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3 Reasons Why People Will Follow You on Twitter

So you created a Twitter profile, you’ve gotten a clever username and you’ve even figured out the special Twitter lingo and you’ve started to tweet.  Now what?

Now it’s time to build your following.  The best way to gain followers is a pursuit that’s been analyzed, studied and blogged about ad infinitum.  Many a social media expert has eschewed the best time of day to tweet, the most efficient use of hashtags, the perfect number of characters in a tweet, or the best social media apps to use to increase your Twitter following.

But let’s step away from the ever changing and sometimes conflicting stats and recognize that there is no one size fits all strategy.  There is however, a tried-and-true, slow-and steady-win- the-race approach that can be achieved if you follow these three basic principles:

1)   Your tweets are informative, entertaining and/or engaging. – By posting tweets that cause people to take action – be it think, smile, click, favorite, reply or retweet – you will establish yourself as a “source” that people will want to see in their newsfeed on a regular basis.

2)   You are consistent. – Assuming you’ve captured someone’s attention on Twitter and they have come to check out your profile, they will want to find that your Twitter timeline is regularly updated.  That doesn’t mean you have to post 20 times a day, but don’t expect someone to follow you if you haven’t posted a tweet since January.

3)   You follow them. – Twitter is a bit of “quid pro quo” network and you will gain more traction more quickly if you actively pursue and follow people who you would like to see in your newsfeed.  Equally important is to follow people back who have chosen to follow you if you think they are a good fit for the information that you seek to find on Twitter.

Gaining Twitter followers doesn’t happen instantly, but adhering to this authentic and organic method should help you increase your list faster than you thought possible.  Here are few more articles about best practices and gaining followers on Twitter.

I would love to hear from you in the comments as to what you have found is your most successful Twitter style?  Or if you are seeking followers, add your Twitter username below for more people to follow you.   Thanks.

Photo credit: John H. Buck (@wordupbuck)  a leader in leadership and an awesome brother-in-law.


Understanding Twitter Lingo

Are you part of the 40% of Twitter users who is rarely engaged and never tweets?

Do not fear, you are not alone.   Many people get intimidated by the not-so-intuitive Twitter language.  Confused by hashtags, usernames and re-tweets, many avoid tweeting for fear of doing it wrong.  They often end up abandoning their Twitter feed as too confusing to be worth their time.

But as Facebook becomes evermore complicated and populated with ads, you might find it’s worth re-visiting your Twitter account as a more resourceful and rich social media platform.

Here’s a quick look at a tweet and a Twitter glossary to get you up to speed on the basic elements of a tweet.

SheedTwitterLingo

Username/Twitter handle – Your ID on Twitter must be unique and contain fewer than 15 characters, no spaces. Is used to identify you on Twitter for replies and mentions.
Hashtag (#)  –  The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a post.  It is created organically (anyone can create a hashtag) as a way to categorize messages or posts of similar natures.  Examples:  #DarienCT #KYDerby #selfie

Retweet (RT) – The act of sharing another user’s Tweet to all of your followers.

Note: When you “tag” other Twitter users, include “hashtags” or links in your Tweet, all of these elements (highlighted in blue) will be actionable links once posted.  Including these elements also makes your Tweet more engaging and findable.

Here are a few other articles to help bring you up to speed on the basics of Twitter:

Now you’ve got the lingo, I challenge you to give Twitter another try.  I’ll make it easy – tag me (@sheesalt) in a Tweet and I will reply or Retweet!

Let me know how it goes in the comments or ask about any other challenges you face on Twitter.  Also, please consider sharing this article if you found it useful.  Thanks.

Making Time For Social Media

Last week, I was excited to speak at 341 Studios Roundtable Series about “Making Time For Social Media.”  January is the perfect month for entrepreneurs and small business marketing managers to gear up for growth with their social media and online marketing efforts.

After a brief discussion of the top six social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+, we launched right into the two most important tools for social media management: 1) a third party social media application (like Hootsuite or Buffer) and 2) an editorial calendar/checklist.

Are you using both of these tools in your social media management? Which ones?  Let me know in the comments. 

Content creation and Twitter tips from WEN Meet-up

One of the best parts about speaking to groups about social media and online marketing is that I always learn as much as I teach.  Not only do I get the opportunity to hear about the current challenges entrepreneurs and business professionals face but everyone shares best practices for solutions.

This past Friday was no exception when I spoke with the Westchester Women Entrpreneurs’ Network (WEN) on “Best Tips for Getting Connected Online.”    This dynamic, super-smart, well-connected group of small business owners, wellness practitioners and marketing professionals taught me a few things that are well worth passing along:

1)   Creating content with ease – If you are in need of some writing help with your business blog, WEN organizer Kathy Perkal recommended using Zerys, a content marketplace for writers and marketers.

2)   Twitter tracking – To more easily track your Twitter reach, Suzanna Keith of TechandTravelMom, suggested trying either TweetReach or HashTracking for insight, analysis and reports of Twitter campaigns and activity.

3)   LinkedIn resumesLiz Dowling of Sweet Marketing Associates shared the advice that profiles on LinkedIn shouldn’t show time gaps.  It is better, she advised, to note a career gap with details of volunteer and unpaid work than to show nothing at all.

If you are in the Westchester area, I highly recommend you check out this network of movers and shakers.   Next month, they will be hosting Emily McKhann, co-founder of The Motherhood, a digital PR and marketing agency with a network of thousands of highly influential online moms.  To make it even sweeter (pun coming), monthly meetings are held at Chocolations in Mamaroneck.  Yum!

Curious – What networking groups do you belong to?  Do they meet in real life or virtually?  What do you find most useful?  Please share with a comment – thanks.

What the #### is a hashtag?

For Facebook fans who have been happily living a hashtag-free life, fear not, Facebook’s announcement officially rolling out hashtags this week is not really bad news.  You might even find it to be a good thing, once you get the hang of it, and especially if use them to promote your work or business.

But first, the basics, what is a hashtag?
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a post.  It is created organically as a way to categorize messages or posts of a similar natures.  Examples:  #summer #Oscars #SuperBowl #TGIF

How do I use a hashtag?
People (and businesses) use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces)  so that their posts will be grouped into other similarly “hashtagged” posts when searched upon or clicked.   Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message  will show you other posts marked with that keyword or phrase.  It’s interesting to note these posts will not all necessarily be from your friends (I’m seeing quite a few business pages showing up – methinks that users might clamor for filters in the very near future.)

For those new to the hashtag world, here are some examples of hashtags from Twitter, Instagram and other social media networks that we might see creeping into Facebook:  #ThrowbackThursday #TBT #selfie #nowplaying.

And good news for those of you who auto-post across your social media networks (serious Ninja stuff), the hashtags will be recognized across all social networks.

For more information, background and details about hashtags in Facebook, please check out:
* Public conversations on Facebook – Facebook
* Hashtags finally get support from Facebook – Mashable
* Privacy and hashtags on Facebook – Mari Smith

Have hashtags been enabled in your Facebook account, yet?  If so, what is your first post with a hashtag?