Twitter Spotlight on locals: How to Connect Ten Ways

Twitter Spotlight on locals: How to Connect Ten Ways

Twitter Spotlight on locals: How to Connect Ten Ways

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, such as a shop or a restaurant, what’s the best way to get people to your place? Although I’ve written a previous post, Social Media: 7 Ways Your Business Can Connect with Locals, there are other ways to get people in the door.

Follow Locals through Search

Now following locals might seem obvious–locals will be your best source of traffic–but how, you might ask? Search on a city, neighborhood, or county (or a hashtag). Find something you have in common with people, whether that’s tweeting about the weather, puppies, or beach photography. Follow locals, retweet their content, and talk to them.

Be Curious

Be Curious

Be Curious

I’ve said it a million times–talk to people. No matter which platform you’re on, that is the key. Ask questions, give compliments, and be generous. Say hello, say thank you, and be curious. Curiosity is your best friend on Twitter.

Tweet Specials

Give people a reason to come into your shop. Tell them what your specials are. What gives your place the edge? Tweet about that. Why did you start your business? Tweet about that. You can also “pin” a tweet to the top of your feed so it’s the first thing visitors see when visiting your Twitter stream. You can even “pin” that tweet on mobile.

Add High Quality Content

Look at the analytics on your Twitter. Who’s following you, and what do they like? If you want more of the same kind of followers, give your audience what they want. Do they like technical content? Art? Give them that.

Use Beautiful Images

Use Beautiful Images

Use Beautiful Images

There are so many images to choose from. If you’re a restaurant, tweet images of your food. If you’re a shop, tweet what you have for sale. And make the images beautiful! I see so many accounts with ugly images. Don’t be that business!

Use Maps

Use Maps

Use Maps

Tell people how to get to your shop! Go to Google Maps, and map a nearby location. Now take a screenshot of the route, add a caption, and pin it to the top of your feed.

Use the Heck out of Lists

Make lists, use them daily, and share them with others. They’re free and make you look pro. Also, if you don’t use lists, you will surely go insane. You Too Can Be A Guru’s Bridget Willard has some terrific examples of good lists here: Organize Your Twitter Stream–Use Lists. You can create lists by city, neighborhood, or county.

Join Chats Your Audience Would Like

Check your analytics and join chats that will draw in people who are your best audience. Are the people techies? Join a techie chat! Are they boomers? Join a Boomer Chat! A couple of my favorites are: #BufferChat (Wednesday mornings at 9 am Pacific) and #DigiBlogChat (my chat about all things digital/blogging Tuesdays at 1 pm Pacific). Twubs has a list of chats that may interest you.

Make Followers Feel Like Friends

Make Followers Feel Like Friends

Make Followers Feel Like Friends

Share what excites you. Share non-business content, too. Tips on things you have learned. Maybe a secret place nearby, a good venue in the area, or an app you really like. Put up posts from museums, or a little trick you learned.

Meet in Person

Of course, this is ultimately what you want. Make sure their visit is positive by giving the same great customer service and friendliness that they experience on your social media.

How Do You Get People in the Door?

Did I miss anything? I really do want to know! Leave me a comment! Thank you.

Social Media: Ten Reasons to Automate

Social Media: Ten Reasons Why You Should Automate

Social Media: Ten Reasons Why You Should Automate

Many social media consultants feel that automation can hurt your brand. Whenever you mention the “A-word,” people fall on one side of the divide or the other. Hardly anyone is in the middle on this one. And yet, it’s something that can be done gracefully, and without looking like a robot. Of course, I’m not recommending total automation, but a hybrid approach.

Your Mental Health

Even if you’re not a social media consultant, if you must make every post manually, you will surely go insane. And since you’ve carefully been getting enough sleep, why risk your health now?

Time Management

Time Management

Time Management

Creating posts all at once, maybe a week at a time, is a better use of your time than doing them one at a time.

Maintain Consistency

Maintain Consistency

Maintain Consistency

If you have decided upon a certain number of posts per day, automation can help you reach that goal.

Time Zones

It’s simply not possible to be on all day long. Everyone needs some time off. And if your client is on the east coast while you are on the west coast, automation is the way to go.

