Tips To Build A Better Tweet

February 26, 2010  |   Social Media   |   Jameson  |   0 Comment
Tips To Build A Better Tweet

The barrier for entry into using Twitter to build your brand’s presence online is obscenely low, but actually using it strategically is where we see a lot of people trip up.

Here are some quick tips to optimize your Twitter account and get the most out of all 140 characters.

Clean up your followers list

Pay attention to your ratio of followers to following. It says a lot about the type of account that you are managing. If you are following-heavy, it tends to give the impression that you are new to Twitter and are working hard to build up your presence, but haven’t received acceptance from your audience yet.

If you are follower-heavy (like many celebrities) it tends to give the impression that you are selectively social, won’t necessarily reciprocate to messages from followers, but that the “Twitter-sphere” has give you their seal of approval and see value in your published tweets. In most cases, it is good practice to keep your following to follower ratio relatively balanced.

Here are two quick ways to help keep that ratio in check:

  • Unfollow stale accounts that haven’t tweeted in +30 days by using UnTweeps.
  • Identify non-mutuals through Twellow. What you do with this list depends on a lot of other factors, but knowing where to start is half the battle. In short you have two options: unfollow any account that doesn’t reciprocate or work to convert that list into becoming new followers.

A great way to work to make those conversions is to export that non-mutual following list from Twellow into a Tweetdeckgroup. With that list, you can monitor their discussions and specifically target them with public replies that are relevant to the discussions that they are participating in and encouraging them to eventually reciprocate and follow you back.

Use stats to grow your network

If Twitter users are using outside applications, either within their browser, on their desktop or on their mobile devices, Google Analytics won’t always attribute referring traffic to your site back to Twitter and it is hard to measure how often your Twitter links are clicked.

A lot of URL shortening services offer their own stats on click throughs that don’t rely on the clicks originating from, but also provide insight into who is sharing the same shortened URL. These stats are not only a great way to get around this data that Google Analytics misses, but gives you some powerful information to grow your network of followers.

If you are doing it right, you aren’t just promoting yourself constantly, but are sharing outside content that is relevant to your audience through Twitter. Use (the most popular URL shortening tool) to see who else is Tweeting links to the same content. There is a good chance that they would be relevant accounts for you to bring into your network.

For any link that you post (or that anyone else tweets for that matter), add a plus sign at the end of the link to see how many tweets linked to that page, through what Twitter accounts, and how many times it was shared through Facebook and FriendFeed.

For example: turns into

Scroll through the list of Twitter accounts linking to the same page. Consider that list to be what Twitter might look like if it suggested new followers for you in the way that Facebook suggests friends for you to connect with.

Plan the timing of your tweets carefully

So you know that your audience is on Twitter, but do you know when they are most active? Are you catching them at work, are they constantly connected or do they only check in when they are at home after dinner? Understand when your audience connects and time your Tweets accordingly. CoTweet is a powerful tool for a lot of reasons, but its scheduling feature is a great way to hit your audience right when they are looking for updates.

If your audience is very broad or constantly connected, it may be a good idea to repost your own Tweets 28 hours apart, so that you can hit the widest audience, no matter when they are connected or what time zone they are in. This can get you into some gray areas of spam territory, so needs to be done carefully and never more than three times for any one link.

Avoid Hashtag Spam

Hashtags are a great way to follow trends and participate in conversations that reach far beyond your follower network. As with a lot of things, many eager marketers wanted to be everywhere at once and started abusing the system. Hashtags streams are only as valuable as the tweets published to them. Abuse the system and you are only taking a sledge hammer to your home’s foundation.

Don’t Unfollow/Refollow

It has become a somewhat secret practice among many accounts to repeatedly unfollow and refollow accounts that do not reciprocate, sending them multiple alerts over time that they have gained you as a new follow. This is spammy, obvious and annoying. Simply stated, don’t do it. It screams that you are desperate to build a network of empty numbers, focusing on quantity, not quality.

Don’t Neglect Your Background

A well thought out Twitter bio and link to your site is essential, but many people don’t take advantage of all of the digital real estate behind your Twitter page’s main navigation. Take the time to create your own custom Twitter background with a design theme that matches your own site’s design for continuity.

While any text you put there won’t be clickable (unless you have installed ClickableNow and your page’s visitor has it as well) the power of strong images and clear messaging cannot be understated. Use the space to the left of your tweets with care to clearly define who you are, and why you are worth a follow.

Don’t Auto DM To Thank Followers

This has been said a million times, but bears repeating. Auto DMs to new followers, especially if you are just trying to bring them back to your site with a link, never put you in a positive light no matter what your intentions. They just make you seem insincere and self-centered.

Whatever minimal spike in site traffic this may bring you is outweighed by the damage caused to your reputation for blindly sending these messages to anyone and everyone. Want to thank them for following you? Reply to their questions. Retweet their links. Send them relevant links. Make them smile.

Note: These tips were written under the assumption that you have verified that the audience you want to reach is actually on Twitter and that you have adequately answered the question of what to actually tweet about. Both of those are an entirely different discussion for another day.

This is also by no means intended to be a comprehensive list, but a snapshot of some of the tactics and strategies that we have used to manage Twitter presences on behalf of many of our clients. We’d love to hear any additional tips in the comments section.

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