Entries Tagged 'Twitter Guides' ↓

Is It Worth Your Time Using Twitter?

As many people use Twitter for business purposes, it’s important to be able to assess whether the time and effort you spend using Twitter is justified from a business perspective.

Is It Worth Your Time Using Twitter?

Unless you achieve a certain level of measurable success using Twitter, you may find it more effective to leverage your time more efficiently elsewhere.

So how do you know if your Twitter efforts are paying off?

First, you need to work out what you want to achieve using Twitter. Build a community resource? Drive traffic to your site? Network with people in your industry? Once you know what you want to achieve, set yourself related goals and use these tools to monitor your progress.

Here are a few different methods you can use to assess the effectiveness of your time spent using Twitter;

1) Number Of Followers

In the early days of Twitter, it was automatically assumed that the number of followers you could attract was the most accurate measure of your popularity and level of Twitter success.

However, it has rapidly become obvious that this measure is nothing more than a minor factor regarding the effectiveness of your use of Twitter.

10,000 followers isn’t necessarily better than 1,000 followers, especially if the smaller group is a closely integrated community with common interests.

However, a larger community of followers gives you more scope to build relationships with a select group of people with whom you have most in common. It also provides the potential for your messages to reach a larger audience.

2) Traffic

If you want to drive traffic to a certain site or a specific page within a site, there are various methods that you can use to measure your progress.

First, check the log files or analytics data for your site. Second, use a link shortener with tracking stats such as Cligs to post links within your tweets. And finally, use Backtweets to check the number of links on Twitter that point to the page that you want to promote. Just visit Backtweets, enter the address of your website and it will display all the links that point to your site on Twitter.

If you find that lots of links to your site appear on Twitter, but few people click through to your site, it indicates that the wording of your tweets could be improved to attract more attention and encourage people to click through.

Alternatively, if the number of people who visit your site is high in relation to the number of links on the Twitter network, it shows that your tweets are attracting plenty of attention. So you need to focus on getting more people to retweet your information in order to increase the number of links that appear on the Twitter network.

The best way to achieve this is to increase the quality of content that you link to, so that it inspires people to share it with their own Twitter followers.

3) Favorites

One of the most underused aspects of Twitter is the function that allows users to build a list of favorite messages. As these lists are accessible to the public, they can be used to assess the impact of your tweets within your Twitter community.

The number of people who mark your tweets as one of their favorites can be used as a measure of how much attention people pay to your messages, and more importantly, whether people value the information that you provide.

To check how often other people store your tweets as favorites, just visit Favotter and enter your Twitter username. The results will show which of your tweets have been made favorites and how often.

If you monitor these results, it’s a good way to assess the type of information that it appreciated by your community and provide them with more of the same.

4) Retweets

Retweets are the quickest way to expose your Twitter messages to the widest audience possible. The best way to check the number of retweets that your messages receive is to use the Twitter search tool to search for;

@username rt

or

@username via

or

@username retweet

Just replace username with your own Twitter username.

5) People Talking About You

What is the general level of impact that you’re creating on Twitter? How often do people mention you?

Use the Twitter search engine to search for @username. This will reveal how many people have mentioned you on the network. If you want to find the people who are not talking about your directly (i.e. those who mention your name but aren’t replying to you), just search for username -@username

This will filter out the results that include the @ symbol before your username.

6) Engagement

If your main aim is to build relationships with other people in your industry, you should focus on the number of individual conversations that you hold with other individuals rather than the results of the messages that you broadcast.

In order to achieve this, it’s important to monitor the level of engagement you achieve with people you contact. How often do you initiate a public conversation with people from your community? How often do they respond? etc

Whatever you want to achieve using Twitter, the right combination of these measures will help you to monitor your progress and allow you to assess whether your time using Twitter is well spent.

Let us know using the comments below if you have any other measures that you use to assess your progress on Twitter.

How To Use Twitter When You Follow Several Thousand People

One of the most controversial aspects of Twitter surrounds the issue of users who develop a massive Twitter network where they follow tens of thousands of people.

How To Use Twitter When You Follow Several Thousand People

We’ve received several comments and questions asking how it’s possible to interact and keep up to date with all the tweets if you follow several thousand people.

So we’ve given it some careful thought and arrived at the conclusion that it’s impossible to maintain personal contact on a regular basis with several thousand people. In fact, it’s barely possible to maintain personal contact once you follow more than a couple of hundred people.

However, this doesn’t mean that your Twitter community becomes worthless once it grows beyond a few hundred followers. So here’s how to add value to your Twitter community once you’ve followed more than a few hundred people. If you focus on these vital issues, it’s possible to develop a powerful network containing tens of thousands of Twitter users.

1) Don’t Expect To Be Able To Keep Up With The Flow

Once you follow several hundred people, the messages that flow through your Twitter account will really start to speed up. Every time you refresh the page, dozens of new messages will appear.

By the time you follow several thousand people, it will become impossible to read every message. So it’s essential to recognize that you won’t be able to keep up with every tweet. That’s just part of the price you have to pay when your Twitter community grows beyond a certain size. We’ll get to the benefits in a moment…

2) Your Twitter Community Is Like Society

Your Twitter community is like the development of primitive society. It passes through a series of distinct phases. These phases are neither better nor worse than one or another, they’re just different.

As your community grows from several dozen, to several hundred, to several thousand, the nature of your relationship to it will pass from a series of direct, individual relationships to a relationship with the community as a whole.

Over time, based on the responses you receive to the content that you provide, you’ll get to know the character of your community. You’ll get to know the type of information that they want and the things that they’ll be able to help you with.

The best solution is to focus on providing your community with useful, relevant content and interacting as and when you have time. If you provide good info, your community will grow.

A small community will be more relevant and more personal. As it grows from a few people to a village, then a town, then a city, it will become less personal, but of the thousands of people, you will be able to develop closer relationships with the people who are most closely related to your interests and your personality.

But having said that, don’t become obsessed by the number of followers that you attract. Unless you’re a celebrity or a public figure you won’t be able to compete with the number of followers that they attract. A vast number of people will follow celebrities just because they’re celebrities and not because they have any relevance to their interests.

Ultimately, your Twitter community may be more valuable to you, than their Twitter communities are to them.

