Brandon’s Twitter Tutorial: How to Start Engaging Your Online Audience

Did you know that IMPACT is waiting at your Fingertips? Just 1 Status, 1 Update, 1 Tweet could potentially Change Someone’s Life Forever. The question is, “What will You Post?”

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In our world, the internet has emerged has one of the most revolutionary tools humanity has ever seen and very rarely will you find someone who has yet to experience an aspect of it. Growing up, we never had Internet at our house until I was an upperclassmen in high school where the choice of having it was no longer a luxury, but instead a growing demand. The lack of having internet while I was young is one of the primary reasons I have become so tech-savvy today. When I first started getting online and creating my networks, I was looking for avenues that would help me connect with my friends in school. Facebook and MySpace were the running networks that everyone had at the time and those were the ones I signed up for. However, as time progressed from high school to college, I discovered there was more to social media than just connecting with your friends. I found that you can motivate, inspire, and engage your friends in an uncommonly influential way. The opportunity to engage others in a positive and meaningful way is something I strive to do all the time as a speaker, but with a solid social media platform on the internet, engaging and reaching others is no longer limited to a speaking event or workshop, but now enhanced by just a few clicks of the mouse. There are many different networks you  can choose from, i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, SoundCloud, Google Plus, Twitter, and others. Today, I chose to put together a brief yet simple tutorial on how to use Twitter to effectively for engagement, because it is one of the more popular social networking sites and although it may look complicated at first, when learned, it can be one of your favorite sites to use.

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1. Hash-Tags Are Your Friends #NotYourEnemy

One of the first red flags that new Twitter users come across is the hash-tag scenarios. Questions frequently asked, “What is a Hash-Tag? What do Hash-Tags do? How do I use them effectively?” All are good questions and for first time users, they need to be asked. A hash-tag is a simple way for you to index your tweet into a category that is easier for others to connect to. For example, if you were to search the #TruthOnTwitter you would find tons of my tweets, because most of my posts are hash-tagged with that specific phrase. I picked that phrase because I normally tweet on topics that are inspiring, scriptural, and motivating. The hash-tag will save your posts where others can come back to read what you tweeted by just a simple search. Some of even referred to the process of using hash tags as a way to keep specific records in a multi-billion user network. Using your hash-tags effectively will make it easy for referencing. Whenever I am doing social media workshops, I often recommend using at least one hash-tag per tweet. This way you are indexing your tweet in a way that is user-friendly and your audience will appreciate the simplicity of it. Do not let the world of hash-tags be a turn off for you, just like anything else some users use the power of hash-tagging well, while others abuse it. The important thing is to hash-tag tweets that you believe are important to you and to your followers. Although hash-tags look overwhelming at first, do not fear, they can prove to be very rewarding if used appropriately and purposefully. #TruthOnTwitter #BrandonsTwitterTutorial 🙂

2. What Should I Tweet About?

They say that effective tweeting has become an art in itself. If you really want to engage your followers by your tweets, think about what topics would bring out the best of your followers. For example, if you were to look at my followers on Twitter you would notice that the majority of them are high school and college students. If I want to engage my followers, I will tweet something that is relevant and important to those two age groups. When the state of Oklahoma has the biggest college football game of the year, which is Bedlam (University of Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State University) I will tweet something that will get my followers attention. See Picture below.

bedlam

You will notice that this tweet received nearly 500 interactions within a day. How did this happen? It happened because I tweeted something relevant to my following that was then Retweeted and Favorited by hundreds of my following. When you Retweet a Tweet you are re-posting the tweet for the rest of your followers to read. When you Favorite a Tweet, you are endorsing the tweet just not re-posting for others to see. In this case, thousands of users on Twitter saw this tweet because of how many times it was interacted with. Tweet about current events that are important to you, causes you advocate for or against, this is your platform so make it what you want it to be. The great thing about sites like Twitter is that it allows you to create your own content and tailor to the interests of your followers in a creative and unique way. Remember: Tweet about things that are relevant to your following, timely, and engaging. 

Hint: Don’t be afraid to tweet a question or two to your followers. Its a great way to stimulate online discussion as well as receive feedback. 

3. Building Your Following

Your following on Twitter can dictate a lot of what you tweet about. The followers can also help boost your credibility as a user and create a greater likelihood of engaging new followers. Although there are many different apps that promise to boost your followers, the best way I recommend boosting your followers is by promoting your Twitter account through alternate venues. Occasionally, I will invite my Facebook friends to join me on Twitter, same for LinkedIn, and my Instagram accounts. This way you are building your network on what you already have. I can not say enough how important it is to tweet on relevant  topics that fit your following. Bottom-line: The more you engage your audience, the more traffic you are allowing your account to potentially receive. Just like anything else, building your following takes time, but with a solid game plan of who you would like to attract and what messages you would like your social media platform to promote will determine a lot of what your future on Twitter will be.

I hope this 3-point tutorial has been useful. If you would like to put your newly found Twitter skills to use, feel free to join me January 4th, 2015 at 10pm central for “Twitter Talk”. Its an online leadership discussion geared toward impacting our schools and world. All you have to do is use the hash tag #trendsetmyschool or tweet me @Brando_Baum

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Thank you for reading, feel free to refer this tutorial to a friend. No matter what happens, keep tweeting, keep engaging, and keep trying new things, because that is when we grow the most. Spread the message, share the love,  Happy Tweeting! 🙂

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