The art of the tweet

2010 was a great year and I wanted to thank everyone for helping make big things happen. So how is 2011 going? Sticking to those New Years resolutions which you set?

I sure hope you’ve made one resolution – to use social media more for personal and business growth – it helps!

Over the past few days, I’ve had people email me, asking for a few tips on tweeting. I’ve put together a few things to remember on the art of the tweet which should help get you started and keep you focused in 2011.

For those of you that are completely new to Twitter, please consider downloading my free social media manual which covers Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Download: The Social Media Manual: A Guide on Using Social Media to Grow Your Business

I’ve put together a brief list of Twitter Tips to help you with the art of the tweet. While you’re typing away, please remember these tips:

Tweets are 140 characters in length – don’t overtype!
Even though you have 140 characters, keep your tweets between 115-120 character. The art of the tweet is to encourage others to want to share or retweet your content. If you use up all 140 characters, they cannot add their own message to your tweet. Use the counter that Twitter and many other apps provide you with to display your current character count.

Follow back
I see this a lot – people either follow too many people or don’t follow anyone at all. If you want to increase your reach, follow quality people on Twitter. If someone follows you and you feel you would like to see their tweets, follow them back! Sure, not everyone will follow you back, but those that seem to have the most success follow 90% of the people that follow them. Celebrities and other personalities don’t apply – they have a huge fan base already.

Retweet often
Want to increase your Twitter reach? In addition to following people on Twitter, also be sure you retweet on Twitter. Besides promoting your own content 24/7, be sure and retweet others too. Retweeting can be accomplished by adding RT in front of a users name.

Ex: RT @ckroks Great tips on public vs. private tweets & why you should use them

Not only will this help you become more credible, but it will help also help bring other people into your network that found out about you through your tweet.

Public vs. Private tweets
In case you don’t know my stance on public vs. private tweets, please read my earlier note. It’s pretty simple. If you want to network, you have to make your tweets public. Otherwise you rely solely on word of mouth – and if you have a small network, you’ll get more of a wimper than a roar.

Hashtags, links and @replies
When composing a tweet, three (3) things you should include are: hashtags, links, @ replies. Why are these helpful?

Hashtags – denoted by #someword Ex: #cosmetics, #marketamerica, etc group all tweets using a particular hashtag together. Think of it like organizing items into a particular folder – when you click that hashtag, you see just the items in that folder (hashtag) get it?

Links are crucial for any tweet because they direct people somewhere. Sure, a basic tweet provides information, but if you’re looking to get someone to your website, an article, etc.. take the guesswork out of things and include a link directly to it. This will help you generate higher conversion opportunities.

@replies – @replies are basically directing a tweet to someone or mentioning someone’s name in a tweet. If you wanted to direct something to me, sure you can write Christian Karasiewicz blah blah blah, but I’m more apt to see it if you write my Twitter name – @ckroks, since I can go to Twitter and see who mentions my username in their tweets.

*If you don’t know someone’s Twitter username, you can visit Google and type “twitter Southwest airlines” to find someones Twitter handle. This way you ensure you have the correct username. Remember, not all businesses or people use their full name so double-check before you tweet it, you could be tweeting to the wrong person!

My parting shot, keep things simple. The framework for writing a tweet is the same – hashtags, links, @replies. To be successful, you need to engage with people – think of it like a recipe swap, borrowing a book, deciding whether to go see a movie, etc… Reach out to others who’ve already done something, ask questions, and connect!

Got a question or need further help? Let’s connect!