In case you didn’t know, I am @Splodz on twitter. I have tweeted over 35,000 times, am following more than 830 people and have 630 followers. I got the twitter bug back in January last year when I got my iPhone – my other half suggested I tried it after we heard Stephen Fry and others talking about it, I think he now regrets that 18 months later!
I recently went on a very useful one day course run by Liz Cable of Reach Further all about using twitter and LinkedIn for business. I found the day very interesting, especially as someone who currently uses twitter from a personal perspective. Liz encouraged us to share what we had learnt with others so I thought I would add just a handful of Liz’s suggestions (along with some of my own) here for anyone who is interested.
Tips for Good Tweeting
Make sure you add an interesting biography and also a photograph to your profile. This makes sure people know you are real (there are loads of bots on twitter) and also gives people an idea of who you are. Leave your profile photo the same for a while and then watch what happens when you change it… people notice!
Re-tweeting is the right way to quote someone else’s tweet. That way it is flattery – you are acknowledging the original tweeter. If you want to be re-tweeted then make sure you allow enough characters in your tweets for the obligatory “RT @username:” that is needed when people RT you.
Use hashtags (#) to mark your tweets to allow others to find you. Simply put # in front of any keywords in your tweets (eg #lincolnshire) and that word becomes a searchable term. Others who are interested in that topic can search for that and your tweet will show up, hopefully starting off a conversation.
Say hi to companies… some are spending money employing people to tweet (what a fab job!) – they are great to chat to and you can really learn some stuff. Try @walkers_crisps, @JordansCereals and @feelgooddrinks for starters – real people tweeting on behalf of their companies with some great conversations to be had.
Cats can speak to kings but kings may not talk back… You may well start following and chatting to a celebrity but they don’t have to talk back so don’t be too disappointed! A couple of fabby celebs to chat to are @JasonBradbury and @suziperry who often make time to converse with random strangers (like me – thanks Jason and Suzi!) on twitter. Other great celebs to follow as they are really active on twitter are @stephenfry and @achrisevans.
If you fancy finding out how influential you are on twitter, have a look at Twitter Grader (http://twitter.grader.com). Put your username into this twitter application and find out your “grade” out of 100 (mine is 94 at the moment). The most useful feature I found, though, was to hunt out people tweeting in my area – so I can get to know more people on twitter. I put “Lincolnshire” into the search and it gave me the top 100 twitters with that in their profile information (I’m currently number 34 in the county!).
Finally, be nice and don’t forget the whole world could be watching! I mean, twitter is a public forum and therefore anything you write can be read by anyone, even if you are replying to someone else. This of course includes your mum, your best friend, the lady who sits opposite you at work and the lad who just got your order wrong in the coffee shop. The only way to stop this is to “protect” your profile, but then what is the point of being on a global site like twitter and blocking everyone from seeing what you have to say? Say what you think, of course (that is one of the great things about twitter!), but remember that others are almost certainly reading (even if they’re not actually following you) and may answer back.
I would really recommend having a look at Liz’s site (Reach Further) and if you are responsible for Social Media for your company/employer then get yourself on one of her courses. But as far as tweeting goes, just get right in there and have fun – and don’t forget to follow me (@Splodz) and say hi!