Here’s our overall beginner/ intermediate Twitter instructions.
40% of businesses now use Twitter. It’s around for the long haul. If you want to reach more people with just a little more effort, Twitter is for you.
-Open a Twitter account
-Fill in your profile with key terms people can use to find you. Choose a nice avatar.
-Use Twitter’s search to find someone or to find a business you like.
-Glance at their following to follower ratio. If they don’t follow many they probably won’t follow you. if they don’t follow others, think twice about following that person or entity because Twitter can stop you from following more if you don’t have the correct followers to following ratio.
-Follow who they follow (while you remember to check the follower to following ratio. If they don’t follow others, don’t follow them.)
-Start by following 100 people or less in a day. Don’t unfollow more than 100 a day, either.
-Make your own lists. When you follow, add each person or entity to a list you’ve created (such as “mn organization” or ” USA organization”).
-Wait a week, and then use third party software such as the free JustUnfollow or the paid Refollow.com to see who doesn’t follow you back. Unfollow most of your unfollowers (unless they are the POTUS or someone you must hear from). We use a paid third party app to unfollow and manage Twitter accounts.
-Keep your Twitter account active. Decide how much time you will spend each week on Twitter and budget your time. Answer and respond to @mentions.
Image help: Adding people or entities to a list. After you follow someone, find the shadow dude. Select the dude and either create a list or select the list you’d like to place that new follower in:
Image help: On a PC? Find Twitter lists you’ve already made by logging into Twitter and clicking on your name. There you’ll see “lists”:
Image help: Use a third party app to unfollow. Here’s a screenshot of JustUnfollow:
We’ve heard, or been asked:
1. Is Twitter “where I am” and that’s what I should tweet about?
No. It’s about extending your reach, spreading mission statements, retweeting, cordially interacting, and more. Plus pictures of your dog and that woodpecker you happened upon.
2. It’s embarrassing when others don’t follow me back.
The number one way to find relevant followers is to first follow a person or entity. As you follow, choose wisely. Follow people who like to hear from others. Look at who they follow and if they follow a lot of their own followers they probably will follow you. If they don’t follow you within a week’s time, unfollow them and find someone else to follow. Don’t take it personally. Mistakes happen and there are many ways to use Twitter.
3. I can’t figure out how to grow my account without begging.
See number two. If you follow and are followed, your account will grow.
4. I can’t read all those Tweets!
Why are you trying to read all those tweets? We suggest spending some time interacting within/looking at the overall tweet timeline showing tweets from everyone you follow, but most of your time should be spent looking within your lists. As you follow people be sure to list them. Going to lists and viewing tweets there can cut down on the amount of time you spend, be much more efficient for information gathering, and doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
5. There are ways to tweet to a list. Should I tweet to a list?
Nah. Or sure, go ahead if you use Twitter to talk back and forth and back and forth with friends about donuts. Most of us should be tweeting to the world.
6. That non-English speaking terrorist followed me!
Non-English doesn’t mean “terrorist.” Sometimes you might find yourself wishing you knew another language, though. If you do suspect hatred and violence, by all means, unfollow.
7. Twitter just keeps going and going.
Yes and more and more are using Twitter. Set goals, manage your time, read your lists, and interact when you can.
8. That New Jersey dude keeps sending me I love you tweets.
There is an option to block, but we find that blocking isn’t as good as it could be. People can still read your tweets and send you tweets. Unfollow that person so there are no more Direct Messages and overlook their @mentions (unless of course there is something criminal going on… I’ve not seen any of that myself).
9. One of my friends thinks I was secretly snapping at her when I criticized another person.
Ooh, that’s too bad. Fix it. Things happen in the social media world and sometimes it is best just to say “here’s what I meant”. In general, it’s best to refrain from being critical. Try to be positive.
10. I decided to follow different- than-me folks and I keep reading things things that make me angry… so I scream at my kids.
You are in charge of what you read, but we feel your pain. We also follow many kinds of people. Try looking at your lists instead of at the general tweet timeline.
11. That one company annoyingly keeps tweeting about how great they are.
We find this annoying, too. We feel businesses should sometimes state the obvious but should mostly spend time creatively demonstrating what they are all about.
12. I keep missing great tweets.
Lists. Create lists and make sure you read tweets there. But if you can’t keep up with the retweets and the @mentions you might consider reevaluating how much time you want to spend on Twitter, hiring a staffer, or taking some other measure to manage your situation. We autotweet so we spend less time finding information and more time responding to retweets and @mentions.
13. I followed too many at once and my Twitter account has been shut down.
Join the club. Send Twitter and email saying you are not a spammer and you didn’t realize there was a limit to the number of people you can follow in one day so please restore the account. You can’t unfollow too aggressively either, BTW. Here are Twitter’s rules. The numbers are fuzzy. Note: we use third party automated unfollowing but we don’t unfollow too many in one day. Not more than a 100 unfollows a day for us (our Twitter account has about 2000 followers and 2000 following). No more than 100 follows a day for us. Usually.