EDITOR’S NOTE: Part one in a two part series, Marisa Peacock explores some best practices on tweeting effectively.
Thanks to platforms like Twitter, users are able to effectively share information, promote awareness and provide resources. Learning how to stand out in a crowd populated by millions of Tweeters can seem daunting.
Whether you’re tweeting on behalf of yourself, blog, school or company, Twitter affords everyone the same access and opportunity. However, those who are most proactive about their Twitter strategy can expect to reap the biggest rewards.
Here are a few ways to help you tweet effectively so that you can begin to maximize your efforts online.
1 Position Yourself as an Authority
It’s advisable that before you begin to tweet that you figure out just what it is that youâ€™ll talk about. Sure, there are thousands of users who choose to talk about nothing in particular, but presumably you have something specific to say.
For companies, tweeting about products and services can appeal to customers. For bloggers, promoting your blog can redirect users back to it. For schools, since Twitter is also a part of your marketing and communication strategies (it is, isn’t it?) can be used as to attract attention and redirect others back to your site.
However, talking about yourself, blog, school or company, can be boring, not to mention self-involved. True, you have a product and persona to sell, but it’s also important to show that you are engaged with other things. For example, a web designer may promote her services, but should also share links to articles about web design, typography and other relevant topics. By sharing information, your audience can start to develop a better sense about you and your company.
For educators, it’s important to emphasize a school’s expertise and academic strategies, as well as to demonstrate community engagement and interest in current events that may impact education. By linking to stories, which showcase the school’s efforts, as well as those of its students, a school can begin to assert itself as a leader. If your school caters to a niche audience (i.e., single-sex education, alternative learning), promote information that supports your school’s efforts.
The more you begin to share resources to sites other than your own, the more connected you will become and likely a trusted authority.
2 Retweet in Moderation
The ability to retweet or quote another’s post while attributing it to the appropriate source can be an effective Twitter technique when used in moderation.
Retweeting helps build collaborative networks, designed to promote others’ content and information. It shows that you read and engage with links shared by others, and have deemed it worthy of repeating. Instead of taking credit for it, retweeting lets you promote the content and the source.
Before retweeting anyone’s post or links, here are a few tips:
- Click on links and read the information to verify that indeed it’s worth sharing. The title may be misleading and it’s not wise to assume that any article is as witty or informative as its title suggests.
- If you don’t know the user, company or school behind the Twitter handle, check their user profile first to make sure that they are legitimate and not a spammer. If you are unsure as to who they are or what they represent, refrain from reposting, as to avoid any awkward future discoveries about the user. If your company or school considers itself to be a-political, it’s probably best not to repost tweets by partisan organizations, bloggers, etc.
- If more than one user has retweeted an article or posting, consider using the original source (where it was published), rather than all or one of the individuals that have retweeted. As well, if many people have shared the same link in a short amount of time, it may not be necessary to retweet it.
- Make the retweet your own, by adding a comment or editing the tweet to make it shorter and more readable. By adding a comment like “Great read — learned a lot” before the retweet shows that you’ve read it and are making a recommendation.
more to come….