OK, I know it has been done before, but it is still a fresh subject for many, and maybe not such a waste of time for seasoned Twitter users either. Anyway, here are, well, just some tips that may or may not suit you, gleaned largely from my short, personal experience of using Twitter to help get the best out of Twitter :

1. Interact – Think of it as a party, where you may flit from conversation to conversation, but you acknowledge and interact with people through conversations. Conversations usually involving turn-taking, interaction and completion, oh, and be gracious – thanks cost nothing but a little finger-wear on the keyboard, but are usually much appreciated.

2. Be Mobile – Using a mobile application can be a great way of keeping in contact with Twitter friends and pass on information when travelling – warning of delays in public transport, recommending places to see or eat at etc. A mobile application can also help wile away dead time on public transport whilst engaging with your Twitter followers.

3. Thank You – when thanking for an #FF or a mention, use the person @id as a sign of recognition for what they have contributed to the conversation and also to get their attention.

4. Give Comments – When sending an RT, especially for a blog entry that you have enjoyed or found interesting, leave a comment on the blog and why not a comment in the RT such as, “That was surprising” etc. so that others may benefit from what you have read and from what the blogger has written (usually for free!). An automatic RT of a post just looks like “bandwaggoning” and so many people do this to high profile Twitter users and celebs to get attention back to themselves.

5. Stay Constant – If you Tweet once a week, fine – if you tweet 100 times a day, fine too. But keep it that way – a sudden rush of 100 tweets, for example on a Friday looks a bit bizarre and erratic to say the least. Try to keep your tweets regular.

6. Unfollow non-followers – OK, let me qualify that one. If you are following somebody who provides valuable information or things that interest you, then there is value in following them, even if they do not follow you back. However, the conversation will remain slightly one-sided – if you are happy with that fine, after all we read magazines and papers to get information, not interaction. That said, if you have lots of people who you follow and don’t follow you back – this can be viewed as just noise … think back to the party analogy. You may not converse with every follower on a daily basis, but your non-followers are contributing to the noise in your timeline – you hear what they are saying, but they can’t hear you …

7. Become an editor – Try out paper.li or Scoop.it great for assembling interesting tweets and blog posts centred on your particular subject of interest such as our #Learning Daily http://paper.li/tag/learning it’s easy to do and can not only provide interesting material for others but is a great way to compile information for yourself.

8. Start a Blog – Why not start a blog around your interests or your business – Twitter is a great way of channelling information to others, who usually reciprocate by commenting and helping your thought process.

9. I don’t Care what you are eating – But if you can tell me how to make it (recipes, ingredients etc.) or where you are eating it – recommend a restaurant or bar etc. than you’ll get my attention.

10. Use an avatar – How do you feel when you see an avatar that is some sort of standard Twitter bird, or an egg? Yeah, thought so… How about when you see a real person in the avatar photograph? Yeah, me too … Use an avatar that either represents yourself, your brand or your company – something that speaks to people and most importantly, gives them the desire to speak to you. It doesn’t matter that you may not look like Kylie or Brad Pitt – just you is more than enough – it does heighten the desire to interact when a real photo is used though.

11. Complete you bio – Some bios are informative and factual, some are humourous – in fact a lot appear to be under some pressure to provide a humourous bio that is then rarely, if never, reproduced in their tweets. Having a bio is the first step to introducing yourself to others – it can be factual or humourous – as long as it is authentic and consistent. It is also, usually, the first basis for a follow from others who may be interested in similar things to yourself. Blank bios are usually pretty much a turn-off, which smell suspiciously of spammers – to be avoided (both spammers and blank bios).

12. Balance links – Try to get a balance between promoting others who broadcast useful information and your own blog – once again it is very often reciprocal and provides variety – the spice of Twitter life.

13. Ask questions – a great way of initiating a conversation and of getting responses, feelings, advice or opinions on things – Twitter is great for this, as long as the questions are not closed – which could incite a simple “yes / no” answer.

14. Give what you would like back – If you send out just quotes all day, then there are no prizes for what you will get in return, although some may be inspired by your ability to vacuum clean quotes from the web, many will rapidly grow tired of them. If you find the odd quote that seems to fit into your feelings about things, then why not …. but all day? Come on…

15. Don’t be afraid of sharing – Share and share for free. In my experience, contrary to what a lot of people say on Twitter – it is very difficult to make a living from blogging (that could read impossible from where I am sitting). However, I do believe the hackneyed expression, “In order to get what you want, you need to give other people what they want”. So sharing costs little more than time – so just do it.

16. Don’t #FF A listers habitually – Unless you really want to that is. Many do this for the kudos of having A-listers in their #FF stream, as if rubbing that lamp will help the sheen to fall on them – it rarely does, and the replies rarely come – they just don’t have the time, nor perhaps the desire, although the latter could be debatable.

17. Don’t tweet about how bored you are – If you are bored, keep it to yourself, in fact try to find how you are boring yourself – don’t tell others about it, it’s not good PR and frankly adds very little to your profile or the conversation.

18. Don’t continually RT the A-Listers – Yes, we’ve all done it at the beginning, when we didn’t really understand Twitter, confusing naïvely, the freedom of speech with the freedom of access to the stars. It will do little for yourself, but may help the A-listers become AA-listers, oh, and their tweets may not be all that interesting either…

19. Steer clear of arguments – there are many people who just love a fight, that’s cool … for them. But, be careful, if you are in an argument about something on Twitter, your followers can often only see your side of it and you may well scare them away or at least put off any potential new followers. An example I have in mind was Stephen Fry a couple of years ago – that was weird ….

20. Create Headlines – If you have written a blog post and you want people to read it, create a desire to go and read it by tweeting thus and not letting the cat out of the bag in one 140 character tweet.

21. Create Meaningful lists – Lists are a great way of following conversations on a particular subject without necessarily following all of the members. Ideas could be to create an #FF list for people you recommend, a company list or an experts on a particular topic – anything that is relevant to and for you.

22. Don’t auto DM a Facebook or Linked in link – If people want to follow you on Twitter they will, if they then want to enlarge the engagement they will look for a Facebook page or a Linked in link to do that themselves or they may even ask you – no need to blurt it out into the faces of new followers as this may trigger an unfollow straight away.

23. Don’t append RTs with your own name – if you have sent an RT then it is blatantly obvious it where it has come from – no need to add your @address into the tweet, it looks bizarre.

24. Use hashtags – using the # hashtag around news, opinions, topics or locations can help you to do two things: Tweet with the #subject will ensure that it joins the stream where people are talking about that subject and #Search with a hastag will bring the tweetstream around that subject into one column making following and contributing to the subject easier.

25. Be yourself – You may be using Twitter to promote your business or your brand, but there is no need just to stay that way. You can also be social on Twitter, let the mask drop a bit and connect and converse with people – you know like people do in business at a dinner …. People like to see the real person behind the bio and the photo and if they don’t like it they will unfollow – nothing lost there either.

The most important part of Twitter is that it is a media that is social, now where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah, social media, I knew it rang a bell – so be social, have fun, share and enjoy – oh, and why not connect too? @combi31


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