With an average of 460,000 new accounts registered every day (including, this week, His Holiness the Pope), Twitter continues to grow at an exponential rate. Although the microblogging platform works in much the same way as it did when it was first launched, it is possible to streamline our use of Twitter to make it a more effective way of reaching our charity’s supporters. So here are six Twitter tips for newbies, Popes and old hands alike.
1. Make it easy to follow your Twitter account
All Twitter reports this week that you can immediately boost your follower numbers by the simple addition of a ‘follow’ button to your main website. Their report showcases the Twitter account of @urbandictionary, and provides a link to a how-to guide from Twitter.
And while you’re about it, don’t forget to add your Twitter handle to your posters, business cards and email signatures to remind people that there are different ways they can follow your work.
2. Search, don’t just follow
A useful graphic from Untypical Marketing, and reported in All Twitter, recommends that (amongst other things) we use Twitter’s improved search facility to look for hashtags and conversations concerning our areas of work, geographical areas, or brands… and then get into those discussions.
All Twitter also suggests that pruning the list of people your account is following will help you concentrate on building relationships.
3. Tweet regularly
The Wall Blog reports on a piece of research conducted by Twitter itself which suggests that people will take action – in this case, buying a product – if they have seen tweets from that retailer on a regular basis. While this study looked only at online retailers, it may have some relevance to charities which are looking to Twitter to encourage people to take action, donate money or use services. You can download the whole report here, in PDF.
4. Tweet at the right time – for your organisation and followers
Another report from All Twitter suggests that Twitter users will respond more positively to your tweets if you make them during key times during the day. A grain of salt may be required for this particular set of recommendations, but it does usefully highlight that not all of your followers will be able to respond when you are tweeting. Analysing when your organisation’s retweets, mentions and new followers crop up will give you useful information about your own particular audiences.
5. Use Twitter outside Twitter
Although the number of Twitter accounts is increasing, not everyone your organisation contacts will want to use the microblogging service to keep in touch with you. Fortunately Twitter has made it easier to share any particular tweet via such old-world mechanisms as email. Mashable has forged ahead and brought us a breakdown of how this works, and you can get more guidance about all the different ways to embed your tweets from Twitter itself.
6. Track trends
Finding out how your own campaigns – or those of your competitors – are doing can be an excellent way of gauging impact and effectiveness. Strangely, Twitter itself does not offer an easy way to track trends, but fortunately All Twitter has brought together a list of eight sites that will do the job for you.
Finally, if 2012 has passed in a blur of tweeting, retweeting and DMs, check out this review of the UK’s year on Twitter, courtesy of The Wall Blog. What’s been your Twitter highlight of 2012?