Sunday April 5, 2009 102 commentsCongratulations for entering the world of Twitter!
[caption id="attachment_103" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Lori Gama"][/caption]
These tips will help you, the brand new user of Twitter, to more quickly succeed in growing your business. My top 10 tips are a mixture of Twitter "how-to" steps and strategy. You'll learn the basic (and I mean BASIC) steps of how to customize your profile settings, such as your photo and bio, but you'll also learn what you should be doing in order to attract followers who become your fans and refer you to others. Once you build trust, you can build relationships. Once you build relationships with people in Twitter, your business will naturally grow.
Here are my top 10 most powerful Twitter tips for beginners (to be completed in this order):
Powerful tip #1: Choose a good name.
I chose my own name because I believe in "Brand U.0". Brand U.0 is branding your company with your name, face, philosophy, and leadership. This strengthens your credibility with your tribe. You're being visible to your tribe whenever they see you in the Social Networking sites they visit, as well. You're being visible by putting your face in your Twitter profile (see next Powerful tip #2). You're interacting: you're being SOCIAL. By being more visible and Social, you become transparent, which establishes TRUST. Once you have people trusting you, they will refer you; be a cheerleader of you; and become a member of your tribe. (For detailed information about Brand U.0, visit David Armano's Twitter profile: http://twitter.com/armano )
When deciding what name to pick in Twitter, decide if you want people talking about "TheName" or "JaneSmith."
I knew I wanted to use either "TheWebSpinner" or "LoriGama." I decided on "Lori Gama." Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm right. Twitter says "you'll be more likely to turn up in a Twitter search if you've added your location or your real name." If you end up changing your name to be something else (once again: go to your "Settings" to do that), be sure you let your followers know.
Powerful tip #2: Choose a good photo to replace the default avatar right away.
By keeping that default avatar: you're telling people "I'm a newbie." If you're here to participate; to join the conversation; to be SOCIAL, then you need to show us your face. If we don't know what you look like, you don't give us much to go on, other than your first tweet or two and your name. It's like talking to a wall. You'll get a lot more followers when you post a photo of yourself that shows your smiling face. Be creative and fun if you want to be. I kept changing my avatar until I finally had a professional photo shoot done. It was time for a different headshot anyway, to show my essence. The avatar I have now is the real me, like meeting me in person.
Here are a few examples of avatars (below). Which ones intrigue you enough to click on them?
[caption id="attachment_76" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Example of avatars of Twitter profiles"][/caption]
Powerful tip #3: Take time to craft a really good bio.
Your bio, found in your profile, in the upper right corner of your Twitter page, should describe you in a truthful/powerful/fun way to show your credentials and your personality. You only have 160 characters to describe yourself so take advantage of what you're allowed. The more varied your bio is, the more varied your followers will be. FYI: At first, I loved my original bio and it seemed to attract a lot of great followers but I decided people should know more about what I'm an expert so I changed it (I got rid of "Closet Guitar Hero Player" ). I still tweak it now and then.
You can read it here: http://twitter.com/LoriGama
Powerful tip #4: Get a custom twitback (background image).
Get one made that really aligns with who you are and is consistent with your branding (your Web site and blog and marketing materials should look like they belong to your brand). Replace the background image for one that a professional Web designer has created, based on your direction. In addition to Web site production, SEO, and Social Networking training, my company, DaGama Web Studio, creates custom twitbacks for $95. The biggest benefit of displaying a custom twitback is that you will gain a LOT more followers, especially when you create a really good one.
Other benefits of having a custom twitback are that you can display more information about yourself, other than what you're allowed in your 160-character bio (click "Profile" in your upper right menu). You can include other contact information, such as your Linkedin profile link; a link to your blog; your phone number; or whatever information you want people to have. The links are not clickable but people will be curious enough to type it into their address bar and hopefully, connect with you in those Web sites, too. You can upload the design by clicking on "Settings" in your upper right menu and then click "Design" and follow the instructions. Some people simply upload a huge image. You can tile it or not. Tiling it will repeat the image in rows, behind the main area of your Twitter profile.
Powerful tip #5: Decide on your strategy so you stay focused in your messages
Your strategy determines your success. The amont of time you invest in Social Networking should be part of your strategy. The more time you invest, the more successful you'll be. However: you don't have to spend a whole lot of time per week in order to build a lovely group of followers. It took me just 2 months to build up to 1000 followers. I'm proud of the fact that I did it without using spamming tactics. I'll write other blog posts concerning great Twitter strategy, and I hope you'll come back here to read more, but for now, to determine your strategy, ask yourself the following:
1.) How much time can I afford to spend on Social Networking vs. my old marketing/promotional methods?
2.) How much time can I afford NOT to spend on Social Networking vs. my old marketing/promotional methods?
