Nov 20, 201409:43 AMThe Web Chef's Cafe
with Paul Gibler
10 tips for using Twitter
(page 1 of 2)
Twitter celebrated its eighth anniversary on March 6. Since its founding as Twttr, a name based on the popular photo-sharing site Flickr, the microblogging platform has continued to evolve. Today it has more than 271 million monthly active users who spend an average of 170 minutes per month on the site. These users send out around 500 million tweets per day.
Twitter’s continued evolution has forced early adopters and newbies alike to stay on top of the many tools and techniques that are either built into the platform or accessible through third-party applications. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 10 tips to improve your usage of Twitter.
- Advanced search: Twitter has an advanced search function that can be used to track competitors, #hashtags, your own brand(s), keywords, and various topics of interest. The advanced search function helps you avoid the unique search operators that can annotate a regular search with more granular results. For example, you can search for tweets from a particular account by using from:accountname or search for tweets containing an exact search phrase with the use of quotations surrounding the “search phrase.” These operators have proven difficult to remember, thus encouraging the development of the advanced search function that provides the shortcuts to avoid knowing the needed operator.
You can also save the search parameters so that you can more quickly access the search results on a future visit.
- Automate some functions: Through the use of third-party provider IFTTT (If This Then That), you can set up automatic rules or “recipes” that can facilitate your usage within and across social media channels.
For example, you might consider selective cross-posting using the IFTTT recipe that’s designed to send your tweets to Facebook by simply adding the code #fb into a tweet.
Another recipe that IFTTT provides is an automatic thanks to new followers once they follow you on Twitter. You can customize this recipe with your own message.
- Create and/or participate in a #tweetchat: You might consider staging a periodic Twitter discussion topic and setting up a #tweetchat with a relevant #hashtag so that your followers can interact with you and others on that topic during the scheduled time. There are many existing #tweetchats that can give you ideas on how these are being conducted. Often a moderator poses a question and participants provide their insights via Twitter.
An example of a publication experimenting with a sponsored Twitter chat was @Shape_Magazine promoting a sponsored chat on healthy hair.
- Create, follow, and embed lists: Many people forget that Twitter gives you the ability to segment your total followers into lists based on some common criteria like location, type of business, must-follow accounts, etc. You can also benefit from the curation of others who have created lists that you can follow on a particular topic, discipline, etc. In addition, if you identify a particularly useful list that you or someone else has created, you can embed that list into your website with the embed code.
For example, one of my most-followed lists — B2B Marketing, which has 161 subscribers and 571 members — aggregates social media accounts that focus on B2B content. It includes information from publishers, advertising agencies, marketing experts, and others.
- Delete a tweet: Occasionally, users regret sending out tweets because they see them as misguided, poorly timed, or inaccurate. You can delete your tweets by finding the tweet and locating the dropdown symbol for additional Twitter functionality including deleting, embedding, pinning, and emailing a tweet.
Functional options — delete, share, embed, pin
- Embed a tweet: The embed a tweet functionality allows you to take the embed code from a specific tweet and include that tweet in your website. Here’s a shot of the screen that appears with the embed code that you can cut and paste into your website.