Are you excited about using Twitter? What you need is a little bit of knowledge and a lot of experience. Luckily, you can learn from others and use their advice! Here are some Twitter tips that will make your life much easier, so take a moment to read them before you start the adventure with this social networking platform.
Text and picture by Joanna Wróblewska
As a student, you are probably eager to learn about promoting your work online. There are many websites and blogs offering tips on how to use social media, including Twitter. Not everybody has time and motivation to do research on what works and what does not work. Feel free to use these ten simple tips to improve your Twitter skills: writing better tweets, getting more followers and keeping them engaged.
1. Show who you are
Writing a good Twitter bio takes time. First, take a look at famous Twitter profiles (especially of people who do things similar to you) and find out what makes them special. Then think of something original and amusing that describes you the best. Some people go for descriptions that are funny, but what makes you laugh will not necessarily work for others. A perfect Twitter bio should be short, straight to the point and descriptive at the same time. Reading your bio will allow users to build an expectation on your tweets. A well-done profile can bring you more followers, and this is what counts in the end.
2. Be visual and creative
Adding an image or a video to a tweet will help the viewers to understand it better. However, uploading pictures of what you had for lunch or how you looked like after a night out is not the best idea. Be professional and post only interesting, high-quality content that will let your personality shine. Multimedia tweets drag more attention and are retweeted more often.
3. Structure a perfect tweet
A good tweet is a combination of a short text and hashtags (written with the # symbol, like #ScholarSunday). Additionally, it can contain a shortened URL, a tweeter handle (like @jowroblewska) and an image or a video.
Use perfect grammar and spelling. Create “call to action” engaging content (use words like “discover”, “vote”, “come”). Avoid capitalizing words (unless you SHOUT) and slang. Save space (e.g. put “&” instead of “and”) and use maximum two hashtags per tweet. On top of that, remember to leave around 20 characters of empty retweet space, for others to share your post. You can put more emphasis on some words by using square brackets. Sounds complicated? Learn how to tweet from professionals!
We’ve got a new piece on California’s “runoff crisis” for the #June17 World Day to Combat #Desertification http://ow.ly/Os4Pb
(Tweet example by Alternatives Journal – Canada’s Environmental Voice)
4. Repeat your tweets
Some people would say that repeating tweets during the day or week is a mistake. However, if you would like to reach diverse Twitter audiences in many time zones, this is what you should do. It is also a matter of practice: some times of the day will work better than others.
5. Use 80/20 principle
Especially in the beginning, around 80% of your activities should focus on interaction with followers: retweets, favorites, and replies. Once you are a more experienced Twitter user, you can quickly change the proportion.
6. Don’t crave attention
You are not obligated to read each tweet and respond, favorite or retweet every single thing. In fact, some followers can understand this kind of behavior as a desperate search for attention. It takes some time to find balance, but thinking about daily patterns and getting into the rhythm helps.
7. Engage others
One of the best ways of engaging followers is to mention them in your posts. Starting the post with a Twitter handle will make it private. Placing the Twitter handle further in the text will make it public. Some people start tweets with a dot to avoid publishing private messages visible only to them, the recipient and their common followers. Moreover, mentioning high-profile users can help you in getting more followers.
@AlternativesJ Loving the latest issue! We have another suggestion on how to green your style http://www.torontoenvironment.org/wetclean
(Tweet example by Toronto Environment – private message)
Loving the latest issue! @AlternativesJ We have another suggestion on how to green your style http://www.torontoenvironment.org/wetclean
(Tweet example by Toronto Environment – public message)
Another way of engaging folks is to ask questions and answer them. Creating “call to action” messages can help as well. Some Twitter users like to post at the moment, during events like conferences, interviews or concerts. Tweet about others, don’t focus only on yourself and of course… follow interesting Twitter users!
8. Be responsive, be thankful
Do not forget to thank followers for retweeting your content! People like appreciation. Expressing gratitude and answering messages takes time, but will pay off in an increasing number of followers and decreasing amount of users unfollowing.
9. Give tips
Giving tips to folks is always a good idea, especially if you are an expert in a certain field. Tweet news on selected issues, give people advice, share links. It will help you to build a community of individuals who care and share engaging content every day.
10. Use a scheduler
Some Twitter users advise using a scheduler to improve consistency. Not everybody can tweet on a daily basis, so a good scheduling tool might be helpful. Social media tools like for instance Buffer, will help you to create engaging content and retweet it.
Whatever you do, do not forget to make it pleasant and have fun! After all, tweeting on things that you love will always be the best choice.