Automation Can Make You Feel More in Control

Automation Can Make You Feel More in Control

Feel in Control

Social media can be an overwhelming task, especially if you’re trying to run your startup at the same time. Automation can help you get your life back. By the way, here’s a post about how to blog for your startup, in case you missed it.

Post When Fans Are Online

Post When Fans Are Online

Post When Fans Are Online

If you’re up at 2 a.m., you might not want to send out that tweet if your audience isn’t there. Schedule that tweet and go back to bed!

Use a Scheduler

Use a Scheduler


When you see a post that you like, use a scheduler such as HootSuite to auto-schedule the retweet for an optimum time. For most of us, that is 9-5. You can use a program like Tweriod to see when your followers are online.


Sooner or later you need a few days off. Schedule some stuff, but make sure to have someone check in for you if you do.

Posting Frequency

As more and more people get online, the marketplace is more competitive. It’s possible to post more frequently using automation (as long as the quality still remains high).

Stay Top of Mind

If you’re the most brilliant person in the world, but you don’t show up? No one will remember you.

Scale Your Social Media

With automation, you’ll be able to grow your followers more easily.

A Hybrid Approach

After six years of trying different approaches, I’ve come up with an effective hybrid approach. It’s partly automated (from blog posts), and partly live participation, which includes posting others’ articles and engagement. The hybrid approach has gotten me the most followers and, more importantly, the best relationships. And everyone knows that Relationships are the ROI of social media, as my friend Bridget Willard says.

Where Do You Stand?

Do you automate a little bit? A lot? What tools have helped you? Leave me a comment!





Ten Ways to Be Social

Ten Ways to Be Social

Ten Ways to Be Social

If you’ve been on social media for awhile, you’ve heard me saying over and over to engage. So today instead of telling you to engage, I’m going to tell you how to engage. Don’t worry. It’s not that difficult! But it is one of the top questions I get about social media.

Say Hello

One thing is sure. When you say hello to people, they say hello back! Even a casual, “Hi! How’s it going?” will probably do more to get you engagement than tweeting ten articles with links. People like to be noticed and we all love to talk about ourselves.

If you say hello, people say hello back!

If you say hello, people say hello back!

Talk About Them

Don’t just talk about yourself. Talk about them. Ask how they are. Be curious. How did they get their name? Where is their company located? What do they do? How did they get the idea for the article they just published?

Thank People

When people retweet you, share your posts, or comment on a blog, say thank you. Don’t simply retweet their retweet of your tweet (did you follow that? Yay.). Go one step farther and retweet something THEY would like retweeted. Probably something they wrote that links back to their website. Here’s a terrific post on the two words that help brand loyalty (guess what they are?!) from Bridget Willard.

Retweet from a Friend's Website

Retweet from a Friend’s Website — I’d add an image here

If your friend sent a tweet without an image, go to the link and add the image. They will get more retweets and you’ll look good, too.

Finished Tweet, Uploaded and Scheduled

Finished Tweet, Uploaded and Scheduled

To turbocharge the tweet for your friend, add an image, shorten the link, include their Twitter handle, and schedule it at an optimal time so it’ll get the most views. The screenshot above is from my HootSuite scheduler.

Comment on Your Friend’s Blog

For extra brownie points, comment on their blog. It only takes an extra minute, and they will love it! Seriously. Even if you just say “good article!” Better still, ask a question about the article and keep the conversation going.

Cross-Post to Another Platform, such as Pinterest

Cross-Post to Another Platform, such as Pinterest

Cross-Post to Another Platform

See a good post on Facebook? Put it on Twitter. Or put it on a popular Pinterest board. Or post it to LinkedIn. And then you could tag your friend and thank them for the interesting article. The tag is important if you want your friend to see it.

Being Friendly Isn't All That Difficult

Being Friendly Isn’t All That Difficult

Join Their TweetChat

Many people have chats these days. Join in their chat and publicize it, too. That makes both of you look good. My tweetchat, #DigiBlogChat, is Tuesdays at 1:00 pm Pacific Time, by the way. And here is how to participate in a TweetChat should you ever want to join one.

