31 January 2011

Top Tips

Top Tips to Becoming a Top Tweeter

Are you joining the Twitter revolution?

If you are, do you know how to make the most out of it for business and pleasure?

When it comes to social media there is an unwritten code to adhere to to ensure that you don't offend or alienate your followers.

It can be tricky and a bit time-consuming getting to grips with how to use Twitter effectively, but with a little patience and perseverance you could substantially boost your business or your own personal profile.

Here are some of our own tweeting tips, tried and tested by the FDC team:

Adding your profile image"¦

There are so many profiles on Twitter and many of them lack any enthusiasm. For your Twitter profile to work you need to draw people in.

I can't believe that some people on Twitter do not even have a profile image; instead they have the standard Twitter egg graphic.

I will not follow people who do not have an image. It's simple.

There is also an argument for business profiles: logo or photo?

That's really your call, but putting a face to your business is always a good thing. Give it a strong look. Make people feel that you are actually human and keep things consistent. Don't mess around too much with your avatars. People like familiarity and with it they'll remember who you are.

Adding your written bio"¦

You only get around 160 characters to explain what you are doing on Twitter in your profile's biography section. That isn't a huge amount to play with, so it's a good idea to be straight to the point.

You need to tell the world what you do, in a concise, friendly manner and in a tight character margin.

One major no-no is to come across as ego-centric. Anyone who uses the words 'guru', 'expert' or 'thinker' to describe themselves has just made themselves look arrogant.

What you tweet does matter"¦

Once you have the image and bio on your Twitter account sorted, it's time to think about the content of your tweets.

What are you offering your viewers? What should you say and, crucially, what shouldn't you say?

Funny tweets: Sometimes people use Twitter to make other people's lives a bit more positive. People who tweet jokes are entertaining their fellow followers. Everybody likes a happy person, but be careful - a little too much comedy can become draining. Add some colour and mix up your emotions every now and again.

Angry tweets: Your tweets should never be angry. The problem with this is: if you are posting angry tweets, you're more than likely angry. Aggressive tweets only ever make you look bad, especially when the intention is to criticise others  on Twitter. Keep it friendly. It doesn't cost anything to be nice.

Using '@ replies'"¦

Today, '@replies' are a critical part of how Twitter works. Starting your update with '@phil' designates that you're addressing Phil, specifically, much as you would in a group conversation. Also like in a group conversation, he's not the only one who can see what you're saying.  

One thing I continually come across on Twitter is a user's home feeds being littered with @ replies.

If this is you, clearly you're a chatterbox and you love socialising. This is great that you're making the most out of Twitter and meeting new people, but it's pretty tedious for your followers who will have their news feeds clogged up with your conversations.

Serial external linkers"¦

Now it does take a little skill to squeeze what you have to say into the 140-character limit of a tweet. And if you want to comment on an external website or page it's best to link to the actual article or news story that you're tweeting about.

Often, many people make the mistake of tweeting links without giving any explanation about where the link will take you. If all you do is post links elsewhere, as a follower it gets awfully confusing when looking down your thread.

Remember: explain briefly where the external link will take people. If you don't you could not only see very few people actually visiting the link, but you might also see a decline in your Twitter followers.



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