Expert expo: Beginners guide to Twitter from Mark

Our Expert Expo this month is form Mark – social media superstar for B2B brands. Over to you Mark…
People underestimate Twitter, which is understandable if someone were to mention using it. You may think to yourself ‘why do I need to use it?’ It’s all too easy to set up a profile and start tweeting however, where do you go from there? I hope this guide will demystify Twitter for you and educate you on better ways to use it and help you realize its full potential.
Following The Right User
One of the first mistakes people make on Twitter is following the wrong users. When you start to follow people look at their profiles and check what they are tweeting, if they are just tweeting links and other useless content, then they are more than likely a robot.
If you start to follow this type of user, they will clutter your stream up and you will get less engagement. They may not even follow you back. A rule of thumb is you need genuine engaged users and useful content appearing on your Twitter line for you to share with your followers.
Look at their profile and see if they are re-tweeting other people’s content and mentioning other users. Look for a reasonable balance between followers and following. If they have 100 followers and are only following 10 people, chances are they won’t follow you back however, if their tweets are beneficial to you then it still may be worthwhile following them.
See how many lists they have been added to as this is another tell-tale sign that people may be interested in what they tweet – if lots of people have added them to their lists then it is likely their content will be useful or benefit you in some way.
Create Lists
Lists are an awesome feature of Twitter, you can use them for various reasons and there are two types, private and public ones. Public lists can be seen by anybody and private ones can only be viewed by you.
Once you have enough followers and they are engaging in what you are tweeting start looking for people that share your content and put them into a separate list so you can share their content – returning the favour.
Create lists of categories For instance, influencers, retweeters etc. This will make it easier for you to find the content you want to read and share, you will have content at your fingertips without having to spend ages looking for it. If you have influencers, in one of your lists have a look at their followers to see if there are any worth following using the rules that were mentioned earlier.
Why Use Hashtags
Hashtags can be used to follow a global interest, they allow you to see what people are talking about and make it easier for you to join a trend. People following that hashtag will see whatever you post using the hashtag. If the hashtag is popular it will become a trend which means alot of people are using it and viewing it.
Have Your Own Branding
If you’re a business it is important to have some branding on your Twitter profile, ensure your profile picture is relevant, it shouldn’t be pictures of random animals if that is not relevant to the message you are trying to get across. Change your background picture and cover image to something that represents your own brand.
Don’t leave your profile image as an egg as people will be less likely to follow you. Fill in your profile, describe who you are and what you do, add keywords that describe your niche. Make sure you have a link to your website if you have one, or another social media platform.
Be The Real You
When you’re on Twitter, use it as you would do in real life respect people and use good etiquette. You need to be genuine, otherwise people will see right through you. And may cause a loss of followers.
Have a Content Strategy
If you’re using Twitter for business, you need a content strategy, or some strategy, otherwise it will be a waste of time. Depending on your business will depend on what strategy you need, roughly 20% of your content should be based around your business, If you over promote your business people will become bored of seeing the same content over and over and unfollow you.
Twitter Tricks
There are other tricks that you can use on Twitter including linking your Facebook page to your account. The reason for doing this is that it increases the likelihood of people looking at your Facebook page and liking it.
Also, you could have an automatic direct message so when users follow you you can either thank them or ask them a question which will start a conversation. Some people aren’t too keen on this. It’s a matter of personal preference.
This Expert Expo was brought to you by Mark Corner is a social media manager, trainer, and consultant which offers B2B brands social media services. Find him on Twitter @markcoruk
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With thanks for the Header image: Flickr