Meet in Person

This is the ultimate way of being social. Once you meet someone in person, everything changes. That person becomes three dimensional. So if you’ve been talking to someone since the Internet was invented (by Al Gore), ask to meet that person if you’re going to be in their area.

What Did I Miss?

What are some other ways you like to be social?


Ten of the Worst Social Media Managers

Ten of the Worst Social Media Managers

Ten of the Worst Social Media Managers

Last week, you might have read my post about Finding Your Next Social Media Manager. If you search Google to find a good Social Media Manager (“SMM”), you’ll find all kinds of advice. However, bad advice is rare! Just kidding.

Here, then, are ten types of terrible social media managers. These people put in the extra work to be really, really bad. And if that’s not enough for you, here are some Bad Social Media Manager Secrets.

Does your candidate send Twitter DMs like this one?

Does your candidate send Twitter DMs like this one?

The Direct Message Twitter SMM

The most terrible SMMs send direct messages on Twitter like “Follow us on Facebook!” or “Buy my book!” for no reason. And a link. But the very best of the worst? Those ask you to connect in two places, along with cute emoji, before you’ve even read one of their tweets! Now that’s going the extra mile!

Does Your New Social Media Manager Say She's an Expert?

Does Your New Social Media Manager Say She’s an Expert?

The One Pin Per Board Pinner

This SMM is on Pinterest and has boards with one or two pins each. And they should call themselves a Social Media Expert. After all, since it’s on the Internet it must be true!

The "Social Proof" SMM Buys Followers

The “Social Proof” SMM Buys Followers

The “Social Proof” SMM Who Buys Followers

Having “social proof” is a good thing, right? And followers are so cheap! For $59, you can get thousands of them. Never mind that they’re bots from Indonesia, thousands of miles away from your local brick-and-mortar business. Your new SMM prospect should recommend that you buy followers.

Does your SMM Post from Facebook to Twitter?

Does your SMM Post from Facebook to Twitter?

The “One Size Fits All” SMM

Your new friend should never change their tone of voice, and should use the same post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, whatever. If the post is too long for one platform, it can break right in the middle of the sentence. As long as lots of people see your posts that’s all that matters.

The UnSocial Social Manager

Your new BFF should never engage with anyone. They can ignore comments, shares, retweets and save themselves a lot of time. There are only so many hours in the day, after all! If you want to know why brands are still using broadcasting in social media, Emma Pauw can tell you why.

The Drunk Poster Sometimes Deletes Posts the Next Day

The Drunk Poster Sometimes Deletes Posts the Next Day

The Drunk Poster

Drinking and posting is the hallmark of a very successful bad SMM. And then deleting all the bad posts and arguments the next day? Even better.

Is Your SMM a Debbie Downer?

Is Your SMM a Debbie Downer?

Debbie or Danny Downer

Your SMM should be heard muttering at all hours that “nothing will ever work.” Things always go from bad to worse, people can’t be trusted, and Murphy’s Law always prevails.

The Overposter

This person posts 60 posts in the space of five minutes, then nothing for two days. What’s wrong with that, you might ask?

Is Your SMM Inflexible?

Is Your SMM Inflexible?

The Inflexible SMM

Why would your SMM ever change his or her strategy on social media? Just because Facebook reduced its reach, or Pinterest added promoted pins, or tweets got indexed by Google? Pffft. No reason!

Does your SMM Use Klod to Measure Influence?

Does your SMM Use Klod to Measure Influence?

The Klod Watcher SMM

Your new bestie should always watch their influence ranking on sites like Klod (not its real name). That’s what real SMMs do, don’t they?

Your Turn!

What did I leave out? Let me know in the comments! Thanks!


Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Wikipedia is not going to help you much with finding your next Social Media Manager (“SMM”). In fact, Wikipedia can’t tell you anything about how to choose an SMM. Google can help to some extent, if you get your search terms correct, and focus on a good headline. (By the way, if you’d like to know about writing headlines, those can be a pain in the asterisk!) So what can help you? Here are some ideas.

1. Don’t look under a rock. Hint: Those are worms!

If you want to find a good SMM, you might want to look around on social media. Check on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or wherever you’d like to be posting. See if the person you’d like to hire is posting there, too. Their posts don’t have to be perfect (because, after all, they’re busy with clients), but they should have some posts of substance.

