Tips on making use of the social network we all hate but need to use for networking reasons.
When to Tweet #
On average aim for 4-5 posts a day, mostly in the morning. More so for certain occasions like Twitter chats, and less so for busy times or when you need to unplug.
This doesn't include tweets focused on interacting or responding to others. There could be lots of these in one day and fewer people will see them anyway, so there's no real reason to limit them (unless the person isn't worth responding to).
What to Tweet #
In One Day #
In the rough span of at least one day:
- At least half of the tweets should be informative, inspiring, or both. Content for these can be recycled from blog posts or past tweets, just don't do it too often. Rephrasing the content or rewriting it based on current event gives it more weight and longevity.
- Try to work in a tweet highlighting others and/or the work they do. It could be a popular post they shared, work they did, or just a general #FollowFriday saying why others should also follow them.
- One tweet promoting your work, like blog posts or other content.
The Content #
For the actual content, ease up on generic hashtags since they come across as spammy and few people use them. The one exception could be when you start since it helps with exposure. But later on, only use them for specific things like chats or events with a designated hashtag.
Hashtags to look for most are related twitter chats or popular community hashtags. They're great for finding and building a network, and good ones will have people happy to welcome you.
Also, don't be afraid of including extra media like images or emojis. In moderation, they add some good flavor to tweets.
Let's Get Personal #
Tweeting personal info is okay, just don't go overboard with it. A good rule of thumb is even when the topic is negative, include a positive perspective whenever you can. Some good personal topics are:
- Humorous observations or events of everyday life
- Celebrating life milestones
- A lesson learned while dealing with a personal struggle
How to Tweet #
Find the Right Tool #
Use a tool that lets you better organize and schedule tweets, like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. You can show columns of user lists (which you should use) and not deal with Twitter curating tweets from random accounts on their homepage. They let you get a few groups of users to focus on without distractions.
Make Lists #
For lists, build a few around different goals. A common setup may be:
- Lists for different networks of people you know, like a school network or career focus network
- Popular, knowledgable figures in your field to better learn from them
- 1-2 lists of your most trusted news or information accounts
- Personal friends
- Any popular community hashtags to look over sometimes
Stay Focused #
Related to distractions, remove or ignore info about likes or retweet interactions. They're nice, but only really look at tweet interactions since you can respond to those. Likes and retweets may be more of a distraction but are a good check for a general sense if a tweet is well received.
Also schedule tweets in advance, since you may not always be available or motivated to tweet at the moment. Getting a few days ahead relieves the anxiety of posting and keeps your posting consistent.