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Hotels – Social Media -How to Increase Twitter Followers for your Local Business ?

Logo Twitter Alain Class

Logo Twitter Alain Classe

When it comes to increasing followers on Twitter, there is a big debate in the social media space about quality versus quantity. But it is a near universal goal for businesses to increase their fan and follower count on social media. So, how can you balance the need to increase followers while making sure you’re connecting with real, authentic, and targeted consumers? Try these 15 tips for increasing your number of quality followers.

Be Worth Following

On Twitter, in addition to people who share interesting, insightful information, there are many spammers and aggressive marketers that the typical consumer avoids following. To be a figure worth following, you don’t want get labeled as a spammer. So the first step in increasing your followers on the site is to make sure your account is worth following!  Here’s how to do it:

1) Make sure your Twitter profile is optimized

with an original picture, bio, and links. Don’t make these newbie mistakes that keep people from following you.

2) Post interesting content often.

Balance unique content (authored by you) and shared content (authored by others). Many experts say for each self-promotional tweet, you should share 5-10 tweets about something else.

3) Time your tweets

so people see content during peak hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. You can use an automatic scheduling tool like su.pr, Hootsuite, or ReachCast to time your tweets throughout the day.

4) When someone follows you, follow them back.

You can do this manually or use a service like Social Oomph to automate it. Since Twitter won’t let you follow an unlimited number of users, keep your following/follower ratio in check by using a tool like ManageFlitter.com to unfollow users who don’t follow you back.

5) Be social.

Use the site as a way to connect  with others, not just to promote yourself. Unmarketing authorScott Stratten, who has built a successful blog and business from growing a large, dedicated Twitter following, says that over 75% of his tweets are @replies to other users.

6) Find and Follow Interesting Users

The next step to increasing followers is to find and follow people yourself. How will people know if you’re out there to follow unless you tell them?

7) Connect with connections first.

Put your Twitter URL on business cards and in-store signage to encourage consumers to follow you online. See if people you’re already connected to are on by looking up contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL email accounts and linking your account to your LinkedIn profile under the “Find Friends” section of the “Find People” function on your account. Connect with those you’re already connected to first, because those are the people most likely to follow you online.

8) Connect with local consumers.

You can find local tweeps to follow on Localtweeps.com andTrendsmap.com, or use Twitaholic.com or TwitterGrader.com to grade your Twitter profile and find local users with top scores in your market.

9) Follow people in your industry, niche, and topic area.

Who you follow may influence the content you will retweet and @reply to. Find topical users to follow on Wefollow.com, listorious.com, and twellow.com.

10) Follow From Users’ Twitter Lists and “Following” Links.

Find people or organizations on Twitter with similar interests, and click the link labeled “following” from their profile page to see who they find worth following. Better yet, look at Twitter lists they may have created on certain topics to find hand-cultivated lists of people worth following. Just make sure to follow the individual users on a list and not just the list itself!

11) Tap into influential local circles.

Who is influential in your market? Aside from grades on Twitter tools, which may or may not reflect true influence, it may be difficult to determine this at first. One tip is to find and follow local media outlets, businesses, and organizations. Then, look at lists they have created to find more important local figures to follow.

12) Invest in the Twitter Community

Twitter is more than a marketing tool. It’s a community you cultivate for yourself. So, give back and invest in the community to build follow karma and increase not only the number of followers you have, but the number of lists you are mentioned in as well.

13) Participate in #FollowFriday.

Promote other people worth following by recommending followers on the popular #FollowFriday hashtag meme. Every Friday, just select someone you follow, write a short explanation of why, and tag it with #FollowFriday or the succinct #FF.

14) Create Twitter lists of interesting users,

such as local and topical users and those you’ve met in different social circles. Adding users to lists not only allows you to watch a cultivated, topical stream of their tweets, it’s also a form of virtual endorsement, which may encourage the users on your lists to follow you back.

15)  Participate in Twitter chats.

There are numerous special interest chats that anyone can chime in to to network, learn, and share. This is one of the best places to find like-minded Twitter users. So, find a chat for your industry, niche, or market, and join in! Use a tool like TweetGrid or TweetChat to help you keep up with the conversation on the chat’s hashtag, and follow users you meet there.

