Tech Chat – Twitter Part 3: Advanced tips and tricks

Note: This is the third post in a four-part tech chat series about Twitter for evaluators. The first post explained the components and language of Twitter. This second post walked you through how to create your profile. This third post reviews more advanced tips and tricks for engaging others and managing your content. The fourth post will share strategies for networking on Twitter.

Congratulations! If you are reading this third post you have likely already made your Twitter account and are ready to take your relationship with the social media platform and its users to the next level. In addition to providing bonus resources at the end, this post will review how to:

  • Schedule posts
  • Select hashtags
  • Create lists
  • Manage email notifications
  • Pin posts to your profile
  • Analyze tweets

Schedule Posts

Twitter provides a wealth of information both in terms of work-related content and pop culture. You literally have access to over 500 million tweets each day. So it’s no surprise that users can easily get sucked down the black hole of keeping up with posts. Unless you’re in charge of social media and communications for your job, your boss is probably not going to appreciate you spending all your time using the platform at work.

I use Buffer to schedule tweets in advance, which helps me stay focused at work while continuing to engage users online. The free version of Buffer allows users to connect one account per social media platform and schedule up to 10 posts per account at one time. Buffer also lets users chose their posting schedule (the times that posts go out each day) so you can optimize your impact. Additionally, Buffer provides analytics on each tweet sent using the platform. This lets users see the number of retweets, likes, mentions, clicks, and reach, which is helpful to understand the types of content your followers are engaging with the most.

Other scheduling programs include:

Optimize your posting times

Remember how I just said Buffer lets users optimize impact by choosing when to post tweets? Find out when your followers are most active through Tweriod. Once you know when your followers are the most active online, you can schedule your posts during these times. This increases the likelihood that your followers will see what you post. Seeing your tweets is the first step to engaging with the content.

Select Hashtags

In the first post, I defined the term hashtag and discussed how these are keywords included in your tweet that begin with the # symbol. Tweets with hashtags are twice as likely to be retweeted so they’re a great and easy way to engage followers. When posting, you may already know what hashtags you want to use. For example, if tweeting about evaluation you might use #eval and when tweeting about data visualization you might use #dataviz. I often tweet about ending homelessness and use #endhomelessness.

Using the same hashtags repeatedly is great because it helps build a following within a certain content area. Sometimes, however, you might want to increase your marketing and reach a new audience. To do this, I have most often used the website hashtagify. Hashtagify lets users “instantly identify top hashtags and influencers to maximize your success on social media.” Through their dashboard, users can view the top related hashtags, top accounts, popularity trends, and recent tweets. Hashtagify costs $14-$254 per month depending on how much you would like to track. However, you can view the hashtag dashboard to understand current trends without making an account.

(Note: Hashtagify is currently not accepting new accounts while they undergo a website upgrade but new users can get on their waitlist.)

There are many other hashtag tracking programs that vary in price, including:

Create lists

Twitter lists are a great way to organize tweets by content area. For example, my lists include those for evaluation, data visualization, housing and homelessness, and policy. There are two types of lists: private and public. Private Twitter lists are only visible to you and users do not get notified if you add them to your lists. Public lists are visible to others and users receive a notification when they are added to someone’s list. Users can also subscribe to your public lists, which means they can follow the conversation without having to follow each individual account.

Visit Twitter to learn more about how to create lists.

Manage email notifications Twitter Email Notifications

One thing that really annoys me in life is a cluttered inbox. I’m that person who likes to have five emails in my inbox and gets very worried about people who have 2000. I have all sorts of filters set up in my email account to automatically file emails into folders. So I definitely do not want to receive an email every single time I receive a notification on Twitter.

To manage email notifications, go to “settings and privacy” then “email notifications.” I check Twitter at least once a day so I currently do not receive any emails. If you rarely check Twitter, you might want to choose to receive certain email notifications so you know when someone has mentioned you or sent you a direct message.

Pin posts to your profile

Have an event coming up that you want to advertise or just released a new blog post or evaluation report? Pin this information to your profile! Twitter allows users to pin one post to the top of your profile. This means that this tweet will show up at the top of your twitter feed as the first thing your followers see. Pinning a post to your page is very easy. Click on the downward arrow to the right of your tweet and then select “pin to your profile page.”

Analyze tweets

As an evaluator, I’m always curious how my tweets are performing in terms of retweets, likes, mentions, followers, profile visits, and engagement rate. Twitter Analytics lets you view data about the past 28 days for free. Users can also use tools like the aforementioned Buffer and Hootsuite to post tweets and view analytics.

Twitter Analytics

Example analytics from Twitter

Bonus: Additional resources

  • Twitter keyboard shortcuts
    Short on time? Twitter has keyboard shortcuts to help you optimize your use of the social media platform.

Twitter Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Advanced search
    Looking for specific content on Twitter? Use the advanced search function. The easiest way to do this is to go to the advanced search homepage, which lets users apply filters such as time period, hashtags, keywords, location, and users.

Twitter Advanced Search

  • Unfollow people quickly
    Have a lot of followers that are no longer relevant to your work or are inactive users? Get help cleaning up your account quickly by using ManageFlitter (Free – $49/month).

I want to hear from you! What other tools are you using to engage others and manage your Twitter content?

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