16 Twitter DO’s to get the most out of the social media phenomenon.
Twitter can be a great tool to drive visitors to your website or to spread an interesting offer or message. Make sure you follow the 16 tips below to get the most out of it, and avoid the 14 Twitter don’ts to keep your followers happy.
Do use a picture of yourself… or at least your logo or an avatar: you need to easily be identifiable when your followers see your tweets in their timeline. This isn’t possible with the default Twitter profile picture. Also remember that people buy from people, so a real picture of you will probably get a better response than a logo (unless it is a “corporate” Twitter account or if more than 1 person tweets from it).
Do customise your Twitter background: make it easily recognisable and branded in your company colours. Add important information like contact details and website URL. You can also use the background image to display the addresses of your other social profiles.
Do complete the bio and web information: these can be found under Setting > Profile (http://twitter.com/settings/profile) and help make your Twitter profile more memorable. The web link also helps drive people from your Twitter profile to your main website.
Do split personal and professional profiles: if you intend to tweet extensively about your personal life, create a second Twitter profile and make sure you only use this one to discuss what you are eating or when you go to bed.
Do link to your Twitter profile from multiple places: a link from your website is the minimum. If you have more that one social profile – or if you are an active member of a forum – link those together.
Do tweet at least twice a day, every other day: in order to create a valuable “relationship” with your followers, you should tweet regularly, especially if you are working in a field that has already embraced Twitter.
Do share: interesting information, links to web pages, news, studies, images… Share everything that you think may appeal to your followers.
Do ask questions that are worth asking: if you think that your followers might know the answer or could be interested in a poll. Get your followers to feel appreciated and valued by asking for their input.
Do answer questions asked by the people you follow: it pays to help. You may also get noticed by someone more influential who will then return the favour.
Do retweet interesting information from the people you follow: Twitter is a sharing platform and should be used as such. Always include the original tweet and never tweet something as your own if you got it from someone else.
Do promote your own blog or website: if you just published a new article or if you have a special offer running. Twitter can be a great way to create interest around your company and drive people to your website.
Do learn and use the Twitter jargon and syntax: @, RT, DM, hashtags (#), followfiday (#ff) are all part of the new language that you will need to learn, but don’t worry ¼ of an hour should be enough to master it.
Do use a URL shortener: ideally your own but if you cannot, this study from Dan Zarrella shows that bit.ly is the most popular one (and the most effective at getting clicks and retweets).
Do follow people that follow you: if you think that you can learn something interesting from them. Some Twitter profiles are empty while others are clearly spam or bots and therefore shouldn’t be followed.
Do follow people gradually: on Twitter nothing says “spammer” more clearly that someone who follows 1500+ people but only has 5 followers. When you start, it is recommended to try and balance number of followers and people you follow.
Do look for people you might already be connected with online or offline. Do you have ecademy, linkedIn, or identi.ca profiles? Are you a member of a forum? Think of all the places where you have already made “connections” and try to find those people on Twitter.