I’ve been on Twitter since 2010. So says Twitter. But you can’t believe everything you read online. Being on a platform and actually using it are two different things.
I’ve actually started using Twitter the way it ought to be used only in the last year or so. Initially, it was all peaches and cream, following everyone who followed me but I was not really engaging with anyone effectively.
As I became more comfortable with blogging and using social media as a means to network, Twitter became a comfort zone to explore at leisure. I do hope that these tips help you get a better experience out of Twitter.
1. Identify your interests
Twitter can be overwhelming for first-time users. It helps if you can list out what your core interests are and start from there.
For instance, my interests include blogging, writing, social media, parenting, mental health and networking. So I try to work out my time on Twitter based on these interests and figure out whom to follow accordingly. How do you find people based on these interests? That’s coming up in point # 2.
2. Use hash tags when you share/ search for content
Assume you’ve written a post/ an article. Now the next logical step is to share it on social media. While a large chunk of my traffic comes from Facebook, I’ve found that a lot of conversations and connections also happen on Twitter around the subject of my post. So, here’s what I do.
Searching for a hash tag will show you accounts that are popular in your network, such as these. Click to follow them.
When people search for similar content, they will stumble upon your post and share it or like it. Click through to check their bio and their timeline. If what they share resonates with you, they’re perfect to follow.
*Add-on tip: Use keywords in your bio so people know at a glance what your interests are.
3. Use Lists
Of course you should use lists on Twitter! How else can you track everyone you follow? Remember those interests in Tip # 1? Well, those are a good place to start.
Add people you follow to lists that you can make. You can create both public and private lists on Twitter.
Know people in your network with large followers? Check their public lists on their profile and see the kind of people they follow. Add them to your list as well.
The surefire advantage here is that you get to see all related tweets by people who are in the same interest group in one space. This is different from the feed that shows up on your Home page.
4. Join a Twitter chat
This has to be, hands down, one of my favourite ways of finding people to follow. I try to participate in chat sessions on Twitter around my core interests: Blogging & writing.
In one space, you get to see everyone in those interest groups pitching in and sharing ideas. It’s a golden opportunity to find people to follow. Chat sessions use hash tags too, so keep an eye out on that ‘Trending’ sidebar and see if any interesting chat sessions pop up.
5. Join a Hash tag party
This has to be my second favourite way of connecting with people. (Oh, who am I kidding? I love them both!) For a blogger, especially, the hash tag parties (where we share links on a specific hash tag on a specific day) are a way to network with so many people in the space of just 24 hours!
Probably the best I’ve ever taken part in (and continue to participate in) is #MondayBlogs that is managed very effectively by Rachel Thompson. Hash tag parties have rules, so play nice and build your network.
6. Study people and engage with followers
Twitter is a social network so it stands to reason that you’d gain a lot by actually networking with others. I look at the way people with a large number of followers engage with their fans and study the chemistry.
Are they kind? Are they intuitively helpful? Do they make an effort to acknowledge others? Are they being human?
They immediately make it on to my list of people to follow.
- Try to gauge whom you want to follow and do it based on your comfort level.
- You don’t have to follow back everyone who follows you.
- Try not to put up tweets that are passive-aggressive in nature, saying, ‘Well, I’m never following ungrateful people again!’
- Please do not send messages to people telling them that you are un-following them. I honestly don’t know how to respond to this one.
Use Twitter sensibly and you’ll find that it’s a pretty awesome experience.
Which of these tips have worked for you?
Do you have any other tips to share?
- What is MondayBlogs and why should you be participating?
- How to start using hash tags effectively right now