Jump right in!

First Steps

1. Build an account and immediate start using Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitorís names, words that relate to your space. (Listening always comes first.)

2. Add a picture. ( Shel reminds us of this.) We want to see you.

3. Talk to people about THEIR interests, too. I know this doesnít sell more widgets, but it shows us youíre human.

4. Point out interesting things in your space, not just about you.

5. Share links to neat things in your community. ( @wholefoods does this well).

6. Donít get stuck in the apology loop. Be helpful instead. ( @jetblue gives travel tips.)

7. Be wary of always pimping your stuff. Your fans will love it. Others will tune out.

8. Promote your employeesí outside-of-work stories. ( @TheHomeDepot does it well.)

9. Throw in a few humans, like RichardAtDELL, LionelAtDELL, etc.

10. Talk about non-business, too, like @astrout and @jstorerj from Mzinga.

Ideas About WHAT to Tweet

11. Instead of answering the question, ďWhat are you doing?Ē, answer the question, ďWhat has your attention?Ē

12. Have more than one twitterer at the company. People can quit. People take vacations. Itís nice to have a variety.

13. When promoting a blog post, ask a question or explain whatís coming next, instead of just dumping a link.

14. Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions.

15. Follow interesting people. If you find someone who tweets interesting things, see who she follows, and follow her.

16. Tweet about other peopleís stuff. Again, doesnít directly impact your business, but makes us feel like youíre not ďthat guy.Ē

17. When you DO talk about your stuff, make it useful. Give advice, blog posts, pictures, etc.

18. Share the human side of your company. If youíre bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has value for human connections. Point us to pictures and other human things.

19. Donít toot your own horn too much. (Man, I canít believe Iím saying this. I do it all the time. - Side note: Iíve gotta stop tooting my own horn).

20. Or, if you do, try to balance it out by promoting the heck out of others, too.

Some Sanity For You

21. You donít have to read every tweet.

22. You donít have to reply to every @ tweet directed to you (try to reply to some, but donít feel guilty).

23. Use direct messages for 1-to-1 conversations if you feel thereís no value to Twitter at large to hear the conversation ( got this from @pistachio).

24. Use services like Twitter Search to make sure you see if someoneís talking about you. Try to participate where it makes sense.

25. 3rd party clients like Tweetdeck and Twhirl make it a lot easier to manage Twitter.

26. If you tweet all day while your coworkers are busy, youíre going to hear about it.

27. If youíre representing clients and billing hours, and tweeting all the time, you might hear about it.

28. Learn quickly to use the URL shortening tools like TinyURL and all the variants. It helps tidy up your tweets.

29. If someone says youíre using twitter wrong, forget it. Itís an opt out society. They can unfollow if they donít like how you use it.

30. Commenting on othersí tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.

The Negatives People Will Throw At You

31. Twitter takes up time.

32. Twitter takes you away from other productive work.

33. Without a strategy, itís just typing.

34. There are other ways to do this.

35. As Frank hears often, Twitter doesnít replace customer service (Frank is @comcastcares and is a superhero for what heís started.)

36. Twitter is buggy and not enterprise-ready.

37. Twitter is just for technonerds.

38. Twitterís only a few million people. (only)

39. Twitter doesnít replace direct email marketing.

40. Twitter opens the company up to more criticism and griping.

Some Positives to Throw Back

41. Twitter helps one organize great, instant meetups (tweetups).

42. Twitter works swell as an opinion poll.

43. Twitter can help direct peopleís attention to good things.

44. Twitter at events helps people build an instant ďbackchannel.Ē

45. Twitter breaks news faster than other sources, often (especially if the news impacts online denizens).

46. Twitter gives businesses a glimpse at what status messaging can do for an organization. Remember presence in the 1990s?

47. Twitter brings great minds together, and gives you daily opportunities to learn (if you look for it, and/or if you follow the right folks).

48. Twitter gives your critics a forum, but that means you can study them.

49. Twitter helps with business development, if your prospects are online (mine are).

50. Twitter can augment customer service. (but see above)

Chris Brogan's Original Article Located Here

Did you like this? Follow me on Twitter here: @david_tinney and learn more useful info in real time.

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Why I Do #FollowFriday
ABC's of Using Twitter Effectively