Last week, I gave an overview of some things you need to know about Twitter, and Jadyn wanted to know how I personally use it for my business. Honestly, I don’t use some groundbreaking strategy — it’s really all about getting your name out there and connecting with others, and like I said last week, you’ll get more out of it if you actually enjoy it. I see Twitter as a way for people to get to know me better and vice-versa, through personal tidbits that don’t necessarily fit on my blog and conversations that may not have a place anywhere else, and it’s also a great way to share information! Twitter is just another way to help people find you and remember who you are — I’ve even gotten recommendations from people who found my work through Twitter and shared it with a friend who was looking for a designer. Here are some of the ways I use Twitter:
I follow people that add value
And by value, I just mean they add to my day in some way. Some make me laugh, some share interesting links, some know the answer to everything, and some, let’s be honest, lead really interesting lives and I just like to stalk them. Here are a few of the things that make me want to follow people:
- When they start fun or interesting discussions.
- When they share links with thoughtful commentary that makes me want to read them.
- When they make relatable personal comments.
- When they answer my questions in a helpful way.
- Mean Girls quotes. Instant follow. Ditto on Harry Potter.
As I mentioned, I don’t follow for follow anymore, but I am more likely to follow back when someone says hello or joins a conversation. I probably won’t follow someone who constantly auto-tweets from other platforms, tweets their links out too often, or makes a lot of negative or passive-agressive comments. I also prefer following blogs via Twitter — since I cleared out my Google Reader, I pretty much stick to blogs that regularly provide visual inspiration there. With Twitter, I can choose whether or not to follow a link and read the post without getting to that 1000+ unread mark in Google Reader, which used to happen all the time!
I join the conversation
Like I said before, Twitter is one giant conversation, and you just have to jump in. We’ve talked about leaving thoughtful comments before, and the same is true for Twitter. It’s perfectly fine to tweet back that you agree with someone, or they shared a great post, and it’s more likely you’ll get a response than if you left a similar comment in the comments section. But Twitter is a never-ending stream of thoughts, and your reply is a lot more likely to be noticed if it adds to the conversation. If you see that you have something in common with someone, start a conversation! I actually just met a fellow blogger for coffee because she saw on Twitter that I live in her hometown and she was going to be in for a visit, and like I said before, a number of my blogging friendships happened because we jumped in on each other’s Twitter conversations. And don’t forget Twitter chats!
I share my work
This is where I think it gets tricky for people — there’s definitely a fine line when it comes to too much self-promotion. A lot of people get on Twitter solely because they know they should be promoting their posts there, but it’s really more effective if you’re building those relationships and joining conversations too, balancing out the self-promotion with other valuable tweets. Here are a few things I try to follow:
- Don’t auto-tweet posts. Personally, a lot of my posts publish at 6am CST, so people on the West Coast wouldn’t even see those tweets! This can get especially annoying if you have multiple platforms sending auto-tweets for the same post, so you end up with 8 tweets going out at the same time. People don’t like that. Same goes for auto-tweeting pins. It’s fine to share a pin with a comment every once in a while, but don’t auto-tweet your pinning spree.
- Preview the link. I personally would much rather see a short description of your link than “new blog post,” so I know what it’s about and why I would want to read it. I usually ask a question or pull a quote from my post, that way I’m not sending out the same tweet throughout the day, but those who have already seen the link know they can skip over it.
- Post your links when people are online. I have readers on both the East and West Coasts, so I generally try to post my links around 9am (CST), noon, 4pm, and 8pm. That way, my links hit some people when they’re getting to work, some at lunchtime, some in the afternoon slump, and some when they’re winding down for the evening. I use Buffer to schedule my tweets and change up the schedule a little each week or so, so my tweets aren’t going out at the exact same time every day. Your schedule may need to be different — just play around until you find one that works for you. I also typically schedule the day before or the morning of, that way I don’t forget what I’m tweeting out.
I find and share information
Twitter is the perfect place to find and share interesting things you come across. People are always looking for fun links to follow, so if you really liked something you read, make a short comment about it and share the link! Again, it’s another way for people to get to know you better — you can share interests you may not usually talk about on your blog. Also, Twitter is a great place to ask questions, whether you need help with something, or you’re simply curious about what other people think, so ask away!
I hope this gives you a better idea of some ways you can use Twitter — it really is all about experimenting and figuring out what works best for you. How do you use Twitter?