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How to Use Twitter for Beginners

It can always be quite a daunting task to start using a new piece of tech whether it’s a new mobile phone or a social network. When seeking advice on marketing any business the first thing people say is “our you on social media”. Every company’s marketing needs our different & so should their social networks, there’s no point in being on a social network if you never post.

One of the social networks I get asked about a lot from clients is Twitter. The normal set of questions are

  • How do I use it?
  • What do I post?
  • I just don’t understand Twitter

So I thought I would try and help answer these questions with a blog post and to help you get started a Twitter Set-up checklist.

Finding The Right People:

One of the biggest struggles for a lot of people is how do I build a following. To do this effectively and organically there are some simple ways to help you.
The best way to find people is to search for them. What I mean by this is If you have a specific niche or industry subject search for others that are talking about it and who is following them right now. This can help to see what others are doing and what others are engaging in. This helps to give you a bigger picture of your target market and subject matter on twitter. Once you have a better idea of the niche on that network you can start engaging with prospects, influencers and their content. Most of the time if they are an active user they will follow you back. The aim of all social networks is to be social so get going and start engaging people.

Below is some easy ways to find people

#Hashtags:

So what is a Hashtags, I am sure you have heard of them by now. It’s the words you see on social media that start with “#”. They are used to organise tweets in real time into categories and subject matters. I warn you some of it will be rubbish and some you may not want to engage with but you will find other real people interested in your subject.
Tips:

  • Keep them as relevant to your content as possible
  • Don’t overuse them (try to limit it to is around 10 per post)

GEO-Targeting:

So you can use hashtags to target your tweets to different subject matters. But if you want to target users by location you can use GEO-targeting. With this tool, you can target specific cities, Postcodes with a certain distance.
You can use hashtags and GEO-Targeting to narrow the search of your subject or interest by location. Helping to find your local target market.

Tips:

  • Don’t Geo-target every post as it can limit your reach
  • Don’t Geo-target random places if they don’t have any relevance to your post

Trending Topics Sidebar:

The Trending topics sidebar on the twitter site is a list of all the current most popular hashtags. This can be used to help you get involved in trending conversations by engaging in relevant trending topics.
You can also target this to certain locations helping to narrow down the local trends.

Organising Your People:

Now that you have found your niche and what they like and where they hang out. It’s time to organise them. As you probably have seen twitter is a bit crowded and a lot of people misuse it. if you’re not careful you can end up with a feed of rubbish as well as missing out on all the good stuff.

To help users organise their different people they follow, Twitter created lists.

Lists:

Twitter lists our lists of users that help you narrow down your feed. You can make public lists if you want to share your list or private lists if you don’t want anybody to know. Twitter will not notify the users or update their follow count if they are in a list.
You can use lists to organise your most important users that you engage most or your niches influencers. This is also perfect for following competitor and not adding to their follow count.

Tips:

  • Don’t make too many lists (it can become confusing)
  • Don’t just add random public lists (it might seem like you are saving time but your not)

Outreach:

Using your new lists you can start engaging and reaching out to active users. The best way to engage with people on twitter or in your lists is to join in the conversion by asking for advice or giving your option on the subject. This can help increase brand visibility on twitter as it will come up on their feed and to their followers.

Direct Messaging:

For a more private conversation with a user, you can DM (Direct Message) them. Normally you can only DM someone if you both follow each other but If they have opted in for anyone to DM them (like a lot of business have) you can DM them without following.

Content:

“What do I post?”
is probably the most asked question by clients, Answer is it differs from industry to industry. You going to want to be clear on what your brand image is and what content best represents that. There’s no way to get around creating content, you just need to do it.

Here are some simple ideas to get you started

Short brand messages:

Twitter is a platform that is built on opinion but you have the 140 character limit, this means you need to be a little more creative with the way you articulate your messages. You want to be clear on what your brand is about and what messages you want to get across. A good way to think about it, if you’re struggling is to split your overall message into a monologue of small points to make a bigger point.

