SocialPro: Top 12 Tips for Twitter

  1. Know what it means when someone says “Twitterverse.” Tweeps will use seemingly made-up words in tweets on Twitter, so don’t be confused. If you see something you don’t know, look it up in a resource like Twittonary.com. You may find some fab lingo to use with other tweeple.
  2. Link to more content. Smashing everything you want to say into only 140 characters (including spaces!) can be tricky — if not downright impossible at times. So if you have the option to link to a webpage with more content, go for it! It’s fairly common to see a tweet set up like this:
    "Opening phrase to get your attention! Check it out: www.linkbacktoyourcontent.link #hashtag"
  3. Shorten your links! Why? Re-read tip two. Links take up a lot of space but are really important. The last thing you want is for your link to be cut in half when someone shares it. (That makes it completely unusable.) Instead, use a URL shortening website like bit.ly, goo.gl or ow.ly.
  4. Hashtag it up! Hashtags (the pound symbol followed by a word or few letters – like #nutrition) is a clickable hyperlink that searches Twitter to compile all the tweets about a single topic. It’s a great way to find new followers and network with people who share similar interests.
  5. But don’t hashtag every word. #Do #you #like #the #way #this #looks? No one does. It will actually turn people off if you overuse hashtags. Pick out the key words you want to tag and leave the rest alone.
  6. Be genuine. People on Twitter will be able to tell if you’re peacocking — putting on a show to garner attention. The way to foster real relationships and earn real fans is to simply be yourself.
  7. Look out for bogus DMs. If you get a direct message (DM) that says something like, “I can’t believe this pic of you!” with a link to what you may fear is an embarrassing photo of you from 7th grade – don’t fall for it! It’s spam and likely a nasty virus that will infect your computer.
  8. Avoid the auto-generated DM. Sure, people like to be acknowledged, but not if they feel it’s insincere. Craft a personalized response to your new followers thanking them for joining you on Twitter — this small gesture will do wonders for your personal brand.
  9. Let people know where to find you. If you have a Twitter page and are proud of it, then tell people! Put it in the signature of your emails, add it to your business cards, and link to it from your website. It’s an easy way to build your fan base quickly.
  10. Establish consistency. Not only in frequency of posts, but also in your voice.  Make sure your followers know when to expect your posts, how often you will publish them and the style in which you’ll write.
  11. Properly configure your privacy settings. You have the ability to control so much on Twitter – so do it. Take a good look at the choices and decide if you want to limit your audience or keep a public profile; be searchable by email address; and so much more. Find these options under the “Settings” section of your profile.
  12. Finally and probably most importantly – be aware of social responsibility and etiquette. It’s true that no one owns a hashtag, but there is such a thing as hijacking one.  If you know someone else has worked hard to develop a following on a hashtag, don’t use it for your own benefit. Use your creativity and imagination to come up with your own! And don’t do or say anything rude, vulgar or inappropriate to others. You may be behind a computer, but words have consequences and can hurt people’s feelings.  Think twice before you bully, shame or harass someone.  If you wouldn’t do it to a friend, family member or colleague, don’t do it on Twitter.
Lauren Fox
Lauren Fox is the managing editor of Food & Nutrition Magazine and senior manager of creative media at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.