How to utilize Twitter for maximum awesome… Twitter Tips & Tricks

Everyone should be on twitter. It is the best way to advertise your blog. Even if you just join to read other people’s tweets and make occasional comments, it is a great way to promote your blog, connect with other bloggers and keep on top of news and events. People usually look at me funny when I confess my love for twitter, but without twitter – I think I would only be half as informed. But, with every good there is a bad – so the best way to use a tool like twitter, it to know how to use it properly.

If you are a blogger, an author, or an aspiring writer, twitter can build a following like no other. It builds real time relationships and draws people to your site via the links. But, be warned, in order to build a good twitter network it has to be about 80 social 20 percent promotion. There is always a fine line between promo and spam. Go into twitter with the main goal of “connection” not “promotion.”

Ten Twitter Rules & Guides


Rule #1 -Twitter is Public Speaking

Twitter is You Speaking  + Megaphone + Crowd

Twitter is not like any other social media outlet. It is a public forum. Anyone can see it. You have one option for privacy, protect your tweets (from everyone, approving only your selected few ) or go public. Being a public figure as a blogger or author, you probably don’t want to protect your tweets. Therefor, everything you tweet will be there for everyone to see. Remember this — every single time you tweet: It is Public. It is Searchable. Dumb comments will linger forever, twitter attacks are screen-grabbed and shown on countless blogs. It doesn’t go away. Always remember this!

Do you want to be the person that is known for this wonderful tweet:

Rule #2 – Learn the Terminology.

Learn the language or you’ll get really confused. Twitter has a Glossary here but the basics are as follows:

# or hashtag – It is a keyword, always without spaces that can be searched through the twitter interface or twitter apps. Hashtags can be used to demonstrate strong emotion or emphasis. You can stick a hashtag anywhere, most users include them in the end — but you can use them in a quick sentence. For example, a common Friday hashtag is #FF (Follow Friday twitter meme), so you would tweet: Happy #FF Everyone! Check out my Friday To Do List:


@  or Mention – This is used, just like on Facebook, when you mention someone. When you @someone it goes in a separate stream, called the Mention stream and will go directly to the user. If you would like to get in touch with that person the easiest way is to @ them. Only people that follow both you and the person you mentioned will be able to see that tweet. If you want a public mention– place a period before the mention. See Rule #6


Direct Message – or DM is a private way to contact someone. You would type in: D username and it will DM someone. But, the person has to follow you in order to be DMd. If not you will get an error message. This is how twitter cuts down on spam. DMs are not searchable or able to be seen by other people.


Retweet or RT – You will see something like Plz RT — meaning Please Retweet. Users are asking you to spread the message for them. A retweet means you are tweeting another users tweet. A lot of users will retweet news agencies or authors to spread info to their followers.


Favorite – Favorite a tweet by clicking the star, this can either be used by showing that this tweet was awesome, or save it for later. You can choose how to use this tool.


Trending Topic – Twitter determines what everyone is talking about by using an algorithm. They will post what trends on the home page.


Rule #3 -The Shorter the Better.

Short is Sweet. A tweet is 140 characters. Once you get used to it, you won’t know how to go over 140. Using longer tweet applications doesn’t work well. Don’t bother.

Rule #4 – Spam will get your Banned…

Don’t spam. Don’t @ someone with links to your stuff. If it is relevant to the conversation, by all means. If not, they can report you for spam. When they report you for spam, your twitter account will be 86d.

2011-03-12-twitter-eggRule #5 – Be original.

If you are tweeting someone with massive amounts of followers/followees (is that a word?) they might not recognize you as @Jenny124!Yo with a avi of vampire teeth. The best thing to do is stand out. Have an original username that matches your blog and an avatar that looks different from the rest. Don’t be caught with a twitter egg…you will look like spam.

Rule #6 – Mentions can not be seen by all

If you begin your tweet with @username it will be a reply and will only be viewable to people that follow you and that person. It will show up on your profile page, but your follower stream will not be able to see it. If you want the rest of the world to see the tweet — stick a character in front. A lot of people will use a period.

Rule #7 -Use a Twitter App

Sometimes is not the best place to use twitter. Apps like HootSuite and Tweetdeck make me happy – they might make you too. The twitter apps allow you to have all your information in one area, columns of mentions, DMs and even set up columns with your favorite lists and hashtags.

Rule #8 – Twitter Followers are Easy…

It’s easier to get twitter followers than it is to get blog followers. Utilize this. Say hi. Start a conversation, usually a person will follow you back by doing this. Remember though, that the “bigger” the twitter celeb is though, the harder it might be to get the follow back, since they usually have a lot of people engaged in twitter convos. Start small and work yourself up.

Rule #9 – Speak now, or Lurk later.

It’s a fact – you will start out with no one following you. Your first tweet will be seen by no-one in real-time. The key to gaining new followers is to follow people and tweet interesting things. Follow your favorite bloggers, authors or family members. (Maybe start with me @parajunkee hint hint) Say hi, tell them you are new to twitter. Join a social share event, or a twitter party, tweet using trending hashtags. All are ways to gain new followers.

Rule #10 – Blocking is sorta magic…

If you are having a nasty reaction to a certain twitter account, are they being rude, or just being so stupid you are afraid it is catching? Maybe you just don’t want this person seeing your tweets? You can block them. Just click on the account and go to the gear – and click Block @douchyuser. This isn’t an ALL POWERFUL tool though. If said user is out for blood, they can still sign out of their account and then just go to twitter with another username and follow you via that username or just stalk your profile. Pay attention to new followers. I had one idiot do this, her other twitter username was just a bit different from the first. Genius. But they are hoping that you aren’t paying attention.

If you know how to use twitter, it works so much better…

Questions for  you:

Are you active on twitter? How has it helped or hindered your blog?

Happy Thursday. Talk Less. Read More. Blog with Integrity.

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