Ultimate Guide To Running Twitter Account
In this article, I will cover Twitter’s core features, terminology and profile set up. Then we’ll talk through the qualities of an optimized Tweet and other best practices for marketing on the platform.
Twitter is a social network that enables its users to send and read short posts called “tweets” on a public platform. Part of what differentiates Twitter from the other social platforms is that it is very conversational in nature due to the fast-paced, real-time dimension of users’ Timelines. Twitter also introduced hashtags to the socialsphere, which made it a great place to discover content.
Let’s talk through the key terms for marketing on Twitter:
- Profile: Your Twitter Profile is the public presence any individual, brand, organization or celebrity creates in order to communicate and engage with others across the Twitter platform.
- Twitter Bio: A succinct description appearing in your profile that serves to characterize your personal or brand persona on Twitter. It must be 160 characters or less.
- Tweet: The communication unit on Twitter and is limited to 140 characters, but they are considering doubling the length to 280 characters and are currently using specific profiles to test its efficacy.
- Retweet: A Tweet from another user that is shared publicly with your followers.
- Quote Tweets: Retweets with additional comments added (up to 140 characters) before posting.
- Top Tweets: Those which are most popular or resonant with users, selected by the Twitter algorithm.
- Reply A direct response to another user’s Tweet which begins with the @ symbol followed by their username and then your response. Conversation replies are ranked out of interest, meaning that some replies in a conversation are not shown in chronological order. Replies are also grouped by sub-conversations to show the best content first, based on several factors such as interactions and likes.
Now that we’ve walked through the core features and terminology of Twitter, let’s dive into some of the more specific features relevant to marketers.
- Direct Messages: Otherwise known as DMs, are private messages supporting text, photos, links, emojis and Tweets, sent between users for one-to-one private conversations, or between groups of users. By default, Direct Messages can only be sent to users who are following you on Twitter, but business accounts can opt to receive Direct Messages from anyone.
- Twitter Home Timeline: This is a newsfeed displaying a real-time stream of Tweets from accounts you are following on Twitter in chronological order.
- TweetDeck: A very useful scheduling tool and interface to view multiple timelines/hashtag searches in one place.
- Geo-tagging: The act of stamping the location details of where a Tweet was created which enables users to search for Tweets within a given area. This can be enabled or disabled.
- Moments: These are curated stories showcasing the very best of what’s happening on Twitter, customized and editable to show the current topics that are popular or relevant to the user.
- Image Descriptions: For visually impaired people, it’s important to have image descriptions applied to an image. They aren’t visible, but they’re accessible via assistive technology like screen readers and braille displays.
- Connect: Provides a fast and easy way to connect you to accounts you may be interested in, or to reconnect you with old friends on Twitter through your device’s address book.
Mute Words: A feature that allows users to stop receiving notifications for mentions based on specific words, phrases, usernames, emojis or hashtags.
- Twitter Trend: This is a particular subject or conversation topic that is popular around the globe or a specific area used to classify Tweets on the platform and increase their visibility.
- Twitter Lists: Curated groups of Twitter users, organized by specific topics, interests or locations.
- Quick Replies: These are prompted users with the best ways of replying to a Direct Message, whether it’s choosing from a list of options or guiding users to enter specific text values.
- Twitter Search: A function that allows users to find Tweets related to specific handles, keywords and hashtags.
- Twitter Notifications: A function that alerts users when their handle has been mentioned, reTweeted or direct messaged.
- Welcome Messages: Messages that greet people and sets expectations as they enter a Direct Message conversation.
- Twitter Card: An enhanced version of a Tweet that enables the attachment of media to Tweets for the purpose of driving traffic to your website. There are 4 types of cards: the Summary Card, the Summary Card with Large Image, the App Card, and the Player Card.
- Periscope: A live-streaming social app acquired by Twitter which lets users broadcast and explore the world through live video and social interactions.
To create a Twitter profile you’ll need a: handle, header photo, profile photo, handle/URL, bio, location, website, theme colour…and if you’re a person, not a brand, a birthday.
To customize, you must fill inaccurate bio information, choose an appropriate profile and cover photos, add location data, and your website URL. Being concise and succinct is king on Twitter – be sure to keep your handle succinct, brand-strong and recognizable and your bio 160 characters or less.
Keep in mind that your Twitter handle is also used as part of the Twitter URL used in promoting any Twitter presence. As such, your Twitter handle should be succinct, brand-strong and recognizable.
An optimized Tweet first and foremost should be very concise – you must stay within the designated character count or your tweet will not be published. Similar to Facebook, your Tweet should be topical and relevant and have an explicit call-to-action. Keep your Tweet simple and to the point for maximum impact.
With regard to hashtags, aim to have no more than two – the more hashtags used, the less space you have for other commentary and the more spammy your Tweet seems. Just like Facebook, posts with rich media stand out in the Home Timeline, so be sure to include photos, GIFs or a video in your Tweet.
Now that we know how to craft the optimal Tweet, let’s discuss some other best practices for publishing on Twitter.
1.Take care and pay attention when you’re posting as Tweets are un-editable and would need to be deleted if a mistake is made, losing all accrued engagement.
2.Tweet in response to existing conversations using hashtags to increase discoverability and visibility.
3.Add geo-location data to your Tweets where appropriate to make your message more relevant.
4.Leverage the Tweet Activity dashboard to track engagement in real-time. You can compare your Tweet activity and followers, and see how they trend over time. Click on any Tweet to get a detailed view of the number of Retweets, replies, likes, follows or clicks it receives, get detailed insights into who your audience and engagers are and even export your metrics.
5.As mentioned character real estate on Twitter is crucial – utilize link shorteners to maximize Tweet space.
I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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