Like a blog, Twitter is a platform for communicating and engaging but in a very limited way: with a maximum of 140 characters. Also known as a ‘microblog,’ it can be one of the best tools for drawing traffic to your blog. Here are five tips for establishing a strong Twitter presence and for engaging effectively:
1. Build Realationships
Be authentic and personal. Social Media is all about establishing relationships, after all that’s why it’s called “social” media. Being open and honest builds trust, encourages connection and word-of-mouth traffic. This will extend to your offline relationship building as well. Some of my biggest followers have also become good friends offline.
2. Share the Wealth
And not just your own: strike a good balance between posting your own content—or pointing to your own blog posts—and sharing what others have to say.
Some “experts” insist that one out of four tweets should be about you, the rest not. Here again, I suggest that the quality of the content you offer up–whether it be on your blog, on Twitter, or in person–is what makes people want to follow you. Would you want to sit next to someone at dinner who had nothing interesting to say or just talked about themselves?
3. Engage: It’s a Two-Way Conversation
Reply to those who tweet you, and, as often as possible, thank folks for their mentions, RTs, and for following you.
4. Be Consistent
Just as you need to blog consistently to establish and retain followers, you need to do the same on Twitter. Although some say one must Tweet 4-5 times per day, I don’t believe there are any hard and fast rules. Using a Twitter client like Hootsuite (my personal favorite), TweetDeck, or Seesmic not only helps you manage your tweets, it allows you to schedule tweets in advance. That said, schedule them for times when you think your followers will be tuned in.
5. Set a Time to Tweet: Timing is Everything
Or is it? Statistics indicate that the best times during the day to Tweet are 9am (just getting to work), Noon (taking that lunch break), 3pm (afternoon coffee break), and 6pm (just before leaving the office.)
6. Make Them Short and Sweet
Keep your tweets short so others can retweet them without going over the 140 character limit. Remember, when someone RTs your tweet, their Twitter handle is added, making the next tweet longer.
7. Incorporate Twitter Into Your Overall Web Strategy
Perhaps this last one should have been the first: Offer people as many opportunities as possible to connect with you. Link Twitter to your other online activity, including your website and/or blog, and your other social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
How to Add Twitter to Facebook
How to Add Twitter to Your Blog (Step-by-Step)