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Monday, May 23, 2011

How to get more out of Twitter

Starting a Twitter account can be daunting, especially if you do not have any friends who are Tweeting. But by engaging with other individuals and being consistent in your tweets, you can find success relatively quick.

“Success” on twitter can mean a variety of things, but most, if not all, metrics of success depend on whether you engage the Twitter community you are a part of. You’ll find the most success when you build a community of tweeters you can engage with, when you share information that your followers will find useful and when the tweeters you follow share valuable tweets with you.

Here are four tips that will help you on the road to building a successful twitter account.

Join a Hashtag community, but DO NOT join one just to get followers. Hashtag communities are great ways to learn about and debate topics. Hashtag communities, especially #pr20chat and #happo have taught me more about the public relations industry than I would have learned by myself.

However, I have seen users get called out for joining a hashtag chat solely for the purpose of gaining followers. Likewise, I have seen companies on twitter successfully participate in hashtag chats because they try to contribute to the conversation and do not market themselves or their products.

So engage people in hashtag communities, sit back and learn, but do it for the right reasons. Twitter users are pretty good at spotting tweeters whose intentions are not authentic, and there are plenty ready to call these people out.

Retweet, but DO NOT retweet for the sake of retweeting. If you retweet a tweet containing a link, READ THE LINK before you retweet it. Doing this will allow you to engage your fellow tweeters about the RT and will keep you from spamming your followers with RT spam.

Provide helpful links to your followers, but make sure these links are actually helpful and not irrelevant  to your followers. Attach hashtags WHEN APPROPRIATE. If you find a blog post or a website helpful to young PR pros, tweet it and attach appropriate tags (#u30pro, ect.), but be wary about tweeting too many links about lolcats… unless your viewers absolutely love lolcats.

Have fun on Twitter, but… ok, no caveat. If you have fun on twitter, your followers will have fun following you. Respond to tweets that are off topic but you enjoy talking about. Remember, Twitter is not all business. Sure, a large part of twitter is about networking with other professionals and sharing interests, but Twitter is a great opportunity for you to show off the characteristics that make you you.

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