Time to Join the Twitterverse?

Twitter post, ID-10091684 Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotosdotnet

Twitter is going public, ostensibly, to grow more rapidly and profitably. If you haven’t yet tried it, maybe it’s time to start.

Twitter may seem simple, but looks can be deceiving. Keeping your tweets under 140 characters is only half the challenge. If you’re willing to do more than just peck around, here are a few tips:

Write an engaging profile. How you describe yourself in only 160 characters can be a challenge, but a great profile can help increase your number of followers. People won’t follow you if they don’t know who you are or what you stand for. Be sure to post a candid photo, too. They want to know what you look like.

Find people you want to follow. Usually, they follow you back. Organize your followers in lists based on your interests. These can be customers, prospective clients, the media, friends, family. At various times, you can pull up one of your lists and see what they’re tweeting about, then decide whether to respond via a direct tweet or by sharing via a retweet.

Keep your tweets well under 140 characters. If you want people to share your tweets, they need room to include a message of their own.

Content is king, even with tweets. Use nouns and verbs, and make your tweets sound conversational. If you’ve ever tried to read a tweet that’s a jumble of words, @s and hashtags, you know what I mean. Include hyperlinks to pages with more information.

Learn to use the symbols correctly. For example, to retweet what someone else said to YOUR followers, you type the @ sign followed by the user’s “handle” (Twitter name). Put your commentary at the beginning. This is how you give credit to someone who shared the Tweet first. You can also use the word “via” or h/t (hat tip) when sharing.

Use hashtags. The ‘hashtag’ (#) with popular terms can help you and others find information. This works well for terms like #BlackFriday, #Hillaryclinton or a conference where you want other attendees to know what you’re sharing.

Have a good balance between what you share and your frequency of interaction. Building relationships via Twitter will be more effective if you take the time to have mini-conversations along the way.

Finally, make sure you promote your Twitter handle on your website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, blog and your business card. If you’re going to take the time to get active on Twitter, you might as well let your immediate world know about it.


About Chris Ruys

Chris Ruys is founder and president of Chris Ruys Communications, Inc., a marketing/public relations firm that specializes in high visibility campaigns using both traditional and social media strategies. Her blog, originally called "Getting Social," was launched in October 2010 as a way to share her progress as a "student" of social media. While she's still learning, Ms. Ruys has broadened the scope to include other aspects of marketing communications and PR, including blogging, email, traditional media and advertising in the blog she now calls "Proactive PR."