I make a living managing Twitter accounts, so a lot of people ask me Twitter questions.

Some come from people who have no clue what Twitter is, asking questions like, “What is THE Twitter?”

But for those who have a basic understanding of Twitter and are trying to utilize their Twitter account to its fullest potential, these are the three most common questions I’m asked.

1. Who should I follow on Twitter?

That is an important question. We often focus so much on growing our own followers that we don’t think about who we should be following. I break this down into three categories:

  1. Follow people you enjoy interacting with. As an individual, this might be your friends and family. As a brand or business this might be some of your best clients, industry leaders or networking partners.  This portion of the people you follow will likely make up over half of your engagement and this group will grow over time. For example, I made a list that I titled, “KP’s Awesome People to Follow.” The list started at around 10 people and has grown to over 300. While I follow over 230,000 people, over 80% of the content I reply to or retweet comes from people on this list.
  2. People you want to follow you. This can be targeted followers, prospective clients or anyone that you want to form a relationship with. Over 25% of the people you follow will follow you back, and if you are targeted in who you follow, you can get that to be over 50%. If you want someone to follow you, follow them first and send a tweet to interact with them.  Note though that following people to get them to follow you is not a strategy you can apply in bulk. I suggest following no more than 50 people in a given day, and always make sure there are more people following you than people you are following.
  3. People that provide value to you. For an individual, this can be a wide range of news accounts, humorous accounts, or anything that interests you. For a businesses, this can be accounts that tweet industry information, news about your local community, or your competitors accounts so that you can see what content they are broadcasting. These are all the accounts that may add some fun or education to your day, but that you may not actually engage with outside of occasionally retweeting their content.  For most people that follow me, they’d put me in this third category. They follow me for my tweets about social media. I would say roughly half of my followers are people I follow who fit into this category because of their content value, but not necessarily people I engage with or seek to build a relationship with.

2. What Should I Tweet About?

You are what you Tweet. What you tweet sets the tone for who you are, whether you’re an individual or a brand.  People will often follow you and engage with you based off of your content.  I basically suggest the 80/20 rule with 20-25% of your content being about yourself, and 75-80% being about others. Here is a rough guide of what I would suggest tweeting about:

  1. 20-25% of your Tweets should be about yourself or your brand. These can be self-promoting. If you’re a brand or company, don’t be afraid to sell a little. Share your blog. Share links to your website. Talk about your specials or company news. The rest of your content will be about other things or people, this is your 20-25% to talk about yourself.
  2. 20-25% should be about your industry. This is your chance to do two things: Present yourself as an authority in your field of expertise.  And second, attract a targeted and engaging audience by tweeting about your industry.
  3. 20-30% should be retweeting and replying to other tweets. The reality is that most the relationships and engaging that happens via Twitter will have to be initiated by you. Reply to tweets. Retweet tweets. This is how relationships start to form.
  4. 20-25% Tweet about what you and your target audience are interested in. This can be similar to section two, tweeting about your industry. But try to add some humor, local news, and fun.  You only have so many people who are interested or looking for tweets about your field of expertise. When you open up to tweeting about more subjects, you open up to a larger potential audience.

3. How Often Should I Tweet:

I get this question the most.

The answer doesn’t involve a 3-4 point reply on my part. It is simple. Whether you are an individual or a business, you need to be tweeting 15+ times per day, and I suggest 25 per day.  As a Social Media Marketer, I see no exceptions to this. You simply can’t get out of Twitter what you want to unless you Tweet a minimum of 15 tweets per day.

There are only two objections I typically get to people fighting back on the 15+ tweets per day suggestion.

One, is from people who tell me they fear that their audience will unfollow or tune them out if they tweet too often.  The stats just don’t show this to be a valid concern. This is not Facebook.   If you happen to lose a follower or two because you are tweeting 15+ times per day, I assure you that you’ll gain way more than you lose, and the one or two you might lose will not be followers that add value anyway.

The other objection is that people do not think they can come up with 15 things to tweet every day.  This is a valid concern. You don’t want to tweet bad content just for the sake of getting content out. You also don’t want to tweet the same content on too frequent of a basis. This is where you will want to look for tools to help you create content, like utilizing Google Alerts, or signing up for a content aggregator like BundlePost. If you’re a business, and you don’t have someone dedicated to taking time each day to create 15+ tweets per day, it is time to consider bringing on a third-party to help.

What questions do you have about Twitter? What confuses you? What is your business struggling with on Twitter?

Leave a comment with your questions and we will do our best to help.

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