I write a lot about how you can grow your fanbase using Twitter, but most of those tips take time and are long term strategies. But there are some simple, quick things you can do in less than 30 minutes that will teach you a lot about what’s working (or not) for you on Twitter and will give you a better handle on how to get the most out of the time you spend using it.
1. Check Your Bio And Name
Your bio on Twitter is that 140-character blurb that is shown below your name on your profile page. It also shows up when you follow somebody new – if they get email notices about new followers (and most people do). It’s basically your quick introduction to the world on Twitter.
But here’s the thing – most people write it when they first create their Twitter account and never look at it again.
As a result, there’s a good chance your bio doesn’t reflect what you want it to reflect and/or includes a link to old websites or content that you no longer use any more.
Take a couple minutes to see what your bio says and adjust it if need be. What should your bio include? I’d recommend something specific about you that explains who you are, why people should follow you, and what to expect if they do.
Having a bio that just says something like “Just a guy getting my Twitter on…” really doesn’t do you (or your would-be followers) any good.
One other thing worth noting here – your bio section is also searchable when people search Twitter for names or key terms they want to follow. So, if you include the word “comedian” in your bio, you’ll have a chance of coming up when people search for comedians.
The same goes for your “Name” if you have a Twitter handle that isn’t your name. For example, if your real name is Joe Smith but your Twitter handle is @ThatFunnyGuy and then you put your name as “Joe Funny,” nobody is going to find you on Twitter if they search for Joe Smith because that name’s not in your bio or Twitter name.
Your name and your bio on Twitter matters – don’t think they’re just meaningless sections to fill in.
2. Check Your Account On FriendOrFollow.com
FriendOrFollow.com is a free website that allows you to enter in your Twitter account name and see a breakdown of your Twitter followers – it will show you how many of your followers are following you back, how many are not following you back, and how many people are following you that you’re not following back.
Besides being fun to look at, it can give you some great leads of people you should be following and/or interacting with on Twitter. For example, you can check out the list of people following you that you don’t already follow and then start to follow them. You can also reach out to them to ask how they heard about you, interact with them, or just thank them for following you.
On the flipside, this is also a great way to clean out your following list by eliminating some people you may be following that don’t care about you enough to follow back.
3. Do A Twitter Search For Your Name, Website Or Project Links
The most powerful part of Twitter is actually Twitter’s search function. Most people don’t really understand how great a tool this is, but that’s for another post at another time. Today, just go do a search for your name, your Twitter handle, your website URL, or links to any of your videos or other projects you may have out there.
If you’re putting interesting content out there, you’ll probably discover that some people have been talking about it on Twitter and you had no idea. Once you see their tweets come up in the search results, you can reach out to them and interact with them.
4. Check Your Bit.ly Stats
Did you know that if you post a link on Twitter as a Bit.ly shortened link that you can see exactly how many people clicked the link and what time they clicked it? All you have to do is paste a copy of the link URL with a + sign on the end of it and you’ll see a page full of stats and analytics about how the link performed.
For example, here’s a link to a recent bit.ly link that I posted on Twitter – https://bitly.com/mRZL30+
This is another incredibly helpful (and addictive) tool because it can help you understand what kind of tweets get more clicks and what times of the day you can expect to get the most clicks for the links you post.
5. Use Twitter Lists
Another Twitter function that not enough people make use of is the ability to create Lists. Here’s a good overview of what Twitter Lists are and how they work.
For your purposes, I think there’s a couple things you may want to do with lists. First, check to see if you’re listed on anybody else’s lists – if so, it can be interesting to see who felt you were worth adding to their list and see who else is on that same list with you. Most likely, you’ll share some similarities with those people who you’re on the same list with.
The other thing you can do is create a couple of your own lists which will help you make sure you don’t miss tweets from people that you deem most important to follow.
None of these things are going to completely revolutionize how you use Twitter, but all of them can help you get more out of the time you spend on Twitter. They’re well worth exploring for a few minutes every once in a while.