Twitter came of age in 2010, growing at a scorching pace—from 75 million users at the beginning of the year to more than 190 million by the end of December. Twitter is used (officially) in 65 of the Fortune 100 companies, 63% of small to midsized businesses, and nearly half of all B2B enterprises.
As adoption skyrockets, marketers are striving to optimize their use of the world’s most popular microblogging platform. And that leads to questions, like: What are the best ways to attract more (relevant) followers? What types of information are worth sharing, beyond blog posts? Which companies are really succeeding on Twitter, and how are they doing it? How can I get more retweets? What’s a Twitter chat, and how do I participate in one? Which are the most helpful third-party tools for Twitter?
Get the answers to these questions and more here in some of the best Twitter guides, tips and tools of the past year.
How to Get More Followers on Twitter
How to grow your Twitter following by iMedia Connection
***** 5 Stars
Based on research, Courtney Wiley reveals what type of content to tweet, when to tweet it, and the ideal frequency of tweeting to use in order to grow a Twitter following.
A selection of the Twitterati share their advice—ranging from short snippets to fairly detailed guidelines—on how to grow your Twitter following. Robert Scobel, Dan Schawbel, Peter Shankman and many of the others are legit no doubt, though a few of the “power users” here are questionable. Still, lots of good advice.
Darko Johnson shows how to apply the principles of effective landing page design to your Twitter profile in order to increase the likelihood that people who see your profile will choose to follow you.
20 ways to increase the number of your followers on Twitter by Web SEO Analytics
Wisely warning against the use of automated programs or techniques, Vasilis Vryniotis offers 20 “white hat” best practices for increasing your Twitter following naturally, such as promoting your Twitter handle in online and offline locations (your blog, website, email signature and business cards), adding yourself to Twitter directories, and perhaps most important: mentioning and thanking the people who help you.
Why 150 Followers Is All You Really Need by TwiTip
Then again, do you really need more followers? Srinivas Rao uses the theory of Dunbar’s Number to argue that 150 followers is all one needs on Twitter. The author makes an intriguing case, but I’m not sure I buy it (particularly given that he follows over 1,300 people on Twitter).
How to Do Lots of Other Things on Twitter
16 bitchin’ commands and shortcuts for Twitter by eConsultancy
Want to quickly see the last tweet from a particular Twitterer? Or the most recent tweets mentioning that person? How about performing advanced searches on Twitter, like exact match, either/or, hyper-local (with x miles of…), or find questions you can answer? Chris Lake shows you how to do all of this and much more with these helpful Twitter shortcuts.
40 useful things you can share on Twitter besides blog posts by Social Media Today
Frequent best-of contributor Adam Vincenzini contends that “the more unusual and varied your stream is, the better—both for you and your followers.” And with that in mind, he lists more than three dozen types of items you can share on Twitter other that stuff from your RSS stream, such as a new app or tool (with a quick tweet review), an interesting hashtag or discussion, an interesting/relevant YouTube video or a link to a Twitter list you think is worth following.
7 Really Cool Things About the New Twitter by Social Media Today
Tia Peterson praises seven features of the new Twitter interface (such as the “Recently Listed” box, easy DM replies, and ability to send a tweet from any page) but also cites three areas that still need improvement.
How Many Times Do You Tweet Your Blog Post? by Ask Aaron Lee
Most bloggers tweet each of their posts only once. How many times should a post be tweeted? In this post, Aaron Lee and Guy Kawasaki recommend an ideal frequency, backed up with some highly logical reasoning. Spock would approve.
How Twitter increased my blog’s traffic by 300% in one week by MackCollier.com
Ever wonder exactly what impact Twitter can have on blog traffic? Mack Collier details an experiment he ran and shares the nitty gritty numbers and percentages, as well as the process he used, concluding “even if you only have 100 followers, you can still leverage Twitter as a tool to build your blog IF you are active on Twitter. Active interacting with others, engaging in conversations, and linking to valuable content.”
13 Twitter Tips for Increasing Engagement by Sazbean
Sarah Worsham lists helpful tips for increasing engagement and growing your following on Twitter, such as sharing and retweeting, asking questions, attending tweetups and using Twitter directories to find people in your industry.
As Mark Schaefer explains, “There are MANY benefits to Twitter besides direct sales. You might gain information, competitive intelligence, insight, a new supplier or partner, publicity, brand awareness, an idea, customer insights, and yes, even a potential customer. And while all of these are great, most are intangible and difficult to display in an Excel spreadsheet! So why keep trying to do it?…When benefits are difficult to quantify, the best way to explain the value is through a story.”