Why?

Because their Twitter communities are only of any worth due to who they are, rather than the sense of community that they’ve taken time to develop. Let’s face it, how many celebrities on Twitter will take the time to build rapport with any of their followers?

Remember, more followers doesn’t mean better, just different.

A smaller community is more personal. A larger community is less personal, but is more likely to contain people who are more highly relevant to your interests.

3) Be Careful Who You Follow

Focus on following people who are somehow relevant to your circumstances. Follow people with similar interests, outlooks, ideas and/or those who are based in a certain location.

This will help to keep your Twitter network more closely focused and relevant to the interests of everyone who is part of the community. Then it’s up to you to decide whether to follow people who follow you.

4) Don’t Tolerate Spam

Whenever you see a message in your stream that’s obvious spam content, unfollow that person. Following several thousand people will make your Twitter stream move quickly, but it’s even worse if there’s an element of your community who constantly send out low quality, self-promotional material.

5) Reward Good Content

When you have a community of several thousand people, it becomes impossible to maintain a personal relationship with every member of your community. However, there are three important things that you can do to maintain the sense of community within your Twitter network.

a) Add Random Value

When time permits, reply to random messages that flow through your Twitter account. Comment on things that interest you, reply to questions that you’re qualified to answer. Add value to your community by helping them at random.

b) Develop A Sub Network

Like a real world community, you will form closer relationships with certain people. Whenever you develop a closer relationship with anyone in your community, add one of their tweets to your list of favorites and follow all their tweets. As you interact with them regularly, you’ll develop a small sub-network of friends within your broader Twitter community.

Ultimately, finding these people from within your larger community will provide you with much more value than your main community. However, developing a larger network from which to discover these people is a necessary pre-requisite of building this sub-community of close friends.

c) Amplify Good Content

Whenever you find a tweet that contains good value that you know will be of interest to your community, give it the oxygen of publicity by retweeting it. This will provide your own followers with good content and reward the people that you follow for posting good content.

This transfer of quality information from one micro community to another, based on merit and your knowledge of the character of your community, will help to improve the quality of the Twitter network.

6) Make Sure People See The Valuable Content That You Share

When a cocktail party gets busy, you have to raise your voice slightly to make yourself heard. It’s exactly the same with Twitter. As your followers begin to follow more people, their Twitter stream will begin to more faster. They won’t see/read all of the messages that pass through their account.

So when you post a valuable message, you may have to repeat a variation of your content a couple of times so that more people get a chance to read it.

Post your message on different days and at different times of the day. Just don’t go mad, otherwise your followers will.

7) Be Yourself

And finally, always remember that you can’t please everyone and that it’s bad to try.

In fact, the larger your community, the more likely it is to contain a few people who complain about your use of Twitter (too many tweets, too many links, too many followers, tweeting about the wrong topics etc).

However, if you modify your behaviour to please a small minority of your community, you won’t be acting naturally and your new style of behaviour may annoy as many if not more of your community.

So be who you are, do what you do, act naturally and if other people don’t like it, they’re free to stop following you.

That’s part of the beauty of Twitter.

But what do you think? How many people do you follow? Do you think there’s an upper limit to the size of a useful Twitter community, or do you agree that it’s possible to benefit from a community of any size?

Add your comments below to share your opinions with the rest of the TPS community.

How The State Of Twitter Can Help You Attract More Attention

Hubspot have just published a report on the state of Twitter as of June 2009. It has a range of interesting stats collected from the 4.5 million Twitter profiles on Twitter Grader.

How The State Of Twitter Can Help You Attract Attention

Did you know what Twitter is attracting 5,000 - 10,000 new accounts every day, the average user tweets 0.97 times per day and 33.44% of all tweets begins with the @ symbol.

Mmm, very interesting, but what does this mean for most Twitter users?

At first glance, not much, but when you dig a little deeper, it’s possible to identify a few things that will make your use of Twitter more productive.

Let’s begin with the basic items;

a) If you have a homepage url, include it in your profile (80% of users don’t do this). If you have a website, why make it difficult for people to find it.

b) Write a short bio to let people know who you are and what interests you. It’s only 160 characters, but more than 75% of users haven’t done this.

c) Include your location in your profile (nearly 70% of users haven’t specified a location). Many Twitter users are looking to connect with other people in their part of the world, so adding your location is another filter that will help to make your community of followers more relevant.

d) Follow relevant people who have similar interests. This piece of advice might sound insultingly obvious, but more than 54% of all Twitter users haven’t followed one person. How do they expect other people to find them?

e) Tweet. Again, this may sound too obvious, but more than 54% of users have never send a tweet. If you never post any messages, how do you expect people to interact and respond to your messages?

If you follow these five simple steps, it will allow you to build a better micro community than 80% of Twitter users.

Now let’s move on to the more advanced techniques…

One of the main Twitter trends is the rapid reduction in the amount of attention that each user can give to any one tweet. As more and more people follow more and more people on Twitter, the number of tweets that are flushed through the average users timeline, means that only a small fraction of your followers will see any one of your tweets.

This is where the report does provide some clues on how to make your Tweets stand out in order to gain attention.

Option 1: Make Your Tweets Shorter

Distribution Of Tweet Length

As you can see from the graph, a large number of tweets stretch beyond 133 characters as users try to pack as much into each message as possible.

However, at the other extreme, very few tweets are shorter than 30 characters. If you can be extremely creative with your choice of letters, your tweets are more likely to attract attention because;

a) They’re much shorter than the average length of message (the human mind notices differences more readily than similarities), and

b) The eye can read your entire message in one glance (people are basically lazy and have so much information competing for their limited attention)

Option 2: Provide A More Specific Location

The Hubspot report also contains a list of the top 20 locations mentioned in the Twitter profiles studied. When compared to the same list in the previous Hubspot Twitter report, an interesting trend emerges.

Twitter users are becoming more specific in the location that they display in their profile. Instead of using a country or a state, they mention a city or a town.

This may be due to the rising popularity of tweetups where Twitter users meet other people in their locality. However, it also indicates that people are increasingly interested in getting to know people who live in their part of the world.

This emphasis on building local Twitter communities means that you will build a more relevant, focused group of followers if you specify your location more accurately. So instead or USA or Texas, try Austin or Houston.

