5 Best Practices For Startup Tweeters
The ABYSS was the first thought that popped into my mind when I was about to create my Twitter account. Abyss can be defined as anything that appears to be endless, such as time, immeasurable depth, or despair. 30 days ago I sat at my desk looking at the Twitter login page contemplating the relative value of tweeting. The very thought of just creating that Twitter account seemed like a commitment of endless time and energy with little hope or quantifiable value.
Once my account was created I sudendly relaized I had zero followers. I feared anything I posted would just float out there in the endless abyss of Twitter and never be read by anyone. At the time tweeting was just an abyss to me. My mind was filled with questions…
- Who would care or even want to read what I posted?
- How would tweeting really benefit anyone (including me)?
- Wouldn’t it just be another daily task cutting into my already overloaded work schedule?
- Would I even have the time to properly feed and water this new creation so it could grow up and be fruitful?
Perhaps you are like me and your company encouraged you to help drive more social awareness and thought leadership with your customers by using Twitter. Like me, you also might find that step a bit overwhelming at first. So to help you get started and be effective on your Twitter journey; I have documented several Twitter best practices which I learned during my first 30 days of tweeting. My goal is to help you launch faster and obtain higher value with less stress and effort. By following the 5 Twitter best practices outlined below you can avoid feeling like you are tweeting into the abyss as I did.
If you follow the 5 key Twitter best practices I outlined below you will launch faster and obtain followers quicker than I did. The best practices are focused on creating a professional brand for you and your company. These tweeting best practices will also allow you to accomplish more in less time with lower stress.
Best Practices For Startup Tweeters
1. Define and create a professional brand
- Business or personal? Don’t comingle personal with business. Your “Username” should represent you, your company, or the view you would like to promote.
- For your profile be sure to include an professional photo, add a header background, or image.
- Complete the “bio” section. Your Bio should provide insights into who you are, what you do, and your interests.
- Promote your account. Immediately add your Twitter username to your e-mail signature, business cards, and other social sites you already use.
2. Get in the game
- Listen first, then tweet. Start by following more than 2 dozen companies or people. Followers will judge you by the companies and people you follow. So chose relevant, informative, professional channels to attract more quality followers.
- Following and stop following timelines (usernames) as needed until you get the quality and content desired. Review the “who to follow” suggestions and follow them if appropriate.
- Immediately start tweeting and retweeting daily. Start simple at first and enhance your writing skills over time.
3. Be social! Tweeting pointers
- Use 3 or less common hashtags when tweeting. I try to use no more than 2 per tweet.
- Try to use 100-120 letters when tweeting so RTs (retweets) have room to add their own comments and shrink links to conserve space.
- If someone RTs you, thank them with a reply tweet including their handle (username).
- Occasionally use the favorite tag.
4. Identify your target audience and find your voice
- You may need some think time to truly identify and target your best audience. Try not to cater to everyone. Narrow your audience down to the one(s) you would most like to influence.
- Finding your voice will take some trial and error. A good way to start is brainstorming and writing a list of potential topics to tweet about which you think your audience would be intersted in reading. Include some humanizing tweets so it is not all business.
- Educate and don’t sell. Point out interesting facts or information and then lead them to more information using a web page link, video, or attached picture.
5. Be resourceful
- Install and use smart phone and tablet social apps (ex. Twitter, Hootsuite, Instagram, etc.) to enhance your experience and maximize your time.
- I am a fan of Hootsuite. It allows me to create tiny URLs quickly and I can bulk schedule several tweets across my timeline. I also found Hashtags.org useful to help identify keywords for my tweets.
- Find at least 1 mentor with experience in social communications (Twitter) to help guide you on your journey.
To get started make a plan and work the plan! A good best practice is to define your success criteria before you start. I decided my goals would be to contribute daily (weekdays) for 30 days, gain a minimum of 25 followers, and tweet more than 100 times. I am happy to report I exceeded these goals. Now go start tweeting. Today!
What are some of your Twitter best practices? Please share them using the comment section below.
Please follow me on Twitter @Oil_Gas_Advisor for Oil & Gas industry and executive insights.
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