Paul Flint

Casual Blogger and user of social networks. Fascinated by the growth and use of web technologies and their applications

9 Ways To Get The Most From Twitter

There have been lots of negative comments in the press recently about Twitter and that’s a shame. What they don’t realise is Twitter is a not always a natural, instant thing; to get Twitter you need to hang around a little longer, pick up new followers and find people to follow. There are no set rules for how to use Twitter. If you want to Tweet about your every day tasks, then as far as I’m concerned, that’s fine. But if you really want to get the full benefit, then below are the things that work for me:

1. Tweet, often and honestly.

That doesn’t necessary mean you tell the truth it just means tweet things from the heart, things that you care about, things that amuse or entertain you or, if you must, things that will get a re-action.

2. Follow

Find people you like and follow them. It doesn’t have to be famous people, just ones that say things you can connect with. They might follow you back!

3. Don’t Tweet because you want more followers!

There are millions of Twitterers, they will follow you because they like what you say in 140 characters, not because you’re trying to sell yourself or other stuff.

4. Show people cool stuff.

Stupid photos, interesting links, things that make you smile or angry, music tracks (see blip.fm) and other peoples blogs!

5. Re-tweet.

Seen a Tweet you like? Make sure others know about it. That’s what makes the Twittersphere go round.

6. Respond

You don’t have to re-tweet everything, but letting people know you’re there and like what they say is always good, so hit reply. Don’t worry if they don’t answer back – it’s not about how they interact with you, but how you interact with them.

7. Block and move on

Don’t get sucked into a flame war. While it’s good to have people with different opinions on your follow list, there’s no need to put up with those you find offensive or annoying. That’s what blocks for.

8. Use hashtags (when necessary)

Hashtags are excellent for grouping comments together. Why is this important? It makes it easier to find items on similar themes; it also helps identify what are the most important issues on twitter (Trending topics).

And finally and most importantly:

9. Its not just about your blog.

When people follow me, I like to follow them back if, and only if, I like what they are tweeting. The number of times I’ve been to individual twitter pages to just find no other interaction, no re-tweets, no hashtags just a Tweets of “Hey, new post today!” Why would I want to read that?

I do, because of Twitter, read other people’s blogs when they post. Why? Because they interact, they communicate, they re-tweet, they hashtag; basically they get out there and are part of the community and I find what they have to say interesting.

In conclusion, Twitter is all about interaction. I only started to blog because of Twitter, I found I had more to say and 140 characters is not enough sometimes. I hope people read it, hey that’s surely the point of blogging, but that’s not why I Tweet. Yes it’s handy for letting people know I’ve blogged a new post (and it’s worth retweeting several times, such is the transitory nature of Twitter) but if that’s all it becomes about, then maybe Twitter isn’t for you.

Note: Have I missed anything? Let me know and follow me at @fatmanslimming

Comments

  • February 27, 2010

    love the quote: “Twitter isn’t always a natural,instant thing;to get Twitter you need 2 hang around a little longer”

  • February 27, 2010

    I really feel that ‘respond’ should be at the top of the list. I feel like one of the most valuable parts of Twitter are the conversations — and they quickly lead to value. I’ve had plenty of conversations that have lead to other people following and retweeting me, just because I took the time to respond.

  • February 27, 2010

    Responding to people is the most important in my opinion (I agree Thursday Bram). When I look at a person’s Twitter page and see no interaction I click out straight away. Twitter is a microblogging platform, not a microadvertising platform.

  • February 27, 2010

    I’ve definitely changed my way of thinking. I’m no longer interested in building my followers list. I’m looking for people to interact with. Several months ago I implemented a 3 strikes you’re unfollowed rule for people I follow. If I attempt to interact with you and you ignore me three times, you’re out. I follow a small number of twitter accounts solely for information and a couple of celebs, they are exempt from my new rule.

  • February 27, 2010

    Hey thanks for sharing this amazing article as it is needed by many people as they keep on doing lot of mistakes.

  • February 28, 2010

    Definitely responding is important. If I respond to someone and they don’t respond back after several tries, I delete them.

  • February 28, 2010

    just want to add “Don’t SPAM”…

  • March 1, 2010

    Thanks for the tips, Ive been looking with this a while ago.

  • March 3, 2010

    You’ve just given me a new perspective on Tweeter. Thanks a lot :)

  • March 4, 2010

    Thanks for nice tips…

  • March 6, 2010
    Kashmira
    @kash_mira

    Honestly, I have to market my company’s product on twitter thou it my idea but i dont know where and how to start from.. I need serious help..

    In case anyone wants to help “kash_mira” find me on twitter :-|

  • March 12, 2010

    Tip number 9 is a big one. Providing a teaser that shows the content will be worth the click is quite important.

  • April 9, 2010

    Can you please explain me what’s the functionality & benefits of “List” in Twitter?

  • May 9, 2010

    I generally tweet at least three times a day: morning, afternoon, and evening. In each session, I usually post a few of my own positive tweets, look through and find some interesting tweets to RT, send out a few shout outs, start up a brief conversation with a few followers and maybe mix in one plug of my latest blog post.

    I actually enjoy participating in the community. I feel that everything else from a business and promotional standpoint will come if I just make myself a respected member of the community.

    I like the personalized #FF idea. I’m going to try this on Friday!

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