Stephanie Heckman

Posts Tagged ‘online community’

Twitter Tips: Seven steps to increasing your Twitter potential

In Branding, Career, Marketing, Social Media on March 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm

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Twitter is an effective tool whether you are a representing a company, organization, cause, other person or yourself. However, it can be a time-suck if you don’t know how to use it effectively.

1. Know the basics

What do you plan to use Twitter for? Twitter is not a time waster if you use it wisely. You can use it to connect with people who have similar interests, network with professionals, keep up with news and industry trends and promote your brand, organization or even your own personal brand. Make sure your tagline includes important tidbits that reflect who you are and why you are on Twitter.

Finally, if this is a personal Twitter account, include a good picture of yourself. People are more likely to follow an actual person than someone hiding behind a picture of someone or something else. If it is for your organization, include a recognized logo.

2. Develop a plan.

Like any good marketer or publicist, you shouldn’t devote time to social media without developing a strategic plan first. Even if this is for your personal Twitter account, it makes sense to think of a general strategy. Consider what are the main topics you would like to tweet about. Try to stick to less than five main categories of interests and include these in your description.

Try to tweet every day or use HootSuite schedule your tweets. HootSuite can also be used to manage your Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media profiles. It’s a great tool if you manage many social media accounts for yourself or for clients.

3. Make everyone word count.

A mark of a great writer is one who can express herself in few words. If you are a communications professional, you should have great writing skills by now. Put them to work by writing Tweets that are concise, grammatically correct and meaningful. Find ways to get your point across in 140 characters. When you include links, use a URL shortener such as Bit.ly to make every character count.

4. Make effective use of #Hashtags

Try to include relevant hashtags in every post but #don’t #hashtag #every #single #word. See how annoying that is? Useful hashtags for the communications industry include basics like #PR, #PRSA, #SocialMedia and #PRjobs.

The documentary film and movement to change the representation of women and girls in the media, Miss Representation, created the hashtag #NotBuyingIt to call out sexist advertisements. That hashtag received many tweets during the Super Bowl and other large events. They’ve even created a #NotBuyingIt app for smart phones.

Another example is when animal shelters and rescue groups use hashtags like #AdoptDontShop. It’s easy to remember, cute and can be used to find homes for specific animals.

Consider “trending topics.” Many are silly but sometimes you can tie your cause, organization or company into a trending topic. If you are creative, you can use trending topics to gain more followers, many of whom might have never come across you.

5. Remember that Twitter is meant to be SOCIAL.

Always follow users back if they are not spammers and do seem to provide quality content. If you are representing a business or organizations, you should always follow other Twitter users to show. Your organization is not an exclusive club.

Develop relationships with others in the Twitter community. You cannot promote yourself or your organization if influencers do not follow you and retweet you. Who are influencers? They are the Twitter users who have a large amount of active followers that they can mobilize to action. If you want to develop a base of followers and have your content retweeted, you need these influencers to become your loyal supporters and advocates. If you are representing a nonprofit or a cause, make partnerships with relevant organizations or activists by retweeting them regularly.

Retweet any followers who are providing relevant information or interesting links and photos. While it makes sense to retweet users who are posting information about your product, service or organization; you always want to retweet those who are posting about anything relevant to your industry or cause. Even general interests stories and links may be quality retweets.

Ask questions. Answer others’ questions. This is a great and easy way to create interaction and build community. Thank others for when they retweet you. You need maker others feel appreciated.

6. Don’t forget about TweetChat!

If you don’t know what TweetChat is or haven’t used it yet, take advantage of it now. TweetChats are used to talk live with Twitter users from around the globe, about any particular topic of interest. It’s a great resource for many connections, finding followers and learning new information. Use Google to find a list of relevant TweetChats in your industry.

For public relations and marketing professionals, there are many relevant TweetChats such as #BlogChat every Sunday at 9 p.m.. Small Business Buzz (#Sbbuzz) is from 8 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays. #JournChat is for journalists, publicists and other communications professionals and is held Mondays at 7 to 8 p.m. #PR20Chat is for PR professionals and is at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays.

7. Don’t use Twitter as a hard-sell.

No one gets on Twitter to be sold products or services. Yes, sometimes coupons or links to events are wanted. However, it makes you look like a spammer and many people will unfollow you if you never post other information. Instead, post links to newsworthy articles, whether it’s industry-relevant or a general news or human interest story that is trending. Retweet others’ content. Tweet pictures and videos. Even if you are representing a company or organization, show the human side. Let your personality and interests come through in your tweets.

For more social media tips, check out:

Friending, Tweeting, Pinning.

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