Let’s be honest here, who doesn’t have a twitter account? Let’s also be honest about this, who really feels like they’re getting the most out of their twitter account? Have you ever sat back and tried to figure out how Justin Bieber has 45 million followers and counting or how a company like YouTube has 34 million people that they can reach out and connect to at any point? Whether you want to improve your personal account or beef up your company’s following, there are a couple of rules that I suggest you follow.
1. The shorter the handle, the better.
To get someone to follow you, they will need to either know your full name or your twitter handle and the handle is by far the easiest way to find someone because it’s unique to the one person. When picking a handle, try to make something that’s short and sweet. According to Media Bistro “While your Twitter username can be a maximum of 15 characters, ideally it should be as short as possible”. For example, mine is
@Trill_Hogan and all of my followers can recognize that handle is me when it pops up. Good luck trying to get someone to remember your @B3auty64820458 handle… On that note, if you already have an embarrassingly long handle, don’t fret, you can change it at any time but be careful, if you change you’re twitter handle everyday, you lose the possibility of people following you. A good example of a company’s twitter handle would be @Oreo and if you can’t figure out where that will lead you than I suggest you reevaluate your life.
2. To tweet or not to tweet? This is the real question.
Keep in mind that your twitter account is a direct way to look into someones business or someones personal life so don’t screw up people perception of you. On a personal level, I see a lot of college kids going on twitter to show how much of a good time they’re having at a party or showing how much they can drink. I’ve looked at these tweets and thought what the hell are you doing? I know for a fact that a couple of my jobs throughout college have looked at my twitter account to make sure I wont make their company look bad. According to businessesgrow.com “If your job is to be your official company Twitterer, you may have marching orders to follow a role or social media policy that has you tweeting behind a logo. Here’s what you should do in that case: follow the company policy. Don’t lose your job over Twitter. You can still work to change attitudes over time”. As a company, it’s pretty simple, don’t post something that might make people look at you in a negative way. Twitter can be the best way to advertise if you do it right, in fact according to the New York Post, “A brand like Oreo, which went viral with a tweet during last Super Bowl’s blackout, showed the power of the service, becoming a marketing sensation for free on a night when companies paid millions of dollars to advertise”. Posting a picture of a work party probably won’t get you any new followers and neither will a picture of one of your employees dogs. Leave it off your account. Another question you might run into is how often should you post. In my opinion, this is where a company based account and a personal account differ the most. In a personal account, the frequency of tweets is a lot more forgiving so you can tweet basically as much as you want and you shouldn’t lose any followers and you might actually gain a few. As a company, you really have to watch how many times you tweet to the public because people are a lot more restrictive with how much they want to see your company’s feed on their homepage.
3. OMG my bff Jill. #NoNo #DontUse #LookAtThisHashtag
Hashtags are great but not when you use 50 of them in one tweet. The over use of hashtags can turn away a potential follower faster than you can post a tweet. There’s a reason why the biggest accounts only use one or two or very rarely use 3. It’s also important to know what to hashtag and why. A hashtag is an easy way for you to associate yourself with a word or short set of words. Dont hashtag something that you don’t want to be associated with, it could come back to bite you in the ass. Even though Howtohashtag.com says 2 hashtags at the max, they still support this theory “don’t overuse – use a maximum of two hashtags in your tweets or facebook posts. if you use too many your followers will think you are spamming them”.
Not all of us are going to make it to 43 million followers but this post should get you at least 43 new followers if you try. Good luck and keep tweetin’!