Social Media is mainstream, we are connected socially in our personal lives, workplaces, our shopping, music, gaming, food, film etc preferences are all informed by and talked about in some form via a social media mechanism – and isn’t it awesome, being so connected with relevant, recent and real-time information, I love it.

My challenge to date has been investing time and energy into many social media products so I have rationalised with Facebook for personal stuff, LinkedIN for professional networking and Twitter, the social media tool crossing all of these boundaries as my primary news feed on anything and everything. Some weeks ago I wrote a post for people who just don’t get twitter, with an overview of accounts, tweets, followers, following and other basics you will need to understand once you start using Twitter. If you missed it here is a link:

This blog is trying to get you tweeting right now but there is a halfway house, you can have a Twitter account and just follow other people, get a feed of everything you might find interesting and use this to get the gist of what other people tweet about, who and what to follow and which #hashtags are really of interest before you start tweeting yourself.

Create a Twitter account:

  1. Create an account, make it uniquely relevant to you – this is your personal brand after all – or your companies brand – so make it relevant or make it catchy and memorable
  2. Personalise your account, edit your profile and write something meaningful about yourself in the Bio, brand up your page with a photo and header – this is your personality coming across, people do read what you have written here when they are checking you out
  3. Follow people you know, follow me if you like @OptimalHQ
  4. Look for other people to follow – it’s not a 1-1 relationship you can follow anyone. I use #HashTags to filter tweets I like the look of – eg: #leadership #smallbiz #womeninbiz #datavis – the follow the tweeters who I think will post things I am interested in
  5. Install the Twitter app on every device you use, so for me that’s my macbook, ipad and iphone
  6. Tweet something! anything, comment on something, post a link to your latest blog or just announce to everyone (and no-one at the same time) that you have joined twitter

Tweet with purpose:

  1. Pick a topic, a theme, a tone, a style – if you are a specialist on a topic tweet consistently about that to build up your personal brand. If like me you have loads to say on loads of topics:
  2. Use #HashTags – use them sparingly, #don’t #write #your #whole #tweet #with #hashtags, but do include at least 1-2 per tweet (remember point 4 above, people won’t find your tweets without #HashTags)
  3. Retweet things you agree with – retweet using “quotes” around the original tweet or RT at the start – but add value to your retweet with a #HashTag or comment.

Be friendly and polite – remember other people are out there trying to improve their profiles too and they appreciate the recognition:

  1. Follow people who follow you
  2. Thank people who Retweet your tweets (@OptimalBI thanks for the RT)
  3. Give credit when you can, include the source in your tweets if you are quoting or retweeting
  4. Consider the tradition of #FF #followfriday – I don’t but suggest you investigate it for yourself.

Right I have gone on long enough, get tweeting! do it, try it, you’ll get hooked. I will write another blog on how to get the most out of twitter with the minimal time investment sometime soon as well – it does have the ability to suck up loads of your time if you let it so watch out.

Below are some links to other blogs and articles on tweeting, they have different spins and suggestions so do have a read. Happy tweeting everyone. Vic (@OptimalHQ)