Top Tips for Tweeting

Anyone who follows Stephen Fry on Twitter will know that there is a line between Tweeting with enthusiasm and spamming. Catch him on a good day, and he’ll be firing off three to four tweets a minute. It’s interesting stuff, I can’t argue with that, but sometimes I just want to read about what my friends are having for breakfast, and maybe a catch a HelloGiggles article about how awesome it is to be single and eat ice cream sandwiches.

Any company hoping to capture their audience through Twitter will be forced to toe this line carefully; Tweet too often and you’ll be un-followed, Tweet too little and your customers won’t even notice you.

With all social media marketing, your focus is on the four C’s; customers, content, context and channel. This is all fine and well when you’re thinking about your social media plan in a general sense, but what about the specifics; like ‘how often should I tweet’, and ‘should I respond to everything’?

Biz Stone, creative director and co-founder of Twitter told an audience at a business conference in Canada that user shouldn’t be spending hours on the micro blogging site as it’s “unhealthy”.

“I like the kind of engagement where you go to the website and you leave because you’ve found what you are looking for or you found something very interesting and you learned something.”

I couldn’t agree more.  So here are a few tips for capturing your audience through Twitter:

  • Integrate Twitter into your everyday life; don’t make it something that you have to find time to sit down in front of a computer and ‘do’. Pick up a tablet or Smartphone and get tweeting—make it natural and conversational.
  • Follow the kind of people you want following you—but don’t be that person who frantically follows a bazillion users and only has three people returning the favour. Keep a balance, and dream of the day when you’re followed by more people that you follow.
  • Once you’ve figured out your crowd, take note of when they’re most active. If you have a worldwide following, great, you can Tweet day or night. If you have a more local following, try to stick to the time between the 11am tea break and the 3pm tea break; when the nation is distracted by twitter.
  • As a general rule you should Tweet every day. And remember, you don’t always have to be delivering original jaw-dropping content. Fall back on a RT every now and then—when it comes to Twitter, interacting and participating is just as important as providing a resource to your readers.
  • If you struggle to find the time to do this every day, consider setting up Twitter scheduling, with a site like Gremln.
  • And should you return every follow, and respond to every @mention? As a general rule, yes, but to be a bit more specific:
    • If the Tweet is business related offer to move over to e-mail, as this is easier than responding in 140 characters or less.
    • If, heaven forbid, it’s negative, don’t feel that you have to respond via the public feed, but again, offer to respond to the complaint via e-mail.
    • If you’re getting a bunch of RT’s every day, show your appreciation with a group ‘ta v much’.

So there you have it, top tips for Twitter.  Happy Tweeting everyone!