Twitter Best Practices: 9 Steps to a Better Strategy

Mike Johansson
Mike Johansson Senior Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology and principal at Fixitology, RIT and Fixitology

Posted on March 2nd 2013

Twitter Best Practices: 9 Steps to a Better Strategy

So you’ve jumped into Twitter finally (or maybe you’ve been there for a while) and now you’re wondering: What should my Twitter strategy be?

Consider a Twitter strategy social media
Consider a Twitter strategy

First, ask yourself what are your goals: To learn? To share? To meet people? To sell?

All but that last one are easily done on Twitter. Perhaps the best strategy is to work towards a combination of learning, sharing and meeting. But how do you do that? I'm glad you asked.

9 Steps Toward a Twitter Strategy

1. Pick who to follow carefully: The quality of what you read and what you can learn from Twitter is directly related to the quality of the Twitter accounts you follow. Resist the temptation to follow just anyone back. Sit on your hands when a totally irrelevant, but seemingly influential, account starts following you. You control your incoming stream – make that stream useful.

2. Organize who you follow: Start lists around topics you care about. Use tools such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to keep track of multiple areas of interest.

3. Block irrelevant and spammy accounts: The temptation is to leave well-enough-alone and ignore the irrelevant accounts that follow you, but you will be judged by the accounts that follow you. Allowing even a few irrelevant accounts means others considering following you may change their minds.

4. Retweet (RT) people you hope to build relationships with: Pay special attention to just a few people who share good stuff and retweet them a few times. Add your “5 cents worth” too if you have the character count to do this.  

5. Find a few new people to follow: Look into the Twitter streams of people you respect and see who they are retweeting and talking to. It is more likely you’ll find relevant people this way. If you have the time use Twitter’s Advanced Search function and find people near where you live who might be tweeting about things you care about.

6. Share just a few things you’ve found on the web: If you share good content others will pass it along and you will get noticed. How do you increase your chances of this? Use relevant hashtags.

7. 'Favorite' content from others: Each time you favorite someone else’s tweet they get a notification. What better way to get your name in front of someone?

8. Learn the Twitter lingo: The network has its own useful Twitter Glossary, but more importantly pay attention to how others are using Twitter.

9. Be patient: This is the hardest part for most people. However, the advantage of growing an account packed with genuine people who share real content and exist as an online community is invaluable. This kind of community will be there for you when you need them.

If this last point upsets or annoys you perhaps Twitter is not the platform for you. And … this is just a beginning, "Steps Toward a Twitter Strategy."

So what do you think? What else can someone getting serious about Twitter do to build a following and get more from the network?

Mike Johansson

Mike Johansson

Senior Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology and principal at Fixitology, RIT and Fixitology

Mike is a strategist and teacher who helps businesses and students understand and get the most from social media. He currently is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches advertising, public relations and journalism (all with a social media twist). 

See Full Profile >