Monday, 10 February 2014

Twitter, my tips.

Twitter is a great tool for social media, for building contacts and relationships. It's a great way to reach your audience, and a great way to make contacts with people in your chosen industry who can help you.

11 months ago my first book, The Viking's Apprentice , was published and it suddenly occurred to me that I might need to use Twitter to help get the word out. I had a grand total of three followers at the time. One was my wife and I'm pretty sure they other two were fakes. Now my Twitter account @bannon1975 has over 1327 followers and is increasing all the time.. oh I'm now at 1339, see it's going in the right direction.

I have taken some time to learn how to use Twitter, and taken advice from some very knowledgeable people. I've used different tools and programs to help me and recently I think I've finally got my head around what helps and what doesn't.

Quick do's and donts.

Do make your twitter interesting. Tell people about you, not just your books or products. Share links to information you have found useful. Talk to people, engage with people. Don't just blast out tweets trying to sell; that will switch people off.
Don't buy followers, ever. What use would that be? There are loads of links on twitter telling you that you can get 1000's of followers for a few pounds or dollars. Think about it though. Why flood your account with fake followers? Will they be interested in what you have to say? Will they buy what you have to offer? No they won't and ultimately they will ruin your account and dilute your message.

There are also lots of websites out there that offer tokens or coins to swap for followers. I don't understand why people would use them. Your twitter account, when used correctly will generate it's own followers. Just give it time and work hard at making it work.

Show yourself, get rid of the egg and upload your own profile pic. People want to see you, we relate to a face better than a graphic.

One Great Tip

I can't remember who told me this, but it works. It's called the six minute rule. When you are trying to build a follower base a good tip is to use the six minute rule. Go on twitter and start the clock. Search for other people that work in your field. Look at their followers and follow the ones you think are interesting and, importantly, that actually tweet. Do this for six minutes then stop. You're done for today. Do this consistently and your list of follows will grow. Human nature will kick in and lots of those that you follow will follow you back. This will build a high quality list of followers that you can engage with. Try it, it works!

Social Media Tools

There are loads of social media tools out there, some good and some awful. I'm going to concentrate on the ones I have used for twitter. Which makes sense as this is a blog about twitter.

I used Tweetdeck for a while, but to be honest I didn't like it. I didn't save the time or do what I wanted it to do. Yes you could load tweets but it was time consuming and clumsy. I looked around for other tools and I now use only two. I use Hootsuite and Why did I settle for these two? It's simple really. They both work, they both save time and they are both excellent social media tools. I sound like a sales pitch so I have deliberately not linked to either site so you know I'm not just trying to sell you click throughs to social media software. I want to help you, and hopefully I'm going to.


Hootsuite is a tool which links to your twitter account. There is a basic free version which is good for saving tweets that you can then tell Hootsuite to 'auto schedule'. This means it will send the tweets out at certain intervals to ensure a wide coverage. I used this version for a while, but now I'm using the pro version. Again I'm not going to link to it as I don't want you to think I'm selling.
What are the advantages of the pro version? You can create spreadsheets of tweets to send out throughout the day or week that you can then save and edit as you need to. These spreadsheets can be bulk loaded into Hootsuite and the tweets will go out at your specified times. It takes a bit of time and tinkering but it's worth the effort as the results are excellent. I've been able to organise my time more efficiently and set my tweets to work in the best way to engage with my followers.

I should point out that Hootsuite can link to all your social media accounts. Mine is linked to my facebook, linkedin, Google+ and, of course, my Twitter.

My advice would be to get the free version then work from there. If the free version does all you need then don't upgrade. If you want to save time and have an excellent social media tool in your corner then upgrade to pro.


Again I'm deliberately not providing a link as I don't want you thinking I'm getting paid for this post. I came across this tool through my website This website is through and they offer a range of tools to help enhance your site. I began by using the free version and found it ok. What does is it organises things like who follows you, who unfollows you. It makes suggestions at who you should follow and unfollow. It's excellent for getting rid of people that never tweet or accounts that have gone dormant. If your follower list is full of people not using twitter then that's a pretty useless list. If you use the free version you need to work with it and twitter at the same time to unfollow and follow new people, and to do the other functions uses.
As I became more aware of the importance of twitter and other social media resources I decided to get the professional version of this software. I have to tell you all that I absolutely love it. It's by far the best tool I have used in my social media world. It even tops Hootsuite, which takes some doing.

What makes it so good? The pro version is just so simple to use, excellently laid out and gives you everything you need. So what does it tell you?
Your new follows and unfollows (those terrible people that ditch you without so much as goodbye). You can then engage with your new followers directly though and it will post to twitter for you.
It shows you who is retweeting your tweets and which people in your follower lists are the most active. You can then engage with these people which builds your twitter reputation.
If you have missed anyone that mentioned you it highlights it. Again you can then engage with these people.
The reports are brilliant, it shows you your activity for the week, month or day which ever you want to look at it. For example this week I have 117 new followers, 125 retweets and have reached 851,000 people. When you can see your figures it makes you work harder and smarter.
Another great report shows you which phrases that are relevant to you have been used in tweets. For example my twitter name @bannon1975 has turned up in 201 statuses and has been seen by a potential 1.4 million people.

My advice is to get it and go straight for pro, it's cheap and excellent.

I hope these tips help you work better with Twitter. It's a great tool and I believe it can help anyone who uses it correctly.

If you would like to connect with me you can in the following ways.
Twitter @bannon1975
Facebook TheVikingsApprentice
Linkedin Kevin McLeod

If you would like to buy my books they are available from many online outlets. Follow this link Buy my books


  1. Good post. I particularly like your six minute rule! I'm new to this and find social media a real time suck.

    1. I think the 6 minute rule is brilliant and it really does get results. If you have any other questions feel free to ask away!

  2. I am a professional blogger, and I value Twitter a lot. The reason I can say this proudly is because I use WizUgo [com] as my Twitter account automation tool. Wizugo is so amazing that I can schedule my tweets according to my desired time and I don’t need to be online all day for that too. A mobile-friendly awesome tool for Twitter.