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March 8, 2013

Seven Ways to Effectively Use Twitter

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I started using Twitter in earnest in January 2012. Since that time, I’ve learned a few tips that I have found very helpful. Hopefully, you will find some of these useful as well.

1. Re-Tweet (RT)

There is nothing more flattering than someone re-tweeting what you’ve tweeted. It fact, the more re-tweets you receive for a particular tweet, the better you feel. This is the case for others as well. I recommend that you pick a good category and look at tweets from others there. Then, re-tweet (RT) tweets that are particularly interesting to you. For example, I like to look at what people are saying under the category of “leadership.” So, I regularly do a search for #leadership in Twitter. This lets me see all the tweets that include #leadership. I then RT the ones I like. The tweet shows up in my “stream” and it lets the individual know that I re-tweeted their tweet.

It is an easy way to get started. Searching on #leadership allows me to RT people whom I may not currently be following or who may not be following me. By re-tweeting people I’m not following, I occasionally pick up new followers or I start to follow new people because I like their tweets. I usually pick one day a week to do my RTs. I only do about 2 or 3 max a day, separated by a few hours.

2. Hashtags (#) are Your Friend

The hashtag (#) is an awesome feature in Twitter. Whenever you do a tweet, try to include a category you would like your tweet to show up under. Sticking with my example from above, I regularly tweet about leadership and management. So, my tweets include #leadership or #management or both. This allows my tweets to show up whenever people search on these hashtags.

Remember, this allows people to see your tweets even if they are not following you. I pick up about 20 to 30 new followers a week because people read my tweets in these categories. During the 2012 presidential election, I tweeted a couple of non-partisan tweets about presidential leadership and included a hashtag similar to #2012presidential. I tried to be as neutral as possible so as not to offend anyone from either party, as my intent was to share my thoughts on leadership in general. My tweet was viewed by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, because that category was greatly watched at the time. So, hashtags, if used properly, can be a powerful friend and get your tweets viewed by many.

3. Tweet Links to Articles You Are Reading Online

This is very easy. As you read articles online, there is a Twitter “tweet” button that allows you to tweet the article, including a link. This is by far the easiest, possibly most effective way to tweet about things that are meaningful to you and others. Pressing the Twitter tweet button as you read online articles automatically formats the tweet so that it is 140 characters or less. I then add my hashtag or hashtags (e.g., #leadership, #management, #quotes, etc.) and I’m done.

4. Quotes

I like to tweet quotes about 2 to 3 times a week. You can find good quotes under #quotes (or by using Google). I like to tweet original quotes every so often. This gives me a good sense for how a particular topic will resonate with people before I write an article or blog about it.

5. Try Not to Spam Your Followers With too Many Tweets at a Time

Try not to do more than one tweet per 3 to 4 hours. I was once following a person who tweeted 8 to 10 tweets back-to-back multiple times a day. I finally had to stop following the person because the tweets were more like spam.

6. Become an Expert in a Category or Two

I recommend tweeting about something you are passionate about and then including a hashtag for that category. Over time, people will see that you are regularly showing up under that category and before you know it, you are considered an expert.

7. In General, Have Fun

Lastly, have fun. Twitter is an amazing social networking tool and I have so much fun with it. I don’t take myself too seriously and that keeps it fun. Don’t worry if some followers stop following you, because people do that for various reasons. Others will follow you – especially if you stay true and passionate about your subject matter.


Dr. Milton Mattox is a senior-level business executive and technologist who has worked with some of America’s most acclaimed companies. An expert in software engineering, information technology, and quality process management, he continues to practice the process methodologies outlined in his book, “RAIDers of the Lost Art: Reinventing the Art of Business Process Excellence,” to successfully increase return on investment. For more information, reference miltonmattox.com.

19 Responses to “Seven Ways to Effectively Use Twitter

    I totally agree with your points the person who is not indulged in it and is here just to create followers and spam all around never gets out what he expects. So, its better to be real and get yourself some really great followers who could really appreciate your work.

    Hi Milton

    Thank you for the nice article. I agree with you that by tweeting sensible tweets on a regular basis is the one action which will build Twitter Followers.

    Regards

    Christo

    avatar SAK says:

    Twitter has become so popular as a micro blogging platform, re tweeting not only helps your online presence boosting but even can help you be respectable by Google and in gaining Higher Page Ranks and traffic as well,

    Also Always choose your Niche as your Hash tag This tip would help you more than other tricks for sure. :)

    Thanks for your tips Milton
    this article should also be in socialmedia>> twitter

    avatar A Gilmour says:

    Thanks for all the good advice. Novice at this and your article has been very valuable.

    Hi,

    I must say that the post is very much effective.

    avatar Mike lee says:

    Veryusefull was a little confused on the hash mark thing how is the tweet formatted

    avatar Rob Osborne says:

    Great advice on using Twitter. I use some of these already but will be looking to put some of the others into action from now on.

    Very useful article. I am yet to start using hashtag. After reading this article, I realize the importance. Thanks.

    avatar Luann says:

    Thank you for the post. In my case, any help I can get with using Twitter the better.

    avatar Shilpi Roy says:

    “In general, have fun”- I like this way and will focus on it as the others have been tried and tested.

    This article would have helped even better had you specified the timings in which the tweets should be done, in order to cover most of the audience. If you have that info, please share.

    Thanks.

    Hi, I normally put about 3 to 4 hours (or more) between posts. I’ve found that too many posts in the space of 3 to 4 hours appear as spam. Great question and I hope this helps. –Milton

    avatar Mike says:

    A very informative article, thank you. I hardly ever touch FB anymore but Twitter rocks!

    avatar Susana King says:

    Wow, I didn’t know anything about hashtags on twitter. Yet, I really don’t understand how to use twitter very well. Thanks a million for teaching us about how to use it better! I’m going to try this out right now.

    avatar Boonchai says:

    I love Twitter very much. Thanks very much.

    avatar Kathy Bales says:

    Thanks so much for this very helpful article. I’m printing it to save as a reference! I was totally in the dark as to the “why” of #hashtags and have not used Twitter as much as I should have because I didn’t know how to use it without seeming “spammy”. Now I feel like I can be and effective member of the Twitter community.

    avatar Nina says:

    Thanks for this post! I learned something new on how to use twitter to improve my brand.
    Thanks

    Hi Milton,

    These are all great tips especially for people who are just getting started with Twitter.
    I’ve been using Twitter for about 6 months an it is indeed a great way to drive traffic to my website and also get my content shared.

    I always use hashtags in my tweets, I think it makes them more findable by people who are using twitter search.

    I also have a rule that stops me from being spammy and over-promote my own content.
    For each of my articles that I share on Twitter I share 4 articles from other websites and blogs that I read and I also retweet 4 tweets.

    This way I can always deliver great information to my followers and it also makes me look like I’m an expert in my niche.

    Great article Milton, have a great day.

    ~Philip

    avatar Chris Slinger says:

    I agree with the last part of the article, have fun. If you are working online as a business then you might as well be back working 9-5 in an office if you arn’t enjoying what you are doing.

    Nice article thanks

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