Getting more out of Twitter
In some ways Twitter is almost too easy – join up and start tweeting. But if you want to have a happy and useful time on Twitter then here are a handful of tips to improve your experience.
1. You’ve only got 140 characters – try not to use them all
If you’re posting comment, information, links etc that you’d like people to retweet then give them space to do it. If you use all of your 140 characters then they either have to use Twitter’s retweet button (which means they can’t add anything to what you’ve said) or they have to edit your tweet or they just won’t bother. Aim to leave about 20-30 characters free and make it easy for people to share your content.
2. Save space with URL shorteners.
These compress a website address down to a few characters and leave you more space for your comments. There are several around for you to choose from including bit.ly and ow.ly so check around and see which one you prefer.
3. Track your clicks
You can create an account with shorteners like bit.ly which will then let you see how many times your link has been clicked and where in the world the clickers are located.
4. Write descriptive comments
If you’re posting a link make sure that the text with it gives people some idea of what they are going to find when they get there. Most people won’t follow links that don’t give them some clue about what’s they’ll find at the other end.
5. Retweet other people’s content
Social media is about sharing and if you retweet other people they will be more likely to retweet you – share and share alike.
6. Don’t forget to say thank you
We all like to be acknowledged and if someone has taken the time to pass on one of your tweets to their followers then it’s good manner to recognise that.
7. Check your @mentions – often
It’s so frustrating when you take the time to respond to someone on Twitter and they don’t acknowledge it. If you’re following a celebrity then you might not expect them to respond but other, more normal accounts you might well expect a response from. If someone came up to you in the real world and spoke to you, you wouldn’t ignore them – would you? Same applies on Twitter – a quick response will mean that your followers know that you are listening to them and engaging with them.
8. Respond to other people’s Tweets
If someone has posted a comment, asked a question that you can help with then answer them. It’s all part of the conversation and you’ll be noticed more if you take part rather than sitting on the sidelines.
9. Check links before you retweet them
The link may have been posted by someone you trust but you should always see what’s at the end before you share it with your followers. Sometimes the link may be broken in which case a tweet back to the originator would be kind. Or the destination may not be one that you want to share with your followers – for example it might be something funny that’s not safe for work.
10. Don’t use 2 much txt spk
If you’re really pushed for space then you can get away with the odd bit of contraction but with some careful thought you can say what you want, in less than 140 characters and in plain English. If you must say more than a tweet can manage then use a tool like Twitlonger .
… oh, and one more!
11. Use pictures
As they say a picture can paint a thousand words and you certainly don’t have room for that many in Twitter so including an image can add a lot of value to your tweet.
Over to you…
What are your best tips for using Twitter?