7/25/11

9 SOLID tips to becoming more successful at TWITTER-REVISED

Here's a quick and dirty list of ways to make your tweets even more powerful and effective. Most of these tips I learned from my 'tweet' mentor, Regina Holliday, a great friend, artist, and patient voice advocate.

1. Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags.....hashtags look like this----> #. And they are placed in front of any word of importance and 2-3 hashtags per post is the limit. Any more than that does not fare well with readers. I know it takes up valuable realty, but once you hashtag your word is seachable....which means more people can actually SEE your posts. People use hashtags to identify a (a) functional community, or (b) functional common topic or an (c) ongoing chat topic, such as #edchat which happens at the same time each week. Beware, some hashtags have multiple meanings, so avoid words that could be misconstrued as more than one meaning. Remember, choose words that will get you found by the people you find to find you. If you create a hashtag for your group or cause, you need to advertise it so others use it. There is no use using a hashtag if no one else knows about it or uses it.

so below is a post with tags attached: the words in blue, after hashtag will be searchable even by non-friends......this is what you want.

rt@mikesunny 50% of #teachers in #charter middle and high #schools left their jobs each yr. over a 6yr perdhttp://t.co/bZO7ERm #UC study.
2. Don't just press the retweet button, copy and paste the post you want to retweet manually (see sample below). Why? b/c most people don't put in hashtags and again, hashtags makes your tweet searchable to more tweeters than just your 'followers'. This might mean you need to shorten some words even more, but well worth your time. Below you will see how retweeted mike's post:

Mike posted:
50% of teachers in charter middle and high schools left their jobs each yearr. over a 6year perioddhttp://t.co/bZO7ERm UC study.

I retweeded him like this: (changes I made to tweet are in red for you to see)
rt@mikesunny 50% of #teachers in #charter middle and high #schools left their jobs each yr. over a 6yr perdhttp://t.co/bZO7ERm UC study.
(remember 2-3 hashtags per tweet limit...4 tops)

warning: only hashtag correctly spelled words.....shortened words have less possibilities of being searched for....

3. Shorten your links using a link shortening site. I use https://bitly.com/ You plunk in your long link in the box, press the box that says 'shorten' and copy and paste your new, shorter link in the box.

4. Time your twitter feeds. This is my favorite one of all. I use http://twuffer.com/ to time my twitter feeds. Most people who tweet do it at ungodly hours. I tweet around 2am. Most people are not up then and might not search your tweets hours later, meaning they will miss your tweets altogether.....Twuffer allows you to time your tweets so that they are posted when people are awake. I usually time them throughout the day but concentrate my best ones from 6-8ish....

5. When you want someone (who may or may not be a 'follower' to see your tweet, use the @ symbol before their twitter name. For example, if you want the White House to see your tweet...add @whitehouse to your tweet, they don't have to be 'following' you for you to add them to your tweet. I know for a fact that most agencies have someone looking at them and taking note of what is being posted. Just know this is not a private tweet even though you put in @whitehouse.....the whole world can see it as well....
* don't go crazy at this....people can BLOCK you if you @ them too much in an negative manner.

6. Learn to shorten words. I know people lament this as the loss of the true English language....but to tweet successfully it's something you must learn....I look at what other tweeters do and follow them. As a matter of business I always shorten:
you--> U
to--->2
Education--->Edu
percentage----->%

*always read it over to make sure you did not shorten too much that it made your tweet unreadable....no rules to this.....just try your best....be clever, have fun.

* Make lists to shorten your twittering time......make it count......I have 2 lists I am working on at the moment. I use lists for these 2 reasons....and you can have as many lists as you want. There are lots of reasons one might make LISTS but here are my two just as examples.
A. I go to my 'trusty folks' list to get good articles to read.....these are the no-nonesense twitterers who put out 'meat and potatoes' links....
B. I also created another list of people who have opposing views. I scan these to quickly get a sense of what others in my field are doing/thinking, etc.
When one has very little time, having various lists allows one to scan through your favorites fast.

7. Always give credit where credit is due.....if you post a tweet you got from elsewhere, make sure to RT@_________ with their name .

8. Always provide a little info about the link you are posting....people have so little time, I personally have a very slow computer...I will not click on a link unless I am sure it will be one I want to read....so try hard to convince me. To lure readers I also sometimes quote directly from the article I am tweeting about.....this is one of the best advice. Doing this alone got me about 100 followers in one week. It really gets people to go and check what you're posting.

9. As I learned from my friend Regina, in twitter you are only as good as the links you provide.....I myself have discontinued following people who post dumb, non-essential info, and expect others to be just as ruthless with my posts....so if you don't want to lose followers, stick to one cause....She believes that Facebook is for social media with friends and family, and if "you have a cause, you need twitter."

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