I’m often asked how I could POSSIBLY manage to keep up with the constant stream of tweets from SO many followers (I don’t have nearly as many followers as many of my friends, but compared to others, 2700 is a lot).
Here’s my top 10 list of actions, applications and websites that will help you be more productive and keep on top of the Madness.
- TweetDeck – You have to get this. You have to learn how to use it. It will change how you look at Twitter. A couple months ago I put together a “Video: Intro to TweetDeck” (program has been updated since my video blog, but still very similar). It’s quite a simple program, but what I love most about it is that I can categorize all the different followers into different columns. So, I’ll have “Friends” in one column, “Legal Tweeps” in another, and “Seattle folks” in a third column. I’ll also have one column dedicated to @replies, DM’s and one for my Facebook stream. With all this you can now see everything spread out on one screen.
- Upload a picture to your Twitter profile – I’ve actually heard some friends say they refuse to follow someone who doesn’t bother to change from the default image. If you don’t like the idea of it being a picture of you, get one of your dog or a tree. Anything but the default twitter image! People will respect you more. While you’re at it, make sure to add your real name, your location and a bio. Also, for a web link use your LinkedIN page if you don’t have a blog or website to direct folks to!
- Get involved in your local Social Media Community – in Seattle we have the Social Media Club Seattle (a/k/a SMC Seattle) and you can also find events going on locally at twtvite. Why bother with Twitter if you’re not going to use it to it’s advantages? Turn those online relationships into real ones! If you have a hard time finding people to follow, go to an event and meet some folks. It will energize you to get involved.
- Find Followers – Using websites like wefollow will help you find twitter followers in topic areas you might be interested in. If you work in Legal (as a lawyer or otherwise) you can check out LexTweet (operated by LexBlog). There are TONS of other websites out there to help you find followers. Plus your friends will likely participate in #FollowFriday (#FF) where they recommend people to follow! This is a great way to for you to find like-minded people.
- Tweet on the Go! If you use a “Smartphone” there are lots of options for reading and sending Tweets on the Go. For iPhone, a must have app is Tweetie (that’s the extend of my iPhone knowledge). For BlackBerry I would suggest SocialScope, IF you get it. It’s been in closed beta since January of 2009, I have hope it’ll be released to the general public soon. Otherwise Ubertwitter is a great alternative.
- Tweeting Articles – Some folks live on Twitter simply to share and read articles that they love! One easy way I do that is by using Viigo on my BlackBerry. Every morning when I’m on the bus I’m constantly reading articles from news papers and blogs. Using Viigo with just two clicks I’ve submitted the article to Twitter. Very simple. Also, if you’re reading a blog you might notice that beside each article you see a Share This button or a Twitter/Facebook button. USE THEM! Tell your following you’ve found something they might be interested in! (TweetDeck has URL shrinking build in. So if you paste a long URL address it will shrink the address for you)
- Re-Tweeting – Want to get someone’s attention? When you see something that someone has sent out and want to share it with your followers you “re-tweet” it. On TweetDeck that’s a specific command. You’ll know retweets because they start with “RT”. When you RT someone’s tweet it tells them you like what they’ve circulated. Some even take the time to thank folks personally for RTing their tweets. This is a great way to increase your social profile. (Found this Re-tweet Etiquette very interesting)
- Sharing Twitter Responsibilities – If you have a Twitter account for your company, organization or non-profit you should consider sharing the Twitter responsibilities with others. One very popular and EASY way to do that is to use a site called CoTweet. Here you can both send out tweets from your organization OR from your personal account. You can also assign specific people to reply to specific tweets. This takes the burden off of one single participant and allows others to get involved.
- Read Trust Agents! If you want to feel part of the Social Media community and really be able to best “take advantage” of the relationships you build, Trust Agents, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, is a fun and very helpful read. I recently wrote a review of the book “Review: Trust Agents“.
- Distributing Your Twitter Handle – First off, DON’T protect your Twitter profile. It’s just dumb. If you don’t want certain people to see what you say, then either Twitter isn’t for you OR you shouldn’t say “it” to begin with. Next, I put a little clear sticker on the back of my normal business cards that have my Twitter handle on it and my blog URL. This allows me to give folks that info when doing a traditional business card exchange.
BONUS: Be a person, not a company. People want to connect with People, not companies. It might feel nicer for you to be more anonymous as “XYZ Corporation”, but you’ll end up just that, anonymous. People usually hate following companies and are generally suspicious of companies who follow them.
OK, that offically wraps up my rendition of “Top 10 Twitter Tips”. Hope you find them helpful. Drop me a line anytime. I love interacting with folks.
Tweet ya later!!!