Setting up a Twitter account is easy – maintaining it is more difficult and holding onto your followers is the hardest part of all. I’ve noticed that the most successful people or businesses on Twitter use five different types of tweet to hold their audience: the comment, the info, the reply, the retweet and the hashtag.
1 The comment
This is the one non-tweeters hold against Twitter – “no one wants to know what you had for your breakfast”. Correct. They don’t. But they might want to know if something really funny just happened or they might want to hear your opinion on that Oscar’s dress. Comments add personality to a Twitter feed and a little light entertainment. Plus they’re really clean posts, uncluttered by symbols or links which takes me onto the next point…
2 The info
Arguably the best form of tweeting, the info tweet shares a link to something interesting. If you haven’t already come across bit.ly or tinyurl, click them right now – they’ll shorten your web address and save you precious characters. The info tweet is what gives you kudos among your followers, they’ll know to come to you for information. This can be used very effectively if you’re a business, as it can quickly establish you as a leader in your field.
3 The reply
Twitter is a community, so people want to know who you communicate with. By putting the @ symbol plus the username and a comment on your feed, not only can you interact with your followers you can show them who they might want to be following. Handy hint: Getting a reply from someone with a large number of followers, particularly a celeb, will boost your follower numbers big time.
4 The retweet
If someone you follow says something interesting, repeat it. It’s a nice thing to do, it boosts their reputation, it cements your relationship with them (they’ll follow you forever), it shows that you follow someone interesting which boosts your reputation and it gets the message out to a much larger audience. If someone retweets you, chances are you’ll pick up new followers. Plus you’ll feel pretty pleased with yourself for the vote of confidence.
5 The hashtag
If everyone’s tweeting about the same subject, there will probably be a hashtag in front of it. It makes the subject easy to follow using the search box at the right of the screen. I recently joined a network called the Twitchicks (no we’re not a pop band) and everytime any of us tweets about it we put #twitchicks in our post. It makes it really easy to find new followers with similar interests to you and it piques the interest of your other followers. Plus, you look like you have your finger right on the pulse in Twitterland.