Are you pulling your hair out trying to figure out how that person you follow on Twitter is able to respond to what seems like all of her 100,000 followers, tweet interesting links, and find time to be funny once in a while too? Here are 7 secrets of highly effective Twitter power users that you can use to take your tweeting to the next level.
When people ask me how they can be “better at Twitter”, one of the first things I tell them is to start using lists.
Twitter lists are a powerful way to organize users. If you want to listen in on what thought-leaders in your niche are tweeting about, put them in a list. Or if you’re curious about how the competition is tweeting, throw their accounts into a list.
Creating or following a list means you can listen to a conversation without having to follow everyone participating in it. You can use lists to find great content to retweet, cool new accounts to follow, and become more influential in your niche.
By creating a saved search on Twitter (over at its advanced search page), you’ll be able to tap into more of a topically-focused conversation that a Twitter lists’s people-focused conversation.
Saved searches should include keywords related to your business or reason for being on Twitter. You can refine them to only include tweets with links, tweets that are asking questions, and much more to really get to the type of conversation you’re interested in engaging with.
After you’ve saved a search, be sure to monitor it regularly and engage with those accounts who are most active. Answer questions, pose your own, and share links using the keywords and hashtags in your search.
Power users will save searches of the topics they want to position themselves as thought leaders within, and participate in the conversation regularly.
Sometimes I think I sound like a broken record when I talk about hashtag chats, but I’ll repeat myself again: they’re one of the most effective ways of networking on Twitter.
Think of them as the after-conference cocktail party, where everyone chats about the topic of the day in a casual atmosphere.
Chats are a great way to get to know who’s influential in your niche, and interact with them in a structured atmosphere. Plus, if you stick around for the full hour of the chat, you’ll likely come away with dozens of new followers yourself.
Using a dashboard rather than Twitter.com is essential to being effective on Twitter. You can choose HootSuite, TweetDeck, Seesmic, CoTweet or any number of other dashboards, and they’ll all make your 140-character life easier.
Dashboards allow you to view multiple tweet streams at once, so you can set up your lists beside your saved searches and your @mentions folder – no more flipping between hard-to-find links to these streams on Twitter.com.
If you haven’t tried one out yet, I suggest you experiment with the lot of them to see which dashboard works for you. And once you get to know the interface, I guarantee you won’t often go back to Twitter.com.
No, those Twitter power users are not sitting at their computers tweeting from 9AM to 8PM every day, even if their tweets would have you think this. They’ve learned the power of scheduling, and so should you.
Scheduling tweets to go live throughout the day and week allows you to consistently share quality content with your followers without sapping all of your time. If you’re not sure how to set one up, here’s a quick guide.
A good mobile Twitter client
Even if they’ve scheduled tweets for the next two days, a Twitter power user isn’t going to forget about logging on and checking their @mentions folder, even while on the road.
A good mobile Twitter client for your smartphone is necessary if you travel frequently, or are often away from your computer. You should be checking to see who is interacting with you on Twitter a few times a day, and a proper mobile client will notify you with an alert whenever you get a direct message, an @mention or @reply, or any number of other things.
A consistent strategy
And lastly, Twitter power users create and maintain a consistent strategy for their tweeting and listening. They ensure that they are offering valuable links and commentary to their followers, following the right people, staying relevant and keeping up a steady flow of content.
Your strategy might include what to tweet, who to engage with, how often to tweet, a list of keywords to monitor and more. However your strategy looks, you’ve got to have one if you want to tweet in the big leagues.