5 ways to use Twitter more effectively

Whether you want to quickly sift out important information or make sure people retweet you, follow these tips.

I like Twitter better than other social networks. From its 140-character limit to the speed at which it disseminates information, it is my favorite.

Despite my love of Twitter, I find its volume of information overwhelming at times. How does one effectively use Twitter without dedicating a full work week to it?

By tweeting smarter.

Social media scientist Dan Zarrella recently published an infographic with great insights on when and how to tweet. Among the infographic’s highlights:

  • Place links 25 percent of the way through your tweet.
  • Include widely retweeted words and phrases.
  • Tweet later in the day.

In addition to adjusting when and how you tweet, here are five, time-sensitive tools and techniques to tweet smarter:

1. Download a management console. Free tools such as HootSuite and TweetDeck allow you to sort the people you follow into manageable groups. You can also create columns for key hashtags.

2. Leave room for retweets. If it takes you 10 minutes to cram your update into 140 characters, you aren’t making it easy for others to retweet you. Remember that shorter updates are easier to retweet, as they don’t require extensive reformatting.

3. Embed keywords. Since tweets are searchable, it is advantageous to include keywords. That said, don’t try to force them all into one tweet. Spread them out and make sure it’s logical to include them.

4. Set up Google Alerts. Schedule alerts for key topics you want to share with followers to significantly reduce the amount of time you spend sourcing content.

5. Make a “go-to” source list. Identifying Twitter users who are great sources of relevant and credible information is helpful in aggregating content. It also helps identify key players with whom you want to engage.

What do you find helpful?

Danielle M. Cyr is director of social media and senior PR account manager for Co-Communications. A version of this article first appeared on the Co-Communications blog. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleCyr.

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