Twitter: A Basics Refresh

Mar 10 2015

by Catherine Hamrick

The Southern C has  goldmine of info just waiting for you to tweet. It makes posting on Twitter easy-breezy.
The Southern C offers a goldmine of info just waiting for you to tweet. It makes posting on Twitter easy-breezy.

As other entrepreneurs affiliated with The Southern C, you constantly build your brand.  Budgeting time to serve existing customers and connect with potential ones is top of mind. Promoting your business via social media is one of many tasks. Therefore, you want to make the most of your efforts. The number of users on Instagram exceeded those on Twitter several months ago. Nonetheless, Twitter still ranks as a top platform. We get caught up in the whirl of online activity. So it’s useful to revisit best practices.

Essential to Twitter are two behaviors to deliver content: “pushing” and “pulling.” They are equally important.

Originating photos, videos, reflections, event reminders, and links to websites is known in the industry as pushing. In effect, you draw in people. Pulling is the other half of the equation. You react to the content of others by following their accounts; responding to their good news; sharing or retweeting their content; replying or commenting. In effect, such actions represent the golden rule of online activity: do for others what they do for you. Authentically.

Enter into conversations already taking place on Twitter. At The Southern C, lifestyle categories dominate—food, travel, events (e.g., weddings), art, crafts, interior design, fashion, and gardening, to name several. Seek out individuals in your line of business as well as those who simply have a passion for it. It’s not just about business. Find the topics you love personally. Retweet. Thank somebody who follows you. Compliment an outstanding post. After all, The Southern C is the ultimate champion of etiquette. Chances are, they will engage you.

Rule of thumb: the more you "push-pull," the more followers you engage.
Rule of thumb: the more you “push-pull,” the more followers you engage.

How is your Twitter account performing? Measure! Grab metrics by signing into your Twitter account on a desktop computer (not a mobile app). In a second browser window, type in The stats for the signed-in Twitter account will appear. In addition, Twitter provides even more information about your followers in the Follower tab, which includes 1) follower demographics and 2) overall growth of followers. You want a steady upward climb. A fast one tends to plunge dramatically.

Engagement is what matters—not a bunch of “likes” on Facebook. Comments and, most of all, shares are the true treasure. In other words, value lies in people reacting to and then taking action on what they have seen. It’s a push-pull—the conversations started as well as those received. (It is tiring to see people who ask for nothing but retweets of their content. That is passive. They are in it for themselves and not worth following.)

Watch your Twitter numbers fly high! pull fresh content every Wednesday from The Southern C Newsletter.
Watch your Twitter numbers fly high! Pull fresh content every Wednesday from The Southern C Newsletter.

The Southern C is a goldmine at your fingertips. Again, take a little time. Consistently follow fellow entrepreneurs and their active followers. (Sporadic following is not effective.) They will enjoy seeing who you are and what you do. Their followers may become yours.

Are you so super busy it’s tough to dream up content beyond your blog posts? Every Wednesday, The Southern C Newsletter offers information to scoop up. Grab one of the newsletter’s URLs (C-Team blog posts), tighten it on Bitly, and jump onto Twitter with an infectious one-liner. Or simply repeat the title of the post if it summarizes the content holistically.

Remember: use tried-and-true hashtags—those already established on Twitter.  Always check out the hashtags that are trending. If you make up a hashtag, you likely waste characters. Who will see it?

In a word, you needn’t search arbitrarily for content. It’s already there if you pay attention to your Southern C neighbors. In addition, if you attend The Southern C Summit , tweet live events. Nothing beats “in the moment.”

Bonus! Here’s a trick to speed up your proofreading online—wherever you hop. Click on Grammarly for a free add-in that runs a grammar/spellcheck superior to that of Microsoft Word. Contextual spelling is part of the package. It will correct bloopers for free, even your tweets.

Got a minute? Check out Catherine Hamrick’s blog: Random Storyteller. It’s her personal, and often humorous, take on southern characters (plenty of eccentric/Gothic to go around), creatives, places, and musings. Comment. Tell her about your blog. She’ll happily drop by.

Gold bar image courtesy of Andrzej Barabasz (Chepry)


Catherine Hamrick View More Blog Posts from this Author

After a few years as a copywriter for the Southern Living Advertising Department, editor and writer Catherine Hamrick learned her craft in the magazine and book divisions of media giants Time Inc. and Meredith Corporation. She taught writing, literature, public speaking, and business communication at the university level. As a freelancer, Catherine has tackled "almost every topic but porn and physics" and has managed editorial projects or co-authored branded books for imprints such as Southern Living, Oxmoor House, Meredith Books, Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, Country Home, Midwest Living, The Home Depot, Ortho, and Lark Publishing. Certified in social media marketing, she coaches students and professionals in writing resumes, cover letters, and online profiles. She is also a ghostwriter—that is, a professional keeper of secrets. Connect @ChamrickWriter or drop by her blogs: Random Storyteller ( and Catherine Hamrick: Writer, Editor, Social Media Human (

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