I kid, I kid.

Even though many people just got hip to Twitter in the past year or so, Twitter and I have had a relationship since 2008. It didn’t start out as anything serious. We were just having fun. But then…Twitter and I decided to make a big commitment. We became professional partners and have been living happily in my career ever since.

What? Yeah, well, let me explain. Part of my professional job is tweeting for and creating strategy for a large company account. In every job I’ve had, Twitter has played a fairly big role. I accidentally jumped into a career in social media — and I’m so glad I did!

Now, nearly 8,000 followers later, I’ve learned some pretty nifty tricks. met some pretty awesome people from the Twitterverse, and get to teach other people how to be effective Tweeters.

I even spent two years working on Capitol Hill teaching Members of Congress about why THEY should be using Twitter to reach their Constituents. And, let’s just say, a lot of them listened!

Ready?  This is how people normally look when I’m about to tell them about Twitter.
Every workplace can benefit from someone who has a strong knowledge of social media. We are all trying to get our names out there — whether that means an organization we work for — or our own networking within the blogosphere.
I put together something for work that I thought might be beneficial to some readers. I changed it a bit to make more applicable (and forgive the political references related to my job). No pressure but if you want t learn a little more about Twitter for yourself & your workplace, read on. 

Click below for MORE. 
Professionally speaking, who should you try to influence through Twitter? 
1)      News Media
a.       The more your company’s message can get picked up in the local & national media outlets, the further reach you will have.
b.      Start  by following a pre-made list of media people like this one.
c.       Curate your own Twitter list of reporters to follow from Newspapers, Magazines, Television, Radio,etc.

2)      Bloggers & Media Personalities in your subject
a.       Examples in Fitness: @JillianMichaels, @Ryan Hall3, @TheBillyBlanks 
b.      Examples in Nutrition: @Kriss_Carr, @DrNancyNBCNews, @djblatner   

3)      Organizations, Companies, Brands, Magazines
a.   Follow organizations like Back on My Feet, Girls on the Run, DC Road Runners
b.  Follow Magazines like Runners World, Fitness, Shape, Self, etc.
d. Follow brands like Mizuno, Chobani, Quaker Oats, Clif Bar, Nike, etc.
e. *Follow STAFF at these places to make personal connections with them.

My company Twitterfeed: See the use of hashtags, @handles, links & RTing friends.

Making Twitter Personal
1)      ALWAYS: Be helpful. Be informative. Be interesting. Be yourself. 

2)      Don’t just tweet out the headline from your blog post! Think about making it interesting with a quote, a question, a teaser etc. 

3)      What you are reading, doing, thinking. Tweet it out!

a.       Awesome piece on ways to make your Facebook Timeline shine! [LINK]
b.      Check out our quote in today’s @USAToday how green energy works! [LINK]
c.       Watching a powerful video on @Oprah about how to save your own life! [LINK]
d.    You’ve got to see this amazing recipe from @ThatsSoMichelle. To die for! [LINK]

4)      Are you talking about a person, brand, organization, etc.? Always search to see if they have a Twitter handle you can reference. The more you can connect with your topic/subject, the more it will ride the wave of the social ocean.

           a. How do you find Twitter handles? Google variations of names/places + “Twitter” and  usually it will come up or try searching their website. See below.

How do you measure your influence? 

1)      Follower count.
a.       You can increase your follower count by starting with a mass following of similarly-minded individuals on Twitter. You avoid having to look at all of their tweets by using Tweetdeck or Hootsuite with Twitter lists.

2)      ReTweets & Replies
a.       How many individuals are retweeting or replying to your message. You can identify the potential reach by counting your followers and their followers. The numbers easily become significant (to report back to the boss!).

3)      Media coverage
a.       If something you tweet out catches a reporter or opinion makers eye and they report on it, link to it, or somehow promote your message because of it, you’ve had a major impact
b.   Site linkage of blogs, news sites, other tweets, Facebook, etc.

