Ultimate Guide on How to Use Twitter
In the previous lesson I covered the Twitter lingo and guidelines to help you get familiarized with "Twitter talk" and understand what you should and shouldn't do to keep your account in good standing and preventing temporarily being locked or in the worst case, BANNED!In this next lesson we'll discuss tweeting as that's the most important activity you'll be doing to get a good following. Remember, if you're account is not active people won't follow you because you won't be providing anything useful for them.
There are 2 places where you can tweet. One is just above your timeline section in the middle of the page in your Home tab. The other is the blue Tweet button that will be on the top right of your page regardless of what page you're on in Twitter. The functionalities of both are the same so you can use either method to tweet.
When composing a tweet, you are limited to 140 characters (keep in mind that spaces are counted as characters) so short messages that get to the point are required. Tweets are public so anyone who has a Twitter account may see them by doing a search on Twitter. They will appear immediately on the timelines of accounts that are following you so it's a good idea to get as many followers as possible if you want to increase your online presence.
If you add a link in your post, Twitter's URL shortening service will automatically shorten it to save space. There are plans in the near future that links and mentions of user accounts in the beginning of replies will not count toward the 140 character limit but they have not implemented that as of this writing so keep in mind that mentioning an account, adding links, adding images, and adding video takes up some of the 140 character limit.
Cool Tweeting Features
There are some features that Twitter provides to help enhance your tweet.
The first is the ability to add an image or video. You can do this by clicking on the camera icon just under the "What's happening?" text box where you type your tweet. Images are a great way to immediately convey a message and grab people's attention as is video. Keep in mind that for videos Twitter just recently increased it from only 30 seconds worth of video to 140 (2 min 20 seconds) worth of video.
The second is a Twitter animated GIF. Twitter provides a set of fun animated GIFs to make your tweets more lively. You can add one by clicking on the "GIF" icon beside the camera icon. You'll be able to select a category or do a search. Once you see the one you like, simply click on it and it'll appear in your tweet. Keep in mind that a Twitter animated GIF takes up 24 characters from your tweet so you'll be left with 116 characters left.
The third is the ability to create a poll. Interaction is always a good thing and a poll is a good way to get interaction. Ask a question and provide choices and see which choice people will choose more. You can get creative with this to try and get more responses. Polls often get retweeted and shared with friends so it'll give you more exposure.
The last one is Location. I don't personally use this and it's actually disabled by default but enabling this allows you to add location information to your tweets. It can just be a general location such as city or neighborhood but can go as precise as your actual latitude and longitude coordinates. Please be cautious when tweeting with locations as you might not want to share things with others like the location of your home. You can read more about their location services here.
Why should you tweet? Twitter has over 300 million active users every single month and they have over 1 billion unique visits monthly to sites with embedded Tweets. Yes, BILLION! Isn't that enough of a reason to promote yourself or your site on Twitter? That's a HUGE market and even getting a tiny bite of the market can become very profitable.
Your tweets can go "viral". Meaning it will spread like wildfire as it gets tweeted and retweeted through people's account. Just imagine if one of your tweets were liked or retweeted by someone like a celebrity. They have millions of followers who are interested in what they have to say, what they like, what they're doing. One single retweet from them can mean huge traffic for you as it's very likely that their fans will like or retweet it as well. And we all know that you need traffic to make sales. More traffic, more chance of getting sales.
As you already know, Twitter has a huge user base so it's always flooded with tweets 24/7 as it's used worldwide. You need a way make your tweets stand out. You don't have much room since tweets are limited to only 140 characters so here are some tips on making yours stand out.
- Personalize Retweets - when people retweet someone's tweet it's usually pre-populated with text so it's quick and easy to share. Make yours stand out by personalizing it and adding your opinion or comment to give followers context.
- Ask Questions - questions are prompting for a response. Ask people their opinion like "Have you ever tried this innovative product?". It will get them intrigued and will increase the chance of them clicking your link, retweeting, or tweet you back.
- Share Links Multiple Times - Twitter is flooded by tweets so your tweets won't have long shelf lives. People also live in different time zones so they may not see your tweet until later in the day. Because of this, you should ensure you get maximum exposure by tweeting your link more than once throughout the day. By this I don't mean sending out the same tweet over and over as it looks like spam. I mean send the same link but use different headlines. Be creative!
- Have Personality - You don't want to send boring tweets. Show some personality and be creative with your tweets. Don't be like the rest and make your tweets stand out.
- Trending Topics - the hashtag is used to tag topics and it's easy to see what topics are trending by looking at your Trends section on the left on your Home tab. You can also check out Trendsmap to see what's trending in your area. Use these hot trending hashtags in your tweet to gain more exposure.
- Get Visual - A great way to stand out is by adding images or video in your tweets. If you look at the majority of tweets, they're all text. A nice image or video will definitely capture their attention.
- Interact- Twitter is a social network after all, so the one of the best ways to get noticed is to talk to people. Remember every tweet is public and can be seen by every Twitter user and when you tweet someone with their username (ex. @QuakeKitGuide) it will show in their timeline as well as their profile so their followers can see them too. Don't wait for people to reach out to you. Make the first step and reach out to others. You'll be amazed at the response and exposure you'll get. Often times other people will join in on the conversation giving their input and again, remember that tweets are public so you'll get even more exposure with every new user that interacts with you.
So today you learned:
- Tweeting basics
- Some cool tweeting features
- Why you should tweet
- How to capture attention with your tweets
Hopefully now you know a few tips on how you should be tweeting. Remember to be personable, use media, and interact. Just doing these simple steps will surely get you followers.
If you have any other tips and tricks you're using to make your tweets stand out. Let me know in the comments section below. I always like to keep learning new things!
And as always, if you have any comments or questions, leave them below.
In the next lesson we'll learn about Twitter lists and how we can use them to organize and group accounts.