Retweeting:

Retweeting is twitter’s very own sharing function. You can share any one’s tweet on your own feed and to your followers. Retweeting is a great way to keep your feed busy and share great content to your followers.

Sharing industry stories:

What do you read on a day to day basis?

Every morning I read different industry publications to get a bigger picture of what’s happening in my industry. A lot of people use twitter to consume information and find links to publications. Sharing stories that you have read show your trust and authority in the industry and show that you keep up with what strengths and opportunities that our out there.

Use Images, GIFs & videos:

Even though Twitter started with a text medium you can use multimedia. Using images, GIFs or video can really help cut through the clutter on twitter and I have seen a lot better results with posts with multimedia vs posts without. It acts as a more engaging post because there’s something visual to catch their eye.

Everybody’s different but I find spending a day to focus on the week’s content schedule and creating the content for that schedule is a great way to start and gives you greater control of your time so you can get back to running your business.

As I mentioned at the start of the post I am offering a Twitter Set-up Checklist for free to get you started.

Click here to get your twitter checklist

If you found this post helpful subscribe to our newsletter and feel free to share the post or comment if you have any other good tips or questions about Twitter.

the art of

5 Beginner Tips On How To Use Data As Your Secret Weapon

Analysis The Data & If It’s Not Working Ditch It.

 

Whether you’re a small business or new to blogging, trying to work out what content has the most positive impact and engagement on your target audience is the most important goal. When working with social media it can be time-consuming so you want to make sure your efforts aren’t wasted. To do this you must always test the content and if after testing it’s not effective, don’t waste time, trash it and move on. Your time is important and forcing an idea you think is great but is simply not ticking the boxes with your market, can often deter businesses from trying again.

 

Best practice is to collect social data about how your users is interacting with your content and over a 1-3 month period make an analysis on whether this is resonating with your target market, or not.

 

Below are some tips on how to test your social content:

1. Track Your Engagement

Nice and simple, test your engagement. It might sound easy, but it can be hard to see if something is wrong if you don’t read the data right the first time. By using insight tools you can see what engagement you received and what kind of reaction you’re getting from your targets, allowing you to make smarter decisions on what you post next. Every social network has their own metrics and it’s important to analyse them individually. This helps to see if you’ve made a connection in some way with your post and if you should stick with it or not. In some cases, the key metric will be obvious.

 

For example: If you change an element of your profile page, you’re hoping for a likely boost in followers. Like on Twitter, you could track the Impressions, new followers, or even the Likes, Mentions, Retweets and Favourites that the post got.

 

Other Social Media tests may call for another defined metric.

 

2. Content Order Mix Up

We all agree that it’s often surprising what goes viral. One day it’s a cat playing the piano and the next it’s a touching advert for chewing gum. Therefore it is important to vary for strategy with different approaches.

 

Below is an example test plan on Twitter for a consecutive number of weeks.

 

Times: Week 1: Week 2: Week 3:
9am Tweet a humorous picture Tweet about your business Tweet about your business
12 Noon Tweet a quote Tweet a quote Tweet a quote
5pm Tweet about your business 2nd Tweet about your business Tweet a story you like

 

At the end of each weeks, see if the tweets from your different types of content helped or hurt your social media and from this you can drill down what your market is responding to, humor, inspiring quotes, information about your business etc.

 

3. Repeat a Tweet

I know it sounds strange, but consider repeating your important tweets, links or posts at least three times. The trick is to use different headlines with each post, keeping the links the same. This will increase your chance of being seen by your prospects. Research has found that you can get up to 56% more visitors from Twitter by tweeting a post a second time.

 

For example, a post title could change like this:

  • SEO shortcut in 5 easy steps
  • Need help with SEO here’s a helping hand

4. Frequency

 

One of the most common questions in social marketing is “how often should I post?” or “how many times should I posts on said social media site?”. This very much depends on you target market and user activity. If you post to often you might scare some away, if you post to little you look inactive and lose followers anyway, so you must be careful. This is why it’s important to test your posts frequency and analyse their engagement to make informed decisions on when next to post.

