Even though Twitter doesn’t have as many followers as Facebook isn't growing as fast as Pinterest it is still a vital cornerstone of any social media marketing plan. Twitter does drive traffic to your website and it does contribute to new leads for businesses websites. In fact, businesses with over 1,000 twitter followers had over 6 times more traffic than businesses with fewer than 25 followers and five times more leads. (Source: Hubspot, see Lead Generation Lessons from 4,000 Businesses eBook)
As the internet and social media has matured we have collectively learned how to use tools like Twitter. Having tried many of the tools and tricks over the past few years I have often shared my thoughts and observations here in the Partner Views Blog. Times change, new tools come along, old habits are dropped and new tactics are adopted. Here is a list of my current Twitter tips and tricks.
1. Weed Out Your Followers: If you start to follow a significantly higher number of peeps than follow you Twitter will block you from following until the ratio is more in line with their standards. They do this to discourage automated following and spammers. I regularly un-follow people who, after a few months, are not following me, as well as people who are not active tweeters. Why follow someone who hasn’t tweeted in 2 years? In my blog on The 10 Twitter Tools I Use for Social Media Marketing I list some tools that can be used to manage your followers. To that list I would add Social Bro, a free platform that makes it very easy to filter and manage your Twitter followers and friends. For example you can see how many of your followers with the standard Twitter avatar have not tweeted in the last year or see who are your influential friends.
2. Don’t Auto Reply to a New Follower: When I first started tweeting I was trying hard to build numbers and I set up an automatic re-follow tool that sent out an automatic “Thanks for Following” message. First, no one is fooled, they know it is an auto-reply, especially if they do respond to it and you do not answer back. If you see someone who is really cool send them a special message. No one ever un-followed you because they didn’t get an auto-reply.
3. Don’t Follow Everybody: After cleaning out a lot of deadwood I dropped auto-re-follow as well. It takes me about a minute longer a day to personally check new followers and decide to re-follow them, it also gives me a better idea of who my followers are. Not following everyone will also help your ratios mentioned in tip #1. My standards for following back are pretty low but I do have a few, I don’t follow if:
- I check their tweet stream and every tweet is similar to “I just got 5,000 new followers in one day and so can you!”
- If the avatar is an outrageously gorgeous woman and her tweets say things like, “Check out this new bikini I just bought on http://www.fakeXXXsite.com”
- If all the tweets are the same.
- If they follow a lot of others and have never tweeted or have just few followers.
4. Balance Your Tweets: We know from Dan Zarrella’s The Science of Twitter that you should not just tweet about yourself. On the other hand you do need to promote your own content. We also know from Dan that the effective life of a tweet is about 2 to 3 hours so if you do promote your own content you need to send out more than one tweet. What is the right ratio of promotional tweets to other tweets? I have been using the 2-4-10 ratio. I send out 2 tweets per day for content such as eBooks, 4 tweets a day on blogs and 10 tweets on content from others. I can’t find the original source of the 2-4-10 Rule but it has really worked for me. I think Guy Kawisaki was the originator but I can’t find the reference, so if anyone knows let me know.
— Allison Semancik (@IdeaSprouts) August 17, 2012
@image_media Thanks so much! Have a wonderful weekend!
5. Attribute Other’s Content: When I tweet other’s content I always mention them in the tweet, usually like this: “blog via .@Image_Media.” When you put a period in front of the @ symbol everyone on twitter can see the tweet, otherwise only your followers and followers of the account you mentioned can see the tweet. When you attribute a blog with the blogger’s twitter handle they know you are promoting them, they appreciate it and others know you are promoting content other than your own.
6. Encourage Others to Tweet Your Content: If you write a blog with tweet-able content or would like people to tweet about your new eBook or webinar ask people to tweet the content. A great and easy free tool for this is clicktotweet. Just put in your tweet-able message and you will get a url that will trigger a tweet that you can put in a blog or an eBook that is just like this: Tweet about clicktotweet.
7. Schedule Your Tweets: In tip #2 I advise against auto-replies but I’m not against any automation especially when it can help you be more effective. My favorite tool for scheduling tweets is Hootsuite (affiliate warning). Hootsuite is especially helpful if you manage multiple accounts. You can bulk upload up to 50 tweets at a time and the calendar view helps you manage tweets over time and over different accounts. Tweetdeck and HubSpot also have great tools for scheduling tweets. Speaking of auto scheduling tools check out Allison's blog 5 Tools for Auto Scheduling Your Social Media Posts on her idea sprots blog.
8. Optimal Auto Scheduler: Another thing we know from Dan Zarrella’s The Science of Twitter is that certain times of the day and week are better for tweeting than other times. Dan’s data is relevant in a general way but each twitter account is unique with followers in different time zones and different tweeting habits. Now Hootsuite and Social Bro have tools to help you tweet at the best time for your particular Twitter account. Hootsuite’s auto schedule tool will automatically queue your message for the next optimal time. Social Bro will analyze all of your friends and followers to determine the times they will most likely see your tweet and when they would most likely re-tweet your message. Social Bro even has a tool where you can put in up to 50 tweets and it will output the tweets, with optimal tweet times, in a .cvs file that you can then upload into Hootsuite’s bulk tweet tool.
— Tammy (@TMOnlineMrkting) August 11, 2012
@image_media Thanks so much for the shout out Tim! Hope you're having a great weekend.
9. Personalize Follow Fridays: Follow Friday’s with the familiar #FF tag has become a popular way of telling others who you think are import people to follow. I have found that the standard formate of a list of twitter handles is a bit impersonal. I’ve started to send out unique #FF message for each person I want to promote. I mention something specific such as a talent or specialty and encourage others to follow. For example my tweet may be like this: #FF .@exampleBob Not only is Bob a good example he is a great social media guy and a super Red Sox Fan so follow Bob. I guarantee that if Bob is a real person they will thank you, favorite the tweet and retweet it and tell others to #FF you next week. Granted this is a bit time consuming and I reserve it for people who promote my content or retweet by tweets.
10. Acknowledge Others: I don’t wait until Friday to acknowledge others. If anyone tweets about my content such as a blog or eBook, or retweets my tweets I make sure that I send them a personal thank you.
— Marko Desic (@Kancelar) August 13, 2012
@image_media You're welcome :) Always a pleasure to post quality content :)
Some may complain that some of my tips are time consuming in that they take some time and are not automated. That is true, the only automation I suggest is scheduling your tweets and that even takes some effort. I’ve tried tweeting an RSS feed before and it just was not that satisfying. The tweets were often worded funny and once the feed got stuck in a loop and sent out dozens of the same message. My list has grown slower than some social media guru’s claim they can do but the organic growth has been solid and grows every single day with increasing returns for my website. Social media management is not for everybody but it is an important part of inbound marketing and one of the services Image Media Partners offers. Contact us for a free Inbound Marketing Assessment and learn more about how your website can be helped with social media marketing.
If you have any Twitter tips let me know below.