It's easy to send out a tweet. Limited to 140 characters and can be sent via smart and not-so smart phone, it's a recipe anyone can work with. It's insanely easy that even a baby could tweet. Granted, it wouldn't make sense but they could do it. This brings me to why I'm writing this post. We've made that step into the Twittosphere, but we're not all using it to our advantage and truly using the network correctly. Here are 5 tips on how to use Twitter more effectively.
1. The Variety Pack
You're not going to keep followers if you're continuously sharing links with no commentary or tweeting your feelings. Try to have a good balance of shared and original content. Give your followers variety. When you tweet links, add a thought to it. Share your experiences, thoughts, or quotes. People absolutely love quotes! But, save the drama for "yo momma" and keep it off Twitter. Lets also keep the subtweets for only when you're overly excited about eating your favorite sub sandwich ;) Have fun, but don't completely goof off. Be you, but try to be a bit professional.
Can you believe that I'm actually telling you to network on a social media NETWORK. Am I crazy? In all seriousness, you aren't going to get anything out of Twitter if you're keeping to yourself. Reach out to those whom you follow and who are following you. Say hi and/or thank people who recently followed you, respond to a tweet that mentions your favorite band, or tweet your thoughts back on an article they linked. Interacting with others is going to help you build those relationships and your own Twitter community.
3. Twitter Chats
I think one of my favorite things about Twitter are the hosted chats. Different organizations or people will set a time to send out questions and people will answer and talk about a certain topic through a designated hashtag. For example, Jeff Barrett hosts his chats every Wednesday at 2pm using the hashtag #BareItAll. Participating in these chats allows you to interact, network, and learn from new people you may have never connected with. They also allow you to share your thoughts and expertise on the topic assigned. A nice little perk from participating is that you tend to gain followers. But, whose counting?
4. Hashtag it
I think we all know what a hashtag is by now. If you don't know, a hashtag is a form of a metadata tag, or a simple way to make something searchable. Searching a hashtag will bring up every tweet using that hashtag. (This is how we follow along with Twitter chats!)
Back to the point, hashtags are not to be used like Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon use them in the video below. You should use hashtags but limit use in a tweet to no more than three. Using hashtags will allow other users to see your tweets who normally wouldn't because you've tagged them with something they are interested in. If you're tweeting about a brand/organization/person, hashtag it. Tweeting about your industry, hashtag it. Hashtags also make live tweeting events or television shows easy to follow.