Twitter Best Practices: How to Use Twitter Effectively ~ Make Twitter Work for YOU


Many ask How Does Twitter Work?

But that isn’t really what you need to know to learn how to use Twitter.

The most important thing to remember about Twitter and other social media sites is that they are SOCIAL.

It isn’t about broadcasting or advertising. It is about interacting and relationships.

Twitter Best Practices Chalk board with Twitter bird

Image created on Canva; Chalkboard Image Credit WebDesignerDepot ~ FREE Twitter icons ~ Click image to download icons

You do NOT have to live on Twitter like I do to benefit from using it.

How to Save Time Using TwitterClick this Star to get free Twitter Social Media Icons

  • Just pop in whenever you have a little time.
  • Click on @mentions and answer any tweets that came to you.
  • Type your username into the search box and answer any tweets you’re interested in that mention you.
  • Be helpful to others.
  • Share and retweet what interests you.


Everything you to know from the basics to advanced Twitter strategies to becoming a major influencer.

  1. How to Get Started on Twitter and the most common Twitter Term Definitions
  2. What NOT to Tweet on Twitter
  3. What TO Tweet on Twitter
  4. Use Twitter Lists so you can find what you want and still follow those who follow you – and why you should
  5. *** COLLABORATORS be sure you do this using TwitterFeed or any other Twitter management solution you use: How to Use Twitterfeed for a consistent Twitter presence
  6. *** COLLABORATORS also do this: Strategy for getting more Twitter followers interested in YOUR niche
  7. Join us on JustRetweet where influential bloggers support each other with Twitter retweets
  8. Better Twitter Retweets
  9. Twitter Tools for Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts
  10. Geo-targeting Twitter – also see How to Use Twellow
  11. TwitterquetteTwitter Etiquette – Twitter Feeds are NOT Burger King – Why Everyone Can Not Have It THEIR Way
  12. Twitter Fail – Why You Should NOT Just Keep Tweeting About Your Business
  13. Twitter Limits – What they are and what to do if you hit them.
  14. Twitter Study: New Data: How To Get More Clicks, Retweets and Followers
  15. Twitter Local for Business: How to Geo Target Twitter for Small Business Local Social Media

CRITICAL for BLOGGERS: Put Your Twitter UserName on your BLOG!!!!

Twitter How-To Resources

People who are influencers on Twitter and who write blogs can create a better world for us all. If you’re serious about being influential I encourage you to contact me and to follow the other influencers I linked to in my Small Business Advice post. Want more? See my lists of Exceptional Bloggers with Influence on Twitter.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Tweet @GrowMap for answers (no charge).
If you want assistance setting up or optimizing your Twitter account,
Gail @GrowMap can help you. See the Hire Me tab.

The following two tabs change content below.

Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. Thank you very much for providing such great resources here Gail. I am so behind when it comes to twitter.
    I have not been able to take advantage of it for traffic and promotion, as I don’t really know who to properly use it..

  2. Hi Gail
    I found your blog while I was visiting Dee’s blog and I’m glad I did!
    You have a very good list of resources for using Twitter, I will be bookmarking this and coming back to read more as I cannot get to them all at once today :)
    I use Twitter on a daily basis and agree that it is a great platform for interacting with fellow marketers. I like to spend about 15 mins at at time a few times over the day and retweet interesting articles, posts etc and I like to thanks anyone who has retweeted any of mine I think it is only polite to do so if people have taken the time to share your content.
    I think used in the correct way it can be very useful for our business, I do dislike people who just post sales pitches, of course we all need to pitch our products but not all the time!
    Hope you have a great weekend
    Pauline would love you to read ..Tips On Emailing Your List Part 2My Profile

  3. LOVE this Gail, thank you so much for the resources. Definitely bookmarking this so I can come back to it later on.

    Definitely a couple of articles that I have not read of before.

    Aaron would love you to read ..6 ways to find relevant and valuable content ideas for your social media marketingMy Profile

  4. Make money online says:

    This post is great to understand the advanced strategies of twitter and the tips how to increase you twitter traffic is marvelous.
    Make money online would love you to read ..Best way of e-mail marketing making money onlineMy Profile

  5. SEO Company says:

    This post is best to understand the advanced strategies of twitter and the tips how to increase you twitter traffic is marvelous.

