9 Advanced Twitter Tips

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Over my last year on Twitter, I tweeted 9 tips that I realized were important and not discussed anywhere. They seemed to help a lot of people, so I figured I would put them in a blog post. These are not tips for beginners, I am going to be using terms like RT, Tweetdeck, Twitter Search, Friendfeed and others. If you do not know what I am talking about, read this first!


So here goes, here are 9 tips that will help you with your tweeting:

  1. Do NOT use “&” in your Twitter profile: Twitter and ampersands do NOT get along for some reason. Take em out if u used em! I am not sure why this is but every time you use an ampersand in your bio, it is displayed all weird and kinda lowers the chances of someone following you. If someone could explain to me why this is, I would appreciate it.
  2. Search for Yourself: Wow, doesn’t that sound profound. Well, contrary to what a shrink would mean by the sentence “search for yourself”, I mean it literally. Twitter has an API call limit of 150 calls an hour. Every time your Tweetdeck searches for replies, DMs, or tweets, it wastes a call. Use a search for your own name instead of a replies column in your Twitter client. Saves APIs and gives the same result! The only downside is that people with protected updates wont show up.
  3. Interact: If u follow someone, don’t expect them to follow back if you NEVER connect with em. Send them a @, whatya have to lose? Contrary to popular belief, Twitter is NOT about updating your status, you have Facebook for that. Twitter is about dialog, it is about social interaction. So if you want to maximize your Twitter experience, when following someone new, say hi.
  4. View Threads: Threads are not easy to follow on Twitter, but the best option is to click “in reply to” under any tweet on the Web or in the new version of Tweetdeck. That way you can see what the tweet was a response to and put it in its correct context.
  5. Use Friendfeed: I never understood the whole Friendfeed craze but I recently discovered that it is a very good resource for searching for an old tweet. Twitter Search only goes back a few weeks, but Friendfeed allows you to find any old tweet. In fact, I found all these tips, which were tweeted months ago, using Friendfeed.
  6. 125 is the new 140: Talk about cryptic. What I mean is yes, Twitter allows you 140 characters but if you use them all up, you cannot be retweeted easily. After all, when someone retweets your tweet, they automatically need to add the characters RT@hilzfuld (or whatever your name is), which adds anywhere between 14-30 characters depending on your name. If you are sharing useful information on Twitter, leave room for a RT, if you are not, leave Twitter.
  7. Add a Period before your Tweets: I have to give credit where credit is due. A friend of mine offered this solution to a common problem on Twitter. Twitter now allows users to see a reply only if they are following both sides of the conversation. Some people might like this, as it reduces the noise, others, myself included, like to see who my friends are talking to. If you add a period before each reply, the tweet will not start with a @ but rather a . and will therefore not be considered a reply. If it is not a reply, all your followers can see it, enabling them to be introduced to the person you are talking to. Great tip Ahuva.
  8. RT, RT, RT: If and when you come across interesting content shared by one of the people you follow, do not forget to RT it for your followers. There are so many reasons to do this starting from the very essence of the Twitter etiquette, the added value you will give your followers, as well as the credit and reciprocity that you are giving the original person who tweeted the content.
  9. Use Groups: One of the most common questions asked about Twitter after “why would I care”, is “how do you follow so many tweets”? The answer is I don’t. That’s it! No, kidding. I follow over 3,000 people but really pay close attention to less than 200 people’s tweets. How do I do that? I create groups in my Twitter client that creates a column with only certain people’s tweets. So there is an “All Tweets” column, which I rarely look at, a “Primary” column, which I watch closely, a “Hilzfuld Search” column, which I of course watch the closest, and a DM column as well. The problem with this is as time goes on, the “Primary” column is starting to become over populated with people I interact with on a daily basis. Pretty soon, I might have to create a “Primary Plus” column. Kidding, but that is the best way to effectively follow your Twitter stream.twitter_bird_follow_me__small__bigger

There are many more useful tips that you should follow when tweeting, but these are some I collected from my time on Twitter. Perhaps this will be the first post in a series, who knows? Meanwhile, check out some articles on the basics of Twitter, why to tweet, things to watch out for, things you need to know before you start, and steps to take after.


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Hillel Fuld is a global speaker, entrepreneur, journalist, vlogger, and leading startup advisor. He brings over a decade of marketing experience with leading Israeli and Silicon Valley startups, and currently collaborates with many global brands in an official marketing capacity including Google, Oracle, Microsoft, Huawei, and others.      Hillel covers the dynamic local tech scene for many leading publications including Entrepreneur magazine, Inc, TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and others. Additionally, Hillel mentors startups across Israel in different accelerators including The Google Launchpad, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Techstars, The Junction, and more.    Hillel has been named Israel’s top marketer, 7th top tech blogger worldwide, has been featured on CNBC, Inc, and was dubbed by Forbes as “The Man Transforming Startup Nation into Scale-up Nation”.       Hillel has hundreds of thousands of followers across the social web and can be found on Twitter at @Hilzfuld. You can learn more about him on his website: www.hilzfuld.com


62 thoughts on “9 Advanced Twitter Tips

  1. Can you please add number 10?: Include context when replying. Have you ever gotten a reply like, “@karenbartleson what did you mean in your tweet?” What tweet? What did I say? If you’re a frequent Twitter user, you post many tweets and have no clue what the reply is in reference to – unless the reply has some context. A better reply would be, “@karenbartleson what did you mean in your tweet about the new power standard?”

    Thanks for listening.