Option 3: Timing Is Crucial

Below are the approximate number of twwets posted on the Twitter network every day of the week.

Mon 650,000
Tue 790,000
Wed770,000
Thu 850,000
Fri 810,000
Sat 570,000
Sun 675,000

The Weekend is less popular, while the number of tweets builds to a peak on Thursday.

Distribution Of Tweets By Hour

This graph shows you the average number of tweets posted per hour over a 24 hour period. As you can see, the network has a number of peaks and troughs during the day, with three increasingly large peaks at approximately 9am, 4pm and 10pm during the US business day.

So in order to achieve maximum exposure for your tweets, focus on Tuesday to Friday and time your tweets so that they arrive on the network just before the three spikes in use (in other words, 8am, 2pm and 9pm). As more people access their Twitter accounts shortly after these times, there is a greater chance that your followers will see your recent tweets.

Click Here To Collect A Full Copy Of The Hubspot Report

What do you think about the figures presented in the Hubspot report? In what direction do you think Twitter will develop? Join the discussion by adding your comments below.

How To Find People On Twitter Using Google

If you want an alternative to the specific Twitter search tools that have appeared in recent months, here’s how to search for relevant people on Twitter using our old friend Google.

Find People On Twitter Using Google

Due to the amount of buzz surrounding Twitter (and the fear that human edited Twitter search may present a serious challenge to Google), all the new pages on Twitter are indexed rapidly, which means that Google is a good alternative to the range of Twitter search tools that are available.

If you already know some of the advanced search commands on Google, you have a great advantage. If you’ve never used the advanced Google search commands, just follow the examples and replace the sample search words with your own requirements until it becomes second nature.

When you’re looking for people on Twitter, there are four basic factors that you can search;

Name, Profile, Location and Tweets

1) Searching for Twitter users based on their name

site:twitter.com intitle:”james* * on twitter”

site:twitter.com intitle:”peter* * on twitter”

You can also search for a person’s full name, for example;

site:twitter.com intitle:”stuart laing * on twitter”

Shows there are only 3 Twitter users call Stuart Laing.

Just change the name in the search to suit your own needs.

2) Searching for Twitter users on the words used their bio profile

site:twitter.com intitle:”on twitter” “bio* * sport”

This will provide you with a long list of people who have used the word sport in their Twitter bio. Again, just alter the search term to suit your own needs.

3) Searching for Twitter users based on the location in their profile

site:twitter.com intitle:”on twitter” “location florida”

Google will return a list of Twitter users based in Florida.

It’s also possible to combine these search factors, for example, if you want to search for Twitter users based on their location and the words used in their profile, use this search formula;

site:twitter.com intitle:”on twitter” “bio* * pr” “location florida”

This will return a list of Twitter users based in Florida who have PR in their bio.

4) Seaching for Twitter users based on the words that appear in their tweets

site:twitter.com/*/statuses/* “golf”

This will return a list of all the Twitter messages containing the word Golf that have been indexed by Google.

If you prefer to use Twitter specific search tools, here are a few of the best options;

Twitter Search Is the main Twitter search engine

TweepSearch Allows you to search for people according to the words that appear in their Twitter profile

TwitScoop Allows you to keep up to date with the latest Twitter trends based on the popularity of keywords currently appearing in the main Twitter stream.

What tools do you use to find people on Twitter? Do you prefer to use tools that are specifically related to Twitter? Do you use Google? Or do you prefer using another method to find relevant people on Twitter? Please share your thoughts on the best way to search Twitter in the comments section below.

And finally, we’ve recently discovered a powerful technique that allows you to search any of these tools direct from your main browser address bar.

If you use the Firefox browser (and we recommend that you do), here’s what to do;

Step One: Select the Twitter search tool that you want to use.

We’ll start with the main Twitter search tool at http://search.twitter.com

Step Two: Type any word into the search box and click search.

Step Three: Add the search result page to your list of bookmarks.

You can click the star icon to the right of the main address bar or use the keyboard shortcut (control + D) then click done.

Right Click Your Bookmarked Search And Select Properties

Step Four: Click the bookmarks menu in the browser toolbar at the top of the page and scroll down to the page that you just bookmarked.

Right click the entry, select properties from the menu and once the info box appears we have two changes to make. In the box labeled KEYWORD, enter a tag that you will use to open up the twitter search page in the future. For example, I use the letters ts, which are short for twitter search. From now on, whenever you type ts into your browser address bar and press enter, that search page from your bookmarks will automatically appear.

You can use this simple technique with any page and it will save you a great deal of time on the pages that you use regularly. However, it gets even better.

Add Your Choice Of Keyword To The Box Labeled Keyword - For Example ts

Step Five: As I just mentioned, to make our twitter search shortcut really interactive, we have to make a second change in the properties box for your bookmark. Just above the box labeled KEYWORD, you should see a box labeled LOCATION. This contains the address of the page bookmarked. So, if you typed sport into the search box before you originally bookmarked the page, the url will look like this;

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=sport

Replace The Seach Term With %s In The Location Box

The page address now has a query string added to the end that tells the site the word to search for. We’re going to delete the search term and replace it with %s (percentage sign followed by the letter s). So the location url should now look like this;

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%s

Click the save changes button and we’re ready to test our work.

From now on, whenever you want to search for something using Twitter search, all you have to do is type your key into the main browser address bar followed by a space and then the search term that you want to find.

For example if you selected ts for your key to the twitter search bookmark and you want to search for any mentions of motor racing on Twitter, all you have to do is type the following into your main Firefox address bar and press enter.

ts motor racing

The search page will automatically appear with your results. You won’t have to find the page then enter your search term. It may only save you a few seconds every time, but you can apply this technique to any pages that you use regularly and any other sites that you search frequently, for example, youtube, twitterholic, tweepsearch and even the Twitter Power System blog.

You could even program the Google based Twitter searches into your browser bar using this technique. Just perform the search, bookmark it, add your desired tag then replace your search term with %s (please note: you can only use this technique with searches that include one search variable).

10 Twitter Tools To Help Build Your Community

Once you’ve been using Twitter for a while it’s easy to lose control of your friends and followers due to the sheer amount of activity within your Twitter account.

