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How To Follow The Twitter Madness

Twitter can be as frustrating as it is powerful and engaging. Because there is so much opinion and commentary most of the content is either not relevant to you, pointless or space filling nonsense. To get the most out of Twitter you have to decide what it is you want from it.

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As a business, using Twitter to engage customers is the starting point to getting conversions.

To get ideas, references, or inspiration, just log into your web-based Twitter account at a frequency that suits you (once an hour, once a day, once a week) and watch what people say. Don’t be afraid to engage them in a conversation if something interests you.

Use @TheirTwitterName

Don’t forget to use their @TheirTwitterName in the tweet (post) otherwise, they won’t know you are directing the comment at them. While you are logged in, take a moment to see who is following you and if they look credible, follow back. It is in this way your portfolio of followers will grow. Remember, it takes time, and it’s not a popularity contest.

Tracking Comments

Suppose you want to use Twitter for a more specific purpose, such as tracking comments about your business, industry, or competitor. In that case, one of the many 3rd party products will be useful. TweetDeck is one of the better applications It does require a download and a small amount of setup. Once in place, you can Tweet from your computer desktop, set up customized searches, receive and send messages from multiple Twitter accounts, and update other applications like your FaceBook. MySpace and LinkedIn.

Use The Twitter Mobile App

One of the core features of Twitter is that you can send and receive from your cellphone. Not difficult to set up, and I would suggest a handy tool if there is something that happens while you are out and about that you just have to share. Again numerous 3rd party applications can enhance this feature, adding pictures using Twitpic as one example. Unless you have lots of time or a specific reason, I can think of a few reasons why anyone would want all the tweets on their feed sent to their phone. The cost of these mobile updates will cost you depending on your data plan; I would advise you to check with your Telco provider before you get carried away.

Choose Who You Follow

When building your own list, take your time and apply some strategy to who you follow. You can’t choose who follows you, but you have every right to decide who to add to your follow list. Unless you are extremely famous or popular, you will have to build your following gradually and in sync with how many follow you.

Because effective social media engagement still involves trust and honesty, do not be tempted to use automated list builders, it’s not a numbers game, and you can risk being regarded as an insincere waste of space spammer. The “auto message your new followers” feature offered by some of these tools are spam and should be avoided. As a result of this annoying practice, it’s not uncommon to never bother to check your DM (Direct Message) folder.

Use more than one account to ensure you can target your audience more effectively. With a personal account follow anyone who looks credible and offers advice or genuine content. Use a business account more specific to businesses and people who provide business topic information.

Most Posts Conversational

To understand Twitter better, you need to consider it a conversation. Make your posts conversational, like you are talking to a real person. Think less about “what are you doing?” as what the original Twitter question posed and more on “what can you add to the conversation?”

If you find you are getting hard-sell messages and mindless drivel, don’t hesitate to un-following the offender.

When your lists build to a size that the core group you liked to listen to and engage with melts into obscurity, then use the group filter function built into the Twitter browser or featured in applications like Tweetdeck to filter them back into the foreground. If you want to find local people in your industry or discuss particular topics, try the advanced search features on http://search.twitter.com.

Shorten Web Links

Finally, shorten web links using http://bit.ly to help reduce the character count (you only have 140) and to offer a mind blowing amount of click through statistics.

Enjoy Twitter, discover its power, and develop your own strategy by watching, listening, and engaging with others who offer their wisdom and experience.

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