Twitter is a great marketing tool for nonprofits and businesses. Unlike Facebook, which is designed to connect people who already know each other, Twitter is designed to connect people who share similar interests.
For organizations looking to engage people who may be interested in their products or services, Twitter is a great way to build an online community. It’s also a great way to share your content with people interested in your industry, and find content you might be interested in.
While some social sites are only ideal for certain types of organizations or connecting with specific audiences (learn more on that here), Twitter is one of the best social media sites for ALL organizations. But organizations need to have a strategy and follow established best practices to make it work.
In today’s post, we’ll share some top tips for getting the most out of your Twitter account—along with a few Twitter tools you may want to check out.
Ten Tips and Tricks for Making Your Twitter Profile Sing
Whether you’re just starting to explore the Twitter-verse or your organization has been active on the social site for years, try out these simple tips to get more traction from Twitter.
1. Focus on Key Themes
What are the topics you are most interested in discussing? Identify 3-5 keywords, and search for them on Twitter. Use the search results to find content to retweet, and people to follow. You can search the terms daily for new results.
2. Think (and Act) Locally
Twitter is a great way to make local connections. Search the name of your city or state along with your key topics to find new people to follow. You can even send them a message noting that you’re neighbors (just keep it simple and friendly instead of sales-y).
3. Respond to Retweets
When someone retweets your post, reply to them with a quick word of thanks or a comment. You can also make it a point to retweet one of their posts later (which people always appreciate). This will increase the chances they will remember you and retweet your posts again in the future.
4. Move Away from You
It’s a great idea to tweet links to your blog posts or other content you’ve produced. But don’t make it about you. Make sure to retweet as much as you tweet, and share links to info from outside your organization. And when you do share your content, make sure it is in an informational way—not a self-promotional way.
5. Post with Regularity
You want to have a consistent Twitter presence. Because Twitter is so “in the moment” you can post more frequently than you do on other social networks. Just make sure you’re sharing something of value. We usually post a tweet or retweet a few times every hour (during business hours).
6. But Don’t Overpost
If someone looks at their Twitter feed and sees 20 posts from your organization in the span of a minute, there’s a good chance they will unfollow you. No one wants their feed dominated by one user. Don’t overdo it and don’t cluster you posts (spread them out instead).
7. Pay Attention to Length
While you have 140 characters to work with, you may not want to use them all. Here’s why: You want to give people the ability to easily retweet your posts. If you take up all the character room there won’t be space for the RT @info that gets added to the beginning of retweets. When possible, make your posts about 120-125 characters long to leave room for this.
8. Use Hastags Appropriately
Hashtags can be valuable, but too often they are overused. Limit your hastags to 3 tags per post or less. Remember, every post doesn’t need to have a hastag. They are really only useful for making things stand out. If you use too many, your post will look like a #confusing #jumble that #no #one will #wanttoread—#much #less #retweet.
9. Follow People Strategically
Use your follows wisely. Make sure you follow people interested in your topic, people you know, or organizations/individuals in your local area. Try to follow a few new relevant users everyday—including people who follow you or retweet your posts. But be a little picky. Once you follow 2,000 people Twitter may not allow you to follow more until you have 2,000+ followers on your page.
10. Optimize Your Profile
Make sure to include a simple, keyword-rich description of your organization in your profile. Also, choose a relevant, professional handle (ours is @eleventygroup). Add a professional-looking image too. If your image looks too low quality or you have a silly handle, other users may think you are a spammer.
Tools for Helping You Manage Your Twitter Account
There are some handy tools out there that can make managing your Twitter page a little easier. These tools give you the ability to manage your account, tracks retweets and mentions, schedule your posts in advance, and promote your content.
Here are four of the most popular Twitter management tools:
Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media dashboards. You can use it to manage multiple networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and profiles. We find this tool very useful for managing our Twitter feed. Hootsuite has free and paid plans available.
TweetDeck is a social media dashboard provided by Twitter for real-time tracking, management and engagement. This tool essentially provides all the capabilities as Hootsuite, but is focused exclusively on Twitter. This Web-based tool is free.
Buffer is another tool, similar to Hootsuite, that enables you manage multiple social media accounts from one place. This tool has a growing user base, and provides detailed analytics to help people determine what efforts are working. Buffer offers free and paid plans.
Twitterfeed is a free tool that allows you to easily feed your blog content to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.