It’s no secret around these parts (I might have watched too many westerns recently) that our favorite Social Media platform is twitter.
We’ve been involved with twitter since 2007 and heavily invested in it since 2010 as a primary source of information, marketing channels, and chuckles.
I will admit twitter is not for everyone, or every business, but if you are looking for a way to get real-time news about the world or your areas of interest and wanting connections with voices of influence this is the platform for you.
A few things you need to know about twitter to help you ease into your new best friend:
Hashtags: You see these everywhere – on TV, at conferences, I have even seen them on food packaging. When you place a hashtag (#) in front of a word or joined phrase (#hamburger or #icantreadthis) in your tweet it becomes a hyperlink. Clicking that hyperlink will take you to all the real-time conversations about that hamburger, conference or TV show on twitter. The # is an indexing and search tool for the conversations on twitter. It gets abused on a fairly regular basis by users noting the punch lines to their jokes but when used correctly it is one of the most powerful tools on the internet. #OnToTheNextSubject
See also: Breaking Down Hashtags on Facebook
Tweeting: You only have 140 characters to share your wisdom with the world. The previous sentence was 66 characters so that gives you an idea how short these messages are. Now here are two curveballs: 120 > 140 and 80 is really the sweet spot. Messages of 120 characters or less are prime for your followers to retweet (RT) you and still fall under the 140 character limit. When someone RT’s your message your twitter handle (ex: @RocketGroup) is added to the message as an attribution and eats up more characters. Also, studies have shown that messages of around 80 characters are the ones with the most interaction from readers. It takes a little bit but writing short pithy comments will come naturally to you in no time. Promise.
Links: Of course you will want to have links in your tweets that go back to your blog, your website, or interesting content you have found online. Putting a link such as /blog/how-to-successfully-upload-multiple-photos-to-facebook will chew up all of your characters so what are you to do? URL shorteners were invented for just this purpose. Twitter has a tool built into its program, We represent Hootsuite.com which is a great tool for managing twitter, and bit.ly is the original tool on the market. Using one of these tools takes the original link above and creates http://ow.ly/fDN1c which still drives you to the right place. The internet is awesome.
A few other quick tips:
• Fill out your profile completely with a nice photo of yourself, your geographic location, and links to your website or other important pages to you.
• Quickly find subject matter experts to follow or people in your local community with a tool like twellow.com– which advertises itself as the “Yellow Pages of twitter”.
• What to tweet? Just start and you will find your voice very quickly. Not sure you want to tweet? That’s cool too. 1/3 of the twitter audience drives the conversation while 2/3 of the audience has limited or no participation but they are logging in frequently. Kind of like real life.
• When sharing others content either RT them directly or add a citation in your post (via @emarketer) to keep things honest and to show the original author who is sharing their content.
Ready to make the leap? Give us a follow (@RocketGroup is our handle) and tell us you what you thought of this post.
See you in less than 140!