2. Check out their websites and social platforms.

Most SMMs have a website, although I know some fab ones who don’t. Check out their testimonials and what other people are saying about them. If you can’t find anything, you could ask for testimonials directly. See whether their website has been updated in, say, the last two months. It should be active. And of course, check out their social platforms.

Check out websites and social platforms

Check out websites and social platforms

3. Read their blog.

Does your SMM have a blog and do they post about social media? That would be a good thing, especially if you need help with blogging. Is their writing clear? Do you like their style? If they’re writing about Twitter, for instance, do they include particulars that you like?

When you read a SMM's blog, do you like the particulars?

When you read a SMM’s blog, do you like the particulars?

4. Look at their writing skills.

These days, many SMMs have degrees in writing or related fields. If you want your SMM to do a bit of writing for you, a degree in English could be beneficial. Or perhaps experience writing. Some SMMs, myself included, have a background in technical writing. If you have a particular grammatical mistake that bugs you, such as the abuse of commas, check their work for that. Here’s a list of 10 Common Grammar Mistakes (“lose” and “loose” are often confused).

5. Ensure that they embrace “social.”

Broadcasting your message over and over (and over!) is old-school marketing. Make sure that your SMM enjoys interacting with others. Saying hello, while it sounds simple, usually causes others to say “hello” back! Engaging with others on social media is the fastest way to an engaged and engaging account on any platform.

Ensure that you SMM embraces "social."

Ensure that your SMM embraces “social.”

6. Ask them some questions.

For instance, ask about their least favorite platform. That should help you get some idea of what their favorite platform is and isn’t. Also, ask which subjects to avoid. There are many more questions you can ask.

Ask about their least favorite platform

Ask about their least favorite platform

7. Your SMM should be excited at your success!

When you make sales, or when your posts are shared with lots of people, your SMM should be happy for you! They should have in mind a vision for you and for your success. After all, it’s in both your interests that you should succeed.

Finding a good social media manager shouldn’t be this hard, right?

With overpriced agencies and undervalued CMOs, it’s a serious challenge to find that juggernaut to pave the way for your future marketing strategy. Do you have a successful story where your SMM has developed your online presence into what you wanted? We would truly like to hear about your experience(s).

Social Media New Year’s Resolution: Do Less!

Social Media New Year's Resolution: Do Less!

Social Media New Year’s Resolution: Do Less!

Everyone is going to tell you to be thinner, to do more, and to mold yourself into a better person for the new year. People will offer up lists of ways that you can organize and prioritize your resolutions. However, from my point of view, this is wrong thinking. This year, for my New Year’s resolution, I am resolving to do less.

Instead of resolutions like eat fewer carbs or stop smoking, here are mine, broken down.

If you need justification for not doing New Year’s Resolutions at all, here are a few:

Change Pinterest Board Covers Seasonally

Change Pinterest Board Covers Seasonally (December’s Are Red)

One. Change Pinterest Board Covers Quarterly

Previously, I was changing my Pinterest board covers every month. Here’s why it’s a good idea to change Pinterest board covers. And the last day of every month, I’d be up half the night looking for perfect board covers. This year, I’m resolving to change them once a quarter. So, for instance, I’ll be doing all white board covers starting in January. To make this even easier, I created a secret board called “White.” It’s already got enough white pins so that I won’t be up all night! For Spring, I’ll create another secret board (maybe green), and so on. Four per year. Not twelve.

Use Secret Pinterest Boards to Plan Your Board Covers

Use Secret Pinterest Boards to Plan Your Board Covers

Two. Fewer Scheduled Tweets and More Tweets Without Links

On Twitter, I’ll be posting fewer scheduled tweets, and adding some that are tips without links. As my friend, Bridget Willard says, having a link in every tweet requires a lot from your followers. And I agree. The additional benefit is there is no link to check and recheck if I reuse that same tweet later. Another benefit of linkless tweets is that they tend to foster conversation.

You can search in your stream for tweets without links by adding -http to your search term. For instance, search: “startups -http” to find people talking about startups.

