#28 - A Twitter Challenge

Twitter is the first online space that I really started getting social on. I would go to Twitter to have conversations with people on a regular basis, many of whom I had never met before or met because of Twitter. My tribe was on Twitter. My business started with Twitter.

Twitter Challenge

Twitter has changed since the early days and there are seemingly less conversations, but that’s the evolution of social networks. Twitter is still relevant though and people still ask me if they should be on Twitter.

Sure it’s changed since 2006, but the entire online space has become busier and noisier, so how do you decide if Twitter is worth your time?

Here is what you need to know to get the most out of Twitter:

  • Before joining any social network you need to ask yourself what are you trying to do with that network? Do you want to be known as a thought leader? Are you just looking at your competition? What is the purpose of being in that space?
  • Are you looking to reach out to people you wouldn’t normally have easy access to, such as experts and celebrities? Twitter enables people to have conversations and interactions with people we have never met or never thought we could communicate with, and while these people may not always respond, sometimes a simply “like” is enough to know they care.

    Think about who you want to reach out to and why. You need to have conversations, not just broadcast and promote yourself. You also need to have a goal for these conversations. Are you trying to get people to visit your website? Buy a product? Be a guest on your podcast? Twitter is the perfect online space to liaise with people through conversations. You can even create lists to pay particular attention to specific people, or just follow those who are of interest to you and your business.

How to use Twitter

Here are a few basic Twitter tips to help you get started or feel more comfortable.

-       Say what you want to say in 140 characters – be concise.

-       Use hashtags where appropriate – it will help people find you based on your content.

-       If you start a tweet with a person’s username i.e. @LaraWellman, then the only people who will see that tweet are those who follow both you and that person.

-       Spend at least 10-15 minutes a day on Twitter engaging with others to get the full benefit.

Twitter Challenge

Starting the last week of May I will be running a Twitter Challenge out of my Facebook Community, The Biz Studio. It is going to be a five day challenge designed to get you started on Twitter and to help you identify your goals with this social network. It will also help you decide if it is an online space you need to invest your time and resources, or if you should be focusing somewhere else.

If you're not sure if Twitter is worth your time, or how to make the time you spend there more effective, I challenge you to join me! Click here to sign up for the Twitter Challenge!

Episode 2: Twitter

Episode two focuses on the social media network, Twitter: how it works and whether or not your business should be using it.


What is Twitter?

According to Wikipedia, Twitter is defined as:

An online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called "tweets". Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. 

How does Twitter work?

Twitter users can share messages that are 140 characters in length. Users can also share images as well as videos up to 30-seconds long.

Basically, people follow your Twitter account, which means that the content you “tweet” gets pulled into their Twitter stream. Tweets show up in chronological order so the chances of people seeing your content depend on when they go online and if your content appeared (and was noticed by them) as they scrolled through their Twitter stream.

Some users follow a lot of people on Twitter, which means content moves quickly and depending on how many followers they have, people may miss content shared by the people they follow.

What makes Twitter a great tool for businesses?

Twitter is more than just telling people what you had for lunch. Conversations are a huge part of the magic of Twitter.

You find your audience and you have conversations with them. You can have conversations with people you never would have had the opportunity to have conversations with anywhere else and this not only includes your audience, but also thought leaders in your industry.

Twitter has amazing potential for relationship building – I’ve made great friends and have also found great clients through Twitter.

What is a Twitter handle?

A Twitter handle is the @ symbol followed by the person’s Twitter name i.e., my name is @larawellman. When you put someone’s Twitter handle in a tweet they will have that show up as a notification in their Twitter account.

What is a hashtag?

Hashtags are a great way to follow a conversation or event that is being tweeted about. People use the hashtag symbol “#” followed by the word, and when users search for a specific hashtag i.e., #SocialMediaSimplified every tweet that uses that hashtag appears in a list.

When should a hashtag be used?

If you’re having an event and you share a hashtag, people will start talking about your event using that hashtag. This is great because people start to follow each other, and it makes it easy to find other people who have similar interests.

To be a part of the conversation and to expand your following, you should be tweeting and paying attention to hashtags at events you’re at or events of interest to your audience.

More Twitter Tips

 Create lists

Once you find the right people to follow add them to a list, i.e., Lifestyle Bloggers. Put together a list of industry experts, businesses you support or want to help, and users you want to interact with. By creating these “channels” you make your time on Twitter more efficient.

Look at other people’s lists

To find out what lists a specific Twitter user is on go to their Twitter page. Right above their tweets you’ll see Tweets, Following, Followers, Favorites and Lists. Click on lists. You can also just go to Once you’re on that page you’ll see the lists that person has created. Below their avatar on the left you can switch that to “member of” and then you’ll see all the lists that person has been added to.

From here click on the list and then on the left hand side under the name of the list click on “members.” You can now easily follow people from this list.

Don’t read it all

People have a tendency to think of Twitter as an Inbox. Instead you need to think of it more like the radio. Just pay attention to what you see while you’re there, but don’t be afraid to close it and return again later.

Use DMs for private messages

Don’t broadcast your personal information on Twitter, instead use the private DM (direct message) feature to share personal information. You can only DM someone who follows you.

Links mentioned in this post + extra resources:

Lara Wellman’s Twitter

Twitter Lists

Blog post: How to create Twitter lists

Blog post: Managing Twitter with lists