Social media marketing is not a waste of time. In fact, if done correctly and effectively, it can grow your brand and awareness exponentially. One of my favorite social media platforms is Twitter, the crème de la crème of web-based social networking and microblogging.
Over the years, Twitter has become a viable outlet for business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) communication. While I don’t consider myself to be a Twitter expert, I have gained insights on fundamental principles and best practices to help grow YFS Magazine’s Twitter influence one tweet at a time.
Whether you are new to Twitter or looking to take your business presence on Twitter to the next level, here are 10 tips that will undoubtedly improve your Twitter “A” game.
1. Manage tweets with web-based tools
I’m a fan of Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Blu and Seesmic, given they are all user-friendly and beautifully designed applications that help you manage your presence on Twitter. Mainly, if you delegate your social media tasks, these tools have a short learning curve and your new hire can get up and running in no time.
2. Make your tweets retweetable
Have you ever tried to RT (retweet) an informative Tweet that “Chatty Kathy” blasted out to her network which was way too long? Sure you could go through the trouble of posting long messages with TwitLonger, but who has the time?
One hundred and fifteen (115) characters” is the new 140. If you want to compel your Tweeps to take action on a particular news item, focus on 115 characters versus the allowable 140 characters.
Make it easy for your followers to share your thoughts, musings, news and offers by consolidating your Tweets to 115 characters.
3. Track link popularity
Always shorten URLs using online applications such as bitly. The great thing about their service is your ability to track the reach and activity of every link.
If you’re ready to confound individuals on your team that think social media is a complete waste of time, create a bit.ly account, customize links, track your Tweet statistics and share an analytics snapshot via your dashboard. Real time data speaks volumes.
4. Develop trending topics with hashtags
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keyword or topic in a Tweet. They are great for locating fellow Tweeps in your industry that Tweet about topics that interest you and your followers.
But first, find out what keywords are the most prominent in your industry. Include hashtags regularly in your Tweets to insert yourself into the larger conversation amongst your peers. You can also develop a unique hashtag for your brand and track the “stickiness” of it on hashtag.org. It could become the next popular trending topic.
5. Schedule automated tweets
Contrary to popular opinion, generally entrepreneurs actively engaged in building businesses don’t have the time or bandwith to Tweet all day long. And if by chance you’re wondering how we manage to keep the fires burning on Twitter it’s with the use of helpful scheduling tools including FutureTweets, SocialOomph, TweetDeck or Hootsuite.
But don’t rely on auto-schedulers as a sole method of engagement. One way conversations have their place for news and announcements but they don’t always spark true influence.
6. Follow thought leaders and niche profiles
If you are new to a specific industry, follow some of its top voices in the Twittersphere. For example, if you are interested in small business, entrepreneurship and startups, be sure to follow @YFSMagazine, @GuyKawasaki, @Break9to5Jail, @ThisisSeth’sBlog, @BrandMakerNews, @StartupPrincess, @SmallBizTrends, @ChrisGuillebeau, @VentureHacks @NeilPatel, @MatthewToren and more.
7. Learn why people follow and unfollow you
Are Tweeps unfollowing you in epic proportions? Be cognizant of the fact that not everyone will love what you have to say on any given day. But if you utilize Twitter as a part of your social media strategy you may want to investigate why you made their Unfollow list.
TweetEffect will help you do just that. It is a simple tool that will help you find out which of your Twitter updates made people follow or leave you.
8. Tweet at the right time
Have you ever wondered, “When is the best time to share Tweets with followers?” The folks over at Timely.is have eliminated the guesswork. Timely.is is a web-based tool that will analyze your past 199 tweets and figure out the best time slots to share messages. It then utilizes your specific data to auto-schedule tweets and learns as your followers grow.
9. Utilize Twitter analysis tools
Do you question the effectiveness of Twitter? Or perhaps you don’t think it’s worth it to hire an intern or pay a social media specialist to manage your Tweets for you? Think again. Analytic tools including TweetStats, Crowdbooster, Trendistic and The Archivist put high-level executive summary snapshots right at your fingertips.
Use social media monitoring tools to track and measure Twitter performance on a consistent basis and gauge what works best for your brand.
10. Build your influence and KLOUT.
Everyone has influence on Twitter but not everyone has KLOUT, apparently. KLOUT is one of many great tools that can help you understand if your social media efforts (awareness, branding, etc) are actually working.
The Klout Score measures your overall online influence, ranging from 1-100 – the higher the better which indicates a stronger sphere of influence. Compare your findings with Retweet Rank and Tweet Grader.
As you can see, there are tons of tools and resources available to help you build game-changing social media marketing plans. Remember, everyone starts somewhere. So whether you have 100, 5,000 or 50,000 followers — it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish the game.
Follow @yfsmagazine on Twitter.
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