 

Twitter

 

  • Start by tweeting 1- 4 times a day
  • Then for another week try tweeting 1- 4 times in an hour for the whole day

 

Facebook

 

  • Start by posting once every 2 days
  • Then for another week try posting once everyday

 

Test this for a period of 2 weeks and check your results. Over the time analysed you will be able to see which post frequency suits your target market.  

5. Profile Changes:

If you’re getting lots of views to your profile and not much growth in following, it maybe time to change up your profile page. On social media, our profiles tend to get updated/revamped every year or so. Changing your profile keeps it fresh and exciting for your followers, so they will know you are active on this network which will encourage them to revisit and see what’s changed. If you add hashtags and change your bio, it can help you be found by other prospect followers when they search or use hashtags. The way your profile is displayed is another way the customer can explore your brand and as we have limited control over social networks as a whole we need to use whatever we have.

 

Try making these simple changes to your profiles and check the results.

  • Change your location
  • Change your cover photo
  • Include @-mentions in your bio – Add a @ and the username to tag a person or brand this can help to get your brand out there.
  • Change your profile picture
  • Include hashtags in your bio – hashtags are an easy way to organise your tweet in the Twitterverse, just add # followed by the word of choice for example #pizza
  • Vary the length of your bio
  • Add a call-to-action and link to a landing page in your bio
  • Change the text of your bio

 

Keep it fresh and try to change it at least twice a month and always check the results to see what worked best.

 

Now we’ve gone through some of the methods, let’s look at some of the tools available.

   

Tools I Recommend:

 

Do a side by side comparison:

 

Fanpage Karma will analyse you and your competitors’ accounts across

 

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Instagram

YouTube

Pinterest

 

They have a free plan that offers a 90-day analysis for a page and a dashboard for any number of competitors.

 

Klear serves as an influencer-identification platform. Search for influencers by skill and/or location and Klear will generate 10 influencers in multiple categories (celebrities, power users, casual, etc.).

 

Sign in through your Twitter account, and then on the right side, you can opt to see the analysis for your account or any Twitter handle you choose.

 

The tool will determine how many tweets to analyse. It’s usually a high number, often in the thousands, though the account’s activity level will determine how far back in time it goes. If the account doesn’t tweet very often, the analysis will cover a longer time frame, sometimes up to a few years.

 

  • Facebook Insights:

Available for all users, Facebook Insights show you the full stats behind your posts, your fans, and your reach. You can click on the “people reached” text at the bottom of any individual post in your timeline to see the full stats.

 

To get to Insights, click the Insights tab in the menu bar at the top the page.

 

The main reason for Google Analytics is for analysing website traffic data. You can dig into the referral stats on your social media marketing as well.

 

Click through to Acquisition > Social, and you can check out how many visits your site receives from each social network. If you’ve added goals to your Google Analytics you can see the direct impact of social on the goals.

 

  • Twitter analytics:

Twitter gives a 28-day overview of how your tweets have performed. You can export all the data and run reports. Clicking on any individual tweet in your list will show a complete breakdown of every element of engagement on the tweet, including clicks on URLs, clicks on your username, clicks on images, expanded details, and a bar chart for engagement over the first 24 hours and the past 24 hours.

 

  • Pinterest analytics:

On the Pinterest analytics dashboard, you can see insights into everything. The dashboard shows growth in impressions and followers, audience stats, and website engagement.

 

To access Pinterest analytics, log in to Pinterest and go to analytics.pinterest.com.

 

Social Report has an overview of all of your activity on 19 supported social networks, you can also track new topics, ROI, and export the data into a report.

Free 30-day trial and plans starting at $9/month.

 

The popular Moz comes with a built-in social media analytics tool. Their social dashboard tracks network size, engagement. Free 30-day trial and plans starting at $99/month.

 

Let us know how these tests work for you or leave a comment on any other tests methods you’ve tried in the past.