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Make Your Tweets More Meaningful

by Erin Darling 5 November 2009 284 views 2 Comments E-mail Erin Darling

Move over Facebook and Myspace, the most fun and addicting online social network is clearly Twitter. If you’re not one of the 12.1 million people tweeting like it’s their job, starting a Twitter account can be a great way to stay in contact with friends, network with other professionals in your field, or keep tabs on celebrities and public figures. Everyone has a unique way to use thier Twitter account. Personally, I like to share links, retweet interesting information and see what’s trending. But regardless of your personal Twitter nuances, we could all use a refresher course on Twitter tips and etiquette. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you make the most of your tweets.

***Editor’s note: Tune in to new show Twending on Thestream.tv Monday nights at 6 PM PST for the latest updates on what’s trending and why! Follow the “twends” with your hosts Erin Darling, and Vanessa Bezic.***

Don't envoke the fail whale! Make you tweets more meaningful!

Don't invoke the fail whale! Make you tweets more meaningful!

10 Twitter Tips

1. Make it short and sweet

Since Twitter is often used to share links with your followers,  shortening your URL’s in order to save space. Considering you only have 140 characters to express yourself, you need all the extra space you can get! Use bit.ly to condense longer links! Tinyurl.com is another common URL shortener, but it decreases your chances getting a retweet. It’s scientifically proven!

2. Use hashtags

Hashtags make your tweets more searchable and easily connects you to other who are discussing the same thing! Participate in trending topics (or, better yet, start your own) and use that #!

3. Get retweeted

Getting others to retweet your messages can expand your Twitter network. Sometimes getting that ever-illusive RT can be as simple as posting some interesting information. According to Guy Kawasaki, some great ways to get retweeted are to talk about twitter, break news, or explain how to do something. Also, if you really want to spread the word, as for a retweet. According to a recent study, “please” is the third most retweetable word on Twitter. “Retweet” is number four.

4. Don’t auto message your new followers

Although there is dissent among bloggers on the many do’s and dont’s of Twitter, almost every single blog, article or piece of literature I’ve read on on the topic highly dissuades people from setting up an automatic direct messaging system that goes to your new followers. Why? Because it’s impersonal, serves no purpose, and makes you look like a spammer. Just don’t do it.

5. Create an account for your business

It’s a great way to reach new people and customers, get feedback, and inform more people about what you do! Restaurants often use Twitter to send out specials or discounts, websites and blogs use it to send out new articles and content to their readers. For other ideas on what to tweet, check out Chris Brogan’s suggestions on how to use Twitter as a tool for your business.

6. Reply

Talk back to the people who talk to you. Unless you’re overwhelmed by 200 tweets per day, try to respond to people who ask you appropriate or relevant questions (if you can). Thank the people who give you a RT. It’s simple etiquette, and a nice way to engage with the people who are interested in what you’re tweeting! Twitter is about online community building, and your community wants to know you’re listening!

7. Fill out your profile

This tip may seem like an obvious one, but it’s definitely important. Your avatar and bio are the first places on your Twitter profile where people look to learn more about you. Think of it as an opportunity to brand yourself. It defines your Twitter page, and can even get you more followers.

8. Tweet from your mobile device

There are a ton of cool apps that can make your tweets more interesting. If you tweet from your phone you can include pictures and video from on-the-go, which is exactly how we at THEPOPFIX were able to provide you with live coverage of Michael Jackson’s memorial service. See some of the most popular downloadable apps here.

9. Tweet on a Friday

#FollowFriday is a great time to get more followers, and to support your friends with a #ff shout out. Another bonus of tweeting on a Friday is a higher possibility of a RT. It’s proven to be the best day to get retweeted. But save your best tweets for the afternoon, because at 4 PM you’re more likely to get that RT!

10. Put a limit on personal tweets

Take it from me. I’ve noticed that when more I tweet about my daily activities, fewer people were interested in reading them. This is probably because “Picking up my dry cleaning,” “Watching re-runs. LOL,” and “Waking my dog,” are boring and banal to most of the free world. Unless you’re a celebrity, and people are genuinely intrigued by where you’re eating lunch and what you did at the gym that day, most of your followers aren’t that interested in your normal acitivies. If you want more people to follow you, stop talking about yourself so much!

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