Twitter is one of my favorite social media networks online. While each of the different networks online has their own benefits and drawbacks. Twitter is no different. Many people just try to jump on and end up getting frustrated, lost and overwhelmed with all the information that is coming their way that they give up and don’t ever come back. Then you have new users who want to treat Twitter like Facebook and again they end up leaving and often swearing off the network. In other words, in other words, many folks set themselves up to fail.

Have a plan

When doing anything that you want to lead to success a plan of action is always a good way to start. What is the objective you are looking to achieve? If you are wanting to sell people your wares and services posting, “Buy my stuff!” every 15 to 20 minutes is not a good plan. You don’t want to annoy your potential customers. Lead them to the knowledge and resources you have.

Plan on talking to people. Yep, the keyword in Social Networks is, you guessed it, Social. Set aside time each day for 15 or 20 minutes to reply to other people’s tweets and retweet folk’s awesome information. You might even try retweeting some of your competitions tweets. This is actually the biggest part of making sure your Twitter account grows. When you act like a human, people are more likely to follow you. The interaction increases the chances of followers, and more followers are more potential customers

So how do you set your Twitter account up for success?

Your Profile

Let’s start with the people’s first impression. Your welcome mat, your profile

Remove the egg

When you first create your Twitter account you will have the default image of an egg as your profile picture. Take any picture a place it in the spot. The picture can be your logo or a picture of you. The later would be better but the logo will work too especially if this account is supposed to be an office Twitter account for your business. If you are the image for the business then it would be better to use an image of you.

Changing the default picture gives you several key advantages. This is one you will not look like a bot. and that you care about your brand. Both of these are important to veteran Twitter users. They have dealt with their fair share of Twitter bots and many of them now actually change their profile pictures but that still doesn’t mean we are not leery of the newbie egg. It also shows people who they are talking to.

Create a cover image

This is the image that runs across the top of your Twitter profile. Add a picture here for the very same reasons as to why you want to have your profile picture. You can have this image be whatever you like. Many people will use it as a soft call to action and have it match up to their personality or help further the brand in image form. But if you wanted an image of a bunch of frogs you can do that too.

Fill out your BIO

Who are you? What is this account aiming to help with? Why does someone want to follow your Twitter account? Express this here.

Now if you look around you will see many marketeers will place hashtags in their bio. This is done in hopes of drawing more followers who are looking at the particular hashtag but in all actuality, I have not seen much in leads or new followers because of it. Yes, Twitter does make these Hashtags hot linked but Most of your new followers are going to be from other followers. This is why when you first start out your follow rate is slow. As you get more followers and Twitter learns more about you, Twitter will know better people to suggest your profile too. So if you want hashtags you can but don’t expect a rush of new followers because of it.

Connect your Vine if you have it

What another social network to join? Yeah, it is but not necessary, and typically if you have a vine you will have a Twitter account since they are owned by the same company. Yet if you are looking at having Vine as part of your Social Media strategy then link the two accounts together. This will get a little cross action sharing going on.

Website

This account is a lead generator. So, why not lead them to your site? It would amaze you how many people have their Facebook page or some other place in this place. Why not give your potential customer a chance to go to your page and hand over their little green certificates of appreciation to you and your business.

Set up your Analytics

Yes Twitter has analytics. Twitters Analytics gives you insights to how often you tweet how many impressions how many times people visit your Profile. You then are able to drill down to more details about your tweets and how well they are performing. What your audience is comprised of, so you get a better understanding of your customer. Events that are happening on Twitter. And how well your Twitter cards are tempting your budding audience members to visit your site. This information that is provided from Twitter gets better with time. So, the sooner you start up the analytics the better

Gather Your Needed Tools

When you have a job to do. It is good to use the needed and best tools. So your required tools may change but if the beginner and new Twitter user here are a few tools that will make your Twitter experience a little easier.

Buffer

Buffer is a scheduling tool that is both a Chrome Extension and a phone app (iOS or Android). Buffer allows for you to look online and as you find blog posts or articles that you believe your audience members would like you can share it to buffer and it will send it out at the nearest allotted time of your choosing. Buffer is a freemium model so in the free department, you have the ability to build up 10 posts before you have to wait for one to be sent out. But for $12/month you can set up to 200 posts and they will trickle out throughout the following days. This is dependent on how often you have set it up to post.

Hootsuite

This is a very versatile tool for you to use not only with Twitter but other social networks. In the Twitter world, Hootsuite helps with a couple of Twitter events that are trending right not. The big one is #TwitterChats. This is a conversation that is happening while centered on a particular hashtag. Buffer has an incredible Twitter chat that is held each Wednesday at 11:00 am and you can find all the conversations by using the hashtag #BufferChat. In HootSuite you are able to create columns for just certain hashtags.

You can also create columns for Particular lists so if you have a competition list you can put that list as a column and searches for phrases your potential customers might use by saving a search. For example, I might save a search for “Where is there a good tobacco store in Western Oklahoma?” if I had a cigar store in Elk city. This way you can respond to people’s inquiries or other problems that your likely customers might have.

If you want you can expand HootSuite’s value by purchasing a subscription* to HootSuite Pro for $14.99

Get the Right Relevance

Want to find topics to add to your Buffer? Right Relevance is a fantastic tool to use to find links to share. You can search for a topic and the results are current and, as the name suggests relevant to what you are looking for. There is also Right Relevance for iOS. Sorry Android folks Right Relevance hasn’t made their Android app as of yet.

Nuzzle

What are your friends and followers talking about? Nuzzle will help you discover what people are talking about and you are able to share it with your followers. There are links to both Android and iOS on their website

Crowdfire

This is a very important for growth. Most people will use Crowdfire to track who has followed and unfollowed. But there is a nice trick in Crowdfire that helps you grow more followers. And this is the Copy Followers. Type in the Twitter ID of a person who has your potential followers. And then depending on your subscription level you can start following people from that list. Then wait a few days and many of these people will have followed you back.

Find your hashtags with ritetag

Want to see what hashtags are being used right now? RiteTag is a nice little browser based tool to utilize. You can type a tag and you will be able to see how many of your followers are using that tag. This does have a 7-day trial and then afterward it is as little as $10/month

Google Alerts and Feedly

The Final tool I will suggest is Google Alerts and Feedly combination.

Google Alerts is a service by Google that sends new results to a search query to either your email inbox or to your RSS feed reader and this is one reason why Feedly is included. To set up an Alert just navigate to google.com/alerts and Type a search topic that pertains to your industry and select Create Alert You will have a few options to edit. And you are good now if you don’t want the alerts to fill up your inbox then you can edit your selection to RSS and copy that link to your Feedly account and you will then be able to look through and get information to post to your Twitter followers.

With all that said. The very best way to grow and ensure success with your Twitter audience is to spend time on Twitter. I understand that the flood of information can be overwhelming. Using lists are a good way to deal with the firehose of Twitter. Stick with it. Your audience wants to hear from you, and the knowledge you provide them.

It is very easy to fall into the trap of just set it and forget it. This does work somewhat and that is a very poor somewhat at that. You have to be there for your followers they will have questions and comments. If you don’t answer them then your competition will, and then you have just lost a customer who would be raving about you to their friends. So, Go out there sign up for twitter find those people who are looking for you and start building valuable relationships. Laugh and feign righteous indignation enjoy the community of people who every day meet and greet each other through Twitter.

 

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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