Twitter isn’t just for the birds anymore. According to recent social media research, Twitter now has more than 165 million users, and is attracting nearly a million new users each day. Twitterers collectively post a billion tweets every three days. 62% of the Fortune 500 companies have at least one Twitter account, and the average Fortune 100 firm maintains 10 separate Twitter handles to support different product lines, divisions, functional areas and geographic regions.
How can you stand out among all the chirping, build your Twitter presence, grow your following, and get your content promoted?
Find the answers to those and many more questions here in more than two dozen of the best Twitter how-to guides, resources, tools and reviews of 2012 so far.
Twitter Tips for Newbies
A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter and the Twittersphere Culture by Creative Marketing Channel
Catherine Lockey helpfully walks new Twitterers through the process of getting started and building a following on Twitter, from opening an account and creating lists through DMs, retweets, hashtags, post frequency, following back and more.
Beginner Tips For Your Corporate Twitter Publishing Schedule by Social Fresh
Writing that “Twitter provides an opportunity to mix structure and spontaneity in your business communication,” Brad Shorr offers guidance on scheduling tweets without going overboard on automation, from picking the right scheduling platform to categorizing the content you want to tweet to using repetition (carefully).
How to Grow Your Twitter Following
4 Ways to Grow a Twitter Following That Matters by Social Media Examiner
To grow a relevant and productive following on Twitter, Rich Brooks recommends avoiding shady tactics and shows how to do it right, starting with creating a strong profile (including your real face, detailed bio and physical location) and using third-party tools and directories to find interesting people to follow, and progressing through promoting your Twitter account through other channels (your website, email signature, etc.).
10 Ways to Build Your Twitter Following Like Big Brands Do by iMedia Connection
Contending that “it doesn’t take a big team and millions of dollars to get attention on Twitter,” John Manoogian III recommends emulating 10 strategies used by big brands, such as polishing your image: “Customize your background with something that fits you. Use a large image or a tasteful pattern. Check out Themeleon or Pixelgirl Presents for ideas.” Also on his list: staying positive. “Big brands typically emphasize positive things and never go on a stream of consciousness rant. When necessary, present thoughtful criticism but keep it professional.”
WTF? Twitter Abbreviations
OMG! Over 40 Twitter Abbreviations You Should Know by Social Media Today
If you’ve spend any time on Twitter you know what an RT is, and you’ve perhaps responded to an amusing one with LOL or even LMAO, but are you familiar with MT, OH, OMW, SMH and HtH? If not, check out this big list of Twitter abbreviations from Tammy Kahn Fennell.
Top Twitter Abbreviations You Need to Know by Social Media Today
Want even more Twitter shorthand? Bliss Hanlin provides a list of about 140 (how appropriate) examples of Twitter shorthand ranging from the obscure (CX = correction) to the borrowed-from-the-military (SNAFU, FUBAR) to common hastags (#FF for follow Friday).
Tips for Twitter Brand Pages
4 Ways to Leverage Twitter’s New Brand Pages by iMedia Connection
David Clarke explains four ways that businesses can capitalize on Twitter brand pages, including enhanced customization, “turning Twitter into a more sustainable channel of its own. It’s easier to promote hashtags, Twitter chats and special promotions specific to the brand.”
New Twitter Brand Pages – Guideline and Examples by DreamGrow Social Media
Mart Prööm explains half a dozen things companies can do with Twitter brand pages, such as using calls to action and promoting limited time offers, and includes 12 examples of famous brand pages including Disney Pixar, Audi, Pepsi and Red Bull.
4 smart tactics for brands on Twitter by iMedia Connection
Jon Elvekrog details “four concrete strategies to use social advertising to deepen your brand impact on Twitter” for brands, among them getting your content “in front of connected fans. These Twitter users are active sharers — spreading ideas, offers, and messages among their own followers and people aligned with their interest graph. If you get your paid campaign in front of influencers, they’ll spread your messages for you — and bring them to many more people than you originally targeted.”
17 Examples of Twitter Brand Page Backgrounds to Inspire You by HubSpot
Noting that “first impressions matter. So if you’re trying to build a remarkable social media presence, you can bet that the look and feel of your brand pages in social media will make an impression on new visitors who know nothing or little about you,” Pamela Vaughan showcases examples of brand pages that visually capture the reader’s attention including Spotify, Target and Zipcar.
General Twitter Guides, Tips & Tactics
How To Build Your Professional Twitter Brand by Heidi Cohen
According to research cited by Heidi Cohen, “the most positively received tweets are asking your followers questions, sharing useful information, and letting people know you’ve just created new content…By contrast, the least liked tweets are those that let the world know what you’re doing and broad greetings with no added information.” Among her top 10 tips for building your Twitter brand: dress your Twitter profile for success, offer meaty Twitter content, and give digital shoutouts to colleagues and others.
How To Optimize Twitter: Be Real, Profiles, RT, Hashtags & More by Search Engine Watch
Noting that’s it’s getting tougher to stand out on Twitter now than it was in the less-crowded early days of the platform, Lisa Buyer provides several tips for brands and individuals, such as “keeping it real” (showing personality as well as business content), optimizing your profile (with specific best practices), and using hashtags carefully.
