How to Get the Most Out of Twitter

Written by  //  11/29/2011  //  Social Networking  //  1 Comment

twitter

You can become a Twitter pro.

College students love Facebook and those students who are getting ready to graduate have started LinkedIn accounts. Both social media networks can be excellent ways for students to connect, but Twitter should not be overlooked. Twitter is the ultimate short messaging service, a 140-character method of connecting with the world. Done right, Twitter can help you make contacts, possibly leading to a job offer. Done wrong and Twitter could prove to be a disaster, one that could ruin your career aspirations if not handled professionally. Indeed, you’ll want to be as careful with Twitter as you are with other sites, taking care not to post incriminating personal details that could come back to bite you.

Be authentic — Too many people use Twitter for spamming purposes, immediately relegating themselves to sending tweets only among themselves. Use your real name or a recognizable nickname and be mindful of your audience. You can have fun, but keep your jokes clean and show yourself as someone who is helpful, not harmful.

Make your profile count — Too many Twitter profiles are weak, giving little information about the user. Your profile allows you to share 160 characters about yourself, so make the most of your limited space to create a winning profile. Writing for Freelance Folder, Salma Jafri offers eight tips on how to enhance your profile including using short phrases, keywords and adding in your personality. Define yourself or risk allowing others to define you!

Retweet with care — You may find a tweet that you really like and be tempted to retweet it without further inspection. Instead, go to the provided shortened link and inspect it for yourself. Some links are simply come ons, designed to send people to advertisers or, worse, to porn websites. Remember, your reputation is on the line — retweet with care!

Bait your readers — Inasmuch as you’ll want to carefully retweet, you’ll want to give people every reason to retweet your tweets. You can do this by “baiting” your readers, through creating tweets that are far shorter than the 140 character limit, one that utilizes a URL shortener, includes popular hashtags and abbreviates terms advises marketing expert Heidi Cohen. Cohen compares Twitter bait with link bait, providing the same sort of marketing approach with either method.

Use a Twitter client — The more tweets you offer up, the more likely you’ll get noticed. But tweeting all day long can be frustrating and time consuming. Instead, you can use a Twitter client such as TweetDeck or HootSuite to schedule your tweets. Instead of tweeting one post after another one, you can schedule your tweets to appear throughout the day. This method keeps you active online, but allows you to do something else. Importantly, by sprinkling your tweets around the clock, you’ll reach people in different time zones including folks who are on the opposite side of the world. Who knows, but that Singapore container company may find you and seek you out for an internship or full-time position.

Be relevant — One certain way to drive your Twitter followers crazy (and cause them to quit following you) is to post information that is not relevant. Leave out the Foursquare updates and be careful not to publish information that some might consider inflammatory. You might want to consider opening up a second Twitter account for your “fun side” and leave the main account for business contacts. Twitter doesn’t limit the number of accounts you can open although you’ll need a separate email address for each one.

Participate in Twitter chats — If you want to build authority, then participating in Twitter chats is the way to go. Such chats focus on a specific topic and usually meet at an appointed time once a week. You’ll exchange information and share specific points about the topic at hand, connecting with people just like you. This can be a great way to connect and learn. Check out this Google Doc for Twitter chat groups and schedules.

Twitter is certainly different from Facebook and LinkedIn, but can be integrated with the latter. By synching Twitter with LinkedIn, people who use LinkedIn can see your Twitter updates from that platform, enabling you to expand your reach accordingly.

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