By the way, Bridget has a terrific series of Guru Minutes on YouTube, and you can follow her here:

Bridget Willard’s Guru Minute on YouTube

Three. Get Offline on Sundays

Another social media resolution is to get completely offline on Sundays. Previously, I’d be checking in and pinning, tweeting, or posting on Sundays. This resolution does require getting everything scheduled on Friday, rather than Sunday.

One New Year's Resolution? More sleep!

One New Year’s Resolution? More sleep!

Four. Sleep More

What to do with all this extra time, you may ask? Sleep! Being a social media manager requires a lot of attention to detail. Posting and engaging with people can be exhausting if you’re working on a lot of accounts. Your job is probably the same way. My bestie Amy Donohue (follow her on Twitter at @TheFabSocial) goes to sleep early, and has influenced me to do the same.

Here are some articles about sleep that you may enjoy:

So here’s the part where I ask you about what you think, and whether you have any social media resolutions. I’d love to hear from you. That is, unless it cuts into your nap time!

Social Media: Time Management for Busy Entrepreneurs

Social Media: Time Management for Busy Entrepreneurs

Social Media: Time Management for Busy Entrepreneurs

One of the top ten questions (maybe top five questions) I get from entrepreneurs is “How do I make time for social media?” You’re busy running your business–making your widgets, preparing for your next class, or creating a new menu. How the heck do you have time for social media on top of everything else? I’m not going to say it’s magic, because it’s certainly work, but there are some ways to minimize the work and maximize your efforts. After all, you want to keep some balance in your daily life, right?

Create a Daily Strategy

Before you ever open Twitter, set foot on Pinterest, or enter the halls of Facebook, make sure you know what you’re going to do. One thing I do as a daily strategy is spend fourteen minutes planning each day. Writing everything down with an old-school pen or pencil on paper is the most helpful for me. After the brain dump, I go back and prioritize everything. Do this before everything else, and I promise your day will be much smoother.

Decide Which Platform Will Be Your Starting Point

For me, I usually start on Twitter, but your starting point might be different. Click on notifications, and see who’s mentioned, retweeted, or tagged you. Then I go to Facebook, post something, engage with people for a bit, then head over to Pinterest. Of course, your social media posts and engagement have to fit in between all your other work.

See How Much Time You Have

If you only have an hour, total, for social media, divide that hour up accordingly. So maybe 20 minutes for each of three platforms for the day. Use a timer–I like an old-school egg timer because the ticking sound keeps me on track, but you could use the timer on your smart phone, too. If you don’t like the one you have, here’s a good article from the New York Times about timers. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you know you only have 15 or 20 minutes.

Engage, but Don’t Dive Down Any Rabbit Holes

By this, I mean, don’t get distracted by “Top Ten Best Mojito Recipes for a Rainy Day” or that DIY article on how to turn a pallet into an actual working car that you see on Pinterest. Because the road to social media hell is definitely paved with pallets and mason jars. Be especially vigilant of “friendly fire.” That is, friends posting pretty videos of cats being rescued by dogs. A little personal stuff is fine, but don’t spend hours watching those videos. You know the drill.

When You’re Done, Get Out!

Social Media Time Management

Social Media Time Management

Here’s the important part. When the clock rings or beeps, get out. You don’t have to respond in depth to everyone who writes to you. Sometimes a one-word answer is fine. Thank people who retweeted you, say something quickly, and then move on. That clock is still ticking! Leave some time in your day so you can take a hike or go for a walk.

Is Your Social Media Overwhelming?

Hire somebody to help! You might want to read about the top ten questions to ask a Social Media Manager. And of course (ahem!) I know someone who might be able to help you.



Facebook Twofer: Sharing Content to Be Seen

Facebook Twofer: Sharing Content to Be Seen

Facebook Twofer: Sharing Content to Be Seen

You might have read my recent post about Facebook “stealing my cheese” a few days ago. And you might have also heard that you should be more social on social media. A post that my friend Bridget Willard created gave me this idea. Why not share posts from people similar to you once or twice a day? It’s an easy way to be social, plus you get the added benefit of posting more often and (possibly) getting better numbers on Facebook. And by the way, here’s a terrific article about how to determine what works on your Facebook posting frequency, via Social Media Examiner.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

That’s what happens with social media. Things change. And also: there is no one size fits all. What worked last year, last month, or even last week may not be the same this week. And that’s especially true with Facebook and its changing landscape.

