In our previous post, How to Reply on Twitter, we took a quick look at how to reply to messages on Twitter, as well as a word of caution about Direct Messages.
In this post, we continue the Twitter series with a discussion of some of the Twitter Do’s, as we like to call them, or the best practices for your Twitter account.
- Go for the Numbers — Unlike some other social media sites, Twitter really is all about the number of followers you have. Go for numbers. You need to have lots of followers. You never know who will find you that customer or partner.
- Follow Your Followers — Twitter etiquette is that you automatically follow everyone who follows you. Not all agree with this, and we’re among them. We were once followed by some randy girls from Australia who wanted us to view their Webcam feed. Didn’t follow back.
- Follow Your Followers’ Followers — If you want to build your numbers, consider following people your followers follow.
- Create a Follow Policy — Do you follow everyone back, or only those who meet your criteria? Do you use the number of followers the person has as a determinant? Most importantly, would following this person reflect badly on you, due to the types of people they follow and the messages they tweet? Many people, for example, don’t follow tweeps who follow more people than they are followed by.
- Create Goals and Metrics — Like all social media, you should have a goal for using Twitter, and a way to measure how you’re doing against that goal. The goal could be number of followers, status of your followers, or the number of retweets you get. You can determine this latter by using services — such as Retweerank — that show how many times you’ve been retweeted.
- Be Interesting — The most important Twitter Do is, of course, to make interesting tweets. We think perhaps we’ve stressed this enough.
- Share the Love — Promote other people many times for each tweet promoting you or your enterprise. As on other platforms, your Twitter followers will tune you out if all you talk about is yourself. Also, reply directly, and publicly, to other people (tweet begins with the user’s handle — @somebody). It shows you’re engaged in the community.
- Create Lists — Twitter allows you to create lists to which you can add your followers. It’s easier for you to catch up with those in the list, plus, users are notified that they are part of your list, and are more likely to check you out because of this.
- Keep it Shorter — Limit your tweets to 120 characters to leave space for others to retweet you and add their comments.
- Monitor Twitter — You should monitor what people are saying about you by searching periodically for your Twitter handle and organization name, by watching @ replies, and by setting up automated alerts.
- Tweet at the Right Time — It’s not enough just to create fascinating tweets. You need to pick the right time to tweet. In general, the best time to tweet to reach the largest North American audience is between 1 and 2 pm Pacific time. That’s when the most people are active on Twitter. If you want to reach an international audience, 9 am Pacific time hits several major break times in people’s days: arriving at work on the West Coast, lunchtime on the East Coast, and the end of the business day in London. If these aren’t convenient times for you, consider using a tweet scheduler like SocialOomph or others.
- Put a Share Button on Your Website — Make it easy to for your site visitors to share what they find on your Website by adding a Share on Twitter button. There are a number of free services that you can easily add to your site to accomplish this. One we like is called AddThis. If you are permitted to use persistent cookies (ask your Webmaster), AddThis can also give you sophisticated tracking metrics about your visitors.
Next up: Twitter Don’ts
Twitter Do’s is the 114th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 311. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2
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 Retweetrank: bit.ly/9A5I4k
 SocialOomph: bit.ly/cnbUCz
 AddThis: bit.ly/9K30P4