5 Points to Help You Twitter More Effectively

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The great thing about Twitter is that there are no hard and fast rules of how to use it (aside from the terms of agreement).  There are however, some things that you can do to improve your tweeting so that your thoughts don't get lost in 140 character translation.

1. Telling the world to DM you with their thoughts on a subject doesn't work.  It's not that it's just annoying to read (although it is), it also won't work because of Twitter's functionality.  If you are not personally following someone, they cannot DM you.  So if you say "In search of a good limo rental company in Texas. Know of any? DM me", then the only people who can send you a direct message are people you are already following.  If you really want feedback, let people reply to you publicly or include an email address for them to reach you at. 

2. The use of this symbol: | can be confusing when read on a phone because it looks like the letter 'I' when read on a twitter phone app.  Since the majority of Twitter users do read their updates via phone, you may want to consider how your tweets are coming across visually.

3. Consider your audience when you update.  If you're updating with tips for wedding planning, but the majority of your followers are wedding vendors and not brides, who are you really helping with your information?

4. If you are Twittering under your company name do not lock your profile.  This immediately puts up a mental wall and anyone who sees it subconsciously assumes you have something to hide. Your updates do still get copied and pasted elsewhere anyway, so it is still not totally private.  If your profile is locked, then be sure you have it under your personal name and not your business name.

5. If you want to create a link on Twitter, you can save room by shrinking it (HootSuite and Tweetdeck have built in functionality for this) or by preceding it with the www.  For example, www.onlinemediaexpert.com will turn into a link on Twitter even without the http:// in front of it. 

What are some of the things you think Twitterers could do to improve their communication?

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