Lessons in Twitter and Twitter Marketing [#TwitterTips]

I ran out some off-the-cuff pointers on how to get the most from Twitter today. Thought I’d share, it might become a useful 140 character manifesto to live your Twitter life by.

Twitter gets a mixed press but recently announced that there were 100 million active users. Most use it as intended as a way of connecting in a social sense with like minded individuals. A growing number of business professionals and brands are using it to provide thought leadership, expert opinion and advice and in so doing to drive trust and business.

It’s an incredible tool, that in the right hands and deployed with a strategy, can yield impressive results. Here are the tweets. I’ll let you decide.

Your personal or professional brand is everything. Twitter is a distribution tool that has now found its way into search rankings. Make your name count – on Twitter and elsewhere on the web.

It’s so lame using a logo, colour block or clever piece of artwork. People engage with people. If it is a corporate account, give it a face. KelloggsUK have different people manage the account everyday to keep it fresh, and human.

Your Twitter bio is what people see when they decide to follow you. Enough said.

It’s good form to pay back, or pay it forward depending on your point of view. I personally find it hypocritical that some social media gurus build up huge followings but don’t follow many of them back. It’s also a credible way of building your following as you’re seen to be engaging.

Twitter, for the most part is an open book. Want to establish yourself? Run with the pack. Identify the influencers and join them. Follow the people who follow them and who they’re following. Tweet relevant content and in time they will follow you too.

Expert positioning and leadership is built from the twin bases of value and trust. Use tools like Google and RSS to fuel your Twitter activity and easily source relevant material without having to go looking for it every day. It will change your life. For more on why and how read this.

A crucial message this one, almost ruined by my inability to check character limits. The missing word is reputation! The point is that tweets are in context to the Twitter platform. Too much Twitter speak, use of hashtags and too frequent posting could clutter the streams of your Linkedin connections and put them off.

For reasons I can’t quite explain I use Hootsuite on the computer and TweetDeck on the smartphone. Both offer access to a wide variety of social networks, the ability to monitor keywords and tailored searches but the advantage Hootsuite appears to have is group access to an account and scheduling. Important if you want to build an ‘always on’ profile.

This one is a little controversial. I was lukewarm for a long time but think if done in a way that doesn’t overly promote, spam or simply freak out new follows, it can be pretty effective and warm them towards you.

Twellow and 20ft are great tools thatĀ enable you to dig deeper into who you are connected to. AsĀ Twitter’s own analytics tools evolve, it will be interesting to see how API developers continue to innovate.

So, how are you using Twitter? What tips can you share?