Twitter Tips – Do’s and Don`ts

October 9th, 2008

twitter do's and don'tsA few weeks ago I attended BlogWord Expo in Vegas. It was jammed packed with tons of social media sessions. One session I attended was: “Twitter: Building the Connections that Drive Traffic”. The panel included Stowe Boyd (www.stoweboyd.com/), Laura Fitton (www.pistachioconsulting.com/), Tony Hiesh (http://www.zappos.com/), Lucretia Pruitt (www.geekmommy.net/) and Erin Kotecki Vest (www.queenofspainblog.com/)

They all brought different perspectives to the table on how micro-blogging (IE twitter) can benefit building connections with customers, markets, and other social media users and to drive traffic to your website.

This post includes general do’s and don’ts for those trying to figure out how to get into the conversation stream and use it as an effective communication tool. Examples of Twitter users who are setting the standard for their industries – what they do that others don’t. Crafting your personal brand on Twitter and other micro publishing platforms and avoiding the most common pitfalls.

  1. Do use twitter to build in-person connections – Start or attend a tweetup in your area. A tweetup is a real world meeting between two or more people who know each other through Twitter.
  2. Do use twitter to build personal relationships - Tony, one of the panel members first started on twitter to find out where the parties were – he did it for personal relationships with friends. Then Zappos (his company) adopted it. Twitter was used for company culture and introduced employees to each other. Check out their twitter.zappos.com – they have an aggregate feed and trained their employees (over 400) on twitter too.
  3. Do use twitter to give away products and get your brand out- You can use twitter as an internal tool or as a customer acquisition and brand awareness tool. Give-aways are always a good way to get an user base to follow you!
  4. Don’t just post your blog urls - Most common errors is to twitter your posts only. You need to first build relationships and trust. Also mix it up and show your personality – get to know each other and participate. You have to click on and comment on others tweets too.
  5. Do use Google Snackr (http://snackr.net/)-  Snackr is an RSS ticker that pulls random items from your feeds and scrolls them across your desktop. When you see a title that looks interesting, you can click on it to pop up the item in a window.
  6. Do Retweet– repeating someone elses tweet is ok. The art of “retweeting” is best described as taking a twitter message someone else has posted, and rebroadcasting that same message to your followers. You can also read more about “The Art and Science of Retweeting for Twitteraholics” at: http://bloggingbits.com/the-art-and-science-of-retweeting-for-twitteraholics/
  7. Don’t tweet for linkbait – Not trying to write link bait but stuff you really want to share. The term “linkbait is used to describe content on a website which is designed to generate incoming links from other sites”.
  8. Do tweet for help when it is important - Tweeting for help can actually get retweets for the same call for help. Ask for good causes or genuine help and not to get business and sales – which may leave a bitter taste with your followers. A good example is to ask for introductions to someone or recommendations for a product or service. People love helping each other!
  9. Do shorten urls– use tweetburner or tinyurl to create a short urls. If you open up an account with Tweetburner you can track your clicks – you should check it out – I love it.
  10. Don’t abuse twitter - Follows those you wish to follow and don’t abuse or spam them. If you abuse relationships, you will have less followers. Also twitter will disable accounts that have spam-like behaviors!
  11. Do mix personality and business – It’s definitely an individual preference but you should mix it up. It’s healthy to show who you are even if you are a company.
  12. Do filtering – Set up a filter of your name, and set alerts of tweets that you want to filter out (those important to you). I recently checked out Tweetbeep.com – check it out.
  13. Do follow – some people follow all and some people only follow a percentage of their followers. If you don’t follow people, they cannot direct twitter you and others can’t find you through other networks. Most tweets will follow you back if you take the time to follow them (except spammers).
  14. Do check your direct messages – Respond to your direct messages. You can also send a direct message with the @ and not with the replies tab.
  15. Do use twitter for a reputation management tool – go to search.twitter.com (formerly summize.com) use it to track your company and product name and at replies for your handle (for example: “@shannonyelland” is mine).
  16. Do use twitter for feedback – Basic rule of thumb to follow: If you are asking for straight data and facts use Google, but if you are asking for opinion – twitter it. If you cannot find technical questions on Google it is still ok to Twitter it though.
  17. Don’t try to be a twitter hero – just interact, be honest and helpful – then you will become a successful tweeter and the tweople will like you!

Did I miss a twitter tip that you want to share? Feel free to comment on this post!

Oh ya Rafeal, reminded me in a post below – my twitter is http://www.twitter.com/shannonyelland if you’d like to follow me!

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2 Responses to “Twitter Tips – Do’s and Don`ts”

  1. How Twitter Can Help Online Marketing and Tips | Seed The Web on September 15, 2009 8:50 am

    [...] You can also visit my post “ Twitter Tips – Do’s and Don’ts” [...]

  2. My Top Ten Takeaways From BlogWorld and New Media Expo | Seed The Web on October 27, 2009 9:59 am

    [...] Read more on my post: Twitter Tips – Do’s and Don’ts. [...]

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