At first look, twitter will look very simple, easy to master and something you will get bored with fairly quickly. This is exactly the way I looked at it the first few times I tried to get into it. “I’m going to the bathroom”, “I’m going out” was about the extent of what I could see accomplished with this tool. However, the deeper you get into it, the more time you spend figuring it out. It turns out that twitter is one of the most powerful tool on the web today. Here I will teach you how to twitter like a pro.
This is one of the most important parts of being able to really get into twitter. If you are just using the twitter.com website, you really aren’t exploiting all the features that twitter has to offer. For me personally the only client to use is tweetdeck. Tweet deck offers you columned look at different feeds. I have mine set up to show my Public feed, then my Replies, Next my Direct Messages, then my Buddy List, and last a search I’m interested in. If you can only access the web, I recommend using Tweet Tree. It’s a very powerful version of the twitter page. Take a look for more info.
However if you are an iPhone user and need a mobile version. Take a look at Tweetie. Yes it costs $2.99, however it is totally worth it in my opinion.
Customize your profile with your own background and colors. Write a good bio, and include things you are interested in. This is something I base my follow back on a great deal. If I can’t see what your into, I probably wont follow you. Also have a link to your personal webpage, wordpress blog etc. I would say that having a blog with some good articles on it makes it that more likely that I will want to follow you back.
Pay attention to your loyals
The reason I say you should keep a buddy list in your tweet deck is because it’s important to follow what your loyal twitter followers are doing. If they just end up falling into the void that is your main twitter feed, you will not be able to follow what they are doing. Soon you’ll forget about them, and they’ll forget about you. I would say that this is very important to have your community grow.
Re Tweet is key
If you see something you find interesting that someone on twitter says, be sure to show him some love by re tweeting it. I’s very simple and shows your followers that you are paying attention to what they are doing. Simply type in RT @theirname or Re Tweet@theirname and then the message they wrote.
You’ve probably seen small cryptic URLs all over Twitter. The reason people do this is so they can get write more about the link. Or also to shorten it if it’s too long for the 140 characters. I must implore people to please write a detailed description about what your link is. If you don’t tell me what is on the other side of that click, I’m not going to click on it. That simple.
Seeing your linking success
I personally want to be able to see how many people click on the links I post on twitter. I highly recommend using Tweet Burner for this. All you have to do is use their service to minimize your links, it’s twurl and you can select it in TweetDeck. Then you can log yourself in with your twitter user name and password on their site, and look at your Archive. Very helpful.
I use hastags as much as I can. They are the #something. The reason people use these is to get their message out to a wider user base. It’s a good way to get followers in a certain area. Lets say that I have some good information about a new apple product. I only have 20 followers, so I’m not seeing the benefit of tweeting it. However if I write the message with #apple, then people that are actively searching for this hash will see your message and in return follow you if it’s good.
Probably the most important and underused tools on twitter. I actively search to find new people to follow. For example I’m big into sharepoint, so in my tweet deck I’ll put an active search for just the word sharepoint, so whenever anyone on twitter mentions it. I get the information. If it’s something very interesting, I’ll end up following them.
I find this to be a fairly important aspect of the current twitter atmosphere. What we do on Fridays is recommend people that we are following to people that are following us. I would prefer to get a few very good names, instead of a long list of just everyone on your list. Also if you can put a description about them as well, that just makes me more likely to follow them. Another very good place to find people to follow is JustTweetIt.com, I would recommend you add your name to their list.
Once you’ve set yourself up a nice following. It’s a good time to start using some twitter analytics tools. My favored is Twitalyzer.com and twitter.grader.com. You can read more about them in a previous article here.
Twitter to me is all about helping your tweeple. I’m always trying to give out useful information, or help others with questions they have. That is the best way to gain respect and follows on twitter. By doing this you also get help in return. Also just have fun!
By the way you can follow me @GissiSim