Twitter: Getting Started and Making the Most Of It

 Monday I was chatting with some folks on Google. They were debating whether Twitter is valuable. I must admit that I have had my doubts from time to time, but I usually come out on the side of seeing the value in it.  It’s quick… and easy… and is a place you can meet like-minded folks and gain some attention for your writing.  Here are two articles I wrote a while back about the uses of Twitter and the types of tweets.  I’ve combined them to give an overview of it.

One of the chief uses for Twitter in business is to send traffic to the website or blog of the business. It works just as well for those not in business. Here is how to get started and use it to your best advantage.

1. Develop your blog or website about what you want people to know (your products, services, club, family or organization). Twitter is conducive to increasing the number of people you can reach.

2. Once you have developed your blog or website, put content on it that will be of interest to the folks you want to become your readers. potential customers or clients. To keep their interest, you must post to it frequently and keep it looking fresh and updated.

3. Show your products, services or information to best advantage on your blog or website.

4. Once your blog or website is fully functional, sign up with Twitter.

5. Be sure to include your web address on the Profile page of your Twitter site, so people will be able to go to your blog or website easily.

6. Once your Twitter site is set up and you have tweeted a few times, begin to look for followers.

7. Make your tweets interesting and valuable to potential followers. And when you post something new on your blog or website, send people to it by putting the URL in the tweet.

Types of Tweets and How to Use Them

a. Regular tweet: This is a straight tweet of 140 characters or less telling your followers something. Tweets should be interesting, informative and/or entertaining in order to gain followers and to make people want to click on the website or blog to learn more about you.

b. Reply: Click on reply and respond to what someone else is saying. These tweets also gain followers as they are seen by your followers and the followers of the other person. Others may find you interesting and start following you.

c. Direct message: Use a direct message when you don’t want the tweet to go to all your followers. ( you can only send direct messages to those who follow you)

d. Special Tweets:

  • i. Tweet with website or blog. When you post something to your blog, put out a tweet alerting others that you posted. For example my tweet might say, Just posted a call for artists from the Brevard Art Museum. Details: http://www.blog address.com
  • ii. Tweet with picture: To Tweet a picture, open another browser and go to http://twitpic.com. Sign in using your Twitter sign in and click Login. Click on the upload button. Browse for the picture you want to display. Include something to say about the picture. This will become your Tweet. Click on upload and you’re done. The twitpic URL for your picture will occur in your tweet. Hopefully, some of your followers will click on the URL and comment on the picture. Their comments become tweets as well and the URL goes out with the comment, so their followers see the URL as well and may become interested in following you.
  • iii. Tweet with interesting Websites: Don’t make your tweets just about you. If you find a wonderful website, share it with others. Just type the URL into the tweet. For example, Just found a great site for Brevard, Florida, writers. See it at http://www.SCWG.org
  • iv. Re-Tweets: With a re-tweet, you are telling others that you admire their tweet. You see tweets of the people you are following, but your followers don’t see them. So by re-tweeting a tweet, you are sending it out to your followers. They will probably thank you for the RT. This thank you will go out to their followers who will notice you….

e. Hash Tag (#): When words are marked with a hashtag (or also known as a pound sign #), you can click on it and you will find a list of recent tweets containing that word. If you want your tweet to reach that group, put # and the key word in your tweet. For example, if you want your tweet to go in with the group of travel tweets, put #travel at the end of your tweet. For example: If you come to Hawaii visit us at Teralani Sailing #travel. By using this marking, your tweets will come up when people search for travel on twitter.

f. #followfriday can be a powerful tool. Take some times to read the tweets of those you are following. Make a list of those you want to recommend be followed. On Friday write a tweet or two with the words #FollowFriday in it and follow that by the Twitter addresses of a couple of people you recommend that others follow. Some people cram in 6 or 8 people to follow. Make yours meaningful by including only one or two and saying why. They will tweet back and you might get meaningful support going.

Breaking in.

The most important recommendation is to try to strike up a conversation through your tweets as often as you can. This is how Twitter will help you connect with others.  T

Finally, see who is talking about you and talk back to them. Daily, check @mentions on your home page of Twitter. This will show you the tweets where your name was mentioned.  Tweet back to the people who have been talking about you  by replying or by putting @theirname in the Tweet Box and sending out a tweet that says something to them.

Let me know what suggestions you have to share.

About loubelcher

I'm a freelance artist and writer. I enjoy anything whimsical and my art and writing generally concentrate on the lighter side of life.
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