If you’re having trouble finding enough time to maintain multiple social media presences at once (Facebook and Pinterest and blogs . . . oh my!), then Twitter is a perfect choice for engaging in meaningful social interaction with a less demanding time commitment.
With its simple format and strict space limitation, Twitter gives you a pared down way to express your thoughts. Of course, like any social media outlets, Twitter has its own nuances, tricks and best practices. First let’s go over some basic Twitter terms.
- Tweet—An update with a maximum of 140 characters.
- RT—Stands for retweet. If you share another user’s tweet verbatim with a credit to the original tweeter, you’re retweeting.
- DM—A direct message sent privately to another Twitter user (the feature Anthony Weiner intended to use).
- @reply—Mentioning a Twitter user by name on your tweet by using an @ symbol before the user’s Twitter handle.
- Hashtag—Using a # symbol before a keyword. A hashtag is used to tie a tweet to a specific topic and make that topic easily searchable.
Now let’s cover some tips to help you make the most of your Twitter presence.
- Dive In—Twitter is a public forum, so don’t hesitate to weigh in on what others are tweeting about.
- Go Mobile—Get the appropriate Twitter app on your phone so you can tweet when you’re out. Some of the most interesting tweets consist of commentary on events and places outside the home and office.
- Be a Resource—If someone asks you a question via Twitter be sure to respond in a timely manner. You can even offer to connect via DM or email if the question requires a more in-depth response.
- Tag Your Tweets—Use hashtags to align your tweets with popular topics (e.g. #FridayReads) or to strengthen you own brand (e.g. #GreenleafTips).
- Wash, Rinse, and Retweet—If you see a valuable tweet from one of your peers, influences or influencers, feel free to share it with your followers. Retweeting is the sincerest form of flattery.
- Short and Sweet—Shorten your tweets using bit.ly. You’ll save space on your character count and the site is trusted by the Twitter community.
- To Thine Own Self Be True—Twitter is arguably the most conversational and informal of all the social media outlets, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.
When put to good use, Twitter can enhance your status as an expert, foster connections for new business ventures, and constantly expose you to fresh ideas from people around the world. The sky is truly the limit with Twitter. Log on and see how far your tweets take you!
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