  2. @karenbartleson That is a good point but that is what the “In Reply To” is for. Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting, going to follow you now 🙂

  3. Good list.
    I have another one regarding points 6 and 8:
    As tweets are retweeted you very often end up with a long list of @names and, eventually, the tweet can be too long.
    I just had this problem retweeting the link to this post.
    To shorten the tweet, it is a good idea to remove all but the first and last @names (the person who tweeted it to you and the originator, respectively).

  4. Paul, good tip, thanks for sharing and RTing this. Glad you enjoyed my post, keep reading! 🙂
    Bronwen, good question. The thing is I really only follow people who I interact with, so if someone talks to me on Twitter, I will add them to the primary column. If everyone did this, it would encourage people to introduce themselves to others, thereby increasing the social interaction on Twitter. Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. There are tweeters who unfollow people who use the “period before the @” trick. Their reason is that they’re not interested in being pulled into someone else’s conversation and they feel manipulated or like the tweeter is showing off.

    I’m just saying what someone explained to me. I’m totally fine with the practice, but it has influenced me to stop doing it on my tweets.

  6. Karen, the In Reply To is a button on the Web under every tweet. Just click it and you are set 🙂 Thanks for reading! Sharon, thanks a lot for pointing that out, I did not know that.

  7. my suggestion is if you are RT’ing and there is a long list of ppl who have RT’ed it – you RT the person who you found it from and the originator of the tweet is mentioned by (via @xxxx) at the end of the tweet

    example: RT@hilzfuld asdflkdsjflkfjadjflfkjdjfdlj (via @ahoova)

  8. Thanks Ahuva, appreciate it. This post got more traffic than any other article EVER on this blog, thanks to Alyssa Milano 🙂 Anyway, keep reading!

  9. I only @ when people follow me but aren’t on FB. I have it where FB updates through my Twitter. Commenting on FB is much more preferable for me as it’s cleaner and the threads are separated. I don’t like a twitter full of @dakabn ‘s

  10. The FriendFeed one is definitely a good tip.

    I also try to interact with people I follow by RT’ing and responding.

  11. When i reply to some1 why doesnt my message come up on there page? for example celebraties do not rite back!!
    Do they have to be following you to receive ur replys?

  12. Another good point, include the original tweet in your reply if time has passed and the person won’t remember, or if it will take too much work to summarize the tweet that you are replying to.

    You can do this by clicking on the link where the time is listed i.e. “30 minutes ago from TweetDeck” and you will reach the page where the whole tweet is. Then copy the URL, use a link shortener and include that small link in your reply tweet. If you use a client like TweetDeck, it is really easy to do this.

    1. Not sure I agree. Next to the 30 minutes ago, there is n “In Reply To”. If you do not know what the tweet was a response to, click that, and you will see the context. Including the original tweet or the link to it, takes up a lot of room. Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting…

  13. I love the 125 is the new 140. This is so true. Many times when I tried to retweet a good tweet, I had to rewrite it because the original tweet used up all the space.

    By the way, it might be a good idea to have a shorter username.

  14. Thanks for this, great post. Your opinion on whether TKUs for RTs should be public or private? I recently read a blog post that said all such “self-aggrandizing” tweets should properly be sent via DM. And I get the writer’s point — it does look sort of boastful to tell the twitterverse, “Look at how many ppl are RTing me!” And yet it’s such a common practice to display thanks publicly that it seems rude not to acknowledge the favor where others can see it. It’s also a good way to show followers other tweeps they might want to check out. So what’s your advice?

  15. Hey Mary, good question. I do not actually have an opinion on the matter, I usually thank by @ but when there a lot of em, I start DMing so as not to bother people. Never really thought about it till now 🙂 Anyway thanks for reading and commenting…

  16. Agree with Sharon who cautioned against “.@username” trick — I don’t like it either. I don’t want to be part of other ppls convo’s and don’t do it myself.

    I also thank ppl for RT’s via DM — unless I really like the stuff I’m linking to in the original post. I try not to abuse it.

  17. About #1: Twitter automatically converts the text you enter in your bio box into XHTML (the language used to code web pages), To make a “&” in XHTML, the code looks like this: “&” which you see if you use an “&”. I don’t know why it doesn’t convert ampersands, though.

  18. Great tips! I really liked them, very useful. Another useful one is to make your tweets even shorter than 125 , so as to leave some space for the people who RT you say something about this. Something I’ve seen a lot is a format like this

    nataliajordan RT @hilzfuld 9 Advanced Twitter Tips http://bit.ly/2ABnd6 // really helpful 4 newcomers + veterans!

    where after “//” I add my own little comments to the RT, so that I am not just merely copying a good tweet but adding to the conversation, or posing a question, like // what do you think is a 10th tip?

    that way we are a community that grows and improves as we all share and contribute our thoughts and feelings, instead of a group that just RTs like parrots, perfectly divulging a great tweet but not adding to it, improving what is shared.

    I’ve seen many that at least put a // +1 …which basically means “I agree with what you’re saying” ..they could even climb up to +100s possibly

    what do you think?

  19. I’ve been looking for more Twitter Tips and I think I found them. This is a great post with tips I hadn’t heard before. Thank you for sharing.

    If you’d like to follow me, that’d be cool. I’m at @mikepedersen


  20. Being in social media, these are some of the best and easiest tips to follow for any Twitter user. I especially like the “Interact”, “125 characters” (I use 120) and “period before the tweets”. Honestly, I would see the latter and wonder why people would use it and now I know! Thank you!

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