Twitter logoAre you not using Twitter? Some of my friends and colleagues are uneasy about dipping their toes into this micro-blogging platform. Don’t be afraid! It’s a great tool for learning, sharing and networking.

To start, determine how you can complement your marketing and communication efforts with Twitter. Sign up at the Twitter website.

When you write your 160-character Twitter bio, be sure to add relevant and interesting information to help people decide if they should follow you. Add your photo plus a link to your website or blog.

Craft about 10 tweets before you start following others. Twitter notifies you by email when someone follows you, and people usually check out the follower’s profile before deciding whether to follow back. You want to be sure there’s something there for us to see, right?

To find people to follow; start with your own address book. Use the “Find People” tab on the Twitter website. Be sure to follow thought leaders in your industry, and follow the people they follow.

Share some Twitter love by retweeting others’ content. Your Twitter feed should not be all about you. Remember to engage with others by using the @ reply feature or direct messages (DM).

Think about using a Twitter client such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite instead of the Twitter website. It will make Twitter easier to manage.

Create Twitter lists of clients, prospective clients, colleagues and other people. This makes Twitter much easier to manage. The full Twitter “firehose” is usually too much to consume. (By the way, you can see someone’s tweets in a Twitter list even if you are not following them. This is handy if you want to track your competitors on Twitter.)

Learn how to use hashtags and search for them. I like to define a hashtag as “the deliberate use of a keyword.” So, if I write a post about podcasting in general, I might not use the tag. But if I tweet about #podcasting, I’m letting people know that this tweet is about podcasting. Bonus: if you click on a hashtag, you’ll see the tweets associated with it.

Once you are comfortable with Twitter, try using Buffer to schedule tweets. Although I am wary of over-automation, I do like to schedule tweets to appear throughout the day, not just in the early morning when I’m scouring Twitter for great content.

Related content
My post on “Why people don’t follow you back on Twitter.”

The Twitter Tip Sheet

If you’re in the Greater Toronto Area and you’d like to learn more about Twitter and other social media tools, check out my upcoming workshops.

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