You might have caught the story I wrote about the lessons in productivity I learned this year. I don't write round-up type stuff that much. I probably should. Y'all love it. I guess I do too. Lists are simply magnetic. And, I believe, "magnetic" is the ultimate compliment for anything online.
I love to see my articles make their way across Twitter. It could be an ego thing, but more importantly, it simply feels like validation that I brought something of value to the party.
So, speaking of year-end round-ups, how-to style list articles, and Twitter... I want to scramble these three eggs together and expand my list of "7 Lessons in Productivity from a Very Productive 2011" to 8. Hey, my story, my prerogative.
This process takes time and hard work. But doesn't everything that ultimately pays off? When I offer "follow leaders" as a lesson in productivity I mean it quite literally. I mean follow them on Twitter. Read their micro and macro-blogs. Glean from them what's happening in the areas that are important to your business. Read what they recommend. Cash-in on their tips. Engage them. Thank them. #FF them (stay tuned...)
I tell you this takes time because it really does and your time is valuable. So now I tell you: make time for it. In the process, you're likely to find many leaders worthy of your time, so you'll also have to evaluate who's most worth your time-and who isn't. If you find yourself burning time (and you will), you'll need to perpetually trim your list and focus on the leaders mostly likely to help you achieve your objectives.
KristiHines.com is a great dot-communicator.
In 2012, I grew, then shrunk my list of leaders. The list remains fairly long, so I'm not going to get into a who's who here. I'm going to highlight just one, Kristi Hines. Kristi knows her stuff, which is blogging, social media, writing and photography, four subjects I'm equally passionate about. So I make time to read the mind-blogging amount of useful content she produces for a mind-blogging array of publishing outlets, including her own sites.
Among the many nuggets of wisdom Kristi shared with her readers in 2011 is a killer series of Twitter tips, guides, reviews and such. I'm going to give you the short-cuts to the long versions and if you want to sharpen your use of one of today's most valuable media tools, you'll thank me for it. But first, I'm going to give you some of her best tips Twitter style, in tiny little power chunks.
Here goes. We switch to Kristi's voice (with the occasional blabber from Barry).
- Research your competition by visiting their websites or using directories such as Twellow and Wefollow to search for Twitter users in a specific industry.
- Add your Twitter link to everything, down to your email signature, forum signature, and even other social profiles.
(Barry: Do this. Email signatures are a form of social media. I'm using WiseStamp - a Gmail/Chrome tool, which should be your email aggregator and brower. Seriously.)
- Remember not to pitch your new followers off the bat and always try to reply personally to them if they respond to your message.
- Twitter searches are very powerful in the sense that you can monitor any tweets including a particular keyword.
- Monitoring mentions of your business, brand, website, blog, or products by creating keyword searches for those names.
(Barry: And save those searches for everyday use.)
- Add a hashtag (#) to your tweet so your updates can be seen not only by the people who follow you but also by anyone who happens to be following that particular #hashtag.
(Barry: And DO NOT miss Kristi's hashtag article below.)
- Twubs is one of the few sites where you can find hashtags grouped into categories. It's an excellent place to find other Twitter users with similar interests to connect with.
- Formulists is a service that will allow you to create customized Twitter lists and automatically update those lists with new followers that fit your specifications.
- There's nothing more powerful than word of mouth marketing, and you can easily reward those who spread the word about your business by simply acknowledging them by interacting with them periodically.
- Use Bit.ly to create your own custom short domain to match your brand so you can have branding similar to Mashable's on.mash.to and Amazon's amzn.to custom URLs.
- Buffer is a smart way to tweet because it allows you to schedule your tweets throughout the day and get great analytics, which help determine what your audience does or doesn't respond to.
- HootSuite is one of my personal favorite for Twitter management is concerned.
- Paper.li is a unique application that allows you to collect tweets and curate them manually or automatically in a newspaper-style format which can be automatically shared daily on your Twitter account.
- Triberr allows you to join "tribes" of like-minded bloggers in order to expand your reach on Twitter. Simply plug your RSS feed in and members of your tribe will tweet each new post.
- Visibli is a free service that lets you create a custom sharing bar that goes with any links you share through their service.
(Barry: I just became a subscriber.)
- One of the best resources for local businesses is Twitter's own Advanced Search. Using this application, you can use keywords to search for tweets that originate within a specific location.
- Tweet Grader lists Top Twitter Cities based on the total number of tweeters located there. Click on any of the cities listed to see the "Twitter Elite" for that city.
- If you want to go beyond searches and lists to see tweets originating from your neighborhood, try Bing. Visit Bing Maps, click on the "explore map apps" link, and scroll down to find "Twitter Maps."
- You can also follow these directions for adding Buffer to your Google Reader. Then you can share posts you are reading in Google Reader to your Buffer.
(Barry: Love Reader. Soon to love Buffer.)
Much of what I've done here might belong in the "Advanced Tweeter" file. If you haven't yet joined Twitter, allow me to offer two vital twidbits of advice:
- Join Twitter
- Read Kristi's fabulous primer for getting started: Twitter Marketing Guide
It'll take a few hours to read and apply Kristi's advice, so perhaps you give yourself the gift of Twitter during your Twismas break.
Then, when you're ready, put the power tools in place. Allow K's tweeny-weenie tips above to guide some of your moves, but also give your Twitter life flight by reading K's columns-because we didn't have the time or space today to get into the other 1,000 or so twid-bits Ms. Hines has for you.
- How to Find the Best Twitter Hashtags
- Organize Your Twitter Following with Formulists
- 10 Twitter Tools Used by Social Media Experts
- How to Use Twitter for Local Business
- Buffer Review - My Favorite Time Saving Twitter Tool
- Get the Most Out of #FollowFriday
And one more thing: have yourself a merry little twismas and make your yuletide gay.
I have one more little stocking stuffer for you... a song, The Twelve Days of Twismas.