10 Tips and Tricks to Maximize Twitter Use

January 31, 2013
People use Twitter for business and casual reasons and there are several tools and techniques that will provide and send out information with just a click of a button. Over the years, the world's largest micro-blogging community has continued to improve its platform and features to make the experience more conducive for users regardless of their objectives. Whether you have a Twitter account to socialize with friends and newfound friends or trying to promote your entreprise or forward a cause, there are many ways to maximize your presence so you get the full benefits of being a microblogger. If you're an avid Twitter user, or are planning to become one, here are ten important things you should know.

1. Create an attractive profile.

Your Twitter profile will say a lot about yourself and immediately bring in followers, whether they are your family and friends or strangers. When starting out, change your profile picture to something you'd like to be associated with publicly and create a background image. You can customize your background to best describe who you are. Be sure to limit the background image under 800k as well as know how to limit your tweets to 160 characters maximum only. Provide a short description about yourself as well, so like-minded people in the community will want to connect.

2. Use Twitter search.

The search tool on the website is one of the most useful functions that will adequately guide you to the right companies and people. There is also an Advanced Twitter search to help whittle down results according to you specifications. Look for it in Saved Searches or the Searches tab on the timeline. [max1]

3. Use third party tools.

There are several third-party tools on Twitter created by various companies and online experts to help improve your Twitter experience. Some of the most commonly used include TwitPic, which allows you to put photos with your tweets, Tweetbeat, which gives you updates on past and current topics, and Twitter Grader, which shows your current rankings. Another tool, TweetDeck also helps manage your social media accounts in one page so you don't have to keep switching tabs and wasting time.

4. Learn the language.

There are a number of terms that you should familiarize to be better in Twitter such as @reply, RT or retweet, Tweet, DM or direct message, follower and Trending Topics. Knowing these will improve the way you interact with others online. Remember that Twitter-speak thrives on being concise, hence the character limit, so you'd better learn the lingo or fall behind.

5. Monitor your following to follower ratio.

The following to follower ratio should be kept positive at all times to improve your current status. You can gain more followers by improving your content, as well as offering to follow back people who follow you. Do not follow too many people in the beginning to avoid being called a bot and eventually getting suspended.

6. Follow the right people.

Only select individuals who mean much to your Twitter cause. You have to do some research on the individuals who are garnering a huge following because of their quality tweets and witty conversations. You also increase the likelihood of meeting others with the same interests online by doing so.

7. Be familiar with tweeting rules.

There are two important traits for your tweets to have ? regularity and content. You need to post frequently on Twitter to stay visible. However, the tweets should also be content-rich and unique. These should relate well to your main objectives. Retweets should be used sparingly.

8. Make lists.

You can carefully choose the people you need to follow by creating and making use of lists. There is a link that will provide you the option to Create a list. This will filter individuals until you only get access to those that relate well to your specific goals.

9. Create a hashtag.

Hashtags are a great feature that will improve your visibility online, as well as relations with other Twitter users. Think of a unique hashtag that talks about relevant issues pertaining to your own objectives. You can start finding out if the hashtag exists before making one (to avoid duplication). Manage it well by limiting the discussions within the topic.

10. Always reply.

When someone addresses you on Twitter, be sure to send a reply. This makes the approach more personalized and conversational, as how the social media platform intended it to be. There are also third party tools that will show you in graphic detail how well you reply. This list is, of course, not the be-all, end-all of Twitter usage. There are several other tactics you can implement to maximize your social media presence, such as organizing tweet chats, running contests, or simply sharing information you think your follower network will appreciate. Are there any other tips you can share about your Twitter experience? Tell us in the comments!

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