Best Twitter Tips, Tools and Tactics of 2009, Part 1

January 10, 2010

What are the four stages of Twitter enlightenment? How important is Twitter for business? How can you get more retweets and efficiently manage unfollowers? How exactly did Dell generate so much revenue by Twittering? What are the “secrets” of top corporate Twitterers?

Learn the answers to these questions and others here in more of the best blog posts and articles from last year on Twitter techniques, tools and tactics.

Sanity check: The four stages of a typical Twitter user by TechRepublic

Jason Hiner brilliantly summarizes the path to enlightenment of the typical Twitter newbie, from “confusion and indignation” through the use of tools and mobile messaging. Great advice for newbies, and experienced Tweeters will likely get a smile of recognition out of this post as well.

A Twitter Marketing Sanity Check by iMedia Connection

Yes, another Twitter “sanity check.” In this article, Daniel Flamberg explains why he is “stumped and frustrated” by Twitter (maybe he needs to read Jason’s post above?) but in the end concedes that “Twitter is ripe for experimentation,” and advises marketers to “be true to your brand personality and ethos and play with this (not so) new tool.” In another iMedia Connection piece on Twitter, Twitter brand smackdown: The winners and losers, Rodney Rumford highlights lessons from the Twitter successes of Ford, Zappos and Dell. And in a third piece from the same publication, Twitter now a business ‘must-have,‘ Madhuri Shekar quotes a MarketingProfs survey showing that “84 percent of respondents (most of whom represent small businesses) claim that their company’s Twitter usage will increase and 46 percent say it will increase by a ‘significant’ margin” in the coming year, and quotes the conclusion of Ann Handley, chief content officer for MarketingProfs, “Much like Facebook, Twitter is now moving into the business mainstream.”

What’s a Retweet? by Social Media Today

The title may not sound promising to experienced Twitterers, but in this excellent post, Jill Kurtz notes that less than 1/5 of 1% of all tweets get 100 retweets—the level considered a “home run” for a Twitter post—then provides helpful tips for getting into that retweet stratosphere, such as including “pls RT” with tweets, keeping tweets short enough for others to retweet without editing, and asking for RT’s only for relevant content.

5 Twitter Tools to Help You Manage Unfollowers by WebProNews

Jeremy Muncy reviews five helpful Twitter tools, from the ubiquitous (Twellow) to the less well-known, such as Twitterless, an online application that not only notifies you when someone stops following, but also supplies “a graphed out ‘follower history’ over a period of time to help you understand where your (sic) gaining or losing followers.”

Dell Says It Has Earned $3 Million From Twitter by The New York Times

Okay, the figure quoted in the headline is now outdated (the most recent Twitter revenue claimed by Dell on Twitter is $6.5 million), but Claire Cain Miller does an excellent job of outlining how Dell has generated, and continues to generate, significant sales through Twitter. She also notes that “Twitter made exactly $0 from those Dell sales, something that will very likely change.”

Pro Twitterers Share Their Secrets by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Mark Walsh reports on the secrets of highly successful corporate Twitterers from Comcast, Dunkin’ Donuts and Six Flags. Among the tips: be human, authentic, even a bit immature. Favorite snip: “Frank Eliason, director of digital care at Comcast…drew hearty laughter when he described the cable giant as being known for its customer service. ‘I can’t wait until people stop laughing at that joke,’ added Eliason.”

Twitter in B2B – a Velocity Slideshare by The B2B Marketing Blog

Doug Kessler outlines his firm’s presentation on seven ways to use Twitter for b2b marketing. Advising b2b bloggers on the use of Twitter, Doug writes “Twitter is already playing a role in content marketing campaigns — for finding topics, inviting input and promoting the finished pieces. It’s all about the engagement.”

10 ways to get your business in on the microblogging craze by iMedia Connection

Clay McDaniel offers some basic but solid advice in this guide to making Twitter work for marketing, such as pick a leader (so there is “one personality driving the charge”), establish a regular rhythm, and “talk like a real person” (not as obvious as you might think). Three other articles from iMedia Connection worth reading are 7 marketing mistakes to avoid on Twitter by Rodney Rumford, Meet the brands that ‘get’ Twitter by Michael Estrin, and 7 tips for the perfect Twitter profile by Jason Baer.

Twitter 101, Part 2 by Search Engine Watch

Ron Jones reviews popular Twitter tools, offers tips on finding the right people to follow while growing your own following, and provides a basic guide to understanding Twitter lingo. This post is an excellent starting point for those new to Twitter.

Case Study: How I Used Twitter to Generate 35,967 Extra Hits to my Site in Just 14 Days by Winning The Web

Gyutae Park details a real-world case of how to use Twitter to drive traffic to worthwhile content, using a hot topic, your network of followers, social bookmarking sites, the Tweet This WordPress plugin, a helpful follow-up article—and a bit of luck.

Twitter background guidelines by Croncast

For anyone still using a “canned” Twitter background found somewhere on the web, or worse, one of Twitter’s own default backgrounds, this post provides the technical specifications—file dimensions, size, coordinates and instructions—for creating a custom Twitter background image.

Twitter FAIL! The 8 worst brands on the world’s hottest microblog by Revolution

Gareth Jones heaps scorn on eight global brands that got Twitter wrong, and explains why their strategies (or lack thereof) went awry. Astoundingly, as of May of this year, major brands like McDonalds, Pepsi, Vodafone and Gucci each had less than 1,000 followers. This article lets you learn from their mistakes.

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