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7 Tips to Keep You Tweeting

November 10, 2009

twitterThere was a report about twitter that came out earlier this year that said a large percentage of twitter users abandon their accounts shortly after creating them (around 60% stopped using within one month).  I have to say that I don’t find that surprising at all, seeing as how I created a personal account that I only used for 2-3 weeks.  My reason for creating a twitter account in the first place, however, was to get an understanding of how the site worked.  It gave me a lot of ideas on how we could use the Florida Ag twitter account. So once we created that one, my original twitter account was a little useless to me.

But back to my point… I think that a lot of people are interested in twitter, but they don’t see immediate results and ditch the whole thing.  Maybe they don’t know what to talk about or where to find followers.  One of the goals in our social media efforts is to help Florida’s agricultural producers, businesses and groups use social media themselves.  I think that almost anyone can use twitter to help market their business or cause if they know how to use it.  So how can you keep from becoming a statistic?  Here’s my list of ways to keep your twitter account alive and kicking.

twitter

  1. Make a tweet plan.  I remember when we first started tweeting; we were always searching for things to say.  For the first week or two, we actually set “tweet goals” for ourselves.  On a daily basis, we would put at least one link to our blog or website, find at least one item to retweet, and write one Florida ag-related statistic or fact.  As we began following more and more people, we found a lot more items to retweet.  We also started looking long and hard through news sites to find relevant information that our followers would like.  We still kind of use a daily tweet plan – around once an hour or at least 6 tweets per day.
  2. Get help finding news.  Looking for articles to tweet about can be a daunting task, especially if you are searching multiple times a day.  Google has a great tool called Google Reader that collects news stories from all your favorite sites and puts them in one place (there are other “readers” out there, but this is the one that I use).  Along with regular websites, you can add blogs, Google news search terms, even specific twitter accounts to Reader (anything that has an Atom or RSS feed).  It brings up news articles and stories as soon as they are posted.  Keep your reader open all day and glance at it every so often to see what’s new.  That’s how I find 75% of all the articles that we link to on twitter.
  3. Read articles about tweeting.  There’s new content being put out there about social media and twitter daily, even hourly.  Reading tips and advice can only help you so get to it!  To see what’s being tweeted on the topic, just search on twitter for #socialmedia.  I take the easy way and subscribe to SmartBrief on Social Media, which e-mails me the top stories on social media every day.   I also love looking on Mashable.
  4. Promote others and add to their conversations.  Unfortunately, the whole world doesn’t revolve around you.  While your main goal is to promote yourself, it’s important to share valuable information, even if that information comes from someone else.  You can also look at it from this standpoint: retweeting someone is a great way to get them to remember you.
  5. Think before you tweet.  You want to be noticed so it’s important to catch your followers’ attention!  Instead of just posting the title of an article, ask yourself “how could this sound more interesting?”  Pose a question, add a statistic or be completely vague… just be interesting!
  6. Look for followers that can help you.  Do hashtag searches, check out the people in your industry on wefollow and go through twitter lists to find valuable “tweeple” to follow.  They will provide you with good links and insight that you can pass on to your followers.  And hopefully they will follow you back!
  7. Lastly, just try to stick with it!  Results are not always instant.  Each week, we track our number of followers, tweets, link clicks and retweets to analyze what works and what doesn’t.  I suggest that you at least track your number of followers so in a month or two, you can look back and see how quickly (or slowly) you have grown.

I hope that these few tips can help you in your quest to have a successful twitter following.  I know it’s sometimes hard, but try to have patience and put in the time and effort… it will pay off!

1st image from flickr, 2nd image from flickr

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