I am pleased to be here writing my first ‘official’ ProspectMX blog post on a subject that I truly love – Twitter!
If you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about, maybe we should start with a brief explanation. Twitter is a ‘Micro-Blogging’ / Social Media, kinda thing. You can follow people that interest you… and “Tweeple” can follow you. I know that’s a pretty basic explanation… but I have lots to cover so moving along.
I’ve been using Twitter since March of ’07. Now that the company is on the radar, and even CNN & Fox News have been quoting their twitter streams on live newscasts, I think it’s time for the average everyday SEO Joe to make sure that your clients / customers are efficently using this FREE service. So where to start?
- Pick a memorable username (maybe the name of your company?)
- Spend 10 minutes making a custom background
- Check out Twellow – align yourself w/ ppl that interest you
- Speak your mind (be transparent!)
- Do get a TwitPic account (Uber Cool)
- Don’t become a Tweethead! – it’s okay to go offline from time to time.
Okay now why pick a memorable username? Well for 1 – branding. @neoblog is much easier to remember than @h4X0r (maybe a bad example, but just like when you decide on a domain name your twitter username should be brandable and easy to remember).
A standard background makes you stand out about as much as the rest of the flock… @jimkrukal has some custom twitter templates where you can set your background up like a business card.
Twell0w – in 3 words – Twitter Yellow Pages. Mike McDonald visited us on SEO 101 to talk about Twellow in greater detail… point is this is something that you’re going to want to use in my little tutorial “How to Become a Twitter Rockstar.” So keep that URL handy.
Speak Your Mind – I can’t stress this more. This is probably the most important part of being a real “twitizen.” If you’re helping a client w/ social media and you’re just there to push your products… or you are a self-proclaimed ‘Guru’ or ‘Expert,’ and all you use your twitter account for is pushing your product… well then – YOU SUCK!
Seriously, if all you ever do is Tweet about how awesome you are… and how you are doing all this cool stuff and drop me URL after URL and tell me how I can buy your regurgitated ebook for 20% off – EPIC FAIL, you get unfollowed. Now on the other hand, if you are genuine… speak your mind, laugh when you want, make fun of yourself, share parts of your life (the good & the bad) then you are real. Be yourself, be real, be social.
TwitPic – Okay, I probably twitpic too much (some will say) but the great thing about twitpic is you can sign up for free… and get an email addy for your account. Here’s how you use it – attach that email created for you in the settings tab of TwitPic to your cellphone. Now my LG VU has a 1.3 megapixel camera on the back. When you are out and about, w/ 3 clicks I can – Shoot the pic – Choose TwitPic – Publish the pic. All in the span of about 20 seconds! Being able to take a picture at the top of Mt.Rushmore and sending that pic out to everyone that follows me on twitter… Priceless (no more waiting till you get home to a PC to pull out the card, edit the pics, publish to flickr, or your server – how ever you do it).
TweetHead? – Yeah it can happen to the best of us… Twitter is addicting, it can keep you up at night because you want to know what’s going to happen next. You will probably want to take a look at a few of the AWESOME Twitter tools out there. Here’s my personal faves:
- Twhirl (Adobe GUI for twitter) A+
- TweetStats (These guys Rock so hard!) A+
- Grader (This is just fun) btw my grade is a 95 as of this post.
- Zi.ma (URL shortener from @martinbowling) A+
There are literally hundreds more. For the sake of this turning into a blog post instead of a dissertation, I’ll try and wrap it up. How do I use all of this to become a Twitter Rockstar?
Step 1.) Register. Spend 10 min’s making a custom background. FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE! The idea here is to get others to follow you… if you don’t look interesting why would anyone follow you? Put a link to your blog, to your flickr stream, something interesting.
Step 2.) Open up Firefox (if you don’t have firefox… GET IT already, geesh). Go here and grab Greasemonkey – do the standard FF plugin install. Then head over to this page and grab a schweeeeet Greasemonkey script for Twitter. *Click on the link in the middle of the page that says “adding and managing your twitter friends.”
Step 3.) Go to Twellow and do a search… If you’re a designer, I’d search for ‘Design‘ and then take a look at how many Followers the top user(s) have. Click on the twitter profile link for one of them and check them out. Now if you like them… and some of the stuff in their thread, then simply click on their ‘Following’ (*remember we want to follow the people that the ______rockstar is following). Now you’ll notice a button on their list of people they follow that says “Add All Followers.” Click it, sit back and watch your following count go up.
But Dave, I can’t follow all of these people, it’s so confusing! This is why we use Twhirl. You can click on the @ button to see anything directly said to you… (it helps to drown out some of the noise on twitter). Also IMPORTANT – ***DO NOT OVER FOLLOW***! I wouldn’t follow more than 1,200 people in 24 hrs. Follow 2k and you will be banned as a spammer.
Ok, now what? Well pretty simple really. Just sit back, relax… tweet some, but don’t do anything major for another 72 hours. Don’t repeat the process – because we’re not finished yet. Alright, 72 hours has come and gone. Now you have quite a few new followers.
Step 4.) Go to your own profile and click on your “Following” link – you will notice some buttons across the top of your page – Cancel | Drop All Non-Mutuals | Show Mutual Status. So go ahead… drop all of the tweeps that aren’t following you back. Wait a few weeks to a month and repeat the process. I personally have done this twice…
The first time I had 200+ followers and was following 60ish so I had a 60/200 ratio (that’s a good spot to be in… but still pretty weak) So I followed my co-host who’s been pushing her twitter acct to the MAX for a long time… @cshel. Now a lot of her tweeps followed me back – I’m assuming cause they listen to the show or just didn’t know what my twitter acct was. Either way, it raised me from a 60/200 to a 322/544. Pretty freakin schweet if you ask me! Now I did this about 3 months ago. I just rinsed and repeated 48 hrs ago. (if you’re following along that means I’m going to be dropping ppl soon).
First, I like Martin Bowling and what he has to say on Twitter, so I went and followed the people he follows. At the start of this I was @ 322/544 and here 48 hours later I’m at 958/684. That’s not huge, but I expect the number to grow in the next few days. Plus, I’ve met a TON of kewl tweeps 😉
As if this post wasn’t long enough, I wanted to share one more thing that I tried this time. In an effort to reduce rescission, I made a quick video, put it on it’s very own page on my blog, and made a welcome message. Every time someone new follows me I get an email (well 140 new emails of new people following me) so I copied and pasted this to everyone that followed me –
Thanks for the follow! I made you a 30 second Twitter Welcome Video – http://neo1seo.com/tweeple Thanks again…David Brown
Here’s the result of that little test… 99% positive response, 1 neg (sorry, I think my lifecasting locked up an olderish PC). So now that you’ve made it all the way through that post, I’d be interested to see if you have any other tips, tricks, or questions for us? Our entire office is now embracing Twitter… we love it, it’s fun, social, and great for networking!