5 Ways to Rule Twitter Benevolently but Firmly

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140 characters is clearly not much room to work with – but, according to Krissy Braddy , Twitter now has 140 million accounts: one character for every million. Put that way, you want to make each character count. Below are a number of ways, from LoriRTaylor.com  and Social Media Examiner, to boost the success of your tweeting efforts.

Leaving room for retweets

One comment from the LRT article is that you must make sure to leave room for people to retweet. If you fill up all the space, you make it difficult to engage your followers.  (Rule of thumb: always leave enough room for your followers to add WTF and a frowny-face before retweeting.)

Awareness of tweet-friendly words

LRT references a study conducted by Dan Zarrella  looking at words that are and are not in the most retweeted content on Twitter. Why use the word “listening,” for instance, when you could instead use the word “help.” (“Loyal followers: Help me rebuild the economy one retweet at a time!” is preferential to “Loyal followers: Let’s rebuild the economy by listening to one another!”)

Prepare for the worst

We all want virality… until the virus starts to eat us alive. What happens if your hashtag gets repurposed for all the wrong reasons? LRT mentions a Twitter debacle McDonald’s experienced. Notably, McDonald’s pulled the plug on its hashtag that was causing the reaction, successfully quelling the McUprising. (“#McDStories – Please stop telling mean stories about us, you unruly vegetarians.”)

Networking via Twitter

The SME piece shares a comment from Kristi Hines, who recommends connecting and engaging with folks who are relevant to your business. Picking out these individuals and specifically addressing them can be far more valuable than simply trying to compile a massive number of random folks. (“@AshtonKutcher, thanks for being a shoulder for me to cry on, even if it is a fantasy shoulder.”)

Break the Ice

Carla Dewing has a great comment on the SME piece, also related to networking. She suggests commenting on a blog post that you appreciate, as a tweet to the writer. She said this can quickly build your following, using a similar technique as you might use in a face-to-face encounter. (Note to avoid the following approach in business settings, because it’s against proper Twittiquette: “Thank you for your blog. It makes me feel warm inside. You are twitty and seem tweet.”)


Those are 5 of the more interesting ideas from the LoriRTaylor.com  and Social Media Examiner articles. To review, leave room for retweets, use tweet-friendly words, and prepare ahead of time to pull the plug if your campaign goes south. Additionally, remember to use Twitter as a networking tool by connecting and positively tweeting to the folks whose content you appreciate. Good luck (and thank you again, Ashton)!

by Kent Roberts

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