How communicators can take their Twitter presence to the next level

How communicators can take their Twitter presence to the next level

Have you ever sat fiddling with Twitter for the umpteenth time, and thought to yourself, “Am I doing it wrong?”  The answer may be yes. Luckily there are a few simple things you can do to step up your Twitter game.

Here are five tips to use Twitter to your full advantage and take your presence to the next level.

1. Use Hootsuite to schedule posts
Dig through your evergreen content. Posts on your own blog, guest posts, profiles or other content you're proud of are all excellent material for Twitter.
For each piece of content, think of five alternate titles and catchy phrases. Borrow from your section headings, or other highlights of the piece. Then start filling your Hootsuite pipeline.  Use your alternate title, pop the link in, shrink it and add 2-3 hashtags to help your content get found.
Consider using Hootsuite's AutoSchedule feature. This will do some magic behind the scenes. Analytics are used to monitor the ebb & flow of the interwebs to ensure the optimal time to post.
I had a trickle of traffic from Twitter before doing this. Posting manually didn’t draw much real traffic despite having 15k followers. Using the method above, I’ve seen an uptick of about 2000 percent. To me it’s well worth your time.
2. Use Twitter lists
I’ve mentioned the importance of using Twitter lists before on my own blog and in my how to flirt with journalists piece for the Muck Rack Blog.
Using Twitter daily, you’ll find yourself following tons of folks. But all of them may not be equally important to you. That’s where lists come in. You can create them for groups that you keep track of. I have one called “active, ”another “devops,” “startups," “journalists” and so forth. For me it makes sense to keep them private, but you can also choose to make your lists public.  
Either way Twitter lists are an excellent tool to group important people, that you’d like to engage with to ensure you see their posts without the noise of the home feed.  
3. Keep an eye on your Klout score 
There’s a lot of debate and discussion about Klout. Certainly it is just an algorithmic summary of social media personalities.  However, it does serve as a useful shortcut.
Watching Klout for some time, I learned that followers don’t have as much influence as engagement. In other words, pique the interest of high Klout score people, and your score will rise. Controversial or not, what matters is mentions. When others respond to you, the score will rise. So as I’ve said before, flirt with journalists & other heavy hitters!
4. Participate in Twitter chats 
All sorts of chats are happening on Twitter everyday. They are open discussions on topics that take place at a certain time on Twitter using a specific hashtag. Journalism, social media, PR and careers are common topics, but you’ll find one for just about any topic. (Editor's Note: Muck Rack hosts a Twitter chat called #MuckedUp every Tuesday)
Twitter chats are fantastic for gaining exposure. Engaging on a chat will draw a lot of relevant people to your profile to build your followers. It’s also an opportunity to share your opinions, whether it’s a quote, comment or link to an article you’ve written on the topic being discussed. As a newbie, take it easy on the self-promotion. Sit back and little and get a sense of the chat's style.
Some great chats to try:
#blogchat (Sunday’s at 8 p.m.)
#atomicchat (Monday’s at 9 p.m.)
#muckedup (Tuesday’s at 8 p.m.)
Although you can use the Twitter smartphone app or web tool, it can be tough to keep up. Your best bet is to use your laptop or iPad and use Tweetchat to keep up with fast-paced Twitter chats.
5. Browse Twitter's Discover tab 
You’ve probably seen the Discover tab on Twitter’s iOS or Android app. But are you putting it to good use?  
The Discover tab will show you what’s trending right now. These are topics, keywords or hashtags that have currently hit critical mass. Knowing and utilizing these trending topics allow you to ride their coattails. Jump on and make some comment to what others are saying, or tie in one of these tags to some of your great content.  
Twitter posts to trending topics widen your audience from your few thousand followers to potentially millions who are watching that hashtag or topic. Take advantage of the opportunity to join the discussion and get your name out there.
Have other ideas for taking your Twitter presence to the next level? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.
Sean Hull is an author, speaker, architect and advisor to startups & fortune 500 firms. Visit his website, check out his blog and follow him on Twitter.

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