8 Ways to Not Get ReTweeted by HubSpot Blog
Dan Zarrella uses extensive HubSpot research to show that practices like talking about yourself, dumbing down the readability of your tweets, eschewing links, and repeating the same things everyone else is saying are great ways to avoid being retweeted.
26 Twitter Tips for Enhancing Your Tweets by Social Media Examiner
***** 5 Stars
Debbie Hemley provides a highly creative A-Z list of practical tips for maximizing the business impact of your tweets, from Answers and Behind-the-Scenes info to utilizing YouTube and a Zippy Writing Style.
4 Rules for Marketing on Twitter by Practical eCommerce
Paul Chaney reveals the “unwritten” rules for earning influence on Twitter, for example: “Don’t Follow Just to Pitch. A distasteful trend has developed among newer Twitter users. For example, people are following me and when I respond in kind, their first tweets are frequently to pitch me on a website they want me to visit or a service they provide…If you want a formula for how marketing via Twitter and other social networks should work, it’s this: Connect > Converse > Convert.”
The brilliant but oblivious Rand Fishkin illustrates how to calculate your Twitter click-through rate (CTR) and notes some findings from his own experience: shorter tweets and those that are on-topic (whatever your primary topic is) tend to get retweeted more frequently. Somewhat surprisingly, Klout scores appear to have little correlation with retweet rates.
Twitter Dictionary | 35 Twitter Abbreviations by Bit Rebels
Primarily for Twitter newbies, Diana Adams defines nearly three dozen common Twitter / texting abbreviations such as DM (direct message), IRL (in real life) and Gr8 (self-explanatory).
Typecasting Twitter: 7 Top Uses by iMedia Connection
Noting that “Twenty nine percent, one in every three tweets yields some kind of reaction—comments, re-tweets or clicks. Ten percent prompt a reply to the original tweet. These are direct marketing nirvana numbers,” Daniel Flamberg dissects research to isolate the seven most common uses of Twitter.
How to Participate in a Twitter Chat Session like #BlogChat or #AgChat by ag – a colorful adventure
For those who haven’t participated in a Twitter chat session before, Janice Person provides clear, step-by-step instructions for getting setup, using controls, and keeping up with the stream of conversation.
3 Absolutely Cool Twitter Search Tricks to Help You Save Money! by Sexy Social Media
In this helpful but brief post, Annie Wallace shares three clever Twitter search tricks you may not be aware of.
Best of 2010: 14 Ways Every Business Should Be Using Twitter by Inkling Media
Ken Mueller lists 14 practices businesses can adopt to optimize their benefit from Twitter, such as providing customer service, promoting events and monitoring competitors.
20 Top Twitter Monitoring and Analytics Tools by Pamorama
Pam Dyer serves up brief reviews of more useful Twitter tools including Twitscoop (trend-monitoring), TweetBuzzer (identifies popular brands on Twitter), Twitter Analyzer (kind of like Google Analytics for Twitter) and Tweeps (get stats that help you decide who to follow—or not—and find people you’d like to have following you).
How to Add a Tweet Button Anywhere by SitePoint
While there are several easy avenues to placing a Tweet button on a blog, Alyssa Gregory supplies simple instructions for adding Tweet buttons in other venues like emails, PDFs and Facebook pages.
Young Yang reviews free tools for scheduling tweets, like FutureTweets, HootSuite and SocialOomph. It’s important to remember that Twitter is a social platform, so your followers will expect interaction; if you’re busted relying too heavily on automated or pre-scheduled tweets, you will lose followers. However, these tools can be very helpful if used strategically and sparingly.
Sridhar Ramunajam provides quick reviews of five helpful Twitter tools including dlvr.it for auto-publishing blog content to Twitter and TweetStats, which provides stats about your account (e.g., tweets per hour, tweets per month, tweet timeline) in graphical format.
Shannon Albert makes the case for using Twitter itself rather than a third-party app (e.g., HootSuite or TweetDeck) for interacting on Twitter: it’s faster, has no limits on Tweets per hour and lets you see other users’ custom backgrounds among other advantages.
All You Need to Know About Twitter in 2010 [Infographic] by Mediabistro
Lauren Dugan presents an infographic from Flowtown that reviews Twitter highlights of 2010, from Bill Gates setting up a Twitter account in January through celebrity digital death at year end.