The Best Top Ten Twitter Tips

So everyone’s all gaga over Twitter.  And a thousand “Top Twitter Tip” blog posts.  Yet with so many other things needing my attention on any given day, I quickly realized there has to be a better way to use Twitter than the default Twitter.com system and there were some really good tips already out there, yet just as many more that didn’t apply to me, someone who is both hoping to find new business opportunities on Twitter and also be able to educate my own clients on social networking.  So I’ve come up with a list that fits that need, and why I consider this The Best Top Ten Twitter Tips article!

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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #1.  FINDING PEOPLE TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER
You can go to Twitter when you’re signed in, and do a search for topics you might be interested in, and find people who are on twitter that discuss them.

For example, you could type in  prosperity   or   antioxidants   or   gratitude   or   photography

From there, you’ll get a very long list of recent tweets (a tweet is when you post something to Twitter)  from anyone who mentioned that word in it.  Clicking on their photo brings up their profile and all their recent tweets.  If you like what they post, you can choose to follow them.

(You can always choose to “unfollow” them later on if you want)

RATIO OF FOLLOWERS TO FOLLOWING

Some people only follow five people but have 50,000 followers themselves.  People like Oprah, Larry King, Ashton Kutcher…  At first I followed some people like that, because as an Internet Marketing professional I wanted to see how they were using Twitter.  What I found was that very few people in that category are worth following (at least by me anyhow) because they really are just using Twitter to get even more fans or publicity.  And that, to me, is just not something I care to pollute my life with.

At the same time though, if you really have something of value to contribute on Twitter, I don’t care how many people you are following or are following you.  I’ll follow you anyhow.

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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #2.  BETTER MANAGEMENT

Managing your user experience is paramount to efficiency, enjoyment and quality of life in the Twitterverse.  Here’s just a couple tips on how to get a grasp of what could otherwise become a very overwhelming experience on Twitter.

tweetdeckTWITTER USER INTERFACE IMPROVED WITH TWEETDECK

I use TweetDeck – it’s a stand-alone program that is much better at being able to follow what people say, respond and participate than just using the Twitter web site.  With Tweetdeck, you don’t have to refresh your twitter page to get updates of when people you are following post their own tweets.  You can also set up new columns – to move your favorite tweeple (twitter people) over to.  That helps me a lot now that I am following over 500 people.  There are other solutions out there, TweetDeck just happens to be the one I prefer.

TWITTER FOLLOWER MANAGEMENT WITH TWEEPLER
Trying to evaluate whether someone that is following you is worthy of following (yes I evaluate each follower to see if I want to follow them!)  I have found Tweepler to be invaluable!  It’s not perfect, yet it’s light-years ahead of using the Twitter site method.  You can see everyone who is following you, every one from that list that you are following, and everyone from that list that you are not yet following.

You can quickly see their three most recent tweets, and their profile description.  If they have a link to their web site in their profile, you can click on it to get a better grasp of who they are.

Then at the click of a button, you can add them to who you are following, or you can move them to the side.  You can always come back to review the list and change things if you want.
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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #3.  SHORTEN YOUR TWEETS
First, it’s not polite to only tweet one way.  Or to only tweet links to your business web site or blog. Participate in the community aspects of Twitter – comment on other people’s tweets, add your own voice.  Some people tweet every single thing in their life while others only tweet about one topic.  That’s your call.   Yet when you tweet, sometimes it is a challenge to get all you want to communicate in 140 characters.  Here’s a couple tricks to fix that.

SHORTEN WORDS
Change the word “for” to  4   “you” becomes U  “and” becomes &  and so forth…

SHORTEN URLS
If you want to shorten a web site address, you can use a 3rd party tool like bit.ly or any one of several others available.   Personally I switched to bit.ly a while back after using SNURL because I found that after signing up, when I use the service to shorten a URL, it will keep track of how many people clicked on that shortened URL.  Not only how many people that saw my copy of it, but anyone else who has also found that shortened URL – either because someone forwarded mine to other people, or because the destination had already been processed by the bit.ly service previously.

Seeing these statistics help me determine which of my tweets with links in them are most effective or listened to.

An example of how this works would be where http://www.search-marketing-answers.com/blog/2009/05/16/competitive-insight-girl-scouts-and-hells-angels/

becomes http://bit.ly/tg27a

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS

If you feel a tweet just can’t be completely shortened, go ahead and use two tweets.  Just be aware that too much of this can annoy people.  Then again, some people will unfollow you if you post more than five tweets a day.  Personally, I tweet anywhere from no tweets in three days up to 50 or more tweets if it’s a really amazing day.
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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #4.  REPLYING
If you want to reply to someone on Twitter  you use the @ symbol  so  @alanbleiweiss how are you?   will send the message “how are you” to me. Only reply to me if you think you have something of value to say.  Please don’t reply to every tweet I post in the hopes that I will follow you.  Yet if you have something to say that is in opposition to my views, please DO reply to me and you just may find that you become one of my favorite tweeple!