  6. i love twitter and it has done so many good things for a lot of us.Use it wisely though and be a good tweeter user
    fresh salsa would love you to read ..A Simple Quesadilla RecipeMy Profile

  7. as usual Growmap this is a great guideline for Twitter use…i have been a twitter user for years and still this helps me a lot

  8. I took your advice and read this article, I have learned at least 10 things in less than 5 minutes – You advised me to get an avatar in one of your other post about going viral. I have my work cut out for me getting my twitter page updated. Be back to comment sonn on another great post of your in the future

    Dori :)

  9. AstroGremlin says:

    Wow, just beginning to mine this Twitter resource. Have to admit I don’t make maximal use of Twitter, and sometimes wonder about my etiquette. There’s so much stuff to look at I wonder how other Twitter users sort through it all. For example, I found this article on my latest Twitter feed!
    AstroGremlin would love you to read ..CommentLuv Enabled Search EngineMy Profile

    • Hi,

      That’s the beauty of collaborating using CommentLuv – we can learn what works and implement it much faster. It still takes time, but the tips in this post can really make a HUGE difference. That is why I often include TwitterCounter images in them as visual proof that these strategies work.
      growmap would love you to read ..Why Your Geographic Location IS a NicheMy Profile

  10. Thank you very much for providing such great resources here Gail. I am so behind when it comes to twitter.

    I have not been able to take advantage of it for traffic and promotion, as I don’t really know who to properly use it. I am hoping I can use the links and tips you included here to finally get going with twitter. Thanks.
    Satrap would love you to read ..Get Paid to Translate Online as a Freelance Language TranslatorMy Profile

    • Hi Satrap,

      I just edited this post so I could more easily call your attention to what you need to know first. Just look for the big Twitter Star and the Sub-title SAVE TIME USING TWITTER.

      If you do just those things that will make a HUGE difference – and then you can use some of the other links and strategies to become influential on Twitter and send more traffic to any site that deserves it.
      growmap would love you to read ..Quantity Equals Failure. Success Focuses on Quality!My Profile

  11. I’ve written on twitter and love all the help you’ve provided. Just saw another blogger encouraging people to auto-tweet and buy followers. Should have told them to come here and see what Twitter is all about.
    Brian would love you to read ..What is Twitter? How Do I Use Twitter? And Does Twitter Really Matter?My Profile

    • Hi Brian,

      I encourage bloggers and Twitter users to auto-tweet each others’ high quality content that is relevant to their followers. I do NOT recommend EVER buying followers for two reasons:

      1) That is a great way to get banned by Twitter and have to start over.
      2) You don’t get targeted followers that way.

      How many followers you have is irrelevant – what matters is having followers interested in what you share who want to interact with you!
      growmap would love you to read ..Why We Need Group Geo-Targeted Niche BlogsMy Profile

  12. Dave_Steffens says:

    I am pretty new to websites and twitter in general. I make sure that I tweet anything that I write, and sure enough some people started following me. It is early days still, but the give and take nature of this platform definitely works and is exciting to see grow.

  13. Thanks for this exhaustive list of resources, Gail. Now I know what I’ll be doing this weekend! :)
    Sharon Hurley Hall would love you to read ..My Top Writing Tools – October 2011My Profile

  14. If you wish to use twitter for your business you should interact with people following you. Please them, you can do this by replying to their tweets or retweeting tweets that are worth sharing.
    Noel Addison would love you to read ..Mobile Website – Do You Need One?My Profile

  15. The main problem for most of the online entrepreneurs is they they only tweet about their blog or business. That’s the biggest mistake. There is nothing wrong to updated your followers with your latest posts. But if you do only that and do not reply too often and neither you interact with them, you will rapidly loose them as followers.
    matei would love you to read ..Inflatable Wetsuit: Mandatory Accessory For Surfers?My Profile

  16. When I started trying to use twitter I made the mistake of using twitter just as a “sales pitch” to each post. This was probably annoying to my followers. You need to interact more on a personal level and your occasional sales pitches are more effective.
    Jeff would love you to read ..Shirataki Angel Hair Pasta Noodles- Zero Calories- CarbsMy Profile

    • Hi Jeff,

      I suspect most of us started out making that mistake. Besides being somewhat boring to your existing followers, when someone new checks you out if your Twitter stream is nothing but repeated “buy from me” tweets who would want to follow you?

