There’s a right way to use Twitter, and there’s a wrong way to use Twitter. I hate to say it, but too many people don’t use Twitter correctly. That’s why I watch so many Twitter profiles die within a few months. People give up because they aren’t getting the results they hoped for. That’s why I want to share my top 5 Twitter tips and tricks with you.

Twitter Tips and TricksIf you’re struggling with Twitter (or you’re just getting started) – DON’T QUIT! It’s time to make Twitter work for you! That’s what this post is all about! These are the top 5 Twitter tips and tricks that will help you succeed. If you follow these steps, I guarantee you’ll see better results using Twitter!

Top 5 Twitter Tips and Tricks

Optimize Your Profile

It all starts from the very beginning (for all social media platforms — not just Twitter). You MUST optimize your profile! This is the most common mistake I see people make. They don’t utilize the space they’re given on Twitter. I know that you’re limited by 160 characters (for your profile — it’s 140 characters for tweets), but you need to use every single one of them on your profile.

I’m going to answer your two biggest questions right now: What does ”optimize your profile” mean? It means that you need to pack your Twitter profile with keywords. How do you find the keywords that you want? It’s simple! Use the FREE Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Click here to learn how to use this awesome tool (you won’t regret this). I use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool every day for profiles, blogs, videos, etc. It’s probably the single most important tool I use to boost our search engine optimization (or SEO).

Once you find your keywords, slam them into your Twitter profile. Use the keywords for your username (e.g., @CatchWinds - we ideally wanted @CatchtheWinds for branding purposes, but it was already taken) and in your profile description. I see too many Twitter profiles that don’t provide any useful information about the account. That can’t happen.

More than 450,000 people join Twitter every single day. How in the world are people going to find you through the clutter? The answer — optimizing your profile!

Add A Profile Picture And Header Photo

This should be common sense, but it’s not. I see too many folks with that default egg picture (I’m not really sure how else to describe it). When I see a Twitter profile without a picture, I move on to the next person. To me, a Twitter profile without a picture means that person is inactive or they just don’t care enough. The same goes for an account without a header photo.

Twitter Tips and Tricks

Profile picture and header photo

Add a picture to your profile! It doesn’t have to be anything wild and crazy. It can even be a logo if you’re not comfortable with a picture of yourself. Hell, put a picture of your cat. I don’t care what it is — just add a profile picture and a header photo to your Twitter account.

Create A Background

It seems like everyone wants to put as little time into social media as possible, but they also want social media to build our brand, blog and/or business. Unfortunately, you can’t build your presence without a little effort. Let’s be honest, the more time you put into your Twitter profile, the better off you’ll be.

The more impressive your Twitter page looks; the more people it will appeal to. Think of it as a storefront. Are you more likely to shop at Generic Jenna’s or Beautiful Betty’s? I’ll take Beautiful Betty’s every time (I hope that makes as much sense to you as it just did to me).

You can get as creative as you want. You can build a professional looking background like @TripAdvisor, or you can simply find an image online (or on your computer) and make it your background (like I did for my @LewisSports account). Just like the profile picture and header photo — do something (anything!) with your background.

A little extra effort goes a long way when it comes to your Twitter profile.

Don’t Protect Your Tweets

When you protect your tweets, people have to make a request to become your follower and see your tweets. First off, that’s a pain in the butt for anyone who wants to follow you. Secondly, it just doesn’t make sense. The whole point of social media for branding/blogging/business is to reach as many people as possible with your message. If you protect your tweets, you limit who can view what you have to offer.

I can’t begin tell you how many bloggers I see with protected accounts/tweets. I’m going to be very blunt here – that’s easily the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. If you have a personal Twitter account that you want to keep private, then feel free to protect your tweets. If you have an account for your brand/blog/business, then leave it open for the world to see.

Follow Those Who Follow You

Twitter isn’t meant to be a one-way conversation. If people like what you have to offer, they’ll follow your account. That means your tweets show up on their main Twitter feed. It’s a common courtesy to follow those people back. It’s like saying thank you. It also shows that you noticed their gesture (a new follower should always be a big deal), and you’re now listening to what they have to say (by allowing their tweets to show up in your feed).

Top 5 Twitter Tips and TricksI see a lot of people with a large number of followers who aren’t following anyone back. To me, it says that person is just trying to shove their message down my throat and they don’t care about me. If that’s the way you choose to be, then you won’t be a friend of mine. You also MUST reply to everyone who tweets at you. If you don’t respond, it’s like “leaving someone hanging.” It’s a little thing called common courtesy.

There are a lot of spammers out there trying to grow a massive audience, so you don’t have to follow those Twitter accounts back. But, if a another blogger or someone from your market/community follows you, then reach out your hand and welcome them by following them back. Now, you can start to build a real relationship.

If you’re concerned with your news feed getting cluttered with tweets you don’t want to see, then create you can simply create a list with only the people you really want to follow (for news, deals, scores, etc.) on it. Now there’s no excuse to not follow the people who follow you!

That’s it for my top 5 Twitter tips and tricks. Like I said before, if you choose to use these Twitter tips (which you really, really, really should), I guarantee you’ll start to see better results. Again, a little extra effort goes a long way with social media!

Do you have any Twitter tips and tricks you’d like to share? Please leave them in the comment section below, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube. Don’t forget to also check out http://catchthewinds.com for more on social media, travel and more! — TL