Over and over again, I speak with business owners who don’t really “get it” when it comes to Twitter. Perhaps they are over-thinking it, or perhaps they haven’t been able to take the time to play with it a bit, but Twitter is one of my favorite social media platforms for a variety of reasons. However, if I had to pare my reasons down to just three – in order to keep it simple to experiment with – my Top 3 would include these things:
A hashtag (#) lets you find and connect quickly with others around a topic or event. The use of hashtags can’t be undervalued if you want to use Twitter wisely. They’re the “power house” tool. However, they do end up producing a Twitter-esque language that requires interpretation in order to use them for relationship building. Here’s a very short list of recent hashtags that I’ve used to give you an example of what I mean.
- #smm=social media marketing
- #fbff=Fort Bend Fans & Fanatics – a group, local to me, of which I’m a member
- #marketing=business marketing
So, if I wanted to address a local group and let them know that we were going to talk specifically about Facebook marketing at an upcoming meeting, my Tweet might look like this one actually did:
— PolkaDotImpressions (@PolkaDotImpress) July 9, 2012
NOTE: Hashtags are a two-way street, like most of social media. It’s not just about what I want to say and how to say it shorter; hashtags let me search (see below) for others using those same tags and connect with them, see what they’re saying on that topic, etc. I could use the #marketing tag in a Search and see what tips others are giving out on that topic!
TIP: Don’t overuse hashtags, but don’t underuse them either. Speak the language of Twitter, and speak the language of your followers. Compose your tweets in meaningful ways but vary the messages so that you reach the largest possible audience.
The Search feature is my second favorite tool on Twitter. I can search out people, businesses, cities, hashtags, products, etc. Anything I want to look for online, I can search for on Twitter. If I want to check out service providers – no problem. Competitors? Easy. Tools to make my life easier? Yes. Online reviews? Sure! The Search feature is a great way to find out what’s being said on Twitter, and to do it quickly! It won’t find other websites, but it will find conversations around your search query, and social media is all about the conversations!
TIP: If you think you’ll use a particular Search more than once, then after you’ve typed in the query, “Save” the search results by clicking on the Settings icon in the upper right hand corner of your search display. Then, when you want to look at a fresh list of that search term, all you have to do is click in the Search field, and a list of your saved search queries will appear. Choose the one you want, and the list will automatically refresh. You can remove a saved list, too, by choosing “Remove Saved Search” from the settings icon.
Lists are a great way to group your Twitter accounts – the people you follow – into manageable lists to see what is being said. They help you not to miss anything. Most people end up following a lot of folks on Twitter, and in many cases, they follow more than they can keep up with. A list lets you break those folks into daily or topic-related groups so that you can catch up with those folks on a regular basis. Lists can be public or private, and a combination of the two is very helpful.
TIP: If you’re looking for great new people to follow, go to the Twitter pages for those you respect and admire. Who are your leaders? Identify those people and check out their lists. Who do they follow that you might want to learn from, based on their grouping? Visit their groups and check out the accounts that inspire them. Choose several to follow and perhaps you’ll want to add them to a list of your own!
These are my top 3 favorite features of Twitter. What are yours?
Other articles/posts you might be interested in:
Twitter Hashtags – YouTube Video