If the social media networks were physical gatherings, Twitter would be the water cooler. People hang out there to discuss issues, share jokes, and simply ‘lurk’ to overhear what’s going on. Twitter also has 145 million active daily users. Those users range from mommy bloggers to historians, with everything in between. Yet like all the platforms, it has a learning curve. It’s also changed a lot since its launch in 2006. Wondering how to use Twitter to get the most out of it? Read on to learn more.
1. Remember Twitter Is a Conversation
Too many people hop onto Twitter and start blasting their missives into cyberspace. Trouble is, they don’t take the time to engage with replies. Facebook and Instagram work fine if you just broadcast outwards. Yet this misses the point of Twitter. Think of Twitter as a dialogue, rather than a monologue. If someone replies to you, then reply back. Get into a conversation. You’d be amazed at the opportunities that can come from a friendly chat on Twitter.
2. Follow Other People
Twitter makes you follow different accounts when you create a profile. After all, if you don’t follow anyone, your news feed will only include whatever you tweet. Following other people gives you content to respond to and share. It’s also a great way to keep up with local news or your favorite interests. When someone you follow tweets something interesting, reply to them! Start a conversation. It’ll make using Twitter much more fun.
3. Add Hashtags to Tweets
Use hashtags to help people find your content. They act like miniature search terms to help users navigate Twitter. This gives you tweets a much higher chance of being seen. You can use trending hashtags for better visibility. Make sure your tweet is related to the topic though. Adding a trending hashtag to an unrelated tweet can become dangerous. DiGiorno pizza tried to advertise its product in a hashtag for domestic violence. Despite the company’s apologies, the incident damaged its reputation.
4. Get Involved with Hashtag Chats
There are lots of ways to use Twitter.
5. Use Media With Your Tweets
Twitter works well with plain-text tweets. Yet adding media helps to grab the attention of anyone scrolling by. At a basic level, that includes emojis and GIFs. You can get more advanced by adding your own images or videos. Make sure you keep copies of any videos you upload to Twitter. There’s no straightforward way to download Twitter video from a tweet.
6. Fill Out Your Profile
Your profile is a great way to ‘advertise’ yourself to other users. You can let them know what you’re interested in and who you are. This tells users you’re not a bot. They’re more likely to interact with you when they know you’re real. Consider adding what you do, a fun fact, and a couple of ‘terms’ to make it easy for others to find out. For example, if you’re in the cosplay community, you’d add that to your profile. Twitter shows users your profile when you follow them. Leaving the profile blank makes it less likely they’ll follow you back.
7. Use a Profile Photo
When Twitter first started, the default user icon was an egg. It made it easy to see at a glance which users weren’t serious. Brands often use their logo as a profile photo. This can look a little impersonal. Users don’t know exactly who they’re tweeting when they tweet a brand. Photos of real people work best. Let people see who you are. This is also helpful if you use the same photo avatar across all of your platforms. It makes it easy for followers to recognize you.
8. Tweet Regularly
Twitter is not like Instagram, where one to two posts every couple of days is enough. Tweets disappear within minutes if the algorithm doesn’t pick them up. Stack the deck in your favor by tweeting regularly. Eight to 10 per day seems to be a good number to aim for. That doesn’t have to be eight to 10 original tweets. You might share a news article you’ve read by hitting the ‘tweet this’ button. Or you might retweet content by other users. You can also schedule content in advance. There are several platforms available that let you craft tweets for publication in the future. You can space out your content across the weeks and even months.
9. Balance Your Own Content With That of Others
Accounts that only retweet other people look strange. Likewise, accounts that only tweet original tweets or links look odd. Strike a balance by sharing your own content and that of others. A ratio of 1:5 is a good one to start with. That means you’d share five pieces of content by others for every one of your own links.
10. Don’t Only Post Links
Sharing content is great. It’s what Twitter is useful for. Trouble is, other users can’t get to know you as a person if you’re only posting links. Add a little personality between links. Share photos of what you’re doing. Post opinions and ask questions. People can form great connections and communities on Twitter. That only happens if people know you’re a real person.
11. Avoid Using Automated DMs
DMs, or direct messages, became a great way to take conversations off the public platform. Some marketers started advocating that users set up automated DMs to welcome new followers. That made sense if someone sought you out and hit ‘follow’. Though it looked strange if you followed them, and then they got a breathless ‘thank you for following me!’ automated DM in return. People can tell when DMs are automated. They may work well with Facebook Messenger chatbots. Yet people use Twitter for connection and conversation. Automated DMs offer neither of those things. Avoid using them so you don’t annoy your brand new followers.
That’s How to Use Twitter!
Now you know how to use Twitter to get the most out of it. Following these Twitter tips should make the platform more fruitful for leads, connections, and opportunities. It’s a fun and fast-paced network that gives you better access to people than you might get by email. Interested in all things tech? Check out our gadgets articles for more inspiration.