101 Tweets on How to Use Twitter
How to Twitter? It’s a question asked by millions of clueless but eager to learn new Twitter users.
Yeah. I know. It’s now X not Twitter. And tweets are x’s! Yet it sounds much better to say “tweet”!
So let’s just pretend that Twitter hasn’t been abducted by a megalomaniac billionaire!
First off: It’s either “how to tweet?” or “how to use Twitter?” The rest isn’t that simple.
Twitter seems to be simple from the outside and the basic features but it’s not easy to master.
After more than 15 years of almost daily usage of Twitter I know by now how to do it.
Of course what works for me doesn’t have to work for you. Yet it’s a good start!
Thus I compiled a list of 101 tweets on how to use Twitter including different use cases.
How to Tweet – It Depends on What You Want to Achieve!
Many Twitter best practices are one size fits all though.
Everybody should comply with them to succeed on Twitter. Other aren’t!
To differentiate between the Twitter use cases I divided this list into several sections.
General how to use Twitter advice:
- even more advanced
Twitter use cases:
- social networking
- marketing and SEO
Avoiding Twitter pitfalls:
- Twitter etiquette
- safety & security
Please note that every item in this list is made to work as a standalone retweetable tweet.
They in most case make sense on their own and are short enough to get retweeted.
- Use an avatar image – without a profile picture you’ll remain invisible for many users
- Customize your Twitter homepage with a header image
- Say in your bio who you are, what you do and what you care about
- Be concise – shorter tweets work better
- Share links occasionally but tweets without links get more engagement
- Tweet daily (but not all the time)
- Reply/retweet and converse – Twitter is not just a monologue
- Don’t only tell us what you eat
- Add your URL to “Web” in your profile. LinkedIn is OK as well.
- Don’t follow 1k people when only 5 follow you
- Use Twitter tools like XPro/Tweetdeck for an overview
- Subscribe to your own tweets via a feed reader
- Add images to your tweets for higher engagement
- Use #hashtags but don’t overdo it. One or two are enough
- Tweet important things up to 4 times, for all time zones
- Create a social landing page instead of just linking your homepage in your profile
- Track mentions of your keywords via XPro (Tweetdeck) etc.
- Ask open questions where the answer can’t be yes or no
- Use Twitter on your mobile
- Measure your influence on Twitter using their analytics
Even More Advanced
- Use social media automation tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and IFTTT
- Use a custom short link tool with your own website address, bit.ly offers one for free
- Subscribe to your best friends’ tweets via a feed reader
- Use a social CRM app like Nimble to save your Twitter contacts
- Do not cross post every tweet automatically to Facebook and LinkedIn
- Don’t follow everybody who follows you
- Follow people you care about or who engage with you
- Don’t follow bots, largely automated accounts and feed mashups
- Mix links, @replies and “what’s happening” tweets
- Retweet your peers and friends not just influencers
- Retweet rare sources not only mainstream ones
- Do not broadcast, Twitter is not TV or radio
- Participate in debates but do it in a civil way
- Spread memes when they’re funny or inspiring
- Follow those who reply/retweet or mention you unless they’re bots
- Start conversations e.g.: I wonder why people…
- Organize meetups (real life Twitter user meetings)
- Don’t tweet instead of blogging
- Add a Twitter share button to your blog
- Display your tweets in your sidebar
- Add a “follow me” badge to your blog
- Announce your best posts on Twitter but not all of them
- Crowdsource posts on Twitter by asking questions
- Add a @twittername input to your comment form
- Tweet it when your plane crashes
- Blog about Twitter
- Tweet about blogging
- Tweet as an individual not only as a company or brand
- Offer exclusive discounts to followers
- Announce special offers on Twitter first
- Give away freebies to your true fans
- Respond to disgruntled customers and offer apologies/money back
- Establish a social media policy in your company
- Monitor brand mentions and express gratitude when possible
- Claim @usernames related to your brand & products
- Create a Twitter team or hire a social media manager
- Use a Twitter CMS like Hootsuite
Marketing & SEO
- Tweet links to great content from your industry
- Add others/yourself to Twitter lists featuring niche bloggers
- Add your Twitter @username to your website
- Display your Twitter address on your business card
- Employ Twitter analytics tools like Databox
- Create Google Analytics campaigns for Twitter
- Claim your keywords as Twitter user names
- Use hashtags but not more than two at once – Twitter is not Instagram
- Follow many people if you can but clean up your feed regularly
- Move to a dedicated server or cloud hosting to handle traffic peaks
- Add “@source” at the end of tweets using a “via”
- Use exclamations like OMG! WTF? FAIL!
- Use weird numbers in headlines
- Break news when they happen
- Share memes or animated gifs when appropriate but don’t overdo it
- Address power users like @zaibatsu and comment on their updates
- Tell people to follow you and explain the benefits of doing it
- Wear unique headgear to stand out
- Use a funny username like @nakedpizza
- Make people happy
- Don’t follow/unfollow the same person more than once in a row
- Don’t message people you don’t follow, they can’t reply
- Don’t swear in tweets or tweet while angry
- Don’t autofollow based on names. Tad Chef is not a chef
- After the 3rd @reply switch to DM (direct message), email, Skype or IM
- Don’t expect a reply when addressing others out of the blue
- Disclose affiliate links with [aff] or [ad] or [partner link]
- Tweet only important things more than once
- Don’t tweet the same thing several times in a row
- Don’t automate tweeting completely
- Don’t sell on Twitter unless your name is Dell outlet
- Don’t use short link tools that frame content
- Read first and only then retweet
- Do not suggest your site each time someone mentions your trade
Safety & Security
- Don’t tweet scam links, not even asking “is this a scam?” You’ll get banned
- Never tweet email addresses. Spam bots harvest them
- Don’t tweet travel/vacation plans. Burglars read them
- Don’t tweet while driving
- Refrain from complaining about your employer or clients
- In countries like China tweet anonymously
- Don’t use your Twitter password for Google and online banking
- Don’t tweet where you are or share your location for no reason
- Don’t tweet private photos of your kids
- Tweet only things you would say on TV
You might have noticed that I don’t heed my own advice with many items referring to blogging.
I am quite busy most of the time so I can’t implement all of it.
Also all of the blogging advice combined leads to clutter so you got to choose which options you prefer.
Focus on a Few Selected Techniques and Be Consistent
I hope these 101 tweets on how to use Twitter will be useful for you and your followers.
Focus on a few of them. You don’t need to implement all of them!
Just keep on doing it. Don’t expect huge success over night.
Make sure to add your own or comment on those list items you don’t agree with.
In case you don’t know whether you want to use Twitter at all read the pros and cons article.
This time I told you how to use Twitter.
Yet I didn’t tell you what to tweet, what to write on Twitter.
In short: Try to tweet something useful for others and tweet
- 1/3 @replies
- 1/3 retweets + links
- 1/3 “what’s happening” tweets.