101 Tweets on How to Use Twitter

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How to Twitter? A question asked by millions of clueless but eager to learn new Twitter users. First off: It’s either “how to tweet?” or “how to use Twitter?” The rest isn’t that simple.

Twitter seems to be simple from the way it looks and the basic functionality but it’s not simple to master.

After a few years of almost daily usage of Twitter I know by now how to do it. Of course what works for me doesn’t have to work for you. Thus I compiled a list of 101 tweets on how to use Twitter including different use cases.

You tweet differently for social networking and blogging than you do for business or marketing & SEO purposes. Many Twitter best practices are one size fits all though. Everybody should comply with them to succeed on Twitter.

I divided this list into several sections to make it easier to use it:

General how to use Twitter advice:

  • basics
  • advanced
  • even more advanced

Twitter use cases:

  • social networking
  • blogging
  • business
  • SEO/marketing

Avoiding Twitter pitfalls:

  • twittiquette/twittequette
  • safety & security

Please note that every item in this list is made to work as a standalone retweetable tweet. They in most case make sense on their own and are short enough to get retweeted.

Basics

  1. Use an avatar
  2. Customize your Twitter homepage
  3. Say in your bio who you are, what you do and what you care about
  4. Be concise
  5. Share links
  6. Tweet daily (but not all the time)
  7. Reply/retweet
  8. Don’t only tell us what you eat
  9. Add your URL to “Web” in your profile. LinkedIn is OK as well.
  10. Don’t follow 1k people if only 5 follow you

Advanced

  1. Use Twitter tools like Tweetdeck for an overview
  2. Subscribe to your own tweets via RSS
  3. Don’t rely on t.co to shorten URLs, choose your favorite URL shortener
  4. Use #hashtags but don’t overdo it
  5. Tweet important things up to 4 times, for all time zones
  6. Create a Twitter landing page
  7. Track mentions of your keywords via Twilert etc.
  8. Ask open questions
  9. Use Twitter on your mobile
  10. Add images to tweets to get more clicks

Even more advanced

  1. Use social media automation tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and IFTTT
  2. Use a custom URL shortener with your own URL, bit.ly offers one for free
  3. Subscribe to your best friends’ tweets via a feed reader
  4. Use a social CRM app like Nimble to save your Twitter contacts
  5. Do not cross post every tweet automatically to Facebook and LinkedIn

Social Networking

  1. Don’t follow everybody
  2. Follow people you care about
  3. Don’t follow bots and feed mashups
  4. Mix links, @replies and “what’s happening” tweets
  5. Retweet your peers and friends
  6. Retweet rare sources not only mainstream ones
  7. Do not broadcast, Twitter is not TV or radio
  8. Participate in debates
  9. Spread memes
  10. Follow those who reply/retweet or mention you
  11. Start conversations e.g.: I wonder why people…
  12. Organize tweetups (real life Twitter user meetings)

Blogging

  1. Don’t tweet instead of blogging
  2. Add a twitter button to your blog
  3. Display your tweets in your sidebar
  4. Add a “follow me” badge to your blog
  5. Announce your best posts on Twitter
  6. Crowdsource posts on Twitter
  7. Add a @twittername input to your comment form
  8. Tweet it when your plane crashes
  9. Blog about Twitter
  10. Tweet about blogging

Business

  1. Tweet as a person not only as a firm
  2. Offer discounts to followers
  3. Announce special offers on Twitter first
  4. Give away freebies
  5. Reply to disgruntled customers
  6. Establish a social media policy in your company
  7. Monitor brand mentions
  8. Claim @usernames related to your brand & products
  9. Create a twitter team
  10. Use a Twitter CMS like Hootsuite


Marketing & SEO

  1. Tweet links to great content from your industry
  2. Add yourself to Twitter directories like Twellow
  3. Add your Twitter @username to your website
  4. Display your Twitter address on your business card
  5. Employ Twitter analytics like Tweetreach
  6. Create Google Analytics campaigns for Twitter
  7. Claim your keywords as Twitter user names
  8. Use many hashtags
  9. Follow everybody if you can
  10. Move to a dedicated server or cloud hosting to handle traffic peaks
  11. Add “rt: @source” at the end of tweets using “via”
  12. Use exclamations like OMG! WTF? FAIL!
  13. Use numbers in headlines
  14. Break news
  15. Use a sexy avatar like @sexyseo
  16. Address power users like @zaibatsu
  17. Tell people to follow you and explain why
  18. Wear a ridiculous hat
  19. Use a funny username like @nakedpizza
  20. Make people happy

Twittiquette/Twittequette

  1. Don’t follow/unfollow the same person more than once
  2. Don’t message people you don’t follow, they can’t reply
  3. Don’t swear in tweets
  4. Don’t autofollow based on names. Tad Chef is not a chef
  5. After the 3rd @reply switch to dm, email, Skype or IM
  6. Don’t expect a reply when addressing others out of the blue
  7. Disclose affiliate links with [aff] or [ad]
  8. Tweet only important stuff more than once
  9. Don’t tweet the same thing several times in a row
  10. Don’t automate tweeting completely
  11. Don’t sell on Twitter unless your name is Dell outlet
  12. Don’t use URL shorteners that frame content
  13. Read first then retweet
  14. Do not suggest your site each time someone mentions your trade

Safety & Security

  1. Don’t tweet scam links, not even asking “is this a scam?” You’ll get banned
  2. Never tweet email addresses. Spam bots harvest them
  3. Don’t tweet travel/vacation plans. Burglars read them
  4. Don’t tweet while driving
  5. Refrain from complaining about your employer or clients
  6. In countries like China tweet anonymously
  7. Don’t use your Twitter password for Google and online banking
  8. Don’t tweet where you are
  9. Don’t tweet private photos of your kids
  10. Tweet only things you would say on TV

You might have noticed that I don’t heed my own advice with many items referring to blogging. I am quite busy most of the time so I can’t implement all of it. Also all of the blogging advice combined leads to clutter so you got to choose which options you prefer.

I hope these 101 tweets on how to use Twitter will be useful for you and your followers. Make sure to add your won or comment on those list items you don’t agree with. You might like to follow me on Twitter: @onreact_com

In case you don’t know whether you want to use Twitter at all read the pros and cons article.

This time I told you how to use Twitter but I didn’t tell you what to tweet, what to write on Twitter. In short: Try to tweet something useful for others and tweet

  1. 1/3 @replies
  2. 1/3 retweets + links
  3. 1/3 “what are you doing” tweets.

 

Last updated: May 28th, 2014.

* Tweet is a Creative Commons image by Phillie Casablanca