      This is THE most common mistake I see businesses still making today.
      growmap would love you to read ..Small Business Internet Marketing Starter PackageMy Profile

  17. I find it’s just important to not bombard your followers with cynical sales tweets all the time. Intersperse them with light-hearted tweets as well

  18. It’s the lists I am not sure about

  19. The way social networking sites are improving are amazing to think sometimes. It’s a boon and we have to use it wisely. I devote more time on facebook but after reading about all the new different ways I can use on twitter is making me lean more towards using twitter. I also noticed that Twitter introduced the IOS application which include the Quick Bar but sadly this new update does not take away the dickbar.

    • Hi Karen,

      Be sure to check out my post on how to geo-target your Twitter account. It is #15 in the list in this post. What local businesses including realtors need to understand is that they need to reach their target audience – and most of the time that means other people where you are located.

      Few realize you can and should follow and be followed primarily by this target audience and you can make that happen fairly easily. It just takes some time to do it.

      Realtors should also think ab0ut what would keep their target audience interested in reading their blogs. Most people are NOT watching to see what is getting listed unless they are ready to buy so why not write about other things of local interest so you already have an established relationship and they think of you first when the time to buy or sell arrives?
      growmap would love you to read ..Why Your Geographic Location IS a NicheMy Profile

  20. Gail,
    This is where my focus really is, with I want to get tweetdeck up and running so I can see both my accounts on one page. Kimberly Castleberry loves houte suite but It’s not comming to me quickly, I first learned with tweetdeck but now after so many months and too many mistakes I can’t even get logged in to TweetDeck and when I tried to download it again, it remembers my lindagrace8 but it’s blank! I’ll read here and learn! My problem is that I can only devote about an hour a day to twitter! Wish me luck!
    Thank you for all the information here!
    Linda G. Cox would love you to read ..Shower Chair AnyoneMy Profile

  21. Linda G. Cox says:

    I am so excited that you found me! Twitter was the first thing I learned about when I started social networking. After TONS of learning about other social networks, blogging, viruses, brain overload, I’ve stopped focusing on Twitter. Now I need HELP to start again! I’ll be visiting you often!
    Linda G. Cox would love you to read ..Stop Spam – WordPress Growmap Anti-Spambot PluginMy Profile

  22. I never able to use twitter effectively. Let i try your tips. Twitter is nice way to gain traffic.

  23. Louie Harris says:

    The problem with Twitter is that everyone is “talking” and nobody seems to “listen”.

  24. Twitter collaborations are always a good way to boost your presence and increase your reach. I really love this tip!
    Rohit would love you to read ..Leather Lounge FurnitureMy Profile

  25. Replica Designer Handbags says:

    Many accounts are zoombie accounts, followers exist but not real!!! I hate This!

  26. I think having too much followers or following too many people is a bane. You just can’t keep up with their tweets or build up proper relationships.
    Paul would love you to read ..New Technology- Capacitive Touch Textiles and ClothesMy Profile

  27. What has worked for me the most is to follow users that follow accounts with the same interests as me. As a result I get around 35% users that follow me back. It may not sound as much but 35 new followers each day is not bad.

    Not to mention that my traffic from twitter has increased accorsingly as well.
    Gustavo would love you to read ..Twitter for MacMy Profile

  28. Thanks for these tips Gail! Very much helpful! Also if you have a high PageRank in your Twitter profile, I believe the links you tweet will have an effect on the search engines results , the link could potentially help get a rank as well. The authority person’s tweets are also beneficial for organic search especially in Google. Thanks Gail for the great share!
    LS Geekster SEO would love you to read ..The BIG Traffic Generation Blogging ContestMy Profile

  29. Although we are using Twitter for our toner business, we are yet to see its effect on increasing brand awareness, customer loyalty, and more importantly sales.

