Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How to: Get Started on Twitter

If you're just getting started on Twitter, it can be very confusing and overwhelming. You've got things to say and websites to link to, but how do you get followers so that someone actually reads what you're putting out there? Here are some tips:

1. Follow the accounts on this list
Almost everyone that appears on the list will follow you back. You might be thinking that this will just pad your follower numbers without providing you with an audience that is genuinely interested in your topic. You're absolutely right. Fortunately, I'm not just having you increase your followers for nothing. It makes a big difference to a prospective customer whether you have 100 or 10,000 followers on Twitter. More followers looks like your company is a well respected authority in your particular industry. 

2. Follow related accounts
If you sell cars, follow accounts that talk about new cars, new car technologies, and industry trends. If they notice that one of their followers is tweeting information that would be relevant to them, they will most likely follow back. This way you can gain more followers while working on building an audience that cares about what you have to say.

3. Follow your target audience
Now that you have a decent base of followers, seek out your target audience. This is easiest to accomplish when the target audience is based in a certain region. When this occurs, you can find accounts for newspapers and sports teams in that area. Look at the list of people that are following those accounts and follow them. Again, they will most likely follow you back.

4.Retweet other people
Whenever you see a tweet or a link to an article that you find interesting, retweet it. This helps you to form relationships and engage your audience. Often it will result in a retweet or a suggestion from the person you retweeted to their followers to follow you. Both of those can result in more followers for you. Do not, however, hit the retweet button below their tweet. If you do this, your company logo and name will be replaced by theirs. Instead, copy and past their tweet and before it write RT @whomever.

5. Use hashtags
Hashtags are words or phrases that are put after a "#." They become hyperlinks. When you use these, it makes your tweets, and by extension you, easier to find. Make sure they relate to the article or tweet. For example, on our Twitter page we talk about marketing, social media, advertising and graphic design, so some of the hashtags you will find include #marketing, #socialmedia, #advertising and #graphicdesign.

Other than that, the biggest thing is to be patient. It takes time for people to notice you, it takes time to get people to care and it takes a lot of time before it will affect your sales.

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