Entries Tagged 'Twitter Power Tips' ↓
June 2nd, 2009 — Twitter Answers, Twitter For Business, Twitter Power Tips, Twitter Tips, Twitter Tools
In late April this year, the Twitter community was taken by surprise when the owners of Twitter suddenly imposed a new rule (known at the Twitter slap) that limited the number of people you could follow to 1000 per day.
They have also taken action over the last few days, suspending thousands of accounts that they regard as spam. Many users have reported as many as 300 followers disappearing from their communities.
So why has Twitter made these changes?
The official line is that Twitter are attempting to strike a balance between popular users who follow people who follow them and those who follow thousands of people in the expectation of gaining new followers.
However, due to the massive growth of Twitter, it may also be an attempt to ease the load on the Twitter servers. In recent months it has been extremely slow and the fail whale has become a regular fixture on our screens.
Part of the reason behind this has been the massive increase in people using 3rd party tools to automate their Twitter account. In particular, the auto-follow tools that allow you to automatically follow everyone who follows you has placed a massive strain on the network.
Are these changes a good idea?
At first glance, these changes look like a sensible move to reduce the load on their servers and reduce the blatant manipulation of Twitter for marketing purposes.
But the more you consider the situation, the new 1000 rule has a couple of major flaws;
Problem Number 1
It’s a blanket rule. Whether you’re a super user with a gazillion followers or a Twitter newbie, you can’t follow more than 1000 users per day.
So popular Twitter users who attract more than an average of 1000 followers per day won’t be able to follow everyone who follows them.
As things stand, this isn’t a big deal (I don’t think anyone is under the illusion that being followed by a Twitter giant is anything more than a mechanical process on their part).
However, it does mark an important shift in the way that people view the Twitter service. If people become used to following certain people without the expectation of being followed back, the sense of reciprocity that was a major attraction for many people will diminish.
The sense of community will be reduced and instead replaced by an atmosphere of celebrity/guru following and broadcast announcements rather than genuine interaction.
Problem Number 2
It won’t stop many of the undesirable practices that Twitter wants to prevent. In fact, it may even make things worse.
First, the section of Twitter users who only follow other users in order to be followed will just set up multiple accounts. This proliferation of throw away accounts will lower the quality of the network.
When someone spends time and effort building up a targeted community of 100,000 followers, a natural caution develops. They don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize their account.
But if they have 20 different accounts with 5,000 followers on each, they’ll be less reluctant to use borderline techniques. And if one or two of their accounts are suspended, it’s not the end of the world.
Second, if someone has one main Twitter account they may post 10 messages per day. And based on their own level of integrity, the number of those that promote their own content may range from 1 all the way up to 10.
If they have 20 accounts with their followers spread across them, they will have to post 10 messages to each account (using one of the many automation tools available) to achieve the same level of publicity for their own content.
That’s 200 tweets per day instead of just 10, which won’t do much to take the load off the Twitter servers. It will also reduce the ratio of genuine tweets to tweets with an ulterior motive by a significant factor.
Perhaps it would be best if Twitter introduced a quality score algorithm similar to the one used by Google. Several factors could be used to calculate a quality score for every user.
Each user would then be able to follow as many people as they want, with the knowledge that the total quality score of the users that they follow (in relation to the combined quality scores of their followers), will alter their own quality score which will either encourage or deter the people that they follow from reciprocating. So the overall emphasis would be on balance and developing a coherent community rather than indiscriminate bulk following.
This would give Twitter a subtle yet powerful way to cultivate the exact atmosphere that they want, without resorting to the blanket style regulations that they have imposed in recent months.
But what do you think? Do you like the new limit of 1000 follows per day? Do you think it should be higher or lower?
Was this the best rule that Twitter could have used? What rule would you prefer?
Add your thoughts below. If the folk at Twitter want to retain the loyalty of their most devoted users, every piece of feedback that exists online will help them to shape their business in a way that the majority of users can accept.
In the meantime, here’s how to protect your Twitter account from these changes?
- Don’t try to follow more than 1000 people per day.
- Try to grow your community at a stable rate. It’s better to follow 150 people every day rather than 1000 people once a week.
- Follow people who have something in common with the info on your bio or the content of your tweets.
- Don’t follow people who appear to be following vast numbers of unrelated people every day just to gain new followers.
These basic precautions will help to prevent your account tripping any of the red flags that will cause Twitter to review and possibly suspend your account.
If you want to build your Twitter community without running the risk of suffering from the Twitter slap, Tweet Adder is a new tool that allows you to manage your account and build a well targeted community.
Once Tweet Adder is setup, you can set a daily follow limit and the system will find relevant people for you to follow without having to worry about suffering from the Twitter slap. This will allow you to spend your time on the most important aspect of Twitter - interacting with people and forming mutually beneficial relationships with other people in your micro community.
May 18th, 2009 — Twitter Answers, Twitter For Business, Twitter Guides, Twitter Power Tips, Twitter Tips, Twitter Tools
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 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 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
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
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
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 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 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
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 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 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.
April 27th, 2009 — Twitter Guides, Twitter Power Tips, Twitter Tips
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.
a) Fewer friends and followers
b) Highly selective criteria for deciding who to follow
c) Frequent interaction with a small group of people
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April 14th, 2009 — Twitter For Business, Twitter Guides, Twitter Power Tips, Twitter Tips
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.