    • Hi Raymund,

      You have the challenge of having an enormous, highly divergent and not very targeted market that will only be interested when they need toner or ink. That type of product is also much harder to write or find compelling content to share.

      You might want to try finding either highly entertaining computer related blogs or tech gadget bloggers who frequently write about new computer products to feed using the TwitterFeed strategy linked to in this post.

      Businesses that sell common products need their Twitter accounts to have a personality and interact on things besides just your products.
      growmap would love you to read ..How to Win Friends and Influence Bloggers- OthersMy Profile

  30. Thanks for the great list of Twitter resources! I find it crazy that so many people and businesses still don’t understand the best practices in using Twitter. If you spend your time answering questions, connecting people, and promoting others…it will always make for an incredibly positive experience

  31. I am just to start using Twitter Feed. Isn’t it the same as perhaps

  32. reehasmith says:

    great post and also very useful ..mostly elements you mentioned i already know bcoz i was using tweeter for previous six to eight months but your this information helps newbies when they join tweeter

    • Hi reehasmith,

      If you already learned all that in 6-8 mos. you’re definitely a fast learner. The two posts that serious bloggers should check out are the one about TwitterFeed and growing followers in specific niches.
      growmap would love you to read ..How to Monetize Your BlogsMy Profile

      • louis vuitton replica handbags says:

        thanks for all that! i had a very fast picking quality that,s why if you told me the main concept than i can handle all the things at any situation

  33. While Twitter began as a self-promoting platform, like a sort of microblog, the application has evolved to become a social media tool which allows people to express their opinion on a certain topic. This is very much helpful to market analysts in need of ideas to improve their product.

    For instance, an energy drink company introduces a new product in the market and tweets about it. While feedback may come in the form of blog review, raw data may also be sourced from Twitter. By just typing the name of the produce on the search tab, you can see who among the Tweeple patronize your drink.
    Andersson would love you to read ..Brug for en erhvervsadvokatMy Profile

  34. Free Stuff says:

    Twitter is one of the best free marketing tool to generate traffic to your website.

  35. Just getting started with Twitter, and I just finished the article on using Twitterfeed to post others’ blog posts. That’s brilliant!

    I have to be honest, I’m still struggling to see the “big deal” of these social marketing sites. I suppose it’s because I’m not the most social person, lol. But, I’ve come to the realization that it’s time to get on board. Too many success stories to ignore, ya know?

    I’m planning to go through the other articles now :)

    Sarah would love you to read ..Make Affiliate Money Creating Review SitesMy Profile

    • Hi Sarah,

      The benefit of using Twitter is that it makes it easy to filter interests by subject using lists and connect with others who are in your target audience.

      Twitter is the primary method the very best bloggers in the niches I write about and read regularly first “met” and connected and that led to collaborations that greatly speed up learning curves of all kinds.

      Instead of each of us learning how to do something individually, we each learn different things and then pool our knowledge. When multiple bloggers already know a subject well, we compare experiences and come to a consensus on best practices.

      You can see who the bloggers are that I collaborate most often by looking at the list in my recent post about joining BizSugar to find and share Small Business Advice.

      When a new solution comes out to do something instead of us all having to check it out we decide who wants to look at it and that person or persons can then fill the others in.

      growmap would love you to read ..Kikolani Blog Post Promotion Ultimate Guide EbookMy Profile

      • Thanks for the reply – that makes so much sense. I guess I just never looked at it that way before. So, essentially you’re forming a mastermind group online vs. in person. I like it!

        Since I’m new to using Twitter, I wasn’t familiar with using lists (until I read your post, lol!) to segment interest groups. I like that idea, as well.

        Thanks again!

        • Hi Sarah,

          Yes, we use Twitter to connect and then take our “Master Mind” groups to a domain we control (because Twitter and Facebook censor some shares and sometimes just delete accounts out of the blue).

