In his book Tweet Naked, online marketing expert and Social Media Firm CEO Scott Levy provides the critical information entrepreneurs need to craft a social media strategy that will boost their brand and their business. In this edited excerpt, the author takes your Twitter skills to the next level by describing nine things you should be doing to up your Twitter game.
Do you want to be a rookie or a pro bowl veteran? The way you go about "tackling" your career is similar to being a rookie or a veteran. You can go through the day-to-day and remain average, or you can study, practice, train and try to find every possible advantage you can over your opponents.
For me, the following are simply things you must do to take part in everyday social media. To others, these might feel like advanced techniques and tactics that are at a higher knowledge level and maybe even desire level when it comes to doing social media. But if you want to elevate your game and get the most out of your investment (time and money) in social media, then take it to the next level with these nine tips and tricks.
1. Follow the leads. Twitter isn't just about your tweets; it's also a great source for information on your competition. Monitor their engagement, find out what the hot topics are. This will give you fresh insight on how to broaden your own following and what those people are looking for. It may even show you what your competition is doing better than you. With a little tweet tweaking, you may be able to get those followers to convert to your own company.
2. Save the sales pitch. Don't get caught up in using Twitter as a selling tool. Instead, use it to increase customer loyalty and offer valuable information to your followers. Overmarketing will merely leave a sour taste in followers' mouths, and you may even end up losing them if their feed gets too clogged with too many promotions. Be viewed as a resource, not a door to door salesperson.
3. Keep it short. Posting links and content is a great thing, but Twitter users are all about brevity, so be sure to shorten your links by using a redirect service. http://bit.ly is a good one for measuring your click-thrus and performance, but if you don’t use something like that, Twitter will automatically shorten your links using their built in T.CO shortner.
4. Reply with a period. Twitter filters allow users to only view replies if they are following each side of the conversation. But by starting off your reply with a period, the post won't start with @--it will instead be viewed as a separate tweet and will be seen by all of your followers. Breaking grammar rules never felt so good.
5. Lose a few characters. Yes, 140 characters is the technical limit on Twitter, but all the cool kids are now only tweeting with 125 or less. Short, punchy tweets will grab your followers' attention rather than getting lost in their feeds. The more characters left, the easier it is for people to retweet and add their own comment as well.
6. Ask Questions. People want to feel like you value their opinion and asking questions, even simple ones, tend to receive more engagement.
7. Be a resource. Providing value and being seen as a resource is a sure way to build a quality follow and to get retweeted. In a sea of nonsense and worthless tweets, if you’re the one sharing quality, interesting content; you’ll stand out. If you spend all of your time sharing what you ate or just having personal convos, you very well could lose followers.
8. A picture's worth a thousand tweets. I can't stress enough how important pictures are in any social media platform, and Twitter is no exception. Twitter now displays images in timelines, and if you’re not taking advantage of this you’re missing out. An image attached to any tweet is sure to increase visibility and engagement.
9. Don’t be too good for people. No matter how well known you are, or how busy you are don’t be that person who thinks they are too good to reply to anyone. I’m typically slammed, but I still take time every day to answer each and every person (that I see) who tweets me, thanks me, says they are reading my book etc. I believe in building your fans and brand champions one engagement at a time. It’s amazing how one quick conversation or reply can make someone feel appreciated and turn them into a brand champion or personal fan.
Publisher's Note: This book excerpt has been revised since its original printing and publication on this website.
Scott Levy is the founder and CEO of Fuel Online, an online marketing agency that focuses on social media and SEO. He has been specializing in online marketing for more than 15 years and is a respected speaker, writer and consultant. Scott was nominated for a 2014 Shorty Award for "social media's best business influencer" as well as recognized as a 2014 Hubbies finalist for "Influencer of the Year". Scott is based in Nashville. Follow him on Twitter at @FuelOnline or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FuelInternetMarketing