P: (661) 201-
Twitter is the new big thing. With everybody from Britney Spears to Barack Obama now on Twitter, it is safe to say the social networking platform has gone mainstream. For many users worldwide Twitter has become a crucial tool for maintaining contacts, exchanging opinions and making new connections. But what does this mean for the service, and how can we, website owners, actually use it for our purposes?
1. Above All, Keep It Personal
Although Twitterers like CNN breaking news have been very successful, generally,
corporate Twitter accounts are a mistake. Twitter is about person-
Does that mean you cannot have a Twitter account for your organization? Not at all. For example, if John Boardley created a Twitter account, you may not recognize the name. However, if he used the name ILoveTypography, you would be more likely to follow because you know the I Love Typography website.
It is not the name that matters so much as the tone of the posts. Tweets should be more than an endless string of press releases and links. They should include personal content and a dialogue with followers.
This is important because it enables you to make a connection with your followers.
An open and honest relationship with followers is very powerful. It builds trust,
loyalty and engagement. It encourages repeat traffic and word-
2. Learn From Others
I have learned a lot about Twitter just by reading the tweets of those I admire. Merlin Mann, for example, injects a lot of humor into his posts, and his followers really respond to that. Darren Rowse, on the other hand, strikes a good balance between recommending content others have written and promoting his own posts.
In addition to examining the styles of others, you could also examine statistics. Use a tool like TweetStats to examine how often others tweet and how often they reply to their followers. All of this helps to build a picture of what makes a successful tweeter.
3. Get A Good Desktop Client
Without a shadow of doubt, the most powerful Twitter client currently available is TweetDeck. This AIR application not only runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, but also provides a range of superb tools for managing your life on Twitter.
With TweetDeck, you can create groups, filter tweets, monitor certain subjects as well as post tweets, replies and retweets. In fact, it is so powerful that it can be somewhat intimidating at first. Don’t let that put you off. Check out this short tutorial on TweetDeck’s core features, and you’ll be up and running in no time.
4. Use Twitter On The Road
If your Twitter account is going to be personal as well as professional, then you will almost certainly want to use it on the road. One option is simply to use Twitter’s mobile website. However, if you are fortunate enough to have an iPhone, then there is a wealth of Twitter clients available to you.
I have paid for and tried almost every Twitter client on the iPhone, but the winner
hands down is Tweetie. I love Tweetie. It has a clean, easy-
handle multiple Twitter accounts,
navigate reply chains,
view Twitter trends and perform custom searches,
access complete user profiles.
In many ways, it is even better than TweetDeck because it has much of TweetDeck’s power but in a much cleaner interface. If only they made a desktop application!
5. Tracking The Results
TweetStats is just the tip of the statistical iceberg. There is an ever-
If the link points to one of my own websites, I could use Google Analytics’ URL tagging tool. However, this is somewhat fiddly and only works if I am linking to my own website. What’s more, these URLs can get long, which is a problem when you’re limited to 140 characters.
Fortunately, there is a tool called TwitterBurner, which solves these problems. It
shortens URLs and tracks all click-
6. Follow And Be Followed
Always remember that Twitter is a two-
first, it suggests people you might want to consider following, because they fall within your broader network (i.e. people who are followed by your friends),
secondly, it suggests those from your list of followers who you should follow back
For each of these people, it provides various statistics, including:
the number of followers they have,
the chances of them replying to you,
how often they update.
This is a great way to extend your network of contacts and increase the chances that your tweets will be retweeted. It’s also a great way to meet new people!
7. Integrate Whenever Possible
If you intend to use Twitter for anything other than personal use, it needs to be incorporated in the rest of your Web strategy. That means it needs to link to your other online activity, including your website and other social networks. There is no shortage of tools to help you do this, from the basic Twitter widget to a tool for sending your tweets to Facebook.
One tool that caught my attention is called TwitterFeed. It posts content from an RSS feed to Twitter, which is a convenient way to update your followers on new posts. However, use any tool that automatically posts to Twitter with caution. It can easily become annoying if used too much. Also, it lacks the friendliness of a personal post.
8. Don’t Over-
Of course, the problem with all these tools, statistics and analysis is that they
can suck the spontaneity and personality from your tweets. While some of those late-
Let me explain. I am naturally a fairly good public speaker. However, once I attended
a public speaking workshop. The instructors taught me about all of the techniques
that make for an exceptional speaker. However, instead of improving my skills, they
made me so amazingly self-
The danger is the same with Twitter. Sure, Twitter can be used as a marketing tool, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be fun too. Don’t let articles like this suck the joy out of tweeting!