Twitter Tips from Twitter Pros

Learn how to Twitter from pros who use Twitter and other social media tools successfully in their business and their personal lives. This video collection of insights from smart people who have been using Twitter for years will help you get started in the right direction. Their concise, key Twitter tips are useful for beginners but they are also great reminders, and perhaps wake-up calls, to Twitter veterans on how to use Twitter for business or pleasure effectively.


Basic Twitter Tips from Leading Twitterati Women. Interview by Linda Sherman, Video by Ray Gordon Filmed at 140 The Twitter Conference Los Angeles, 140tc, Sept 22 at Skirball Cultural Center.


Basic Twitter Tips from Leading Twitterati Men.

The illustrious group of 11, in order of appearance on the two videos:

@Pistachio Laura Fitton co-authored “Twitter for Dummies” and recently founded OneForty.com.
Be useful to others, serve. Be natural. Don’t make it all about you. Share, be entertaining or kind.

@MariSmith Mari is described by Fast Company as the “Pied Piper of Facebook”.
Pick a memorable user name, customize your Twitter page. Especially if you are a business: know your audience, listen first.

@AlexiaTsotsis Alexia is is Web/Tech Editor for SFWeekly and contributor to the Huffington Post. (Alexia was tech/lifestyle reporter with LAWeekly when this was filmed)
What matters is that you are talking to others, don’t worry about how many people are following you.
Update: Alexia Tsosis is now a writer at TechCrunch

@DoctorParadox Barb Dybwad, Senior Editor at Mashable.com, also blogs at Geeked.org
One of the most powerful things about Twitter is connecting with people. If you can share it with people you already know, you’re closer to the “aha moment” when you get what Twitter is about.

@HeatherMeeker Director of Marketing at Pelago
Send an email to all your friends, give them your Twitter handle and find out if they are on Twitter and add them. Go to WeFollow and add yourself to five categories you’d like to be found on. Find your voice on Twitter, know your focus and goal.

@JulieSpira cyber dating expert, radio show host and author, The Perils of Cyber Dating
Be consistent, know what your brand and message is, support other people in the same line of business you are in, spread the Twitter love.

@AVFlox Relationship columnist AV Flox.
Ignore the question “what are you doing.” Tell us what you think is going to be valuable to us. Don’t have conversations on Twitter unless it is relevant to a topic you were discussing that you think is relevant to a majority of your audience. It’s not a chat room. Don’t tweet back and forth “LOL, hahaha, what did you do today?” There is the DM (private message) system for that, use it.

@Percival Founder of LalaWag, Sean helps companies build compelling online and mobile experiences.
Twitter is story telling. If you are a person or a brand, the story will be different. But you want to move emotions. Paint a whole picture for them whether it is your product or yourself. Don’t just be a marketing vehicle or a “what am I doing” vehicle. Don’t look at the follower number as a metric for success. Quality not quantity. Focus on people that are targetted to you. If you are into surfing, you should have a following of people who are into surfing. A highly targetted following is the key to success.

@Chamillionaire Grammy Award winning successful entrepreneur
Know the reason you want to be on Twitter. Talk to your audience on a daily basis. Be authentic. Treat twitter like those are real people out there. Have fun. People like interesting people. You can influence someone’s day in 140 characters. Understand the power you have.

@adnys Currently Digital Marketing Manager for Red Bull. At the time of the interview, Andrew Nystrom was Senior Producer Social and Emerging Media at the LA Times where they sustain this array of Twitter accounts.
Jump in slowly. Don’t worry about following too many people. Follow people that you really want to hear from. Experiment. Ask your friends if you don’t understand something.
Update: Andrew Nystrom is now Nike Digital Brand: Global Community Lead, Football (Soccer)

@KevinWinston founder of DigitalLA
Don’t blast one way. Engage people, get the dialogue going. Retweet. Talk about good things that happen. It’s one thing to express yourself but don’t be a chronic complainer. Tweet the good things. Be well-rounded in your tweets.

You can find full interviews with each of these pros at the Courage Group Courage Group YouTube Channel or Blip.tv channel.

Linda Sherman’s Tips For Getting Started on Twitter – Part One

1. Choose a Twitter Handle:
Make it as short as possible and easy to remember.
Write a bio in 160 characters or less
Include a website link and an image, preferably of your face, so that we know who you are.
If you are a business, you can use your business image, it is nice to include the name of the person tweeting.

