This blog chronicles my journey as a 23-year veteran of PR and marketing as I come to terms with social media. This is part 3 of my 3-part series on using Twitter.
Part I, 6 Steps to Embracing Twitter Successfully or Don’t Be an Egghead, talked about
• the best way to set up a Twitter account
• how to listen to the Twitter stream
• how to Tweet
Part 2, So You’re on Twitter—Now What? addressed
• how to write a good tweet
• how to retweet
• the importance of setting up notifications
• saying thank you
• gaining followers
• trending topics
• common Twitter jargon
• the best time to tweet
This final instalment deals with organizing your followers, making the most of 140 characters, and the least (and most) retweetable words.
Organizing Your Tweeps (Followers) with Lists
I don’t know about you, but I follow a wide variety of people on Twitter—reporters, news outlets, PR types, bloggers, social media types, marketers, publications, politicians, people who talk about politics, people from the part of Canada where I live, funny people, and a handful of celebrities.
I follow more than a thousand tweeps, many of whom communicate for a living, so they tweet a lot. Let’s just say listening to the whole disorganized steam is overwhelming.
I’ve been looking for something to help me manage my Twitter account. I gave Tweetdeck a try, but I just couldn’t get the lists to work for me. So based on a recommendation from Memorial University marketing professor @lylewetsch, I signed up for the free version of HootSuite.
What HootSuite Does: HootSuite is a social media management system created by Ryan Holmes of Vancouver, Canada in 2008. In HootSuite, you interact with a dashboard, which allows you to manage multiple social media accounts. Currently HootSuite supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, Mixi, MySpace, Ping.fm, and WordPress. Using HootSuite’s App Directory, you can also use HootSuite to manage Tumblr, Trendspottr, Constant Contact, Digg, Flickr, Get Satisfaction, InboxQ, and YouTube. While I have loaded all my social media accounts into HootSuite, so far I am only using it to manage my Twitter account.
According to Wikipedia, as of January 2012 HootSuite has over 3 million users and over 700 million messages sent. In other words, it’s popular. Amongst other things, that means there’s lots of support.
Get Going on HootSuite: Once you’ve signed up on HootSuite, you begin by creating a tab on your Hootsuite dashboard for each of your social media accounts. You’ll need to sign into each account and give HootSuite access. Within each tab, you can create 10 lists. The default Twitter lists are your Home Feed, Mentions, Direct Messages, Sent Tweets, and Your Tweets Retweeted. Besides managing your Twitter stream, you can tweet, shorten links, and schedule tweets from within HootSuite.
Personally, I’d really like to know if there’s any way to create more than 10 lists for the same Twitter account within HootSuite. Suggestions? If so, please leave a comment!
HootSuite Lets You Manage More Than One Account on a Network: If you have more than one account on a social network (say Twitter accounts for personal use, school, your employer, and for freelance work), you can manage them all from the same HootSuite dashboard.
Setting Up Lists on HootSuite: Set up lists by clicking on Add Stream on the upper left-hand side of the dashboard. Start by selecting the profile (account name) and the type of stream (eg., home feed, mentions, direct messages). You can also choose to set up lists in which to carry out searches, search on keywords, or create your own lists.
If you choose to set up your own list, you can make it either public or private. If you choose to make a list public, your contacts will be notified that they have been added to your list and the name of the list to which they have been added.
Add Your Contacts to Your HootSuite Lists: When you have created your lists, add your contacts.
1. Click on contacts on the left-hand side of your dashboard.
2. Select the Twitter account from which you wish to create the lists
3. Your list of followers and the list of people who you follow will appear.
4. The names of the lists you created will appear.
5. You can add people to your lists by clicking on their avatars and dragging them to the desired list.
TIP: Set up your HootSuite account now before you add any more tweeps. Let`s just say that sorting more than a thousand followers into lists took hours, and hours, and hours.
Making the Most of 140 Characters
140 characters is not a lot of words. And with those handful of words, you are trying to create the kind of content people want to retweet. So I thought I’d share the most and least retweetable words and phrases.
The 20 Least Retweetable Words as identified by award-winning social, search, and viral marketing scientist Dan Zarrella in a study he conducted in 2009:
The 20 Words and Phrases Most Likely to be Retweeted as identified by award-winning social, search, and viral marketing scientist Dan Zarrella:
• Please retweet
• Social media
• How to
• Blog post
• Check out
• New blog post
Next Time . . . Getting Started on LinkedIn
Are you already on LinkedIn? Do you have LinkedIn tips to share? Do you have LinkedIn challenges you’d like solved? If so, please leave a comment . . . I’d really like to know.