Form Alliances By Sharing Content

Sharing other people’s content is a super easy way to get your post seen by more people, plus it’s an excellent way to form alliances.

An Easy Idea

Facebook Twofer: Sharing Content

Facebook Twofer: Sharing Content

Just like when you’re in the grocery store and you get a twofer coupon that is doubled at the checkstand, sharing gives you two for the price of one! It’s a happy surprise. And, it’s such an easy idea, that you might not even consider it. And like me, you might be in favor of easy.

Not convinced? Here are more reasons to share content

  1. Building relationships. The main reason people share is to build relationships. They’re looking for community. If you share someone else’s content, you help build community.
  2. Creating social capital. By sharing, you build social capital. When you need something shared, people are more likely to share your content.
  3. Finding others with similar interests. By sharing something you find interesting, you let others know what’s interesting to you. People may not know of your newfound interest in vegetable gardening or roller derby. And you may discover a new friend–or rediscover an old friend.

 Try Sharing More Content

Let me know if this idea resonates with you. Try sharing more content, maybe once or twice a week, and let me know how it goes!


Facebook Stole My Cheese!


Facebook Stole My Cheese!

Facebook Stole My Cheese!

By now you’ve read multiple articles and heard countless complaints about the changes in Facebook’s algorithm. In fact, maybe by now you’re sick and tired of hearing about how Facebook lied, how they should’ve kept things the way they were, etc.  You know that you can’t get the same reach any more, and on a personal level, you can’t see the stuff your friends post, either. And you’re thinking about jumping ship, but where would you go? You’ve invested so much time into Facebook, how can you possibly leave now?

Facebook Won’t Go Away Any Time Soon

Maybe you’ve read my previous post asking if it’s time to leave Facebook. But maybe you haven’t taken the leap yet. With 1.19 billion users (see the Next Web article), Facebook is the behemoth that won’t go away. People love Facebook, and it’s a great way to share content, post embarrassing family pictures, and find videos of goats climbing in trees set to hip-hop music. Oh, wait. That’s my life.

Let’s Say You’re a Mouse…

So let’s pretend for a minute that you’re a mouse–because in a way you are a mouse. And Facebook? They have the cheese. So how do you get some of that precious cheese that keeps disappearing because there are too many mice and they’re all squealing at once for more cheese but there just isn’t as much anymore? Well, maybe this metaphor has run its course through that maze (did you see what I did there?).

How Do You Make Your Posts More Visible?

How to Get Back Some of the Cheese

How to Get Back Some of the Cheese

Here are a few ways to make your posts more visible. And get some more of that precious cheese.

Create Unique Content

Your own content, preferably in the form of blog posts, can benefit by being adorned with your own images. Bigger images are always better on Facebook. You can also use video or a simple picture, one that you took yourself.

Post More Often

Post a little more often. Most business owners don’t have time to post multiple times a day, but the posts don’t have to be big deal posts. You could ask a question, thank your new fans for following you, or pick a small quote from a blog post. Yes or no questions are often very successful. Don’t ask people to recite a poem or do an interpretive dance because it’s not gonna happen.

Post At Different Times

The analytics on your business page might say that your fans are online at noon. But probably so are everyone else’s fans, too. Why not experiment with posting at a few different times? And remember that scheduling your posts ahead of time is really easy on Facebook.

Look for Surprises

One thing I like to do is search for the surprises within my posted content. By that, I mean to scroll back through the posts and see what kind of content got shared, liked, commented on, etc. What time did you post? What day of the week? Then rinse and repeat: use the same types of posts, and the times you posted, too. How have you readjusted to the change in Facebook’s reach? Or did you quit?


Twitter: Top Ten Terms (and Power Tips)


Twitter: Top Ten Terms

Twitter: Top Ten Terms

I’m teaching a class this week on Twitter to an audience with some people who are unfamiliar with Twitter. Every social media manager also has favorite power tips to go along with these terms. Here are my top ten “must-know” definitions, along with some “power tips.”