2. Conversation on Twitter
You interact with others on Twitter with:
@name This is called “reply” or “mention”
You can send @name messages even if someone is not following you yet.
D name This is a direct tweet or DM. You can only send DM’s to people who follow you

3. RT Retweet. The pattern for this is RT @name: their tweet. You can put a comment before or after their tweet. If it is after, be sure to show where your comment begins.
If the person you want to RT has not left enough space for an RT, you will need to take time to abbreviate or delete some words.
Lesson Learned: Keep your tweets short enough to easily RT.
Your @username is part of the tweet if someone RT’s you, that’s why shorter user names are better.
Via @name With via, you are paraphrasing their tweet. Put the via at the end of the tweet.
An RT is a gift. It enhances the twitter reputation of the person you RT. It also carries their message to your followers.

4. Following Back
Your are not obligated to follow back everyone who follows you. You can select.
Here are some typical criteria I use:
Unless you are a newspaper or important information source, I don’t follow one way blasting twitter streams. I look for:
– @’s in your stream to show you are in conversation.
– If you have put up an avatar and profile
– I like to see the name of an individual. I will forgive this if you are a particular customer service source that I need.
– That you are not obviously just about massing followers
If you are following for a reason, send a message @username. Apologies that it is public unlike the personal message available with the Facebook Friend request – but it definitely works. Or comment on the person’s blog.
Update: Facebook has removed the the very useful function of being able to send a personalized message with a friend request. Today I would use LinkedIn as the example of the social platform that lets you do that.

4. Who to Follow
There are various Twitter directories, as well as Twitter search, that let you find others who tweet about categories of interest to you. You may also find people of interest in conversation with twitterers you already follow.

5. What Not to Tweet
Keep in mind that everything you tweet may get indexed by Google and is never erased from the internet. Personally, I generally avoid tweeting about politics and religion (although many people like to do this and I am not telling you not to). I am not snarky nor mean. I don’t find it necessary to make negative comments about individuals although I will complain if a service provider is messing up.

6. What to Tweet
Be authentic and conversational. At the same time, some of your tweets can include keywords that you want associated with your username. Every tweet should not be a link to your website but some can be. Include a phrase that will make us want to look at your website to learn more. Don’t just say, “I just posted link”

7. Twitter Behavior
Your tweet is a micro blog in 140 characters.
Very well covered in the videos here included with this post. Contribute value. Interact.

8. #FollowFriday #FF
This custom was started by @Micah. Each Friday you will see people you follow listing others they recommend that you follow. It is difficult but be selective. You can catch someone different next week. Some people have taken to saying something about each person they recommend. Most say something about the group. If I see someone doing pages of #FollowFriday, I discount the value and assume it is just bait to follow or #FF them.

9. #Hash
Putting a hash, and having an agreed phrase with the hash, allows Twitter users to find certain topics, conference names and other shared topics on Twitter. You can search on words without a # but the # convention encourages us to use the same shared word making it easier to find.

10. Twitter as News
Twitter is a great news source. Use twitter search or note “trending topics”.

About Linda Sherman

International, multicultural marketing pro, Linda brings a distinguished background of international subsidiary CEO/CMO to her Social Marketing expertise. These include CEO Club Med Japan, Barilla Japan and CMO Wal-Mart Japan. Linda Sherman has been featured and quoted in Forbes, The New York Times, Christian Monitor and other leading publications. She devised and implemented an innovative guerrilla-marketing plan for ZIMA in Japan that produced a lasting, profitable success. Linda has hands-on technical skills in building and search optimizing WordPress websites and an influential on-line presence. Linda teaches social marketing for business at the University of Hawaii. Her company, The Courage Group, provides websites, digital film, branding and social marketing strategy and training.

Connect with Linda Sherman on Google+

6 comments
Michelle
Michelle

Twitter is a great tool and I don't think many use it to its' full potential. This post is great because it details exactly how Twitter can be used to your benefit as well as why it is so important.

Amy Cheryl
Amy Cheryl

Thank you for a great article! I will use these suggestions when I tweet inspiring Nutrition information for my followers.

marcy cole
marcy cole

Linda.....this info. is so helpful.....thank you so much!
I want the women of First Tuesday to see this!

Clara Berta
Clara Berta

I love this from @Chamillionaire "You can influence someone’s day in 140 characters. Understand the power you have. " This is a great article and I am recommending it to my friends as well.

Laura Kinoshita
Laura Kinoshita

Aloha Linda,
These are really great suggestions for your audience and I'm recommending your site for my colleagues in Hawaii who are just getting started.