This post courtesy of SideInc by Gareth Davies:
With Twitting becoming more popular amongst people who want to increase their social network or create greater traffic generation, I have compiled a list of 20 tips and tools that will assist you in your tweeting.
What this will do for you is increase your awareness and knowledge whether you’re new to Twitting or experienced. The knowledge I have acquired to compile this list comes from regular tweeters and bloggers that openly talk about the services they use on popular forums. What these 20 Tips and Tools will do for you is save time by not having to search for what other people advise.
1. Make a decision how you want to use Twitter; social and traffic generation are the two most popular choices. If you decide you would like to do both it’s advisable to create different Twitter accounts.
2. Create an ID that suits the Tweets you intend to write, doing this will allow your network to associate you correctly. Creating an ID associated with a Twitter subject is a great method of utilising the Twitter environment to your needs.
3. If you are a regular Tweeter with specific subjects to discuss at certain times of the day and you know in advance you cannot make it, a tool called Tweet Later can be used to advise others when you will be back or post pre-scheduled tweets. Be careful though that you do not auto spam people as Twitter is about connecting people.
4. Be patient in replying to Tweets and allow conversations to develop. Quick replies may result in your tweets confusing the thread thus getting lost in the conversational noise of the Twittersphere.
5. Share pictures with other Twitters. Pictures are a great way to build interest in you as they can show the interesting place you live or have seen. A great tool to use is Twitpic, just simply create an account and start uploading your pictures. Twitpic also has mobile compatibility so there’s no excuse for not sharing that totally random moment.
6. Use blogs to share your tweets creating an increase of awareness in you and share fun or informative subjects. There are several widgets that can help with this AddTweets is just one.
7. No social network is a personal storage vault. Social networks give no guarantees should data be lost so if you upload pictures, video or business lists ensure to keep copies of these locally on your own computer.
8. Twitter is not an Instant Messenger (IM). Don’t hold private conversations when you have a subject that is being discussed as fellow Twitters will just choose not to follow you, thus diminishing your social presence.
9. Twitter Twitter everywhere. See what people are twitting about all over the world. This cool tool Twittervision will allow you see a geographical representation of the world showing what people are saying.
10. Make your Twitter time more efficient by using a desktop client like Twhirl which runs on both Windows (2000/XP/Vista) and Mac OSX. This tool works in English, German, Italian and Spanish. It provides notifications on new tweets and has a timeline feature for personal filtering.
11. If you’re a fan of Facebook you can sign into your Twitter account through the inbuilt application.
12. For Firefox Twitter users who like to show others what they are listening to a companion for Foxy Tunes is TwittyTunes. Note you must have Foxy Tunes installed into your browser for TwittyTunes to work.
13. Another powerful tool for Twitters who blog regularly is Post Later. This clever tool allows you to post to multiple blogs through a single interface. Please note this is a paid tool at the following rates: Monthly Membership ($19.95), Annual Membership – Recurring ($149.00), Annual Membership – Manual Renewal ($149.00). This tool also supports Microblogging platforms and is capable of scheduling reoccurring entries.
14. Twitter links to fun and interesting material on the web. Tweet the funny or topical sites you find and this will result in people following you thus expanding your network. Keep the links appropriate to your network of Twitters as you do not want to offend and lose followers.
15. Make sure to follow back. The courtesy amongst Twitters is to follow back at least 50% of tweets however use your judgment, for example if you Tweet about saving the planet, you don’t want to follow someone who tweets about hunting as this may give the wrong impression to those that follow you.
16. Create fun and interesting polls to get Twitter feedback. A great tool to do this is Polldaddy. Polldaddy has three sign-up options free and two paid. The number of polls you can do is unlimited however depending on the account will vary the number of questions you can set or responses you can receive. The free account will allow up to ten questions and one hundred responses. The paid accounts allow for an unlimited number of questions however the Polldaddy Pro account allows up to one thousand responses with the Polldaddy Pro 2 account allowing up to ten thousand responses. The Polldaddy Pro account costs $200 annually with the Pro 2 account costing $899 annually.
17. Once you obtain a nice collection of followers use tools like Twubble and Mr Tweet to help expand your network further. Both these tools search your friend graphs and network and will recommend people for you to follow.
18. The iGoogle page can be used to create a Twitter’s workbench called the iTwitter Tab. This tool will allow you to tidy up your Twitting by creating tabs for different sections you use and it can be displayed all on one page.
19. If you intend to use Twitting for marketing be sure to follow these simple rules:
i) Know your product.
ii) Understand what type of information is needed that relates to your product.
iii) Be positive in your Tweets. If someone is negative towards you or your product hold back on your response and do not let emotion get the better of you. More often fellow Tweeters also hate negativity and may respond for you. If this happens or you feel a response is necessary, just say ‘thank you, your opinion has been noted’. A positive attitude can shut down most forms of belligerence.
iv) Do not over promote yourself on a single topic as you will just loose followers. Use your Tweets for various products or services you offer and even talk about company achievements.
20. Although you can Tweet about almost anything remember the ‘Golden Rule’ amongst these social sites; ‘NEVER SPAM’. If you spam not only do you run the risk of loosing your followers, you also run the risk in some cases of loosing your account.
This information will give you a good idea of where you’re going to start or maybe update your existing twitting methods. All the information provided is from a community of user groups; the most important choice is for you. Use the tools that you feel comfortable with and work best with your current system specification. Join forums where fellow Twitters talk and interact to upgrade your knowledge.