Fortunately, there are hundreds of Twitter tools, services and applications that have been developed to make your life easier. These tools will help you to manage your followers and improve your overall Twitter experience.

  • Discover who stops following you
  • Identify people who don’t follow you back
  • Find relevant people to follow

…and a wide range of other statistics.

In fact, the main challence is working out the best tools to use.

So to help you choose the right tools for your circumstances, here are 10 of the best tools and services to help you attract and manage your Twitter followers.

Twitter Management Tool 1 - Just Tweet It

Just Tweet It

Just Tweet It is an excellent directory of Twitter users divided into hundreds of categories that makes it easy for you to find relevant people to follow on Twitter.

Twitter Management Tool 2 - Mr Tweet

Mr Tweet

Mr Tweet is an excellent way to build the strength of your Twitter community. Thanks to a powerful formula, Mr Tweet acts as your personal networking agent by reviewing your Twitter network and suggesting other relevant people that you may want to follow.

The system also provides you with cool stats about your account, such as how often you engage in Twitter conversations and how often your recommend links.

Twitter Management Tool 3 - We Follow

We Follow

This user powered Twitter directory allows you to post your Twitter details under a selection of self-defined categories. You can search through thousands of users across hundreds of different categories to find other Twitter users with similar interests and experiences. Adding your details to this popular site will also help you to attract relevant followers.

Twitter Management Tool 4 - Twellow

Twellow

This is another huge Twitter directory with hundreds of thousands of other Twitter users divided into hundreds of different categories. Unlike the other directories, the emphasis is on job-related categories and industry, which makes this a perfect tool for business based Twitter networking.

Twitter Management Tool 5 - Twitoria

Twitoria

Discover the number of inactive people that you’re following on Twitter. Just enter your Twitter username, select the period of inactivity that you want to search for and it will display a list of all your Twitter friends that haven’t tweeted in a long time. If you like to keep your Twitter community smaller and more powerfully focused, this is a powerful tool to help weed out people who don’t add much to your Twitter community.

Twitter Management Tool 6 - Qwitter

Qwitter

Qwitter provides you with a email message whenever someone stops following you on Twitter. Although it’s important to not to get hung up whenever someone stops following you, it’s important to monitor the number of people and the quality of accounts that stop following you.

If too many quality users stop following you, it’s an indication that something is wrong. It could be that your profile and tweets don’t match up, the subject or quality of your tweets has changed

Twitter Management Tool 7 - My Tweeple

My Tweeple

My Tweeple is a powerful management tool that allows you to sort your Twitter account into lists of people that you follow but don’t follow you, people that follow you that you don’t follow and mutual following relationships. This allows you to select certain people to follow or unfollow.

Twitter Management Tool 8 - Social Too

Social Too

SocialToo allows you to automatically follow everyone who follows you. It also has a feature that allows you to unfollow anyone who stops following you, or any account that exhibits spam like behaviour (such as rapid following and unfollowing of accounts).

You can also choose to receive a daily email that includes the number of people who have followed you and stopped following you over the past 24 hours.

Twitter Management Tool 9 - Twitter Friends

Twitter Friends

Twitter Friends is an extremely interesting tool if you want to analyse the way you use your Twitter account. Just enter your Twitter username and it produces a wide range of detailed Twitter stats.

Discover who your closest Twitter friends are, find out how many Twitter fans you have and how loyal they are, how often you tweet, how often you converse etc.

If you take the effort to interpret the meaning of all this data, it will give you important clues about how to increase the value of the Twitter network that you’re developing.

Twitter Management Tool 10 - Twittermass

Twittermass

Twittermass is a relatively new suite of tools to help you grow and inspire your Twitter network. The empahasis on building business relationships makes this a powerful networking tool.

The wide range of tools gives you the ability to auto follow, local follow, manual follow, block unwanted users, track keywords, track followers, clone followers, view your Twitter metrics and get the most from Follow Friday.

How Do You Use Twitter?

Earlier today we spent time reading an excellent article written by Skellie on the Twitip blog about how to follow everyone back on Twitter without ruining your experience. We couldn’t help noticing that it sparked a lively debate about how Twitter should be used.

In the short time that it has existed, Twitter has generated a lot of strong opinions. Everyone seems to think that they have the definitive answer on how Twitter should be used.

In this case, some people claim that it’s only polite to return the compliment when people follow you.

Others argue that it dilutes the relevance of the people that you follow and makes it impossible to keep up to date with the number of messages that pass through your Twitter account.

So that got us thinking…

…Neither view is entirely correct!

The true answer lies in the way that each person uses their account.

There is no right way to use Twitter. It all depends upon the type of person that you are, and the things that you want to achieve. People use Twitter for many different reasons.

We’ve been able to identify two main Twitter models.

Twitter Model 1: Using Twitter To Build Individual Relationships

Many people use Twitter in this manner to keep in contact with their personal friends and colleagues. This model is also common if you create your Twitter account based around a highly specialized subject matter or a niche that attracts few people.

On a psychological note, if you’re the type of person who feels the need to keep up to date with every tweet that passes through your account this is the best strategy to adopt. Once you follow more than a few hundred people, your Twitter feed will quickly become swamped with updates.

Characteristics

a) Fewer friends and followers

b) Highly selective criteria for deciding who to follow

c) Frequent interaction with a small group of people

Advantages

It’s possible to build a number of potentially valuable, long-term relationships with a closely defined group of people.

It’s possible to read all the messages posted by the people that you follow and interact more closely with your Twitter friends and followers.

It’s easy to control your account using the main Twitter interface, a desktop application (such as Twhirl or Tweetdeck) or any of the mobile phone apps.

Disadvantages

Unless you already know someone, it’s impossible to tell whether they are worth following until you follow them/get to know them. So the relationships that you build will only be as good as your ability to follow the people who are most suited to your personality.

The information that you share with your followers will reach fewer people.

Twitter Model 2: Using Twitter To Build A Community

In contrast to the previous model, where people aim to build direct relationships with a small number of highly relevant people, this approach is aimed at building a relationship with a community of people as a whole.

Instead of viewing the individual relationships as the asset, this model views the community as the primary resource. For example, if you build a following of 1000 people involved in marketing or PR, you won’t be able to interact with them as often, but if you need instant feedback or have a specific question, your community of followers will be far more valuable.

