Rule No. 3: Get a Twitter account

The easiest way to create an online presence is to use Twitter.

So you got through the sign up form, chosen your name and filled in your profile…what now?

Here’s a quick guide:

1. Start with a few tweets introducing you. Basically, introduce yourself when you arrive at the cocktail party.

2. Start following people. Use Twitter’s search facility to track down your friends or friends of friends. Alternatively, you can now find people based on your shared interests.

3. Answer your followers questions or respond to their tweets. Once you’ve started following people, you’ll obviously see their tweets in your timeline. Use the ‘@’ symbol, type their username and then type away.Replying to people and mentioning them will strengthen your network.

4. Make your posts worth reading. There are several ways you can do this. You can tweet funny stuff, quotes, links to webpages, photos and even videos.

5. Don’t spam people’s feeds. Tweet about your blog post, your products and your services but watch the frequency.

6. Shorten webpage addresses. What do you do when you want to post links with long web addresses? I personally use http://bit.ly. Sign up for a free account and simply copy and paste your links. You can then track the number of people who click on your links.

7. Tweet in 100 characters or less. Leave room for people to re-tweet and comment on your posts.

8. Track different keywords. If you’re a brand create a search enquiry for your brand name. I personally track “social media”, “psychology”, “marketing” and “Twitter”. This well let you keep track of conversations with those particular keywords in.

9. Respond to discussions around your chosen keywords. At this point, it doesn’t matter that you’re responding to people who don’t follow you. If you provide useful tweets, they might just start following you.

10. Use hash tags (#). The basic idea of a hash tag is to group all conversations on a certain topic. (Hint: you can have search enquiries for keywords AND hash tags.) These hash tags may also become big trending topics, for example #japanearthquake, #bieberfever and many more.

11. Schedule tweets. Twitter is global. You will have followers from around the world, so it would be a shame if they missed out on your posts. The other advantage to scheduling tweets is to prevent you from bombarding your followers with posts every time your brain and your fingers collaborate.

12. To tweet is human, to re-tweet is divine. Be social, give props to those who deserve them and always acknowledge your followers. Learn to say thank you with a re-tweet, a mention or a #followfriday.

13. Don’t fret about your follower count. There are twitter bots that will automatically follow you then un-follow you after a few days if you don’t return the favour.

14. Use a Twitter client to manage your account. Sign up for a free account on http://hootsuite.com to make your life easier. Hootsuite will let you have multiple streams for your timeline, keyword searches and will also let you schedule your posts.

Twitter is all about TALKING to people. All you need to be is smart, charming and interesting to gain followers and influence tweets.

 

About Maebellyne Ventura

Maebellyne Ventura is a digital marketing professional writing about social media practices. She is also a founder of the online start-up Clever Biscuit. Follow her on Twitter @Maebellyne
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