If you’re struggling to get the hang of Twitter, not sure how to use it to best effect, or wondering why it’s relevant to you; then you’re not alone. I’m Baxter, a Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle mix). At nine weeks I started tweeting with a bit of help from my human mummy. Now I want to share my 6 top tips for achieving Twitter success and having fun along the way.
- Getting started: at first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to achieve with Twitter, so I started out by looking for people (and dogs) to follow that had similar interests to me. I used Google and found some lists of accounts that I might find interesting, and I used the Twitter search to look for other dogs. At this early stage I was quite random about who I followed. But the more accounts I followed, the more suggestions I got and it kinda snowballs once you get going. Lesson: find some people that interest you and follow them. Look and see who else your followers are following, and follow them (that’s a lot of follows for one sentence); just get started.
- Gaining followers: by following some folks, I very quickly started getting followers myself. I always said hello and thanks for following me, but made it personal to each follower, not auto-response rubbish for me. It’s amazing how many people ‘favourite’ a mention like that… shows you care that they’re part of your pack. As I get more followers I don’t always find the time to do that, but that’s just me be sloppy. I even have a few journalist followers, who knows when they’ll come in handy ?!? Lesson: interact with your followers and start to build relationships. Say hello, retweet their content, and they’ll do the same for you. Before you know it, you’ll have your own little posse of fans.
- Pictures: I made sure that I have a nice picture of myself in the little box, no eggs for me, and also added a good picture in the big box at the top. Let’s face it I’m a cute dog and people follow me because they want to see me, I’m like the Kim Kardashian of the doggie world – it’s all about photos. So I post the best pictures of me, with a little caption. These are always a big hit with my followers, getting retweets and favourites every time. Lesson: post pictures and video – when your followers are scrolling through endless tweets, it’s the pictures that catch their attention. They don’t have to be selfies like me and Kim, just pictures of whatever best suits your message.
- Lists: Not all followers are equal, and sometimes I just want to see the tweets from the people (and dogs) I like most. I have a list for my canine sisters and my human family too. I may set up one for journalists and other special groups of interests (treat manufacturers, I’m thinking!) Lists are a good thing to do, because I can get straight to specific groups depending on what I’m interested in right now, without distractions. Lesson: you can organise your followers into lists, helping you to find whatever you’re interested in at that particular moment.
- Be the source: I figure if you follow me, you’re probably interested in cute dogs. So, I follow other cute dogs and those accounts that post pictures of all sorts of cute animals. I retweet the best of them, so if you follow me you can get all the cuteness you need without the need to go anywhere else. Lesson: be the source of information on your subject to your audience. Curate content around your subject area and give it to your followers. You’ll then be known as the ‘social authority’ on your chosen specialism.
- Use hashtags: ok it took me a while to understand what this was all about. If you don’t know, by putting a hashtag in front of a word or phrase it makes it searchable. I use them all the time now. My go-to hashtag is #woof. I use it a lot and means anyone searching under #woof is likely to find me. Occasionally I use others that better suit what I’m tweeting about, and I often use them to reinforce a point, but am not expecting them to get used in searches. For example, some of my favourites have been: #IWantToBeAlone #UselessMummy #BadMummy #BumWiggles – you get the idea! Lesson: use hashtags if you want to be found on Twitter, and also use them to make your point, the funnier the better.
Bonus tip: Have fun with it, be irreverent and show your personality. The more fun you have, the more you’ll enjoy it, and the more successful you will be.
By Baxter Woof Jones
If you need help with Twitter, contact my human mummy – she knows even more than me !