Note though – that if I tweet you three or four times and you don’t respond, I may choose to un-follow you.  No offense – I just think that it’s polite to acknowledge others most of the time.  Still though, I understand that sometimes it’s not all about me and I won’t automatically unfollow either though.

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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #5.  RETWEETING
If you really like something that someone tweets, you can choose the “ReTweet” option (either manually copy and paste it to resend it out, or in TweetDeck, using the RT button next to their photo.  If you do it manually, it’s polite to put RT  username    in front of the tweet to let people know that you’re just forwarding something from someone else.   Doing so without giving credit is rude for sure.

If you go to RT someone it will automatically add your username in front of the tweet.  So sometimes, that makes the tweet too long (140 character max allowed).  When that happens, I sometimes shorten their tweet and change RT to (via)  so people know it’s been edited.
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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #6.  PRIVATE TWEETS
If you are following someone and IF they are following you also,  you can directly communicate with them privately.   You put a D  in front of their username but with a space  so   D alanbleiweiss  will send me a direct tweet if I am following you also.  (If you have TweetDeck Direct tweets show up in their own column and so do  replies)

CAVEAT Direct Tweeting is NOT a perfect system – once in a blue moon Twitter will accidentally send a direct Tweet out in the open.  And if you are typing fast and end up not having a blank space after the D and before a username, that tweet will go out into the open twitterverse!

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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #7.  FINDING MORE PEOPLE ON TWITTER
Once you are following others, if a tweet they post includes @username of someone else on Twitter, that’s one way to discover other people who you might want to follow.

Also, as you surf the web, more and more people have icons or text  links to follow them on Twitter.  Clicking on that link or icon will take you to their Twitter page where you can choose to follow them or not.

You can also find even more people to follow by using services like Twellow (The Twitter Yellow Pages), or WeFollow.  And be sure to list yourself there as well, so other people can find you!

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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #8.  #keyword
When you see a tweet with the pound sign (called the “hashtag“) in front of it, that’s a way that people can discuss common topics or events over an extended period of time, then someone else can do a search  for #whatever  and all the tweets that exist for that topic or word will be displayed.

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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #9.  #FollowFriday
This has become one of the more enjoyable hashtags – where if you like someone’s tweets enough, on Friday you can say #followfriday @alanbleiweiss

The problem with this was that many people got out of hand and would #followfriday six tweets in a row with eight usernames in each tweet.  Twitter recently made a change to their system so that if you are not following people that I include in my tweets, you wouldn’t see that tweet from me at all.  (And thus killed the #followfriday purpose).  There was huge uproar among the twitterverse and so they changed that back but it may only be temporary.

RECOMMENDATION
Many of us prefer to use #followfriday in a more elegant way so if I like you enough I will do something like:

#followfriday @yourusername  because they really have great insights on health and wellness

(essentially it’s a mini-testimonial for you)
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BEST TOP TWITTER TIP #10.  MORE TWITTER TIPS
Well, this IS a list of my top ten Twitter Tips, so I had to find a way to limit it to only ten tips on making Twitter a much more enjoyable and efficient place to communicate.  And that left me with the dilemma that if I could, I’d make it Alan’s top 100 Twitter tips.  But then it wouldn’t be a Top Ten list then would it?

So in keeping within my own article’s title, I now offer you a couple additional resources for further Twitter eduation:

BETTER FOLLOWING

http://www.twitip.com/how-to-be-a-better-follower/

MOBILE TWEETING
http://www.simplehelp.net/2008/04/16/20-ways-to-use-twitter-on-your-cell-phone-or-mobile-internet-device/

http://twitterhelp.blogspot.com/2008/05/twitter-via-mobile-web-mtwittercom.html

TWITTER HELP
http://help.twitter.com/portal

TWITTER SPAM REPORT

@spam Follow Twitter’s official spam profile and report Twitter spam via direct message (shortly after you follow them, they’ll follow you back.  Once that happens, you can D spam  to report spammers

About Alan Bleiweiss

Just another guy. Who happens to have a lot of experience living, breathing and sleeping organic SEO. So that's my primary focus - high end SEO audits and consulting for sites ranging from thousands to tens of millions of pages. In my spare time I blog, rant, write eBooks, and speak at industry conferences.

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5 Comments

  1. [...] This post was Twitted by Tynico – Real-url.org [...]

  2. Alan,
    Once again you have enlightened me with you knowledge and humorous wit!
    This top ten list has been very useful to me; especially the tip on shortening long URLs.

    Thank you!!

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