April 6th, 2009 — Twitter Guides, Twitter Power Tips, Twitter Tips
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.
Include 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;
The 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.
One 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: 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.
Twitter Power Team
March 30th, 2009 — Twitter Guides, Twitter Power Tips, Twitter Tips, Twitter Tools
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
If 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.
This 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
Chirrup 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.
Integrating Your Twitter Account With Facebook
This 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
One 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
TwitThis 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.
If 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.
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
Thanks 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.
March 24th, 2009 — Twitter Guides, Twitter Power Tips
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
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.
March 17th, 2009 — Twitter Guides, Twitter Power Tips, Twitter Tools
As every day passes, the popularity of Twitter continues to grow. However, while the main focus is usually on the number of users or the volume of tweets, one area that most people overlook is the growing value of the network for the purposes of search.
In fact, there have even been suggestions that Twitter will eventually rival the power of Google search. This is based on the fact that most of the popular information (such as suggested links) on the network is human edited, unlike Google which has to rely upon its mechanical algorithm.
So if you want to get the maximum from Twitter, it’s important to harness the power of Twitter search. There’s a vast ocean of valuable information on the Twitter network just waiting to be discovered.
Originally called Summize, this search tool was bought by Twitter in 2008. At the time it seemed a strange acquisition given the range of powerful third party Twitter tools that could have been acquired. However, that purchase is now beginning to look like an extremely far-sighted and shrewd purchase.
Twitter search has grown into an extremely powerful tool. If you visit the main Twitter search the functionality of the page looks similar to Google.
And like Google, the main Twitter search allows you to use various search operators to fine tune your search.
Searching for the words Twitter search will return posts containing either Twitter or search or both.
Exact phrase search
For example, “Twitter Search” will search for messages that include this exact phrase.
If you want to exclude messages with certain words, just include that word with the minus sign in front of it.
For example, Search -Twitter will return messages about search, but exclude those that also contain the word Twitter.
Hashtags are a powerful way for Twitter users to group messages around a certain topic. Twitter allows you to search for these hashtags.
For example, if you want to find information about the Twitter Power System, searching for #tps will return all of the messages that contain that hashtag.
You can add other modifiers to the end of this search to narrow down the results.
For a brief explanation of hashtags, check out our other post about #followfriday.
If you want to search the messages posted by a Twitter user, just enter from:USERNAME
For example, if you want to see all the messages that Jamesrivers has posted, just search for from:jamesrivers
To add even more power, you can add any search term after this from search. To see how many times James uses the word followers, just search for from:jamesrivers followers
Likewise, you can search for all the @replies sent to a specific user, for example, to:peterfrancis
To find all the searches where a certain Twitter user is mentioned, just reach for @ followed by the username. For example, @stuartlaing will uncover all the messages that contain @stuartlaing
If you want to find how often the phrase internet marketing is sent by people near New York, just search for
“Internet Marketing” near:”New York”
This is great if you want to find people with similar interests in your part of the world.
If you want to narrow down the search, you can add a distance modifier, for example;
“Internet Marketing” near:”New York” within:20mi
This will return messages that refer to internet marketing sent from within a 20 mile radius of New York.
twitter since:2009-02-25 will return all messages containing the word Twitter posted since 25th Feb 2009
twitter until:2009-02-25 will return all messages containing the word Twitter posted before 25th Feb 2009
You can then combine these two modifiers to search for posts within a specific period.
Adding : ) to your search will filter the results so that only messages with a positive attitude are displayed. Likewise, adding : ( to your search will return messages with a negative attitude.
For example, if you’re searching for reviews of a certain product or company, just search for the relevant name, then choose whether you want to see positive or negative mentions of the keyword.
dell : ) Will bring up positive posts about Dell.
dell : ( will bring up negative messages about Dell.
Add a question mark to your search and it will return posts that ask a question. This is great if you want to add value to the network and raise your profile by answering questions. If you’re a blog expert search for blog ? or blogging ? or wordpress ? to find questions that you can answer.
To filter your searches so that the results only include posts that contain links, just add the filter:links after your search term.
For example, if you’re looking for funny content, just search for funny filter:links or hilarious filter:links
To find messages posted from certain sources, just add source: followed by the Twitter source that you want to search for.
To find all the messages that mention weather posted by the cell phone software twinkle, just search for;
Alternatively, if you have more time and want to apply these search operators without using the shortcuts, click through to the Advanced Twitter Search and use the form to construct your search.
Choose the right type of search and you can find a host of valuable information that will help improve your Twitter experience and strengthen your network.
Please let us know if you have any Twitter search related questions or tips that will help your fellow readers.
March 6th, 2009 — Twitter Guides, Twitter Power Tips, Twitter Tips, Twitter Videos
A few weeks ago we posted on article on how #followfriday works.
Since then, more than 6500+ of you have viewed it…
So to thank you and provide you with more information, we’ve put together a short video that answers the most frequently asked #followfriday questions, including;
1. What is #followfriday?
2. How does it work?
3. How can I benefit from it?
And as an additional bonus, the video reveals the tools that we use to make the most of #followfriday.
Just click the play button on the video above and it will appear in a cool lightbox effect.
We’d love to hear what you think of the video, so please leave your comments below.
And if any of your friends or Twitter followers would like to learn about this, click here to tweet about #followfriday.