Thursday, 12 January 2012

How to use Twitter effectively.

Twitter isn't simply a place where you self indulge in the mundane things you do in a day. It also isn't a place where you just read what you're favourite celebrity does. It's one of the most effective social media websites there is today, and can really help you. Here's a few tips on Twitter, and why you shouldn't be scared of it because it doesn't have a wall or a place to tag friends.

What to do:

Your Twitter Name.

This can simply be your name (Mine's @KellyAlyse) or your blog's name (@TheFilmObsession, for example) - These are probably the most effective as when you start talking to people, they are immediately aware of you and will gain a sense of your personality. This is instead of names like "GlitterFairy64" because you're not really giving the person reading anything to reference, other than the fact that you're a glittery fairy.

Your 'About Me' section.

When people search for someone to follow on Twitter, the key words you put in your section will make you appear on their suggested list. For example, in my profile I have the words Film, PR, Student, Cupcake and Blog. If someone were to search "Film PR", I'd pop up on the list of suggested followers. Make it snappy, short and effective, and you'll soon have followers. If you want an example, mine is:

I study film full-time, sell cupcakes part-time and work in PR part-time. I write a blog, attend film related events... And I love lamp.

Who to follow.

Now, with the hundreds of celebrities on Twitter, it can be very easy to start following all of them, read what they say, and then forget to log on after a while - I did that when I first got it. But then I started this blog, and it all kicked off from there. Simply search what you're interested in - This can be from medicine, to bands, to films. You'll soon get a list of people who are doing similar things to you. Also, if you're wanting to be in a particularly competitive industry, like Film journalism for example, follow different outlets you're interested in. More often than not they will post jobs or work experience places available - It can be very helpful.

What to say.

Make what you say interesting, funny or informative. From there, you'll get followers and people will retweet you. If you follow someone who says something funny, retweet them or respond to them. You'll start a conversation, they might bring other people into the conversation, you'll build more followers, and then you go from there. You can also post things you do like new blog posts, new songs you've uploaded, or photos of something funny you've seen. Believe me, this is what will get people talking the most. 

Trending and Hashtags. 

Down the side of your profile, you'll see a list of 10 things that are currently 'trending' - This means those words are what people are tweeting the most at that point in time. For example "Blue Ivy" was trending when Beyonce gave birth as that is the name of their child, so people were typing "Blue Ivy" in their tweets. A hashtag is a similar thing, but you put a # symbol at the beginning of a group of words. For example #FilmsRepresentingMyVagina - This is a common game. Someone (me) will Tweet 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari #FilmsRepresentingMyVagina'. When you put a hashtag at the beginning of the set of words, they will highlight, create their own page, and anyone that tweets with that same hashtag will also appear in that highlighted page. 

How often to Tweet.

This can be the making or breaking of how successful you are with Twitter. If you don't say enough, people will lose interest and unfollow you. If you say too much, you'll bombard people's news feeds and they'll unfollow. Keep your tweets interesting, keep in contact with people and respond to someone if they tweet you. That's as simple as it is. There's always going to be people interested in what you're saying, just make sure you've got all the above and you'll build a good network.

Things to avoid: 

- Too much self promotion - People are aware of what you do already.

- Follow Me Back teams - If people want to follow you, they will.

- Being creepy and wanting to know too much - Just, don't. You'll get blocked and banned.

- Spamming or clicking on spam - You'll just regret it.

- Getting annoyed if people don't respond to you - Come on, not everyone is reading every tweet you do.

- Linking Twitter with your Facebook if you tweet a lot - Facebook isn't made for uploading something every 5 minutes, people there don't want to read your tweets.

- Saying or posting really inappropriate things - A little inappropriateness is fine, as long as its funny.

- Giving too much personal information away - Remember, these people are strangers essentially.

- Don't be this girl:

That's it - Now go enjoy Twitter.

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