Social networking is all about connecting and building a community. To me, it’s really no different from socializing in “real life”. Sure, it may be a little more difficult because you can’t hear the person’s tone of voice or see the twinkle in their eye that lets you know they’re kidding but it still is a matter of getting to know each other, building trust and establishing meaningful and hopefully mutually beneficial relationships.
As we reach the end of 2010, I’d like to share a few simple Twitter tips that I’ve learned in my very first year of blogging.
# 1 – Personalize Your Profile & Background
Your Twitter profile is an extension of your brand. At the very least, try to incorporate your colors and your logo. The main challenge with designing a Twitter background is that it will look different on different monitors due to the various resolutions.
Check out this great article “HOW TO: Customize Your Background for the New Twitter” that Kimberly Castleberry refers to (in her comment below) to learn how! Don’t forget to use keywords in your bio but make it interesting.
# 2 – Your User ID is Part of Your Brand
If you haven’t created a user ID yet, keep in mind that Twitter only allows 15 characters for your user name. This is a good place to register your ID first and then hop over to the other key social networking sites and reserve it there. If you want to check to see the availability of your user Id first, go to KnowEm. Be sure to go to Gravatar while you’re at it. Upload a picture and tie it to your email address and URL of your website.
# 3 – Have a Strategic Goal in Mind
Why are you tweeting? Are you looking to build awareness of your brand? Are you looking to build your online community? If your intention is to use social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to engage potential blog readers, clients and/or customers, this should be a clear goal. One way to build awareness and online credibility is by mixing your tweets with valuable information and joining conversations. Ask questions, retweet and show appreciation to your followers.
# 4 – Build Your Following
Some people pursue Twitter as if it’s a game to see who can get the most followers. That’s fine for some but if you’re looking for quality versus quantity, you may be better off building a following slowly. Keep in mind your goals and search for people who have similar interests. One thing to remember is to try to keep the number of people that you are following relatively close to the number of people that follow you. It helps build your credibility. I’m very careful who I follow. I don’t follow someone just because they’re following me. To me, it’s important to have people in my online community that I can learn from and who I respect.
# 5 –Think Before You Tweet
Tweet thoughtfully. Try to add value by sharing information. Make sure you always leave room for someone to retweet your tweets. (In my case, I leave 13 characters – for “RT @keepupweb”). Try to write post titles that include keywords and are true to your content. Tweet several times during the day. I used to think that people would tire from seeing the same tweet more than once a day. In reality, by tweeting in the morning, afternoon, evening and late at night, I’m increasing the number of people who will see my tweets. I’m hitting different time zones and chances are the same people are not seeing the same tweets.
There are lots more Twitter tips out there. I just thought I’d cover the basics. What are your favorite tips for tweeting?