5 Knows for Twitter

A few weeks ago I was asked to guest post over at The Pinterest Project.

I decided to do a post on the 5 Knows of Twitter.

Here it is in case you missed it.

1. Know Where to Start

For me, I think it’s important to start at the very beginning, which in this case is your user profile. This is people’s first impression of who you are.

So be aware of this when:

– You’re deciding what avatar (or picture) to use. People, use something that’s representative of yourself, your blog and/or your business. Personally I love to use a real picture of myself so that if I meet people in real life it’s easier for them to recognize me and I feel that it’s more personal when connecting with people.

– What to include in your profile settings. Twitter gives you 14o characters to be witty, charming and put your best food forward. Use that opportunity to let people know in as few words as possible, what you are all about. Are you a wife, mom, blogger, shop owner, love nail polish, enjoy laughing and long walks on a beach? I also have a URL link to my About page on my blog, so people can get to know me a little better through that avenue as well.

2. Know How to Make Friends

Now you’ve joined Twitter and have created this awesome profile to put your best foot forward, it’s time to make friends.

Many people find themselves overwhelmed with the daunting task of making friends. It’s hard to know where to begin, who to follow, how to start chatting and making friends on Twitter.

I would say begin by following people whose blogs you read and love first. After all if you feel a genuine connection to them based on reading their blog, you might find it easier to build a friendship with them online. Once you’ve followed your favorite bloggers, start “butting in” to conversations when you see a post or conversation that you feel you can add to. I know it will feel strange at first, but really the best way to get to know others is to jump in with both feet and give them the chance to get to know you as well. I can’t even begin to tell you how many of my good friends on Twitter began by one or the other of us “butting in.”

Remember to Be Real! Be the same person you are online that you are around your friends and neighbors. That, in my opinion is what helps to build real, long lasting genuine friendships on Twitter. You never know, that person could one day be your roomie at a conference, or travel 1/2 way across the US to stay with you. True stories, people, I’m speaking from experience.

3. Know When to Butt Out

So now you’re all set up, meeting some great people, building those awesome connections. Things are going great!!

Now you need to know which conversations you don’t need to be apart of.

I’m only going to touch on this one quickly, but it needs to be said.

Anytime there’s a lot of people congregating in one place, there’s going to be some drama. There I said it, it’s out in the open. That does not mean you need to be part of it. I really believe that Twitter should be used to promote good and while it’s sometimes hard, in the long run you’ll be glad you decided to stay drama free.

Be positive. Don’t gossip and try to treat others in the same manner in which you want to be treated.

If you get involved in a conversation you don’t want to be part of, don’t be afraid to say, “Hey, can y’all drop me off this chat?” If anything it’ll make the others joining in the conversation maybe rethink how they are acting and what they are saying. Icky conversations can happen, but thankfully, they don’t happen often.

4. Know How to Promote

One of the questions I’m often asked is how to promote your shop or blog posts on Twitter without overwhelming people and making them unfollow you.

Well that’s a really good question and it all comes back to finding balance.

If you’re spending more of your time talking about yourself (your shop, your new blog post, your blah blah blah) people are going to grow weary of seeing your posts and be tempted to unfollow you. I try really hard to limit self promoted posts where I’m promoting what’s going on in my shop or on my blog to 4-5 times a day. I figure out what times during the day the most amount of people I connect with are online and I post a link to that days blog post. Then I try to spend some time interacting with my friends, finding out how they are doing and what they’ve been up to. Then it doesn’t seem to them as though I jumped online to do a quick self promotion and then went along with my day.

Please understand that I’m NOT saying it’s bad to post about your shop or blog on Twitter. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I really believe Twitter is one of the best places to get the word out about what you’re doing, especially when people get excited and they tweet you in response or even re-tweet your post for their friends to see as well. All I’m saying is make sure that you’re not forgetting to interact with your friends a little during the day too and find out what’s happening in their lives.

5. Know About Helpful Twitter Apps

Ok friends, so now you’re all set up on Twitter. You’ve dialed in your profile, started building a network, maybe even made some wonderful friends that hopefully you’ll be friends with for many years to come, you’re learning balancing the art of connecting and promoting, now here are some helpful resources for you.

Twitter has some great apps out there that can help you keep track of conversations, schedule tweets, utilize twitter from your phone, iPad and even your computer. You can even find widgets to help you send your blog posts directly to twitter for you once they go live.

One of the Twitter apps that I like to use is HootSuite. Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple social profiles (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, multiple Twitter handles, etc), schedule your messages and tweets and it allows you to analyze your social media traffic. I use this app to schedule out tweets for new blog posts, especially when I’m running a giveaway on my blog. When you’re doing a giveaway to promote a brand and/or sponsor, it’s important that you do your best to get the word out about the giveaway throughout the day. Scheduling your tweets helps you with that promotion.

Another popular Twitter app I see used often is TweetDeck. TweetDeck allows you to arrange all your feeds so you can follow the ones that really matter to you. This app worked really great when I attended SNAP! The Conference back in April because it allowed me to stay up to date with what everyone who attended was saying. It also helped me take a few notes from sessions I wasn’t able to attend. This app also allows you to schedule tweets, monitor unlimited accounts and receive notification alerts anytime someone tweets you or about you throughout the day.

Now I know there are many other useful Twitter apps out there that you can use, but I feel like when you start listing them all out and playing the comparison game, it only becomes more confusing for you, the user, to figure out which one works best. My best advice for you is to try out a couple different apps, see which one works best for your needs and go with it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it as they say. Just because a new app comes out doesn’t mean you need to know how to use it.

I hope you were able to find some of these tips helpful. You can also check out my 5 knows for Advertising on Blogs and 5 Know for Having a Handmade Business.

Thanks again for letting me pop by today!