March 7, 2009

How to use Twitter effectively ?

It has been more than a year since I am on Twitter but I was never caught in the the web of Twitdiction [Twitter Addiction].The first question that always comes to mind is "Who would read my tweet" and if at all someone reads my tweet, why would (s)he bother to reply me with a solution.But this turned out to be a misconception just like the one we have about Blogging.

For the past few days, there has been a steady growth in my T-follower count & T-following count, which gave a trigger to this article.

Below are my picks on how to make EFFECTIVE use of Twitter :

1. Use Twitter like LinkedIn:
LinkedIn has been a great tool for Business Networking[link here] and it is a place where you would find guys from the top to the bottom part of the corporate ladder.Seeing Twitter's phenomenal growth, you wouldn't be surprised to see the same set of people here as well.The idea is connect with them; check their followers list and follow the relevant people in their network. To take it further, Twitter is one step better in terms of transparency since you won't require the other person's email-id to follow him/her [exception is when the profile is locked].TweetSum is an awesome service that helps you more efficiently decide whether you should follow someone back once they've followed you on Twitter

2. Understand the time-zone :
Once you have established the network, you need to maintain it properly. How would a follower feel if you tweet "Good Morning tweeple,howz you?" and your follower in a different time-zone reads that in the night sad It is bound to happen that after irrelevant tweets like these you may loose a handful number of precious followers. We are no celebrities like @BarackObama or @ShahrukhKhan or @Padmashree Warrior etc.,that our followers would be interested in whether we had tea or doing coding or sitting with girlfriend; such tweets would surely bring down your follower count. This becomes very important when your precious followers are from various parts of the world.Though Twitter tag line says "What are you doing", it's meaning is much more than that !!!

3. Tweet & retweet relevant content :
This is an extension of the previous point, tweet[or even retweet] something meaningful which might be interesting and relevant to you & your network, keeping in mind that each tweet should bring in more RELEVANT followers on board[There should be some ROI for each tweet].Use HashTags or tags like [MY BLOG],[TECHNOLOGY],[STARTUPS] etc. wherever required so that uninterested followers won't spend time in reading that tweet.The crux is Tweet less , tweet relevant ...

4. PASSIONATELY LISTEN to your followers :
This would be the basic usage of Twitter and needs no elaboration. If you are a brand, it becomes necessary to look into what the Twitter(ers) are saying about your brand & be proactive enough to reply to their tweet.For example: Online travel company Cleartip was fast enough to respond to one of my tweets that referred them[Tweet here and Cleartrip's reply here], I really like their UI but this quick response doubles my liking for them.Freshbooks have proved that Twitter is a great platform to create passionate brand evangelists;their must-read case study here.

5. Use "Social Media Monitoring" tools for your links :
Being only limited to 140 characters, links that are posted on twitter have to be shortened using URL shortening services[list here].Though each service gives us a short URL, many a times it becomes important to know status of the link[how many read, percentage of people reading from different parts of the world etc.];to keep it simple-we need something like Google Analytics for short URL(s).These analytics would help you understand whether twitter is REALLY working for you & your brand. My personal favourite is Cligs, you can find the pros & cons of various services here

6. Maintain an effective Twitter background :
This just came out from my personal experience.Being passionate about Entrepreneurship, once I changed the twitter background to my current one; the number of followers increased at a very steady rate.Compare the profile page with RSS Feed; we read an article based on the title & it's relevance to us[even though the complete article may not be present in the feed !!!], similarly an effective backgound gives a clear idea about "THE REASON WHY YOU ARE ON TWITTER". This even saves the other person's time & his/her decision to connect with you becomes faster !!! TwitBacks also helps you creating custom Twitter backgrounds that would make your profile page more meaningful smile

7. MONITOR your twitter behavior :
One fine day, you realize that 'N' followers have stopped following you, hence before this happens it becomes necessary to check your TWIT(avior)- Twitter Behavior.TweetEffect helps in understanding which Tweet of your's caused a negative effect on your followers and helps you keep a check on your activity.

If you liked this article, we could get connected on Twitter & LinkedIn.

In case you have some more interesting points to add, please leave a comment and the same would be added to the main article [with due credit to the commenter].

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At Mar 10, 2009, 6:20:00 PM , Blogger saran said...

Beautifully explained the storming connector Twitter. I am with twitter for quite a long time about a Year.

But my strategies are different when it comes to using a different account with the soul aim of advertising about my company. Twitter helps in either way.

At Mar 10, 2009, 9:53:00 PM , Anonymous Vineesh said...

Wonderful explanation about your Twitter experience! :)

Beyond just providing content to your followers, Twitter is a perfect zone to ask for help or suggestions.

Additionally, in my opinion talking about random things in life, isn't necessarily a reason for drop in followers. Sometimes, sharing little happenings in life over Twitter helps to better bond with followers and helps make friends too.

Some of my random musings got me involved into a conversation and then the participants in the convo grew and as a result we all had a good increment in the number of followers and followings. :)

Keep up the great article! :D And looking forward to more of such articles.

Best Regards,

At Mar 11, 2009, 10:04:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Advertising is also about building relations, you need to catch the right place to advertise else it looks like a spam. It would be great if you can share your views on how you do the same.

Thanks for dropping by and hoping to see you back.

-Himanshu Sheth.

At Mar 11, 2009, 10:06:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rightly pointed out, Twitter is a great tool to build useful conversations and also getting valuable feedback.May be I missed that point, I would edit my article with this point.Like Dell which made $1 Million through Twitter, it is also a great place to highlight some offers that you have for your product :)

Thanks for the appreciation.

-Himanshu Sheth.

At Mar 12, 2009, 5:36:00 PM , Anonymous Hrush said...

Himanshu--glad to hear that Cleartrip's little Twitter experiment is paying off, even if it's in small ways.

We've definitely been enjoying our Twitter experience--it's a great platform for engaging customers in dialogue and learning more from them in order to improve our products.

At Mar 13, 2009, 1:48:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is nice to see your comment on the blog. This makes me a bigger fan of ClearTrip.I have been a loyal customer of Clartrip & this comment makes me feel that I should be an evangelist as well :)

Keep up the great work, you guys rock !!!

-Himanshu Sheth

At Mar 15, 2009, 8:57:00 PM , Anonymous Soumya Nandy said...

Hi Himanshu. If Im not mistaken you're from the IMT 97 batch. Im from 98. I actually found you on Twitter. This is a good how to Twitter.I've been on Twitter since Mar 07 and really seen it grow, especially in the last 3 months.

At Mar 18, 2009, 6:19:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for my delayed reply, had been busy off-late.

I guess you are mistaken :) You can check my LinkedIn profile , let's get connected there.Blogging is a good platform where accidentally two good people meet :)

I am loving twitter more so after I shifted to Twitter :)

Would await your comment/invitation.

-Himanshu Sheth.

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At May 9, 2009, 10:17:00 PM , Blogger workhard said...

Hi.. those are some really good tips.. i read about twitter all the time.. im really bad at it though

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At Nov 19, 2009, 4:01:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice - easy to follow, simple, and working. Thanks for the knowledge!
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At Feb 22, 2010, 1:37:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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