And if you follow people who post relevant information and links, this approach will also help you to keep up to date with all the important developments in your area of interest.

Characteristics

a) A higher number of friends and followers (often into the thousands or tens of thousands)

b) Less selective criteria for deciding who to follow.

c) Short bursts of infrequent communication with other people in the community.

Advantages

A community built around a specific subject can provide you with instant answers and feedback to almost any relevant question or problem. In general this information is much more relevant than that provided by the search engines because the responses are human edited.

As the criteria for who you follow is not as narrow, it gives you a chance to evaluate more people. This ability to build your community by trial and error (following everyone who looks relevant, then unfollowing people who don’t live up to the initial potential) is just like networking in the real world.

Attending a live networking event with 200 people will always provide you with a greater opportunity to meet people who are more relevant to your needs than a smaller event with just 20 people.

Disadvantages

Natural dilution of your core subject as the size of your community grows

As you follow more people it will become increasingly difficult to read all of their tweets.

Of the two different models, we prefer the community model. However, if you adopt for this approach, it’s essential to build a quality community through a process of following relevant people and providing massive value for your followers.

For example,

a) Retweet relevant information

Even although you can’t read all of the messages that flow through your account, it’s important to spend time reading tweets at random and retweeting messages that you think will provide your followers with value. Acting as an amplifier in this way allows information that is valuable to your community to spread rapidly. It also increases the chances that other people will pay more attention to your tweets.

b) Answer people’s questions

Likewise, spend time looking through your Twitter feed for questions that you can answer. If you use Tweetdeck, just use the search function at the foot of the general column. If you search for a question mark “?” this will give you a list of all the questions that people you follow have asked recently.

When you find a question that you can answer, send an @ reply to the person. If more of your followers are prepared to answer questions in this manner, the value of your community as a resource will continue to grow.

As you spend time providing value for your followers, relationships will develop which may lead to more direct interaction. And here’s the most important point…the relationships that develop will be the most suitable for your circumstances because they will be drawn from a much larger pool of potential.

Let’s face it, would you rather have the best 10 relationships out of 100 or the best 10 out of 1000?

Many people can’t seem to understand why anyone would want to follow thousands of people. They argue that it’s impossible to follow more than a few hundred people and keep up with all their posts.

This doesn’t mean that their opinion is right or wrong. It just means that they see Twitter in terms of the individual model rather than the community model.

They only envisage following someone if they have time to interact with them on a regular basis.

In contrast, anyone who sees Twitter in terms of the community model won’t see anything wrong with following 10,000 relevant people.

They hold the opinion, and I’m inclined to agree with them, that just because you follow someone, it doesn’t mean that you have to contact them daily. You can still provide them with distant value through sharing relevant information (which they may or may not see) and answering their questions at random. And if any specific relationships develop, they are more likely to be of a higher quality as they are drawn from a larger group of people.

So if you want to achieve the most from the time that you spend tweeting, it’s important to work out why you use Twitter, what you want to achieve and which model will most closely fit your circumstances and personality.

How do you think Twitter should be used? Do you follow everyone who follow you? Is it possible to follow several thousand people without ruining your Twitter experience? Let us know what you think.

Learn How To Become A Better Copywriter With Twitter

By now, you may have read that Twitter can make you a better copywriter. The need to focus on getting your message across within 140 characters will improve your ability to capture the attention of your audience.

For proof, you need look no further than the list of Twitter users with the most followers. Many of them (with the exception of celebrities who attract followers due to their name alone) have developed a large following thanks to their ability to find and present relevant information in a way that makes other people want to read it.

Their copywriting skills encourage other Twitter users to retweet their messages, increasing the prominence of their username within the network.

So to help you get started, we’re going to deconstruct a few successful tweets to see if they share any common characteristics.

All we need is a friendly Twitter rockstar who is willing to have their stats audited. Step forward James Rivers, the Twitter Power Team’s resident Twitter expert.

So here, for the first time ever, we’re going to examine three of James’s top  successful tweets.

Let’s get started…

Tweet Number 1: 7,600+ Clicks

Still Don’t Know What #FollowFriday is? Watch n share (video) >> http://cli.gs/qmeHR5 PLZ RT

The first section “Still Don’t Know What #FollowFriday is?”, which broadly relates to the headline achieves three things;

First, it asks a question, which helps to build intrigue. This is a long established method used by traditional copywriters to attract their readers’ attention.

Second, it makes it clear what the post is about, which helps people to qualify whether they are interested in the post.

By this stage, anyone who has heard about Follow Friday and wants to know more about it will continue reading.

Third, it incorporates the #followfriday hash tag. This helps to categorize the tweet as information that’s directly related to the subject of Follow Friday. It will also help people to find this message if they look for “#FollowFriday” using Twitter search.

The second section “Watch n share (video)”, which acts as a sub-headline by providing more information, achieves two things;

First, it builds on the interest already generated, by telling people what to expect…a video.

Second, it provides a call to action. It asks people to watch the video and then share it with their friends and Twitter followers.

The final section “>> http://cli.gs/qmeHR5 PLZ RT” consists of three parts;

First, the two arrows help to separate the headline from the rest of the message and draw attention to the link.

Second, the link is shortened using the service at http://cli.gs/ Pierre, the creator of Cligs has been a good friend to the Twitter Power Team and his amazing service allows us to shorten the website address (the real link consists of 84 characters) and track the number of clicks that the links receives.

Third, “PLZ RT” is a shortened form of “Please Retweet”. This call to action helps encourage people to share the link with their followers.

Share #FollowFriday Video Here >> RETWEET

Tweet Number 2: 4,500+ Clicks

SHAQUILLE IS REAL - 50 Cent, Britney Spears Have Twitter Ghostwriters >> http://cli.gs/n5R6X2 Plz RT

Although this message has only been retweeted 7 times, it has generated overt 4500 clickthroughs to the MTV website.

The first section “SHAQUILLE IS REAL” is a short, powerful statement. Shaquille is known all over the world and he’s one of the top 100 Twitter users, so that is a great way to attract attention. The use of capital letters also helps to get the headline noticed and make it stand out from the rest of the tweet.