          Twitter is like a fast way to leave messages for busy influencers so that we can operate at full efficiency.
          growmap would love you to read ..Why Your Geographic Location IS a NicheMy Profile

  36. Have to be honest I still just don’t get the whole twitter thing, I have had an account for a while and even read a few books about using it but it just doesn’t appeal to me. As a business owner there are supposed to be lots of benefits for advertising yourself but it just seems to me that its used for talking rubbish most of the time.
    khaled would love you to read ..What are the Differences Between Natural and Cultured PearlsMy Profile

  37. Dennis Edell says:

    Sweet link list Gail, thanks.

    Speaking of having your link on your blog, all bloggers should use their twitter ID box (in comments) for themselves as well.

    I wrote about it back in January, if I may – – Why you should use TwitterLinks
    Dennis Edell would love you to read ..Should Guest Bloggers be Responsible for Their Own SEOMy Profile

  38. Thanks so much for the links! I have been working on my twitter account and not really sure what to do. These links will help so much!
    Keith would love you to read ..Creating MLM Leads Through Your MLM BlogMy Profile

    • Hi Keith,

      These posts should answer just about any question you have so if anything is NOT completely clear please do me a favor and ask so I can improve whatever is not. If you do that you will be helping anyone else using those posts to improve their Twitter productivity.
      growmap would love you to read ..How to Monetize Your BlogsMy Profile

  39. Thanks for the great list of Twitter resources! I find it crazy that so many people and businesses still don’t understand the best practices in using Twitter. If you spend your time answering questions, connecting people, and promoting others…it will always make for an incredibly positive experience. I have made an unbelievable amount of area connections through Twitter, especially in the marketing, media, and PR industries. It couldn’t be more worthwhile when used effectively.
    HUG would love you to read ..4-7-11 – Party for a PurposeMy Profile

    • Welcome Hug,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Many ARE still confused about the value of Twitter as you can see by some of the comments in this post. They are probably watching the general feed flowing by full of silly nonsense instead of the kind of feed I see because I use Twitter lists and follow people with specific interests.

      I put some examples of highly targeted feeds in one of the other replies in this post that we can use to show people what a targeted Twitter account can look like.

      I feed only the blogs related to a specific account into it so it becomes an easy way to see the best content in each niche I am active in.
      growmap would love you to read ..Small Business Internet MarketingMy Profile

  40. I have had a great experience with Twitter. I have
    1. Made great business connections
    2. Found clients
    3. Learned valuable tips and information from those in my field
    4. Made great affiliate relationships
    5. Met talented individuals who have done great work for me

    At first, it does seem difficult to really see results but once you do, it becomes addicting! It’s my favorite platform by far. I also enjoy the tools and software that really make it easy to achieve your goals.

  41. I quit Twitter awhile ago. It’s just a waste of time, although if you’re smart there are potential ways to make some very cool connections (think angel investors, potential employers, etc) there. Other than that, ppl seem to use it for egotistical purposes, thinking everyone cares about what happens in their day to day life. Waste of time!
    Henway would love you to read ..Discover Card TipsMy Profile

    • Hi Henway,

      If you believe Twitter is a waste of time you haven’t seen the true potential. The key is to have what you Tweet and who you follow match. For example, I originally followed other serious bloggers from @GrowMap because we share and are interested in the same things.

      Now I am connecting with more small businesses because they are who needs the information that I and my other bloggers have.

      In my NoBogies account I only tweet golf related stuff and only follow others interested in golf. I very rarely tweet marketing related posts there and I don’t feed any of the other blogs I feed into GrowMap into NoBogies.

      It could be argued that connecting with an angel investor or finding a new position make Twitter very valuable and definitely not a waste of time. I find that people who are extremely challenging to reach by phone or email can be easy to connect with on Twitter.

      What those who do not understand why we spend time on Twitter or why we follow so many people consider this. Every tweet I make from GrowMap gets about 60-90 clicks and when they go viral they can get 50,000+. I have screen captures from showing multiple Tweets with 30,000-50,000 clicks EACH for one event I was promoting. That kind of traffic is not easy to come by from ANY source.
      growmap would love you to read ..Small Business Internet MarketingMy Profile

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