Monday, July 6, 2009

10 Tips for Managing Twitter from The Blog of Mr. Tweet

I came across this wonderful information from Mr. Tweet's Blog and thought it was worth passing along to those who Twitter or are thinking about joining Twitter! Many of us at Etsy, Artfire, Etsy Secrets and other handmade sites have started using Twitter, visit Mr. Tweet for more great information about Twittering at:

10 Tips For Managing Twitter As Your Usage Increases

This is a guest posting by Jeff Hurt (@JeffHurt), Director of Education & Events for National Association of Dental Plans. He has worked in events/nonprofit arena for more than 20 years. You can find more of his thoughts at Midcourse Corrections: Views From The Trenches.

A recent MarketingProfs poll showed that more than eight in 10 Twitter users, most of whom represent small business, expect their company’s use of Twitter to increase in the next six months.

Obviously, these savvy business and organizational professionals realize that Twitter, when used appropriately, can help them better serve their customers, engage in relationships and even, in some cases, lead to new business. Here are 10 tips from the Twitter Pros Playbook that can help you better serve your customers, 140 characters at a time.

1. Use Your Real Name In The Name Field, Not Your Username
If you put your Twitter username in the “Real Name field,” people will not be able to find you when they use Twitter’s “Find People Link.” Example, my Twitter username is @JeffHurt. When I first started using Twitter, I assumed that people would search Twitter for @JeffHurt, (one word, no space). Friends and colleagues were searching Twitter using my real name. They didn’t know I had removed the space between first and last name.
I later changed my settings and entered my real name so I could be found as Jeff Hurt and @JeffHurt. This made a world of difference and is probably one of the simplest, yet most effective things you can do to help others find you on Twitter. Even if you’re tweeting for an organization, put your real name in the “name field” and the company name in the profile bio and username.

2. Embrace “What Has Your Attention” Not “What Are You Doing” Ignore the heading “What are you doing?” above the update box on Twitter. Consider tweeting about what has your attention. People really don’t want to know about what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It just creates more noise for many of your followers. Make your tweets relevant to what you’re thinking about, what has captured your attention and even what you’re reading.

3. Tweet With Others In Mind First
Take a look at your tweets. What do they say about you? Are the majority of your tweets about your company, products, and services? Are they all “me, me, me” related? Stop that! The blue bird of happiness will not land on your organization because you’re pushing your products and services on Twitter. You’re looking really self-absorbed and egomaniacal.

And by all means, do not just share case studies about your customers with your readers. You’re still pushing me, me, me, my, my, my products. You have to earn your readers’ trust and attention and to do that, you need to give in order to get. See next tip.

4. Use Angela Maiers’ 70-20-10 Twitter Engagement Formula
Be purposeful and intentional as you enter the Twittersphere. As you “Twiv to Twet” (give to get) and move away from self-promotional tweets, consider this tweeting engagement formula.
a. 70% of your tweets should share resources- sharing others’ voices, opinions, quotes, blog posts, articles, content and resources
b. 20% of your tweets should engage in conversations with others, responding, connecting, collaborating and connecting with others.
c. 10% of your tweets can be chirping, chitchat as Angela calls it, on trivial details or self-promotion.

5. Use A 3rd Party Twitter Client On Your Desktop And Mobile Device
If there’s one thing I stress above all others, using a 3rd party Twitter client is it. Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Twhirl for PC and Tweetie for Mac are four clients that many people use on their desktop to manage Twitter more effectively. These Twitter clients make your Twitter experience more robust than the Twitter web interface. One of the biggest pros is that you don’t have to hit the refresh button continually to see new tweets from others and you can see columns for all friends, replies and DMs on one page. For your iPhone, consider Tweetie, Twitterrific or TweetFon. For Blackberry, consider Twitterberry, Blackbird, or SocialScope.

6. Be Authentic, Real And Act Like A Human
Authenticity, sincerity, and humanness is the name of the game. Tweet like a real person, act like a real person, sound like a real person, be genuine and true to yourself. Tweeps in Twittersphere can see through your mockingbird calls and know if you are there to mimic a human, ready at any opportunity to pitch a product instead of engage in dialogue.

7. Identify Tweets With Links To Videos, Podcasts or Slide decks People hate seeing a great tweet headline with a link and clicking it to discover that it’s a video that’s being downloaded or a PowerPoint slide deck. Use abbreviations like vid or PPT in your tweet. Also, if your tweet contains a link to questionable material, use the NSFW (Not Save For Work) abbreviation.

8. Twitter Is Not About Amassing A Large Number Of Followers
Contrary to the Ashton Kucher and CNN competition, it is really about the quality of connections versus quantity. Yes, everyone secretly wants to be voted the most popular Tweep in Twittersville but don’t fall into that bird trap. One of the easiest ways to find quality Tweeps and new people to follow is to participate in a Twitter chat. Twitter chats showcase the best of the best of Twittersville.

9. Stop Your Automated Direct Message Tweets To New Followers
They’re impersonal, pushy and often self-promotional which equates to a Twitter Fail Whale. Yes, it’s nice to send a welcoming tweet to new followers and if you do, keep it personal and human. Don’t send them a link to your latest method of how to gain thousands of new followers! We don’t want to know about that. Nor do we want a direct message with a link to your newest get rich quick scheme.

10. If Your Tweets Are Missing, Don’t Show Up In Twitter Search, Or Are Absent From a 3rd party Twitter Client, Contact Twitter Support I’ve seen this happen many times. People decide to join a Twitter chat, they include a hashtag and when they hit their update button, their tweets never appear using that hashtag. As Twitter grows and evolves, they experience latency issues with Twitter API and Twitter Search used by many of the third party clients. Start with these Twitter resources to help your tweets be identified again.

BONUS Have Fun!

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