The tone of these three words also leads people to think “If he’s real, who isn’t?”, which sets up the next section.

The second section, “50 Cent, Britney Spears Have Twitter Ghostwriters” provides the pay off. Shock, horror, some celebrities, who are top Twitter users, don’t actually manage their own account.

So, well known celebrities + a topic that generates strong opinions among other Twitter users = Massive interest and drawing power.

The third section “>> http://cli.gs/n5R6X2 Plz RT” closely resembles the previous tweet, apart from the destination of the link.

Share “SHAQUILLE IS REAL” Post Here >> RETWEET

Tweet Number 3: 3,200+ Clicks

The Funniest 404 Page Ever (or most depressed…lol) >> http://cli.gs/Za5Dmv Plz RT

The first section “The Funniest 404 Page Ever (or most depressed…lol)” is short and direct. It tells people exactly what to expect, but builds up the intrigue at the same time.

The section in parenthesis helps to show the character of the post, while the LOL (laughing out loud) adds an element of familiarity to the message. It helps to bridge the gap between the writer and the reader, making the post appear friendly and less formal.

The final section “>> http://cli.gs/Za5Dmv Plz RT” once again follows the tried and tested formula. The arrows, link and call to action helped to generate 34 Retweets of this message, which is impressive given that fewer people know about 404 pages than 50 cent or Britney.

Share “The Funniest 404 Page Ever” Here >> RETWEET

These three tweets have generated a total of over 14,000 clicks

The Recurring Themes of These Successful Tweets Are:

One: Make it clear what your message is about.

Two: Make it clear what they can expect from clicking on the link

Three: Provide an element of intrigue.

Four: Provide a call to action that will encourage them to check out the link and share it with their friends and Twitter followers.

It goes without saying that you should only recommend links and resources that provide value to your followers, otherwise it will lower your reputation and reduce the number of people who will click through on links that you post in the future.

One final thing to bear in mind when constructing your tweets - If possible, keep your tweets under 120 characters in length.

This makes it easy for people to add RT followed by their username and stay within the 140 character limit without having to alter your original message. This one simple consideration will make a great difference to the number of times that people retweet your messages.

Ultimately, the repeated practice of creating your Tweets, the discipline of sticking to the point and learning how to persuade in 140 characters will transform your copywriting skills. And as the skill is transferable, the ability to craft emails, classified ads, sales letters and advertising campaigns will help to transform your business.

Have your copywriting skills improved since you started using Twitter? Have any of your tweets gone viral and been retweeted hundreds or even thousands of times? If you have any Twitter copywriting tips or interesting Twitter stories we’d love to hear about them.

How To Become 8 Times More Successful On Twitter

If you’ve been using Twitter for a while, you’ll know how important it is to fill out your profile, but you might not have realized how vital this was…until now.

Amazing stats from an article on Hubspot have shown that Twitter profiles that contain a bio attract 8 times as many followers as profiles without a bio.

Twitter users with a bio have an average of 120 followers, 8 times more than users without a bio who have an average of 15 followers.

And when you consider the number of experienced Twitter followers that these users attract, profiles with a bio are almost 16 times more popular.

This data is based on more than 1.6 million Twitter accounts collected from Twitter grader, so carries a significant degree of accuracy.

As a result, the simple advice is to make sure that your Twitter profile, including the all important bio, is filled out properly. This one simple step provides a massive opportunity for you to attract relevant followers and begin to build rapport with other users before you begin to interact.

So here are a few things to bear in mind when creating your Twitter bio. Just remember that nothing is set in stone. These are merely guidelines that are likely to make your Twitter experience more successful.

Step 1: How To Write A Successful Twitter Bio

As the Twitter bio is limited to 160 characters, this encourages many people to think that it’s not important. As we’ve seen that is a big mistake.

For many, the bio is an essential part of choosing whether to follow another person on Twitter. In fact some Twitter users won’t even consider following someone unless their bio has been completed.

If your bio is missing or incomplete, you will be missing out on potential followers and the opportunity to build valuable relationships in your Twitter community.

So it’s important to spend time crafting your bio to show the world who you are, your experiences and interests. And due to the restricted space available it’s vital to make every character count.

Your aim should be to make an instant connection with like-minded people and provide enough intrigue so that they want to know more about you.

Speak about yourself, who you are and what you do. Resist the temptation to focus on your company, your product range or your website. Ultimately, most people want to know about you. So if you have any special interests or hobbies make sure that you include them.

As you create your bio, think about the type of followers that you want to attract, as this will influence the style of your message.

James Rivers's Twitter BioInclude keywords that describe what you do and your experience. Many people are looking to follow people in the same industry. Here is an example of the bios used by JamesRivers and Peter Francis;

Peter Francis's Twitter BioThe more information you give people to relate to, the more followers you will attract. The more accurate your bio is, the easier it will be to attract people who bring value to your Twitter community.

Finally, consider adding a talking point at the end of your bio. Something positive or unusual that will encourage people to ask you a question when they follow you. Anything that creates intrigue and provides people with an easy opening remark will attract more interest in your profile.

Here is an example of the bio that I’ve been using for the last couple of months. The last line has generated lots of questions and allowed me to start building rapport with several amazing people.

Stuart Laing's Twitter BioOne of the best ways to get ideas for your Twitter bio is to browse through as many as possible. If you haven’t been using Twitter for long enough to build up a number of followers, look for a well established account among one of the people that you follow. Look through the list of people that they follow, or their list of followers. As you hover over each username, a small label containing that person’s bio will appear. This will give you plenty of inspiration…and show you lots of bio mistakes to avoid.

Step 2: Add Your Link

Once you’ve crafted your bio, make sure that you add a link to your main website or blog. If you don’t have your own site, link to your profile on another social networking site. The main idea of including a link is to provide other Twitter users with more information about you or the projects that you are currently working on.

Anything that expands upon your 160 character bio will help people to decide whether they want to follow you. And according to the stats mentioned earlier, Twitter users with a link in their profile have on average 7.5 times more followers than those without a link.

Step 3: Use Your Real Name

This is an important element of building trust and many Twitter users are reluctant to follow people that use a product/company name for their profile.

Ultimately, people build relationships with other people, not companies, products or fantasy characters.

