Sunday, August 30, 2009

Twitter Usage Recommendations

Over the weekend, our Entrepreneurship professor (Stan Mandel, @stanmandel) let us know that he was beginning to use Twitter to comment about some of his entrepreneurial ideas. Since he's just getting started, I sent him along these tips for better Twitter usage:

1) I've written about Twitter quite a bit over the past year, including some usage suggestions and feedback I've received:

2) Personalization
- People rarely take you seriously (ie. follow you) if you don't personalize your profile
- People almost always check out your info/background before following you back
- Add a picture. Something that will be easy to recognize amongst all their other tweets (face picture, company logo, etc.)
- Add a profile description; whatever will fit in 160 characters (ie. Babcock Demon Incubator; WFU Professor of Entrepreneurship; Angell Center for Entrepreneurship, etc.)
- Add an interesting background picture/images for your page

3) Lots of great ideas come from other people's tweets. You can look up keywords at, and if you see anything interesting, consider following those people.

4) When you find interesting people to follow, check out who they follow. As you mentioned yesterday, smart & successful people tend to run in the same crowds.

5) It's often useful to add a "hashtag" to your posts, especially if they are about the same concepts. It's a tag that other people can easily search for. Makes it easier for people to find (ie. #entrepreneurship, or #babcockdemon or #wfumba). Just add it to the end of your posts (if you have enough space).

6) Download a Twitter client for your phone (assuming it supports applications), or use the SMS/Text function. This makes it much easier to post, as you don't have to wait to be back at your PC to communicate an idea or ask a question.

7) One method of gaining followers (which is very valuable, because they spread your ideas or answer your questions) is to give them background on your ideas. Send out tweets that talk about your goals (ie. find new ideas), your methods (Angell, Babcock Demon), and what you find interesting (URLs)

8) Re-tweet interesting things you find from other people. This is done using a string like this "RT @bgracely ". Many times, you'll find that people you re-tweet will follow you back.

I know that's a lot of stuff, but considering how many people are moving much of their online communication and information finding to Twitter, it's useful to be using some tips/tricks that have been proven to help get you actively involved in the community.
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