The number-one benefit of social media marketing is gaining the all-important eyeball. A significant 81% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses. Improving traffic and growing lists was the second major benefit, followed by building new partnerships. --Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Michael Stelzner
Powerful tip #6: Here's how you send a tweet (your 140 character message):
Twitter has a great "Help" section: click here: (http://bit.ly/U4RN) So, rather than explaining basics like this here, please click on this link http://bit.ly/U4RN and you'll find easy-to-follow steps on sending and receiving tweets from your Twitter profile or from your phone.
Powerful tip #7: Retweet other people's messages (RT)
Be sure to RT (retweet) tweets from others if you think their messages are worth repeating to your followers.
This shows you are supportive and informative, which your followers appreciate. Twitter is a "help thy neighbor" environment. If a person continually toots his own horn, s/he won't get many followers. Remember that Social Networking is like networking at a cocktail party. Have you ever been around a person who spends all her time talking about herself and her company? Pretty boring and selfish, wouldn't you agree? A good networker will serve others before s/he serves herself or himself. Be of service to others a LOT. Occasionally, it's okay to toot your own horn. See tip #6.
Think of the RT as the equivalent of a real life repeat of an interesting fact you just learned. Picture yourself at a cocktail party, having just learned that @Breakingnews told you that "the Dow has closed above 8,000 for the first time since Feb. 9; cap best four-week stretch since 1933." You would think that's such great news that you would turn to your friend, who was in conversation with someone else (and didn't hear this yet), and say "Did you know that the Dow has closed above 8,000 for the first time since Feb. 9; cap best four-week stretch since 1933?"
Here's how that translates on Twitter:
You're reading tweets, you see @Breakingnews tweet about the Dow, so you copy and paste it into the "What are you doing" box but be sure to add "Please RT: @BreakingNews" ....like this:
RT @LoriGama Please RT @Breakingnews Dow has closed above 8,000 for the first time since Feb. 9; cap best four-week stretch since 1933.
You're giving me credit (always give credit, pay it forward in twitter) by including "@LoriGama" and saying "please" really helps to get it retweeted elsewhere, if you can fit the letters into 140 characters all together.
There's another way to do it by using "(via @LoriGama) instead of saying "RT @LoriGama"
Powerful Tip #8: Drive traffic to your Web site or blog through your Twitter profile
You might have visited my blog today because I tweeted that I posted a blog post for Top 10 Most Powerful Twitter Tips for Brand New Beginners. This is something you definitely want to do if you want to:
1.) Gain more followers (because you're providing helpful information)
2.) Get more referrals (because you're establishing your expertise)
3.) Sell more products on your Web site or blog (because you're driving traffic there from Twitter)
Powerful Tip #9: Send tweets with links to more information
Since we only have 140 characters to communicate with (it IS called micro-blogging for a reason), you'll want to shorten your URL's when you want to link to a blog post, Web site, picture or video. Several of these types of tools exist outside of Twitter (Twitter currently does not have a way to shorten a URL) but the best one I like is http://bit.ly because it keeps the links you've shortened. So, if, in the future, you want to send it again or read it again yourself, go to your bit.ly account and look it up. You can also see how many clicks you received from people clicking on your links (Hint: if you got a lot of clicks, this same subject matter is worth linking to again--there's a market for it). It's also interesting to review the links you've sent. If you've noticied you tend to tweet too much about something and it's not really getting you any attention, retweets or new followers, perhaps you should think about adding variety.
Powerful Tip #10: Start using a people "dashboard" like PeopleBrowsr.com
Now that you know some powerful beginners' tips for getting off the ground in Twitter, you can really start soaring when you use a great people dashboard. A people dashboard is a Web site in which you can organize your connections within. A good one will work with all the top Social Networking Web sites and not just one or two.
I tried Tweetdeck because I hadn't heard of PeopleBrowsr at the time. I'm not affiliated with PeopleBrowsr in any way: I just really love their tool. You don't have to install it, like you do with Tweetdeck. PeopleBrowsr operates through your browser (except for Internet Explorer, at least until PB is out of Beta phase), like Firefox or Google's Chrome. It's worth downloading free Firefox or Chrome to use PeopleBrowsr.
I'll write future blog posts about PeopleBrowsr but for now, know that you can: view a column (called a "stack") of your followers; a column of those you're following; a column of your replies/mentions of your name (@LoriGama is mine); a column of one person's tweets; a column of hastag groups and other groups and on and on. You can view these groups all at once.
You can also search for categories of people, like this: click on "Everyone" and then go to the search box and type "writers." PB will display people who have identified themselves as writers.
Best of all, in PeopleBrowsr, you can view all your people connections all at once or seperately: Facebook, Flickr, OpenID, Identica, Gmail, Digg, FriendFeed, and of course, Twitter.
Tell me what you think. Won't you please leave a comment or suggestion? I'd love to hear from you and perhaps you have a question that many others are wondering about. Be sure to leave your Twitter name so we can follow you. You should put it like this: http://twitter.com/LoriGama (put your Twitter name instead of mine. That was just an example).
