I use twitter as a professional network and I’ve had so many great opportunities through interactions on twitter. Really, you should join in the fun. In Twitter 101, I talked about this amazing online conference and how to get started. Now, I’d like to share some tips that I’ve picked up. I’m sure that I’ll miss lots so please leave your tips and tricks in the comments!
For me, the number one tip is to be yourself! Be a human and interact.
In the last post, I compared twitter to an online conference – and that can help when thinking about how to interact.
Have a profile and non-egg avatar. Use this to introduce yourself. To me, that egg avatar is almost like an exhibitor pass at a conference. Sure, I’ll talk to you but I’ll talk to a conference attendee first.
Add your own voice to interactions. There are some people who just re-tweet what others say – and I definitely have those days – but if you aren’t adding anything, why would people follow you? They could just follow the people you re-tweet. Part of the fun of a conference is incorporating new ideas into your world view. If you have something to add to a conversation, jump in! It is easier on twitter than joining people in the hallway or bar.
Don’t just sell/promote. I will stop following someone if they only tweet: read my blog posts. Sure, you might get initial spike in traffic but if I just wanted to be notified of new posts, I’d subscribe to your blog. Again, you don’t want to be an exhibitor, mainly at the online conference to sell.
I hate automatic replies and direct messages. If I follow a new person and I get an automatic ‘thank you for following’, I’m not impressed. If there is a thanks with something specific about my profile or common interests, I’m honoured. And the automatic direct message is horrible – just don’t do it.
All that information!
Remember to scan your timeline. You don’t have to go back and read every tweet since you last visited twitter. I might go back 50 messages or so. If it is important, you will probably see it again.
If you are following lots of people and you don’t want to miss things from certain people, you can create a list and now you can get a subset of tweets. You could have a list of scientists, list of people you’ve met, list of people with curly hair…whatever you want! These lists can be private or set to public for everyone.
Short username: You are going to be fantastic and people are going to want to quote and re-tweet you. Remember, there are only 140 characters – so use a short username so that you aren’t taking those valuable characters.
If you are trying to decide to follow someone, read their last 15 to 20 tweets. It should give you a good sense of their style.
Try a twitter client. I don’t like using the twitter website and use HootSuite on my phone and YoruFukurou on my computer. I like the arrangement of information in columns and the YoruFukurou is a simple, clean interface. But this is personal – try some out and see what you like!
What have I missed?
I’m sure that I have missed some great tips and tricks. What would you suggest?