This is the fifth part in my series on How to Twitter. In Part 1 I spoke about how to set up and optimise your Twitter account, in Part 2 I discussed how to post on Twitter and in Part 3 I showed you how to build your reach and followers on Twitter. The last post I wrote – Part 4 – dealt with #Hashtags and Twitter Chat.
For those of you on Twitter already, you probably now realise what a minefield it is out there! If you follow a lot of people you could be receiving about 200 tweets every few minutes! It gets harder to hear the important messages among all of the others. So how do you cut through all the noise?
Other questions you may have are, for example, who do I follow on Twitter? how do I monitor what people are saying about me? how can I sort the people I follow into categories? How can I schedule tweets for when I am busy or away?
Well let’s jump right into it and show you How To Manage Twitter more effectively!
#1: Be selective of who you follow
Many Twitter accounts are run by spammers or bots so don’t choose to automatically follow everyone who follows you but instead check them out first. You also don’t want them cramming up your twitter feed or sending you spam messages! Here are some tips to look out for Twitter bots and Spammers:
- Don’t follow people with an egg picture. If they haven’t bothered to upload a real profile picture, chances are they are not going to say anything worth hearing.
- Check their numbers. An account that follows many people but has only a few followers is most likely a spammer.
- Take a look at their tweets. Are they all retweets or quotes? Did they send the exact tweet to many users over a very short time?
#2: Organize all those that you follow on Twitter into lists
Lists allow you to group together the important people you follow so they don’t get lost in the noise of everyone else. You can create separate lists for customers, networkers, targets, social media teachers and so forth. You can create up to 20 lists with up to 500 in each list.
When you find someone to follow add them to a list or create a list. Check your @Connect for mentions and new followers and then you can follow back if you choose and add them to a specific list.
You can also go to your Twitter home page and click on Lists on the left hand side and click on “create list” – give your list a name and decide whether to keep it as Public or Private. Please Note: that if you create a public list everyone will be able to view and follow this list – this so don’t go putting targets into a public list!
#3: Monitor your brand
- Read your tweets
- Look for replies and mentions: Make sure you check your Direct Messages and Mentions (@Connect)
- Create a search for your business name: Sometimes, people talk about your business without using your @username. Search and then click on the “gear” icon and click Save Search. When you return to search again it is there already saved.
- Monitor Your Lists: You can monitor each list separately using Twitter or use a Twitter tool like HootSuite (see point 4).
#4: Use third-party service to monitor, manage, and collaborate your Social Media profiles / networks
There are many tools out there such as Tweetdeck or Seesmic and the list goes on but Hootsuite is the one I use. Like most social media dashboards, HootSuite uses a simple column layout. You can add your various accounts and Twitter Lists and sort in tabs and columns.
What I also love is that you can get an app for your phone and use Hootsuite on the go.
Posting messages are easy! Use the compose message box to add your message. You can add a link and shorten it with ow.ly straight in the compose message box and these links can then be tracked in your Analytics.
Schedule tweets in advance: Have an ongoing promotion in progress? Or going away for a few weeks. To schedule just click on the calendar section and to choose which network to post to you can select just to the right of the compose box and click on the network you want to post to – simple hey! Just remember not to become a twitter robot!
On the free version of Hootsuite you can only add up to 5 profiles and get limited analytics, however on the Hootsuite Pro Version you get:
- Unlimited Social Profiles – including LinkedIn personal and company, LinkedIn groups, YouTube, Facebook personal and business pages, Twitter functionality plus all lists and #hashtag or keyword searches
- Enhanced Analytics including Facebook Insights Integration and Google Analytics Integration
- Unlimited RSS Feeds – feeds from blogs
- The ability to easily share accounts with other team members and create reports and have them sent to you automatically also makes this a great tool for monitoring business accounts
And they keep adding in more functionality and integrated apps all the time.
#5: IFTTT – if this then that – what a cool tool!
This allows you to connect any two web services together, for example: If you publish a new blog post, have Ifttt publish a new tweet straightaway.
For good customer service you need to be able to respond asap so you need to make sure you are getting notifications when someone contacts you. This will usually be sent to the default email of the account. But again you can get creative with tools such as IFTTT, or use a Twitter Alert tool such as Twilert.
My next blog focuces on How to Generate Leads and Sales on Twitter.
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