So if you represent a business, use your real name. It allows you to manage your personal reputation and allows people to connect with you on a deeper level. Don’t remain another faceless person hiding behind a corporate logo.

Of course there are exceptions to this guideline, but it’s no coincidence that 50 of the top 100 Twitter users (according to Twitterholic.com at the time of writing) use their own name.

Step 4: Add Your Photo

Your photo is an essential part of building a Twitter profile that encourages people to follow you. People want to connect with other people, not corporate logos, or even worse the default Twitter logo that’s displayed when you haven’t uploaded a photo.

Step 5: Include Your Location

As you browse through Twitter profiles you may have seen people getting creative with the location field in their profile. For example;

Location: Everywhere
Location: Internet
Location: In the ether
Location: It’s a secret

This may help to show their personality, but in our humble opinion, they’re making a big mistake. When you fill out your Twitter profile it’s important to let people know the country where you live.

First, there are several opportunities to connect with other Twitter users from your part of the world.

Second, it’s a crucial part of building rapport. In general, people relate to specific ideas much better than abstract concepts. When we meet someone new, we subconsciously file away all the new pieces of information about them into various categories. For example, male, 35, Miami Florida, graphic designer, wife, 2 children, dog.

We need these mental handles to help us make a mental picture of the person and decide whether they are “our type of person”. It allows us to believe that we “know” who they are and makes it easier for us to remember them in the future.

When we don’t get this information or we can’t make it fit neatly into one of our mental pigeon holes, it makes us uneasy. This subconscious uneasiness, whether we’re aware of it or not, makes it much harder for us to build rapport and trust.

For example, if you let them know that you’re from Arizona, Canada or Scotland, instead of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, you’ll find it much easier to build your Twitter community.

So give your Twitter profile a spring clean. Make sure it contains these essential elements. Does it reflect your personality? Does it give people enough information so that they know whether they want to follow you? Does it possess that additional sparkle that will make you stand out from the crowd?

What do you think is essential for a successful Twitter profile?

Leave your comments below. And if you’d like to share your profile, or examples of other attractive Twitter profiles, with the rest of our readers, please include the relevant links.

Successful Tweeting!

Twitter Power Team

8 Powerful Tools To Put Twitter On Your Website

As Twitter continues its meteoric rise, millions of people are discovering that it allows them to find quality information and resources that are relevant to their needs.

It’s like a massive human-edited search engine. Twitter is also an extremely meritocratic environment. Quality users and content are rewarded, while poor users and content aren’t.

When popular users provide a link to a relevant resource that link is visited more often and retweeted more often.

So if you’ve developed a good reputation on Twitter and publish high-quality content, it’s possible to bring the two together, providing great value for your followers and additional traffic for your website.

There are several powerful tools that allow you to integrate your Twitter account with your website, blog, email list and other social media pages.

These tools will automatically update your webpages whenever you post a new Tweet and allow visitors to promote webpages on your behalf.

So with that in mind, here are 8 of the best tools and services that will allow you to join the mashup revolution.

Adding Your Tweets To Your Website

Twitter Tool 1: Twitter Widgets

Twitter WidgetsIf you want a simple way to display your latest tweets on your site, the first tool to consider is the official widgets offered by Twitter.

They’re simple to install (just copy and paste the code into your website template), can be added to almost any website or blog (including MySpace, Facebook, Blogger, Typepad) and will help to engage your readers with your Twitter updates without taking up too much space on your site.

Twitter Tool 2: Twitter Buttons

Twitter ButtonsThis is a quick and simple service that gives you access to more than 80 different Twitter button graphics. Just enter your Twitter username, select the design that you want, then copy and paste the custom code into your website to help turn your website traffic into new Twitter followers.

Twitter Tool 3: Chirrup

ChirrupChirrup is a simple idea with a lot of potential if you want to integrate Twitter with your website. It allows you to display all of the messages that are sent to your Twitter account and sort them by url, which means you can use Twitter to run a comment feed system for each page on your site.

The major advantages of Chirrup are the ease of installation (just add a short snippet of Javascript to your site), ease of customization (you can organize the data and the look of the output exactly as you want) and the ability to use it on any site, whether it’s a blog or a static html page. All you need is a hosting package that supports php.

Integrating Your Twitter Account With Facebook

Twitter Tool 4: Twitter Facebook Application

Twitter Facebook ApplicationThis application allows you to link your Facebook account to your Twitter feed. Just login to your Facebook account, click the link to the application above, then select to add it to your Facebook page. Once installed, this application will automatically update your Facebook status every time you post a new tweet.

Integrating Your Twitter Account With Your Wordpress Blog

Twitter Tool 5: Twitter Tools

Twitter ToolsOne of the best Twitter integration scripts is the excellent Twitter Tools by Alex King. If you have a Wordpress blog this powerful Wordpress plugin offers several ways to connect your blog and Twitter account, including;

a) Automatically update your Twitter account with a link to your latest blog post

b) Automatically create a new blog post whenever you post a new tweet

c) Automatically create a blog post with a daily digest of all the tweets you have posted in the last 24 hours

d) Post tweets from the sidebar of your blog

e) Post tweets from your Wordpress admin area

f) Syndicate your tweets to other services using an API hook

Helping Twitter Users To Promote Your Content

Twitter Tool 6: TwitThis

TwitThisTwitThis provides you with a short piece of code that you can add to the html of your site or blog template (they also offer a wordpress plugin). The code adds a small TwitThis button graphic to your site that allows your visitors to share your page with their Twitter followers.

When your visitors click on the button, it automatically shortens the website address then allows them to add their own description before posting the message to their followers.

Due to the growing popularity of Twitter, a brief mention by a couple of trusted Twitter users can send an avalanche of traffic to your site. And if some of them use the TwitThis button, the viral marketing effect will start to gather pace.

Twitter Tool 7: Tweet This

Tweet ThisIf you have a wordpress blog, Tweet This provides the same type of service as TwitThis but offers greater customization flexibility. This is a great plugin, and one that we personally use on this site (take a look at the top right of each post).

Once you’ve got the plugin installed on your blog, you can alter the way the button looks from within the Wordpress admin area without having to spend too much time wading through the template code. This is a major advantage if that sort of thing brings you out in a cold sweat.