Again, congratulations on jumping into Twitter. Remember to practice "help thy neighbor" philosophy and serve others more than you serve yourself. Won't it be wonderful when we all do this more as we interact with people throughout the day, not just online in Twitter? That's the world I want to live in. How about you?
If you're in northern Colorado, please come to my Social Networking Seminars, held every other Tuesday, downtown Greeley, Colorado. For details, please click here: Lori Gama's Social Networking Seminars.
NEW! If you liked the tips I just gave you, then you'll love my new e-book, coming this October!
This Twitter workbook for beginners (that I'm almost finished writing), which is called "Become a Twitter Pro In 20 Days," is meant to help the business owner who wants to learn how to create a buzz around her/his company and get step-by-step instructions on how to do it: when to Tweet: how long to Tweet each day: and what to say.
- Access to my Twitter Kings and Queens--my friends in Twitter who have thousands of followers and lots of great advice to share with you and only you--when you tweet them a special password.
- Access to me: you can ask me for my advice tailored specifically for you.
- Special Twitter Parties: once a week you can drop into our Twitter Pro in 20 Days party and become friends with others who've bought my e-book. Compare notes; follow each other; help each other and gain more new tips I save only for you who have bought my e-book.
- Other top secret bonuses are included in my e-book.
By investing 30-90 minutes per day for the first 7 days, you'll learn how to use the tools and links I provide within the workbook. Then you can pull back or ramp up the time you spend building your Twitter tribe.
An overview of the content of "Become a Twitter Pro in 20 Days":
Get your house in order before you get social
Your online reputation has to sparkle before you engage in conversation with new friends. Your website, blog, LinkedIn profile should be sparkling before you tweet and facebook. I show you how to get your house in order.
- Web site: Learn what my S.M.A.R.T. Strategy is so you can create your S.M.A.R.T. website.
- Blog: Learn why you should blog, how to get started, then watch your traffic increase after applying my effective tips.
- Other Social Media you should have up and running before beginning Twitter: Basic tips to complete your LinkedIn profile and Facebook page.
- Get Found in Google: Tips on simple things you can do yourself (no need to hire a SEO pro) to get your name found when people Google you.
- Social Media: Should you be here?
- Who should read this e-book.
- What's REALLY Going On In Twitter?
- When should you tweet?
- How much time should you spend on Twitter?
- Why you should be on Twitter: Be accessible, be social, increase referrals, increase revenue.
- Create your Social Media Plan
- Define your goal: then Write your Twitter Action plan (Already written: you fill in the blanks).
- Write your Social Media mission statement
- Brand: everyone has one. Is yours defined enough that you can sum it up in one sentence?
- Define your "X" factor: what attracts people to you?
- What's the message you want people to remember?
- Twitter Profile Set-up: step-by-step instructions.
- Etiquette: The importance of tweeting the right way
- Do's and don'ts to follow so you'll shine instead of stumble.
- Security: Tips to help you recognize phishyness: Learn how to recognize and avoid spammers, hackers, hijackers, users.
- Glossary of Twitter words
- What does "RT" stand for? What's a "hashtag?" What is #FollowFriday and why should I do it? These, and many other mysterious terms are defined for you in this handy-dandy Twitter glossary. Refer to it so you don't get stuck.
Workbook: Twitter Tips and Time Management
In this section I virtually hold your hand and lead you through Twitter with checklists; customizable tweets that you can use to get started; tips on where to find content to tweet about; when to tweet about yourself (hint: it's not as often as you'd like to) and budgeted amounts of time; so you can easily manage your daily Social Networking and become a Twitter Pro in 20 days.
Bonuses include access to my Twitter friends, the Kings and Queens of the Twitterverse and instructions on sending me a tweet so you can get one-on-one help as you begin to tweet.
The First 8 Days: You'll spend this amount of time, which is explained in detail in my e-book:
Sunday: 2 hours
Monday: 1 hour
Tuesday: 45 minutes
Wednesday: 30 minutes
Thursday: 20 minutes
Friday: 1 hour
Saturday: 1 hour
Sunday: Take the day off--if you want.
Then I take you by the hand (virtually) and guide you for the next 12 days, similar to the first 8 days above.
The last section of my e-book is filled with sizzling hot advice:
- Formulas: different ways to tweet your way through the day
- Juicy tips about the best tools to use
- 10 tips to help you attract more followers
- Building relationships
- Become a niche expert
- Your Success Benchmark: How to measure your Social Media success
- How to analyze your Success Benchmark data so you can improve
- Analyze your Twitter bio and re-write it, based on my tips, so you gain more followers you are after
I end by asking you to send me your results--you might get included in my next e-book.
Special price for advanced orders
I'm offering a special price for my supporters: when you purchase my e-book now, and receive it later when I'm finished writing it, you pay only $20! When I'm done writing my e-book and I start promoting it, the price will be $27. Pay for it now and get rewarded with a special advanced order price of only $20. This price is only good until October 15, 2009. After that, the price of my Become a Twitter Pro in 20 Days e-book will only be offered at the regular price of $27. Buy it now for only $20: