Seven Twitter Tips That Will Blow Your Mind Out of Your Skull

January 25 2009 – 11:09pm

Twitter is all of the rage with the kids these days. No kidding. It’s all the rage with the webcocks* too. Here’s how to kick ass with Twitter, without being a webcock. These tips are written with the assumption that you are using Twitter for marketing purposes and want to be seen as influential, interesting, and helpful.

  1. Try not to follow more than follow you. (this is admittedly childish and snobbish) Every once in awhile I go through all of my newest Twitter follower e-mails (I have a rule that automagically archives them into a folder), and see if they are reputable people I should be following, or just spammers. The first thing I look at (and I imagine is the case for others) is follower/following ratio. If it’s less than 1, I’m instantly turned off. Then I’ll look at their latest tweet, or two. They better be damn interesting/useful for me to then decide to follow this person back. If the ratio is more than 1, I’ll look at more tweets than in the former scenario, but they still better be interesting/useful.
  2. Say something interesting. Sure, Twitter is about “what you’re doing right now,” but c’mon! They don’t mean that. Well, you can use it for that if you really want to, but if you’re really trying to get a following, then you will have to do better than that. Make sure you’re saying things that concern those whom you want to have following you, rather than just you. The fact that your coffee is too hot today probably doesn’t concern anyone other than yourself. Now, a link to a coupon that will get your followers 25% off at Starbucks, well, that’s another story. If you’re looking for followers surrounding a particular category, then scour the web for really amazing new stuff around that topic, and tweet links to that stuff. It will pay off in the long run.
  3. GOD! I hate all you fucking complainers!
    Don’t complain. I think this is called “Twitter bitching,” and yeah, we all do this, but there are some people you would swear only do this (not that I’m complaining :). Think twice just before you hit send on that tweet that simply says “I’m sick,” and in pursuit of the former tip, maybe say something like “there’s nothing that works better for my colds than aromatherapy with eucalyptis essential oils [link].” 
  4. Track things. You know that link from your tip about treating colds? Wouldn’t you like to know if anyone gave a crap about that tweet? Try putting that link through a URL-shortening service that tracks clicks. I like to use snipr, but cli.gs does it too. This way you can get an idea of how interesting your tweets are to your followers, and adjust accordingly.
  5. Oh, so many tweets scheduled!
    Tweet at the right time. You want people to read your tweets, right? So make sure the important ones go through during prime-time. In my experience, for business-related stuff, that’s during working hours. If you come up with a doozy over the weekend, or finish up your latest blog post at 3am, don’t tweet it right then! Use a service like TweetLater to get the word out at a time that works better. I have yet to find a URL-shortening service that tracks activity by time-of-day, but if anyone knows of one, let me know!
  6. Engage in conversation. Unless you’re famous for that very fact, you aren’t going to get much of a following by not engaging with your audience. Respond to people’s tweets with useful thoughts. Ask people questions when you need help. You end up helping people in the former situation, and making others feel useful in the latter (besides getting your questions answered). I know it’s hard to keep track of all of those @ replies, but TweetLater, in addition to helping you…Tweet…Later, provides an @replies digest e-mail, that is delivered to your inbox on regular intervals, so you won’t miss out.
  7. Here is my last tip. When you’re linking to something, arouse curiosity. Get your audience motivated. How many times have you seen someone tweet “here’s my new blog post: [link].” Why on earth should I click on that? What the hell is your post about? I recommend pulling out an interesting tidbit of information from the post, and tweeting it, along with the (shortened with a trackable URL-shortening service) link.

What are your killer Twitter tips?

*In case you’re wondering here’s what a webcock is. I wouldn’t have wanted to put that link at the beginning of the post, now would I have? (I want you to read the post)

Explosion photo via kevindooley, graffiti photo via aturkus clock photo via avlxyz

This post is filed under Life Hacks, Productivity, Social Media, Technology.