It’s can be a little hard to get started on Twitter. Not that it is difficult to use but it may seem strange to be making posts when you don’t have any followers yet, but trust me, it won’t take long before you start to build a following.
Let’s cover some basics first: posts, or updates, are known on Twitter as ‘tweets’. On your home page, you will see your tweets as well as the tweets of those people that you are following. However, when you visit someone else’s homepage, you’ll see only the posts they’ve made, not the people that they’re following.
Looking at someone’s posts can give you an idea of whether you want to follow them or not. Remember since there aren’t any language restrictions, people can post whatever they want, which you might not agree with or find offensive. But if you don’t like what someone has to say, then you don’t have to follow them.
Post often (several times a day often, not several times in 5 minutes often.) Try to keep your posts interesting and informative and do not post more then 2 posts in a row if you can help it. People will unfollow you if it they see too many posts (tweets) from you in a row. Now if you are having a conversation with someone that is something you think others will find interesting (say offering advice on your niche that they are asking help with), then that is different… but still try to keep it to a minimum of consecutive posts.
Posting a tweet is the easiest thing to do, ever. You see that box at the top of the page? Write something in it that’s less than 140 characters, and press update. Voila! You’ve posted a tweet. To make it even easier, as you type, the character number counts down, letting you know exactly how many characters you have left.
Of course, what to tweet is another matter entirely.
On the right-hand-side of your homepage, you can see what the popular topics are; if you want to get more exposure, add a post on one of those topics. Similarly, if you want your tweets to be associated with certain products (you know, like yours) then make sure to include the relevant keywords in your tweets.
Using links in your tweets are a great way to promote yourself and your business. Be careful, though; if every single link that you post is blatant self-promotion, you’ll find people un-following you pretty fast. Always remember that Twitter is a social media tool, not an advertising service.
While you can’t edit tweets once you’ve posted them, you are able to delete a tweet whenever you want. Just go to the post within your homepage, and mouse over it. On the bottom right-hand of the tweet, a garbage can should appear. Click on the garbage can, and your tweet will be deleted like it never existed. Except, of course for the potentially thousands of people who saw it before you deleted it; so think before you tweet.
While you absolutely can promote your business, also make sure to keep your tweets interesting and informative. Making a habit of posting useful, informative, or entertaining tweets just for the heck of it doesn’t hurt either.
Now that you know what to link, here’s how to do it:
If the link fits within your tweet, then Twitter will automatically link it and leave it as is. Make sure that you use the full http:// address for the link to work properly but I do NOT recommend you do this (I will explain more in a second)
If the link you want to use is too long to tweet (either the whole address or the address with the rest of what you want to tweet) then you need to make the URL shorter. To do this, you can go to http://www.bit.ly, a free service which will let you shorten any website address into something smaller – usually about 4 characters. Then you use the alternate address they provide you in your tweet.
Shorten All Links With Bit.ly
The reason you want to shorten all your links is for testing and tracking (watch the video below and you will see how bit.ly works). This is a 100% free service (but you need to register so you can track your links and get access to the api as well) and you can use it with twitterfeed, tweetlater (one of my favorite services) and other services as well.
Another great service (but has a monthly fee with it) is exampleur.com (I am no way affiliated with them, just like and use them), it is not crazy expensive (I am just using the 12 month service right now and if need to upgrade to the $40+ one, then it will certainly mean I am making even more money from twitter, so that will be a great thing.
Exampletweet gives you a better way of tracking your links by allowing you to see some statistics that are displayed so you can cross compare campaigns a lot easier then bit.ly allows. It also has some prettier graphics 😉
One thing else that Exampletweet has that I love is you can 301 redirect the links, which is better from a search engine optimization perspective. Now do not get your panties in a bunch here, this is not going to make a gigantic difference in things but it can help. If you cant afford another monthly fee right now then Bit.ly is fantastic… and there are other great services out there to.
Overall Bit.ly is fantastic and if you do not want to spend money then use Bit.ly.
What About Automated Twitter Post Tools?
I do use certain tools that help automate some basic tasks, but I do not use them to spam my followers. I will be getting into specifics on these tools in a later post but for now I want you to concentrate on how to do this manually. I will be showing you how to automatically post a few posts a day that are stories your followers will love but do not worry about that at this moment, for now just get used to how twitter works. I promise to reveal all with very clear steps 🙂
Two Awesome Ideas for Effective Twitter Posts
Method #1: As much as possible, when you have something you want to share with your followers, try to have it link to your blog. This is not going to be able to be accomplished 100% of the time, but whenever you can, you really want to do it.
Say for example, there is a cool video that you came across that you think your followers will be interested in. Do not link to YouTube (unless it is your video) but instead create a post about it on your blog and embed the video. Write a paragraph of text as to why you like the video (get your post ranked) and you will be able to funnel the traffic through your blog (and hopefully you will have an opt in plus other monetization systems in place to take advantage of the traffic). Believe me, Twitter sends great traffic (I prove that in the short video below).
Method #2: Look at story titles at places like http://www.Digg.com and http://delicious.com. These sites have loads of traffic and what i do is search in Digg.com for the most popular topics with the keyword I am thinking and I make variations on that. So for example say you have a blog on “Dog Training” and you want to promote a post on Twitter. What you can do is enter…