16) Answer questions and offer advice.

In addition to sharing links to interesting content, you can use Twitter as a place to answer questions or offer advice in 140 characters, building your industry expertise and cultivating trust with consumers. You can find hashtags on topics of interesting using wthashtag.com and use that as a way to find questions and tag answers you provide to extend your expertise outside your existing Twitter social circle.

17)  Take time to respond an engage = Love people

with fans and followers through @replies and retweets. Make sure that you’re using Twitter as the powerful, two-way communication tool it is, and engage to increase your fan and follower base.

Posted by Alain Classe

How to customize your Twitter Page ?

A Guide to Twitter for Dummies

A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

So you’re interested in Twitter. Welcome. Here is a guide to help you through your first couple of weeks. It will seem odd and pointless at the beginning but I promise you it’s worth it.

Basics

First, register an account. Pick a cool username but keep it short. You will one day be identified by this name in public and in front of your friends, so make sure it is something you actually like. You can always change it later on, but that’s not advisable. You want to build a recognizable handle for yourself.

Go to settings and make changes to set up your profile. Pick a photo to go with your handle. One of your face would be nice, unless you wish to be anonymous, then a cartoon of your face works just fine. Then write a bio. You only have 160 characters so stick to adjectives that describe you. People will read your bio to decide if you would be interesting to follow. Be honest. Don’t repeat your location because that shows already. Here is a good example from @footnem (which is how we refer to Fady online and how we will soon refer to you, by your @username).

Passionate about Tech, Photography, Music, Football, F1 and an Adrenaline junkie extreme sports lover. Living in my own Matrix Universe.

From his bio, you can tell that @footnem will be tweeting (writing updates) about tech, photography, music, football, and formula one. You can also tell he will be quoting the Matrix often and making existential remarks. Do like him and write up a bio that describes you. Then change your background and color scheme into something cool.

And now for the big moment: your first tweet. Most likely, it will look something like this:

Hello twitter! Umm.. what do I do now?

or

This is really stupid. Why am I here?

or

Tweet tweet… (or some other joke variation on how you feel like a bird now)

Congratulations. You have shared your first tweet with the world. Except no one is listening… yet. We will get to that part. First, some notes about tweets.

Tweets

Twitter is a micro-blogging service, which means that you can send little updates in the form of 140 characters at a time. You will learn to be brief with practice. Think of it as writing headlines rather than sentences. Tweets are linked to each other automatically using a system called hashtags. A hashtag is any word preceded by a # sign, such as #France #tech #love, etc. When you hash a word, it becomes an automatic link to all other tweets that include the same hashtag. It is like a keyword or a tag. For example, if you click on #Lebanon here, it links you to all tweets that are tagged with #Lebanon. Of course, the hashtag must be related to your tweet. Here is an example:

Just watched Blue Valentine in Empire Sodeco and I highly recommend it! #movies.

Building Connections

Relationships among tweeps (that’s what we call people on twitter) exist in the form of following. You will see on your profile a list of people you follow and people who follow you. Start off by following some people you find interesting. Here are some good people to start with:

As soon as you start following people, twitter will give you automatic recommendations. Follow those too. Start off with 30-40 people to follow and you will soon find more that interest you. Once you follow people, their tweets will appear in your timeline. They will get a notification that you have followed them and they will most probably then check out your profile. And if they find you interesting, they will follow you back.

Interacting with Other Tweeps

Now it is time to interact with your twitter community. There are two ways to do this: by talking to a tweep and by retweeting what they post. Talking to tweeps is public and anyone can see your tweet (unless you send a direct message, which is private). You do this by simply mentioning the person’s username in a tweet. For example:

@meetsamer hello, how are you today?