*The video below is one I show during presentations. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s worth a watch!

How do you work with other, similar organizations? 

1)      Lists!
          a.       Make a list of all of our coalitions partners. Find them all on Twitter and curate into a Twitter list!

          b.      Ask each org. if they have a list of their employees using Twitter. Follow them!

          c.       When we have an item to promote, ask the social media person at that organization if they can provide a RT or a tweet praising our product with a link.

          d.      Be prepared to give back. Promote the information, papers, ideas, events of your company’s friends. Same with other bloggers!

          e.       If you have a request, curate a pre-tweet for them to copy and paste easily into their Twitter that is under 140 characters.

         i.      Ex. RT @Heritage Check our expert analysis of last night’s #SOTU! [LINK]
2)      Hashtags
          a.      In the fitness world, there are several we use reguarly: #fitblog, #runchat, #fitluential to name a few. In your professional world, there will be some too. In the GOP, for example, they used the hashtag #4jobs to focus on employment. Search for the hashtags relevant to your field & use when applicable to a message. 

          b.       Create a hashtag for a specific even, such as #CampaignTech for the Campaign Tech Conference.

          c.      Find a hashtag that is already trending and begin making your own tweets/content relevant to that hashtag so it’s delivered to a larger group of people that are following the trend. Today, #ThingsThatAreSexy is trending. Tack that on to your messages that could be relatable and get traffic to your blog. Find appropriate hashtags for your profession and do the same.
3)      Search Forums
           a.       Collaborating on an issue? Create a “Twitter search” for the subject of note. Then you will see all the people tweeting

Example of how one group “hijacked” a hash tag.

Conference Tweeting

1)      Identify the approved hashtag for the conference. Most conferences use them but not all. If there is one, make sure you use it consistently in all your tweets related to the conference. Create a “search” for the hashtag on your phone/computer so you can see everyone else tweeting about it. Then, follow everyone who is there tweeting about it! No hashtag? Ask a question on your account like, “Who else is at the BlogHer Food Conference?” and you may get response from people searching for the same.
See how these conference attendees use the hashtag #CPAC2012 to talk to others that are there.

2)      When you meet anyone in person, follow it up with a “Nice meeting @KellyAtkins today. Look forward to checking out xyz.com.” It is NOT rude to as if the person you are speaking with has Twitter. Ask! Write it down. After you’ve met someone in person, your tweets to/from eachother in the future mean 10 times more. Trust me!

3)      Booths & Cards. Pick up a card from every booth. Then, Google to see if they are on Twitter. Follow them. Tweet them to say it was nice stopping by their booth. Tell them to check out your blog, website, company. Make sure you respond if they respond.

                    Twitter Tips 

·             Be authentic
·             Do mix business with pleasure.
·             Be helpful and informative to others. 
·             Be SOCIAL: Reach out to those you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to talk to. That could be a Senator, a celebrity, an author or anyone else you might not otherwise have an opportunity to speak to in person. 
·             Don’t worry too much about gaining followers! It’s as organic as you are authentically active. 
·             Be generous: RT, compliment, redirect, promote other people’s stuff! 
·             Be grammatically correct and avoid profanity. Don’t use “4” in place of “for” or “2” in place of “two” unless it is absolutely necessary. 
·             Mix it up: Post to and about different people, different publications, etc. 
·             Tweet regularly: You need to tweet at least a few times a day. (You can set this up 
·       automatically for busy days but don’t rely on it, it is real time social!)Do respond to your mentions regularly! (or people will think you don’t care)
·             Do shorten your links with Bit.ly.Do make your tweets aethestically pleasing. 
·             Do use Tweetdeck and iphone apps.Link love: Twitter is a loving environment. You love those you follow, they will love you back. Share their websites…become popular. 
·             LISTEN! Are you reading what others are sharing? Respond! 
Happy Tweeting!
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