Twitter takes a bit more work than Facebook or LinkedIn. But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from this incredibly useful platform. Instead of giving up, here are five ways to improve your Twitter presence:

#1 Complete Profile

First, make sure your profile is complete with an accurate profile picture

#2 Follow the Right People

Next, make sure you’re following quality people. What does quality mean? Well, that’s up to you! People that you find interesting. Life’s too short to follow people that piss you off. Start by following people that you know in real life. But see the previous sentence. Then follow people who do what you do, not only in your town, but in other cities, states, and countries around the world. You’ll gain a new perspective in learning how other people deal with the same issues that you have. They are also great fodder for finding educational material to share with your audience. Who knows you might even find a mentor or a friend.

#3 Get Talking

I know people who won’t use Twitter because they are afraid that they won’t know what to say and they will run out of content. Really? Like any good recipe and any good social content strategy, the secret is variety. I usually recommend that Twitter content should be 50% replies or just talking to people, 30% retweets – either with, or without commentary, and 20% unique content.

That’s it 20% – that’s all you have to come up with on your own. The rest of it, you’re either playing off someone else or just simply sharing what other people have already said. The beauty of this is even just sharing other people’s content, makes you seem more and more like an industry expert.

When you talk to people and when you retweet, it will help you build your audience, because more people will follow you. It will also give notifications to those people that you had mentioned or retweeted. If you’re trying to do business with a particular company or trying to get connected with someone who is hard to connect with by traditional means, this is a great way to get noticed!

# 4 Check Your Notifications

To avid Twitter users, this is kind of a no-brainer, however, you’d be surprised by the number of people who’ve asked me to help them with Twitter, whose notifications have been neglected. You get a notification when someone mentions you or retweets you. If someone mentioned you, you should reply back to them. It’s a conversation. One way conversations are no fun. If people are talking to you and you’re not replying, you’re missing opportunities.

Say thank you for a retweet. It notifies you when you get a retweet it’s very simple to just click their name hit tweet, it even puts their handle in for you, and just say “thanks for the retweet.” Admittedly I don’t get to every single one, but it’s a great habit to get into.

#5 Get Notified

You can set up your notifications on Twitter in unique ways to suit your individual needs. I personally find it most beneficial to be notified when someone mentions me. But when I first started out I had it set up to notify me of both mentions and retweets. Another way I like to use notifications is for select individuals whose tweets you don’t want to miss. Some ways you can use this feature is get notified when your boss or your company tweets so that you can either reply or retweet.

This strategy makes you look good with the boss and wins you brownie points with the marketing team. You can also use this technique to target the attention of people that you’re trying to reach, for example, potential new sales leads that you’ve been working on. If they see your name repeatedly on their notifications, they’ll be more likely to open your email or connect with you on LinkedIn because they recognize your name.

#6 Build a Habit

Ok, so I promised five, and this is number 6. But if you want to get the full benefit from your other actions you need to build a habit. As with anything new, when you’re trying to make Twitter part of your marketing efforts, you just have to make a habit of getting on Twitter regularly and checking out what’s going on. In order to help develop this habit, I recommend that you pick a time that you normally check something else and add it to that task. If you come into the office and check your email first thing, check your Twitter too. It also helps to have the Twitter app on your phone, and start training yourself to look at Twitter when you’re on hold, in line, or in any situation where you are waiting.

I love Twitter. It’s truly my love language. If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy the blog/podcast “Twitter Love” on More Than a Few Words.

Happy tweeting! Don’t forget to follow me at @DanaMNelson and @Roundpeg.

Social Media Starter Kit