Sunday, January 5, 2014

Twitter 101-3: Getting even more from Twitter

Let’s continue our look at more tools and tips for making Twitter your favorite social media platform. 

A short list:

Twitter can help you find useful stuff
• Probably the least-used and least-understood function on Twitter is its Advanced Search. It makes finding relevant and useful content so much easier. To locate it: After you have done a regular search on Twitter you will get a results page with the little cog icon to the right. Click on it and one of your three options will be Advanced Search. This is where you can narrow down your search with word choices (including or excluding, for example), people, places and sentiment (positive or negative, for example).

For more on Advanced Search see Using advanced search by Twitter or check out this piece from Mashable: 10 Tips and Tricks for Powerful Twitter Search

• Understand how hashtags are used and why you can both use them to be found and to find others and their relevant content. In a nutshell a hashtag is any series of letters (a word or several words typed together without spaces) preceded by the # symbol. These hashtags started on Twitter and are now common across many social media platforms. For more see How to Use Hashtags With Twitter on WikiHow.

• Perhaps you would like to start using Twitter more for business purposes. This post 12 Most Twitterific Ways to Use Twitter in Your Business by Rebekah Radice (@RebekahRadice on Twitter) has some good basic starting points on the how to use Twitter for business purposes.

• Last, but certainly not least, be sure to start sharing your Twitter @name everywhere so that people know this is one more place they can connect with you. Having it on business cards, in your email signature and on your other social media pages (such as Linkedin and Facebook) can only help more people connect with you.

So, now do you feel ready to get more from Twitter? I hope so, but if you have questions that haven’t been answered in these posts please don’t hesitate to ask … I’m on Twitter as @mikejny.

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Twitter 101-2: Getting more from Twitter

So, you’ve committed to using Twitter more often … where to start?

Assuming you’ve already visited Twitter’s Getting started with Twitter page let’s look at other things you can do to maximize your time on Twitter:
Take a closer look at Twitter

• Start with ensuring your Twitter page is as good as it can be. Check out 7 Ingredients in the Perfect Twitter Profile by Jay Baer (@jaybaer on Twitter). As Jay says: "Having a succinct, compelling profile is more critical on Twitter than anywhere else." His seven tips really are essential guideposts.

• For a really good beginner’s guide to Twitter use check out A writers’ guide to getting the most out of Twitter by Michelle V. Rafter (@MichelleRafter on Twitter). The tips here are practical and to the point.

• Be disciplined about checking in on your Twitter activity at least once a day. Twitter is a social network and people who don’t respond are, well, not social. So learn to check the “@Connect” view on your Twitter profile to see who has tweeted to you or retweeted you. A common courtesy is to thank those people who retweet you and doing this as a collective thank you to several accounts at once is also OK. You should also check the envelope icon (at the top and to the right) on your profile for an indicator that you have a Direct Message from someone you follow. You should respond to these too.

• Getting followers (the people who see what you tweet) can be a concern early on, so check out 10 Easy Ways to Get More Twitter Followers by Jess Estrada (@jessestrada on Twitter). These tips don’t involve buying followers or randomly following people (both are questionable practices).

• Learn to develop Twitter lists to sort the people you follow into manageable groups. The article How to Use Twitter Lists Like a Pro by Dave Delaney (@davedelaney on Twitter) tells you why lists are valuable in many different ways and has some good tips on creating and using them.

• At some point you will share stuff on Twitter that you hope others will pass along (retweet, in the Twitter vernacular). But how do you encourage this? Uber blogger and social media maven Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas on Twitter) has some helpful tips in his post 9 Simple and Powerful Ways to Get More Retweets on Twitter.

• Want to see what all the fuss is about with celebrities on Twitter? Just don’t expect a lot of earth-shattering insights! Here on the Friend or Follow list called Twitter: Most Followers you’ll find the 100 most-followed Twitter accounts, the majority of which belong to celebrities.

So, is this helpful? Do you know of other good resources for Twitter beginners or those returning to Twitter? If you have questions that haven’t been answered in these posts please don’t hesitate to ask … I’m on Twitter as @mikejny.

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Twitter 101-1: Twitter – You Hardly Know Her

Millions of people start a Twitter account and forget about it. Which is a crying shame … because in the world of social media they are missing a huge opportunity for a better life … seriously.
Time on Twitter can be well spent
Read on to learn about better living through Twitter. According to Twopcharts more than 2 billion (that’s right: two billion) Twitter accounts have been created. But only 506.1 million accounts are still in use and of those maybe 200 million were active in the past month.

A Reuters-Ipsos poll quoted by Business Insider found that 36 percent of Twitter users don't use their accounts after they've registered.

Why do so many people start on Twitter and abandon it or have an account and yet don’t use it? For most it is that Twitter is so different from other social media sites such as Facebook. But seriously, Twitter has the potential to make your life better. Here’s how it is … 

Your personal news feed: Follow a few reputable news sources and you’ll quickly learn more of what’s going on via Twitter. Over time you’ll also pick up other good sources of news and before you know it Twitter will be a primary news source. To get started, check out 10 Must-Follow Breaking News Accounts on Twitter from Mashable.

A great learning tool: Follow people who share good content that is relevant to you, your career and/or your stage of life and you get a constant stream of useful information. And, best of all, it comes to you in manageable 140-character-or-less bursts – if you want more, you click the link. This article might help: Choosing Who To Follow On Twitter.

Makes better connections than other social media: You follow people who are interesting (and quickly unfollow those who aren’t). Material they share is often material retweeted (RT) from someone they follow. This way you are exposed to new Twitter profiles and find interesting people to connect with. One of the biggest differences between Facebook and Twitter is that the former is closed (you have to be friends with others to chat) but not so on Twitter where you can literally talk to anyone. For example, my interactions with Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) and basketball great Shaquille O'Neal (@SHAQ) will always be highlights.

Going to make you a better writer: Before you dismiss this too quickly, think about it: In Twitter you need to say something of value in 140 characters or less – a lot less if you’re going to include a URL and leave room for others to retweet your message. This forces you to think about word choices … as well as teaching you a lexicon of creative Twitter language and abbreviations. This article might be helpful: The Complete Guide to Twitter Lingo.

A word of warning: If you’re only interested in connecting with family and friends you should stick to Facebook. Twitter works best among social media platforms when everyone is sharing interesting stuff and finding new and interesting people to connect with.

Are you convinced? Will you get active on Twitter now?

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