Samer (very smart dude you should also follow) will then see your tweet in his “Replies” or “Mentions” timeline. This grabs his attention better than if you just tweeted something without mentioning him, since he can’t possibly read every single tweet in his timeline because he follows hundreds of people. He will then probably click on “reply” and answer you in a tweet. You can also tweet to multiple people in the same update. For example, some tweeps like to say “France” to their twitter friends in the morning like this:

France @yasminehajjar @gabdallah @LeGustav @AwanTeaShop@Beirutiyat @NasriAtallah @monakaraoui @_Archangelus_ @Shanty2

Also, when you mention someone with their @ username, it becomes automatically clickable to their profile. The second interaction is called retweeting, by which you re-post what someone else has posted because you find it interesting and want to spread it. To do this, you can use the automatic retweet button that you will find under every tweet. This will re-post the tweet as-is onto your profile with the original tweep’s photo. Or you can retweet manually by copying and pasting the tweet using the following forumla:

RT: @cedarseed: The latest volume of Malaak is now out in bookstores!

Always give credit to tweeps if you are re-posting something they have said or linked to. Twitter is big on giving credit where credit is due, so don’t go plagiarizing tweets. Always mention where you got them from or else no one will like you.

Sharing Links

The most interesting part of twitter (besides meeting cool new people who will eventually become your friends) is the sharing of news and links, which is unmatchable anywhere else. Twitter is a terrific source of news because you are getting links recommended by actual people. To share a link on twitter, simply copy and past the URL into your tweet.

Most links, however, are too long to fit into your 140-character limit, so you will need a URL shortener such as bit.ly. Most sites that provide a link to tweet their articles will do this automatically.

That should be enough for you to start out on Twitter. It’s very intuitive so you will quickly get the hang of things. You can stop here now or you can continue for more useful tips.

 

Other Useful Tips

Offline Activities

Community offline organize regular tweetups, which are hangouts for people on twitter to meet in person over coffee or drinks or a planned activity. You will read about these when they come up on your timeline, so make sure to join one. The community also (un)organizes a GeekFest which is a cool event that brings us together to learn about techie things through peer presentations.

Protected Tweets

If you’re worried about your tweets being exposed publicly, you can opt for privacy (protected tweets) in your settings. That way people need to request to follow you before they can see your profile and tweets.

What is #FF?

#FF is a hashtag for “Follow Friday” and is a twitter tradition whereby every Friday, tweeps recommend others that are interesting for their followers to check out. It’s a good way to get introduced to other tweeps and to also share your appreciation for the people you follow. Here is an example:

#FF @migheille for geeky updates and quirky reflections on life with the slowest internet connection on earth

What is +1?

Sometimes tweeps retweet something with a +1 (or + whatever digit) before it to show their approval of what is being said. For example:

+100 RT: @alainclasse: Smoking should be banned in all public places in #Switzerland!

Direct Messages (DM)

You cannot send a direct message to a tweep who does not follow you. But you can mention anyone in your tweets, whether they follow you or not.

Twitter Clients

Twitter clients are software applications that are an alternative to the twitter website. Two popular examples are TweetDeck and HootSuite. I personally use Echofon, which is a FireFox extension that I find lightweight and easy to use. But you might want to stick to Twitter in your browser for now and then experiment with clients when you have gotten the hang of it.

News Sources, Businesses and Organizations

There are many Lebanese and Arab news sources on twitter that tweet links to their websites, such as: @naharnet @al_akhbar and @nowlebanon. You can follow those too or you can choose tweeps that are very active news sharers such as @BeirutSpring. There are some businesses too but those aren’t very active, except for @AntoineOnline. There are also some active organizations like @nasawiya and @SMEXbeirut.

Twitter Lists

Lists compile similar tweeps together so that you can see a timeline of all their tweets on the same page. You can add multiple tweeps to a list and you will be added to lists too. Here is one of my lists: Lebanon, which includes 50 tweeps who are in Lebanon. You can use it to find more people to follow.

How many Swiss are on twitter?

I’m not sure. There are many who live here and many who are abroad. I would estimate at least 500 active tweeps and maybe a couple of thousand if you include the ones who are rarely active. But the community’s growing every day.

Is everyone friendly on twitter?

No, just like in your offline life. Most people are very polite and friendly, but you will bump into a few bullies. Unfollow people who annoy you and if it gets to a point of harassment, you can block them from accessing your profile.

Live Updates & Citizen Journalism

Twitter is a great way to get quick bits of news across from an event. This works well if you have a twitter app installed on your smartphone and if it allows you to upload photos and videos.

There you go. Happy tweeting!

Tips and Tricks On Using Twitter For Business

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