Rocking the A to Z of Twitter and Tweets by Resume Bear
***** 5 STARS
Shirley Williams creatively offers 26 Twitter tips alphabetically, from A (“Audience – Followers that connect with you because they believe you do interesting things and/or have interesting things to say”) to Z (“Zed Carpet – …Listerious is a great site to get acquainted with the Who’s who of Twitter by all kinds of categories”).
Secrets of Becoming a Pro B2B Tweeter by Social Media Today
Do you wonder how your Twitter presence looks to others? Kevin Jorgensen recommends using TwitCleaner (a recommendation I strongly endorse) to check your own Twitter profile for sins like excessively retweeting, too many links, too much self-promotion, too much use of automation and other sins. Then he provides several tips for improvement such as participating in Tweet chats and actually conversing with people.
The Top 10 Reasons You Need to Use Twitter Lists Now by Bad Redhead Media
Rachel Thompson offers 10 reasons for using Twitter lists, such as that you can use them to categorize up to 10,000 followers, they can help increase your Klout score, and “Lists are a perfect way to attract followers to your stream. People are flattered you’ve added them to a list. It means you care enough to take that extra step (which takes seconds). It’s like you invited them to an exclusive party.”
Tailoring Twitter: The ROI of Curating Content on Twitter by Successful Blog
Liz Strauss explains the benefits of curating content on Twitter and how to do it well, closing with “The ROI of curating content on twitter is the influence gained from incrementally staying in sync with the tools and the culture while still listening.”
6 Data-Backed Tips for Getting More Retweets [Research] by HubSpot
Wondering what type of information, timing or tactics will garner the most retweets? Dan Zarella shares half a dozen research-based tips for maximizing pass-along on Twitter, including “Say Something New. When I compared the ‘commonness’ of certain words in retweets versus the ‘commonness’ of words contained in a random sampling of non-retweeted tweets, I found that retweets tend to contain much rarer words. People don’t want to retweet the same things that everyone else is saying, they want their tweets to stand out!”
Twitter Tool Reviews
4 Twitter Analytics Tools For Your Business by Social Fresh
Amy Moczynski provides helpful, detailed reviews of four tools for Twitter analytics: SocialBro (which she calls “the most comprehensive tool for analyzing Twitter data that I’ve found…after entering your Twitter log in information, prepare for your mind to be blown”), TweetStats, TwentyFeet and PostPost.
Want Guest Post Links? Find Them Via Twitter [TOOL] by The Daily SEO Blog
If you’re ready to get your geek on, this post from Ethan Lyon presents a tool and instructions for finding blog guest posting opportunities via Twitter. The tool pulls an RSS feed into “Google Docs, finds all of the t.co URLs, enlarges them, eliminates duplicates based on domain, and presents them in a nice package.” For the slightly less ambitious or technical, try Blogger LinkUp.
The Top 20 Twitter Clients being Used in 2012 by WindMill Networking
Neal Schaffer serves up brief reviews of the top tools for tweeting. Not surprisingly, HootSuite, Tweetdeck, and Twitter itself top the list. I would have expected Buffer to show up a bit higher than #13, though as Neal notes, it’s not strictly speaking a Twitter client but rather “a perfect complement to help you schedule your posting on Twitter.”
12 Most Clever Twitter Tools by 12 Most
The ebullient Peg Fitzpatrick reviews a dozen top Twitter tools for various functions, including Tweepi for cleaning up your Twitter following with following/unfollowing help, Formulists for organizing and managing your community through smart Twitter lists, and Twitalyzer for analyzing the Twitter influence of anyone on Twitter.
5 Best Analytics Tools for Twitter Search by DreamGrow Social Media
Tom Chu offers brief reviews of five Twitter analytics tools including The Archivist (“This tool works in just the way it sounds. You download the desktop app and it archives search results for you to go through later. The search will find as many results as possible, and then you poll those results without you having to monitor it”), Twitter Counter and What The Hashtag.
A Silver Lining In This Cloud by THINKing
Harry Hoover recommends using SocialBro to create word clouds revealing the terms that your friends and followers tweet about most frequently. “You might discover new topics with which to engage your friends and followers. Further, you can drill down by tags to find out specifically which friends or followers are talking about that word.” You can also use TweetCloud to see which terms you use most often.
More Twitter Tools
Per the website, Itweetlive’s “Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) search engine uses advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and clustering tools to gather similar status updates, provide response suggestions based on real-time Twitter analytics, and measure engagement levels. In this way, we build a smart conversational tree that actually suggests the best statistical responses for status updates received in the future.” Basically, it lets you use statistical rules to talk “personally” to many people at once. Interesting concept.
A slick little low-cost tool that enables you to store up to 25 different search phrases for Twitter, identify potential followers / people to follow based on those searches, manage your follow/unfollow activity, and direct message any or all followers (up to Twitter’s daily limits).
A free or low-cost Twitter management tool that provides Twitter use statistics, weekly email digests, scheduled tweeting, conversation tracking, sorting of friends and followers, and an activity feed. Paid versions add features like bit.ly integration and the ability to manage up to 60 Twitter accounts.
The original hashtag wiki. Search for any phrase and see a collection of hashtags associated with it.
One Final Twitter Stat
Social Media Infographics & Stats
Andres Silvaa shares an infographic from Klout which shows the expected half-life of a tweet based on the tweeter’s Klout score. For users with Klout scores under 40, activity tends to die off after 25 minutes and a handful of retweets, while those with scores of 75 and above can expect hundreds of retweets over three to six hours.