Twitter is the most notoriously misunderstood social media platform. Among the demographics that misunderstand it, entrepreneurs loom large.
How do I use it? What do I say? How does it work? These are fair questions. Even if you feel comfortable on the platform, it can be tough to know what to say or do.
If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to be visible, build a brand, and grow your reputation, follow the example of some of the savviest in the industry. Here’s what they do on Twitter.
1. They really use Twitter.
Most entrepreneurs recognize the importance of being on Twitter. But being on Twitter and using Twitter are two very different things. The most effective Twitter users are those who stay active in all the ways that Twitter users should. I’ll share more details in the points that follow.
For this point, the idea is simple. Don’t just reserve your Twitter username. Instead, use Twitter to the hilt. Twitter can provide benefit in spades as long as you’re engaging, not just parking.
2. They respond to Twitter notifications.
Savvy entrepreneurs view Twitter in the same way that they view any other platform for personal branding. They use it to engage. At the core of engagement is responsiveness. Powerful Twitter users are quick to respond to @ replies. Entrepreneurs like Chris Brogan interacts with his followers, making small talk and cracking jokes.
Mark Suster is an example of an entrepreneur (turned VC) who actively engages on Twitter. He’s just as involved in real life as he is through Twitter. This kind of responsiveness is endearing. If your followers appreciate you, appreciate them back. Responsiveness is courtesy.
3. They schedule their tweets, but stay spontaneous.
Twitter “power users” are known for scheduling their tweets. It’s a good idea, especially if you’re a schedule-oriented person. Some people possess the ability to map out their day, plan their week, and keep on task. Others of us are more spontaneous.
It’s true that scheduling tweets can save you time. In spite of the benefits of scheduling, Twitter is a place to stay spontaneous, to have conversations, and to maintain real-time interaction on trending topics.
Smart entrepreneurs know that scheduling saves time, but spontaneity increases engagement levels. Both are important.
4. They invent a hashtag.
Hashtags are money. I’m not simply referring to using hashtags in your status updates. That’s a given. I’m referring to a unique twitter hashtag that you own.
The best way to explain this is to show you. Gary Vaynerchuk is a brilliant example of an entrepreneur who knows how to use Twitter to the max. Since he has an outstanding online presence plus an unspellable last name, he created the hashtag #AskGaryVee
Everywhere that Gary is, so is #AskGaryVee. It’s the name of his podcast, and he uses the hashtag prolifically on Twitter, YouTube, Vine, Instagram, and Facebook.
Richard Branson, another entrepreneur and Twitter ninja, uses the hashtag #readbyrichard, which affirms that he has surveyed the link he’s sending.
Hashtags will improve your online presence. When you create your own unique hashtag, your presence becomes even more valuable. Keep in mind that you can’t technically register a hashtag in the sense that you own and control its usage. It pays to check its availability, but beyond that you can only popularize it, use it, and promote it.
5. They use Twitter to learn, not just to tweet.
One entrepreneur says that she uses Twitter not just as a personal platform, but as a method of learning. Twitter is the ideal place to engage in a real time conversation about business, entrepreneurship, industry information, tips, hacks, techniques, and anything else that pertains to your niche.
How is it even possible to learn from Twitter? To some people, Twitter seems like an avalanche of incoming tweets. No one can hope to keep up with the output. There’s no sense in trolling through the endless feed looking for the single pearl. How can you use it to learn?
The secret lies in curating your feed. You can control what you see, whom it comes from, and what it’s about. Using “tailored trends” you can choose the topics and locations that are relevant to you.
Another great feature for customizing your Twitter feed is to use lists. Creating lists of people that you want to follow filters the best from the rest, and gives you an opportunity to sit at the feet (or feed) of the masters.
6. They get in front of the Twitter users that matter.
Twitter is more than just amassing followers. It’s also about forming connections with the people who will prosper your business. If you are looking to Twitter to be a business tool, then start treating it that way.
Choose to connect with the people whom you respect. Select people who have large followings, who are influential, and who are in the niche you want to enter.
7. They repeat themselves on Twitter.
Most entrepreneurs have a drum to beat. You want to be known for something. Perhaps that’s why Guy Kawasaki considers Twitter to be the platform of perceptions: “It can help you build your reputation and visibility.”
Kawasaki recommends reusing Tweets, separated by an eight-hour span of time. Kawasaki himself tends to be repetitive on Twitter, but no one really minds. Tweeting the same tweet two to four times saves you time, communicates your passions, improves your reach, and connects you with the people who matter.
Twitter is a place where good things can happen. To get from Twitter, you have to give to Twitter. One of the best bits of entrepreneurial Twitter advice comes from Twitter’s co-founder and entrepreneur, Jack Dorsey. He advises entrepreneurs to keep it basic:
It comes down to the very simple things of talking about what you are doing, talking about your passion, talking about your love. I wouldn’t focus on the right way to ‘do’ social media. Just talk about what you love.
Passion is contagious. If you stay passionate on Twitter, you’ll possess the savvy of successful entrepreneurs.
This article was written by Neil Patel from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
Originally published on May 26, 2015 2:27 PM, updated Sep 1, 2016