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Social media changes like the weather. If anyone knows that, it would be Jennifer Watson, social media manager at AgoraPulse.

She relates to the winds of change as a meteorologist at The Weather Channel. Her “Weather Gone Viral” series echoes her experience with online trends that soar in virtual jet streams.

Best social media plans are laid out in fair weather, which Watson discussed with online marketing expert Madalyn Sklar. They focused on rethinking Twitter strategy.

One important factor in any online program is hashtags, a specialty of Nick Martin at social media management company Hootsuite. He noted hashtag do’s and don’ts:

  • Do make it memorable.
  • Don’t make it too long.
  • Do use it consistently.
  • Don’t use too many in one tweet.

“As a bonus, don’t use hashtags in the middle of a tweet on a single word,” Martin said. “That’s just weird.”

Sklar also published an article, “Your Guide to Using Hashtags on Twitter for Maximum Reach.”

“Hashtags are effective at boosting your reach, allowing you to gain exposure to tons of new people with every post you make,” she said.

Her post details these guidelines: Choose relevant hashtags, create your own branded hashtags such as Sklar’s #TwitterSmarter, and search Go to Hashtags to connect with your audience.

Hootsuite’s related article is, “How to Use Hashtags: A Quick and Simple Guide for Every Network.”

Digging further in Twitter strategy, Watson had tips to make Twitter biographies stand out:

  • Show your unique personality.
  • Max out the 160 characters.
  • Use keywords.
  • Highlight your accomplishments.
  • Link to company accounts and websites, but don’t overdo it.
  • Give a call to action.

“When it comes to your Twitter bio or anything you do — no matter what — be you,” Watson said. “Stay on brand.”

Take advantage of space

“Look at my Twitter bio for an example of what you can do to stand out,” she said. “I use line breaks and emojis as a way to make things pop. You only get 160 characters, so make them count.”

Hashtag rules vary widely from one social media platform to the next. On Instagram, for instance, there is no such thing as too many hashtags. On the other hand, Twitter favors less is best.

“Hashtags in Twitter biographies need to be relevant to your brand or a branded hashtag you created,” Watson said. “I don’t like more than three hashtags, plus one link.

“The one thing you don’t want to do is steer people away from your content or spam them,” she said. “You want your profile to be searchable and for people to want to stay and learn more.”

Sklar recommends no more than two relevant or branded hashtags and one call-to-action link.

“Cluttering up your bio with hashtags is pointless,” she said. “It will not help you at all. Too many links will be confusing. Keep it simple.”

Although Twitter has expanded maximum tweet length to 280 characters, fewer are better there as well.

“I prefer to keep my tweets in the 140-character range,” Sklar said. “It’s nice to get a bit more wordy from time to time, but brevity rules on Twitter.”

Watson said tweet length totally depends on content.

“A tweet should only be as long as it takes to get your point across or the content said clearly,” she said.

Drawing attention this way will help grow numbers of Twitter followers.

“Spend time every day engaging with your followers and community,” Watson said. “Search relevant hashtags and start conversations.

“Actively engage in relevant Twitter chats,” she said. “Share followers’ content and have personal conversations. Ask people about the content they want to see.”

Sklar has compiled ways to grow Twitter followers:

  • Be consistent.
  • Tweet every day.
  • Go through notifications daily and respond.
  • Use Twitter lists.
  • Participate in Twitter chats.
  • Engage. Engage. Engage.

What’s old is new again

Evergreen content is always relevant and never dated,” Watson said. “You want it to be still engaging to your audience and provide value. Evergreen content is a great way to consistently publish content that will be useful for your audience.”

Just like newly created posts, evergreen content should drive traffic to websites. This is similar to writing a blog that answers common questions.

Watson prefers sharing content using a scheduling tool such as AgoraPulse, which has queues to pre-schedule content.

“My evergreen strategy is using Social Jukebox to share my weekly Twitter Tips blog posts, my #TwitterSmarter podcast and information about me and my business,” Sklar said. “None of these items has an expiration date. I post them one time in Social Jukebox, and everything runs on autopilot.”

Watson and Sklar depend on these Twitter management tools:

  • AgoraPulse
  • Social Jukebox
  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Media Studio
  • TweetDeck
  • Twitter lists

“Automation should be used sparingly — always,” Watson said.

“Engagement is the key to building meaningful relationships and growing your community,” she said. “Automation is great when you’re on vacation or during other busy times, but don’t make it a consistent habit.”

Sklar said automation works best for long-standing posts.

“If you have evergreen content, it’s wise to automate it with tools like Social Jukebox, AgoraPulse and MeetEdgar,” she said.”This can account for 20 to 40 percent of your activity — as long as you spend more of your activity connecting and engaging with people.

“Social Jukebox CEO Tim Fargo said on my #TwitterSmarter podcast that by resharing things — using automation — you give people an opportunity to see your greatest hits,” Sklar said. “Those are good words to live by.”

About The Author

Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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