Twitter: What Next – Part 2

Part one can be found here.

Hey Tweeters! Now that your profile is filled out and you’ve done a search to find some good peeps to follow, I thought we’d get in the game with some tips for getting started. My guess is, you’ve filled out your profile and then left it alone. Am I right?

Not to worry. Most people do that. Most people sign up for Twitter and then never open it again. Or at least, not for a while. But not to worry! We’re going to fix that right now.

First, some vocabulary.
You may have noticed that Twitter sort of has its own language of sorts. There are some shortcuts that Twitter users know in order to read other people’s tweets.

RT – retweet. This means that you are re-stating what another person has said.

@username – this will “tag” or notify the person you’re referring to – so, for example, if you wanted to “retweet” something I’ve said, YOUR tweet would start like this: RT @jesskupferman

#: On Twitter, this is called a hashtag. A hashtag is something you can use the search box for to follow a conversation about something. It’s also a way of tagging YOUR tweets for other people searching for that subject. For example, rather than tweet “Vendio is the best for ecommerce,” you’d write, “Vendio is the best for #ecommerce.” Then, whomever is searching for tweets about ecommerce would see that tweet. Another way of using these is for attending events. Many times people holding networking events will have an associated hashtag, so people can see all the conversation about that event. A great example of this is #SXSW. (or South by Southwest.)

Next, what to tweet.
There are some basic things that MOST Twitter users tweet.
1. Links to interesting articles about their industry that they’ve found on the internet;
2. Links to interesting articles/videos that they themselves have created;
3. Quotes from other people;
4. Replies to other people’s tweets.

It’s not really good Twitter manners to ONLY tweet about the things that you yourself are selling or creating. Good social media etiquette dictates that we are sharing other people’s content, as well as our own. A good ratio to follow is about 40-60% of our own stuff, and the rest from other people or responses. This is a similar rule on Facebook. Think about it: You know that guy at the party that rambles on and on about himself? Don’t be that guy! Social media is like a party – we’re all there, talking and engaging, complimenting and entertaining with our stories. No one likes an attention hog. So be generous with your support of others and you will get it in return, without question.
The best thing to do is jump in and start having conversations or asking and answering questions on Twitter and seeing who responds. This is a good way to build what’s called a “tribe,” or a base of people in your circle of trusted peers and customers. Once you establish yourself as an industry expert, the followers increase and so does the conversation and passing around of your information. It’s sort of magic, but it really works, and the process can be really thrilling! Seeing people start to converse with you, then follow you, then retweet your material, it is very flattering and nice to feel like a part of this new community.

A great way to contribute to Twitter regularly is to make it easy for yourself. Using the Twitter share buttons on blog articles and products, or websites that allow that is a quick and easy way to share something without writing it out or wondering what to say. When you click the button, usually it will have the article title and link – but I think it’s nice to share your opinion of the article, too. So it would look like this: Great article! -> Twitter – What Next by @jesskupferman http://bit.ly.com. (subliminal message intended!)

Another great way to easily share content is by using a blog reader like Google reader. Those types of readers will pull in articles from your favorite blogs and then give you easy share buttons when you see something you find interesting. Almost no thought involved!

In the next Twitter installment, I’ll share some management tips, such as how to schedule posts in advance so you’re not always posting in real time. Until then, let me know below what you think of Twitter so far!

About our Guest Blogger
Jess Kupferman, Vendio’s Guest Blogger (and winner of our Blogging Contest) is a creative and engaging expert branding specialist, speaker, and gifted social media strategist and designer. Always plugged in to the latest developments and best practices in the industry, Read more about Jess here.

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