April 9, 2009

5 Advanced Twitter Tips

I know, I should post more often - I've got requests for posts about RSS and some Twitter basics, but in true absurd human fashion, I will give you some juicy advanced Twitter tidbits (twidbits?) instead. If you need a basic overview of Twitter, please see Twitter Blog Marketing Tactics, leave a comment, or contact me directly. Please add your favorite advanced Twitter tips in the comments! Here are my top 5 Advanced Twitter Tips for Twitter Power Users, in no particular order:

  • Be retweetable. The best ways to do this are: 1) say something funny and somewhat random (keep it related to your "primary topic"), or b) bring the news - tweet breaking articles within a few hours of them being posted to get lots of retweets! Tip: leave really good tweets up overnight - remember how your latest tweet is in nice big attention-getting font? Great place to leave a joke, quote, tip or link to your awesome product/service for 6-12 hours (if you can stay away from Twitter that long).

  • Timing is everything. Morning in the US (or your local market) is a great time to Tweet, especially if you want people to act today. Based on some of my analytics, Twitter may be up to twice as "active" on weekends, so if you Tweet once a week, make it on Saturday.

  • Pay attention to your following. Try to follow most of the people you expect (want) to be your customers. Note things like tone (casual/professional), "style" (lots of RT's? Do they recommend or buy other products? What attracts them to people/products/companies?), what time of day their tweets are the most dense (hint: check the difference in timestamps of the first and last posts on your home page - closer together = good time to engage your followers).

  • Give stuff away, at the right time, to the right people. People are attracted to Twitter specials - try pre-releasing a product on Twitter, or giving a discount to your followers!

  • When you @reply, make at least some of your @replies such that anyone will benefit. An @reply can be a powerful recommendation for a product or service - just remember to add a description (e.g. Don't just say "This will work", say "Robo2112 widget will help you add that spark you need to your website")

  • DMs can help - or hurt - you significantly. DM's (and @replies) are the bread-and-butter of Twitter. Carefully crafted direct messages can create strong personal relationships and quickly convert a follower into a loyal follower, or even a paying client. I would recommend staying away from auto-DM's, at least until you are over, say, 100,000 followers. I do understand there is a point at which marketing this way makes sense, but while you have the ability to enjoy close reciprocal relationships with your most targeted followers, take that opportunity. Use the above tips to write powerful DM's that make your point in a concise and memorable way and you will be able to literally pick the clients you want to work with - a powerful edge in any industry!

  • Last but not least, timing is everything (paying attention?). By now you should have a target market of several specific niches and some understanding of your followers' Twitter habits (twabits). When they are online - DM them, @reply them, follow the people they are chatting with (who are also online and should follow you back), and follow some of their followers. Hint: Twitter followers are listed in chronological order by when they followed that user (most recent first). The first page of users, especially for popular users in your target niches, should be online currently - follow them to get more targeted followers.

Disclaimer: None of these techniques are likely to get you tens of thousands of followers in 90 days or whatever it is everyone is DM-ing around lately, nor will they shoot you to the top of the Twitter celebrities. These 5 advanced Twitter techniques may, however, help you use Twitter within your overall marketing strategy as an effective tool to build a community of close-knit, engaged followers who may become your best clients!

Bonus - Cool Free Twitter Tools!

  • Twitterator lets you follow a bunch of people at once

  • TweetCube lets you share files (<10MB) on Twitter for free! Remember the "give stuff away" tip? Here you go...

  • Twits Like Me helps you find people to follow who share some of your interests. Targeted marketing, and such.

  • If that's not enough Mashable has a list of over 140 Twitter tools

  • Last, there's the older Twitter Toolbox - some of these may no longer work, but there are still some good Twitter apps and tools there!

Happy Twittering and remember to Retweet!

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone tweeting this post!

@IgorFomichev @seanometer @MarjyMeechan @MonicaPortugfan @mabsmith @CodeSucker @zygbot @EdwinKersten @hsbcnews @julianpettit @TracyGazzard @twitme101 @AnthonyMcMurray @kdburnett @briankurtz @Marenda @foolsprogress @thewildjoker @Jan_Geronimo @fpalattao @mparent77772 @sillyaudrey @twitte_r_tips

Want to get even more Twitter followers? Just Tweet these 5 Twitter tips, and I will put your Twitter link on this page! Feel free to leave comments to remind me!


  1. Hi Peter, thanks for the mention. I'm pretty weak in ascertaining I get the timing right. I'm from Philippines. What twitter apps do you suggest to maximize the power of tweets?

  2. Some good advice in this post (although I counted 7 tips 8=)

    I would like to point out that your tip on @replies being more meaningful is a good one since not everyone will see or remember the tweet you're replying too. Sometimes I get replies and I have to follow the link back to see what I said 8=)

  3. Jan,

    Good times to Tweet are mornings in the US (I think that would be really late at night for you). Weekends are great - participate in #FollowFriday (list your recommendations), and be extremely active (20+ tweets, but spread out) on Saturdays and Sundays.

    As far as tools, check the links above - Mashable lists about 200 between the two posts, and I've linked some newer tools separately. Take a look at DestroyTwitter, TweetDeck, Seesmic Desktop, Twhirl, and other Twitter clients.

    Just found Tweetr - looks like it has some great new features built in, including file uploads.

    Remember: when you use anything other than twitter.com, you will be limited to 100 API calls per hour. This includes downloading new tweets, searching, and Tweeting. When you hit the limit (Red dot, message saying "over limit", etc) - set your "refresh interval" higher (10 or 15 minutes instead of 5) and go back to the web for a while.

    LoneWolf: Thanks for the compliment! I hope nobody is counting (I wasn't), and I can always pretend the DM and @reply tips don't count (Ha!) but yeah, to the untrained eye it may look like 7 tips. Either that or the monkey did it.

    There is a site called Twonvo that lets you view @replies as threaded conversations, I think a few Twitter clients may do this also (it's part of the Twitter API now).

    Let me know if you have any further questions, or come across anything new related to Twitter.


    Peter (absurd_human)

  4. I'm using Tweetdeck, and finds the 100 API call limits very limiting. So I also use Tweetree - because its tweets are threaded.

    Will try out other apps you've recommended.

    Thanks for adding me in BC. I asked your permission to add you in Twitter, entirely forgetting that I was here yesterday. lol


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