Every update you post to your followers on Twitter is called a tweet. Every tweet has a 140-character limit (including your handle). Remember: Your tweets are public and searchable by anyone on Twitter, even if they don’t follow you, so be careful about what you say. Deciding what you don’t want to tweet about is as important as deciding what you will tweet about.


Engagement means responding to and conversing with your followers and others on Twitter. Most successful accounts engage on Twitter daily.

Power Tip: Monitor who follows you, who @mentions you, and engage with those people daily. These are the things I do when I first log into Twitter.


Twitter is for sharing things that your followers might find useful, interesting, or entertaining. The “retweet” is a manifestation of this. When you see a tweet that you think your followers would be interested in, hit reply, copy and paste the tweet, then send.

Power Tip: If you just hit the “retweet” button, often people will not “see” the tweet, especially if they’re using a third-party Twitter application.  If there’s space, you can add a comment, such as “Great Idea!” Here is how to send a perfect retweet.  


This means “modified tweet,” which is a retweet that you edited to save space.

Power Tip: To really boost a tweet’s power, add an image.


When you want to “tag” someone in a tweet, use an @ before their Twitter username (for instance, @Carol_Stephen). Add this mention and they’ll get a notification in their “Mentions.” This serves a dual purpose: they’ll know you are reading their tweets, and you’re giving them credit for finding great content.

Power Tip:

This is a newbie mistake. If you tweet @username without a period in front, only your mutual followers (in other words, people who follow both you and @username) and the person you’re tweeting to will see it in their streams. Add a period or other character before @username so that all of your followers will see your tweet in their streams. 


A “DM,” or “direct message,” is a private message between two Twitter users. It’s different than a public @mention because in order to send a DM, the recipient must follow you. Select companies can send DMs without following.

Power Tip: Do not automate direct messages. Asking someone to “like you on Facebook” after they just followed you on Twitter is antisocial and may cause you to be unfollowed. Many people consider DMs to be spam.

Hashtag (#)

This innocent-looking symbol is a hashtag. Use it in front of other words in a tweet to provide context or to organize a search for specific topics on Twitter. Be careful not to overuse hashtags. More than one or two will turn off your followers. Here are more details about hashtags.

Power Tip: Use hashtags in your own profile to attract followers in a particular niche. For instance, I have #Startups in mine.


Your home page has a feed of tweets from the people you follow (click on “home” to see them), while your profile page has a feed of your own tweets (click on “tweets” to see your own tweets). 

URL Shortener

Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, services have popped up that shorten website addresses so you don’t use up too many characters in your tweet. These services are called “URL shorteners” because “URL” (Universal Resource Locator) is the technical term for a web address. URL shorteners create short addresses that work just like a longer URL.

Power Tip: Third-party apps, such as Hootsuite, have URL shorteners built into them.


Check What Your New Follower is Tweeting Before Following Back

Check What Your New Follower is Tweeting Before Following Back

A “follower” is someone who follows you on Twitter and sees your updates on their home feed. Just because someone follows you doesn’t mean you have to follow them back!

Power Tip: Check someone’s top ten tweets to see if they are interesting. You can also add people to a list even if you’re not following them.

Bonus Terms

FF or #FF

#FollowFriday was started by Twitter users as a way to recommend other Twitter users. It happens on Fridays; you can search Twitter for the hashtag on Fridays. Many followers also use #FollowThursday (or any other day) to recommend people.

Power Tip: Recommend one favorite account per tweet, and tell us why to follow that person. For instance, are they funny? Are they super-engaged? Do they have beautiful images? Give us a reason to follow. Otherwise, #FFs can become spammy.

Trends or Trending Topics

Any person, place, thing, or idea that a lot of people are tweeting about all at once is a trend. Find trends on the left side of your Twitter homepage.

Power Tip: Tailor trends by choosing your city or country. If your tweet relates to something that’s trending, use a trending hashtag to identify it and boost your tweet. For instance, if you’re at a San Francisco Giants game, you could tweet a photo and the #SFGiants hashtag–the Giants’ official hashtag. In San Francisco, The SF Giants trend often.


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