Tweet This provides a quick and easy way for your blog visitors to share your content with their Twitter followers. One click posts the title of the blog post and a shortened url to their Twitter status box. A second click will post it to their Twitter account.

But beyond the obvious viral promotion benefits of this service, Tweet This provides two additional benefits;

a) Social Proof

If you use one of the default images provided by Tweet This, the system generates two links next to each blog post. A green “Retweet” link and a grey box that shows the number of times that the post has been retweeted.

This provides your blog with a massive promotional benefit - Social Proof

In general, people are more likely to share content that is already popular. So if your visitors see that your latest blog post has already been retweeted 200 times, they are more likely to share it with their followers than if the post had 0 retweets.

Why?

Because it provides a measure of proof regarding the quality of content on your blog and the quality of each specific post. Success breeds success. The more retweets your posts get, the more likely they are to receive additional retweets.

b) Subtle Market Research

Tweet This is also a great way to gauge the popularity of the content on your blog.

Okay, you can use Google Analytics and your website stats, but that only tells you half the story.

You can find out how many people have visited each page and even how long they spend on it, but all that data won’t tell you what people thought of the content on your blog.

It doesn’t tell you which pages people are prepared to risk their social reputation to share with their followers.

So unless people post comments on your blog, you won’t have any positive feedback on the type of information that your website visitors find valuable.

The retweet counter provides you with powerful feedback on the type of content that motivates your visitors to read and then share. That type of information is like gold dust as it will provide ideas for future blog posts that are likely to be in high demand.

Linking Twitter To Your List Of Email Subscribers

Twitter Tool 8: Aweber

AweberThanks to a feature-rich platform that’s constantly improving and an incredible deliverability rate, Aweber is best known for being the leading email marketing service. It’s an essential part of any newsletter publishing or list building activity.

However, Aweber now has the ability to integrate directly with your Twitter account. When you setup a broadcast email, there is a section towards the foot of each page that allows you to select the syndication options.

Just make sure that the “Publish in RSS/XML feed or html archive” box is checked, the “Twitter Update” box is checked and your Twitter login details are entered (they will be stored securely by Aweber).

When your email is broadcast, Aweber will use your Twitter login details to post a short message to your Twitter account, which will consist of the subject line you chose for your email and an Aweber tracking link to an html archive version of the email.

If you have a email list or plan to start one, this is a quick and easy way to attract additional subscribers from your Twitter followers. It’s also a good way to provide significant value for your Twitter followers.

Please Note: If you intend to use this technique, it’s a good idea to include a link to your subscription squeeze page at the foot of your broadcast email so that anyone who reads the html version linked to in your Twitter message will find it easy to subscribe to future newsletters.

What Twitter integration tools do you use? If there are any Twitter integration tools that you recommend, we’d love to hear from you.

Leave your comments below to help other users get their Twitter account connected.

How To Provide Your Twitter Followers With Massive Value

Provide Your Twitter Followers With Massive Value

Recently, while reading an excellent article by Jack Humphrey The 90-10 Rule For Successful Twitter Networking on the TwiTip blog, it started us thinking…so here are a few ways that you can provide your Twitter community with massive value 90% of the time.

Of course, you should aim to provide your followers with value 100% of the time, but we’ll leave the remaining 10% of self-serving value until another time.

Number 1: Answer Questions

In addition to asking questions, either to specific people or your group of followers in general, it’s important to spend time answering questions posed by your followers.

Every day, spend a few minutes looking for questions in your Twitter feed to answer. One of the best ways to achieve this is to use Tweetdeck.

The left hand column will display the last 200 messages in your account. Just type a question mark into the search filter at the foot of the column and it will show you all the recent questions that have been asked in your Twitter feed. Take a quick look and reply to any questions that you feel qualified to answer.

This is a powerful way to add value to your network of followers (both the people who ask the questions and others who may be facing a similar problem).

If everyone did this, just imagine how valuable it would make your Twitter account.

Whenever you needed a question answered, all you would have to do is ask your Twitter community and within minutes the answers would begin to roll in.

That’s the true power of networking - harnessing the combined experience of several hundred or even several thousand like-minded people.

This also explains how it’s possible to follow several thousand people yet still bring value to your community. You may not be able to interact personally with everyone every day (it’s doubtful whether anyone could sustain that level of interaction beyond following any more than 20 people), but by answering random questions you become a potential source of help for everyone that you follow.

Number 2: News

One of the best ways to find a constant stream of relevant news stories is to sign up for a Google Reader account. Once you’ve done this, subscribe to relevant blogs. As you build up a collection of blogs, it will provide you with a valuable news flow to share with your followers.

You can also sign up to receive Google alerts for keywords that are relevant to your topics of interest. Whenever new material which matches one of your selected keywords is indexed by Google, you will receive an email alert.

These techniques also carry one additional benefit - It will help you to keep up to date with everything that happens in your area of interest.

Number 3: Motivational Quotes

Motivational quotes are another great source of value. Whenever you find a quote that inspires you during the course of your day, consider sharing it with your followers.

They are quick to read and will provide many of your followers with an insight which will help to improve their day.

Number 4: Retweets

Retweets represent the real communal spirit of Twitter.

It spreads valuable information based on your own editorial criteria and allows important news to spread through the Twitter community with incredible speed.

So if you find a Tweet that provides you with good information, share it with your followers.

Just remember to include the person’s username with the message when you retweet. For example, if the original tweet is from @peterfrancis make sure that you add

RT @peterfrancis

to the front of the original message. This will provide your followers with quality content and make sure that the person who created the tweet gets recognition for it.

Number 5: Links

Due to the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter, posting links to other sites and blogs is a great way to provide value for your Twitter followers.

Focus on providing links to material that is interesting, entertaining and relevant to the type of information that you normally post (long-term, building a community based around a common set of topics will be far more valuable than a broad based community).

Number 6: @ Replies

And finally, @replies are an essential part of adding value to the Twitter community. It allows you to build rapport with different people and shows your followers that you’re sincere about building relationships.

Ultimately, if you spend time providing your followers with massive value you’ll build up a vast pool of knowledge, experience and goodwill that you can call upon when you need help in the future.

How do you provide value for your Twitter community?

If you have any useful advice that we haven’t covered here, please leave your comments below.


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