I joined Twitter six years ago when I was attending a Christian leadership conference. They kept putting their Twitter handle and their hashtag on the screen, but I just didn’t get it. Fast forward five years, and I was preparing to start my blog. My blogging cousin Jenny from Perfectly Disheveled advised me to start using Twitter, but I still didn’t get it… how it worked or why I would benefit. But I listened and started slowly growing an audience. Nine months later, I now have 6,300+ followers and have learned a thing or two along the way! Here are my top 10 Twitter tips for beginners.
1. Select a creative, short Twitter handle.
Choosing a creative and memorable handle is obviously important, but your handle’s length is also paramount. Twitter only allows 15 characters in a handle, but try to make it even shorter to leave plenty of characters for others to reply to or retweet your tweets. For this reason, my Twitter handle is @AndreaTabler because @TablerPartyOfTwo is too long!
2. Write punchy, short and concise tweets.
It’s a fact. Shorter posts get more attention. Though Twitter will allow you to tweet 140 characters, aim to use about 120 characters to make it easier for others to retweet or add their own comments.
3. Learn the lingo
It can all be confusing at first: Direct Message (DM), Retweet (RT), Hashtag. Twitter will frustrate you far less if you take a few moments to learn what it all means.
4. Master the hashtag
Hashtags are critical to making your content searchable by others. But don’t go crazy with them. One or two relevant hashtags are far better for your tweet than a whole slew of them.
*Bonus Tip: One of my favorite hashtags is #MondayBlogs. I start posting that hashtag Sunday night, and by the time I wake up Monday, I usually already have many retweets and new followers who search that hashtag.
5. Shorten your URL.
To get more bang for your tweeting character buck, use a URL shortener like bitly. Not only does bitly create a very short link for your tweet, but it’s also an excellent method to track your click-throughs.
6. Install the Tweet This WordPress plugin.
What’s better than your sharing your content on Twitter? That’s easy: when others share your content. Why not make it easier for them by adding a Tweet This box in your blog post? Tweet This is the perfect tool for encouraging your readers to share. Here’s what it looks like:
7. Schedule your tweets.
In my early days of blogging, I didn’t understand how others consistently tweeted so much content. Then I found CoSchedule. I gladly spend $10 a month on this WordPress plugin that makes scheduling tweets a breeze. As soon as I post something to my blog, I can immediately schedule tweets for that day, the next, a week out, etc. CoSchedule also makes it easy to go back and tweet older blog content, and it even has a built-in bitly URL shortener.
8. Build your following.
One way I’ve grown my Twitter audience is through Crowdfire app (previously known as Just Unfollow). The feature that I’ve used the most is copy followers. The idea is simple. Type in the handle of a user or blogger who has demographics very similar to your own. If you start following that person’s followers, chances are good that they will follow you back. Start out by copying about 200 followers of others a day, and as your following grows, you can add even more. Crowdfire also makes it simple go back and unfollow those who don’t follow you back.
9. Engage with others.
Like all social media, Twitter should be used as a tool to engage with others rather than a platform to simply tweet about yourself. Take the time to retweet others and reply to their tweets that you like.
10. A picture is worth a thousand tweets.
An image attached to a tweet is guaranteed to increase visibility and engagement. I try to include an image in every tweet.
Do you have other Twitter tips for beginners? Please, do share!
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