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As more and more Bad Boy artists, marketing people and employees get on Twitter, they are discovering the personal and professional benefits that it can create. At the same time, most are still relatively new to it and, as such, are still learning the lay of the land and how they can get the most out of it and use it most effectively.

I'm here to help. From watching various members of the Bad Boy camp participate, I've developed this ten point guide to getting the most out of Twitter, from both a personal and professional perspective.

This includes a marketing perspective, as well, allowing you to create value and generate interest in whatever it is you are doing right now, in the form of traffic, replies and retweets (when someone else passes along a tweet that you sent). Yes, Twitter is (in part, at least) about self promotion or, more or less, talking about what you are doing.

With all of this said, I just wanted to say that one of the great things about Twitter is that it is what you make of it, in many ways. Plenty of people try to place "rules" on how others should participate, but the beauty of Twitter is that you can follow whoever you want. Everyone, no one or something in between. At the end of the day, the important thing is to stay true and respect others. These aren't "rules," just friendly advice.

1. Make Sure Your Links Are Clickable

You would be surprised how many people don't visit a link because they can't click it and have it open in a new browser window. Yes, they can just copy and paste it. Yet, plenty of people don't bother. Plus, if it was you, you'd want to just be able to click the link and have it open, right? If you don't know what I mean, here's the difference:

Not Linked:

You can click on the first link, but you can't click on the second. Admit it, you prefer to click! That's only natural. So, make it easier for people to view what you want them to view. How can you ensure that links are always clickable? Easy - just remember to include "http://", "www." or both in your tweet. For example:


If you include "http://", "www." or both, Twitter will automatically make your link clickable.

As an aside, be sure to put a space after the link. Adding "..." or something else at the end of the link, before a space, might prevent the link from working.

2. When Sending People Somewhere, Link Them to the Exact Page or Thing You Are Talking About

When you want people to check something out - whether it be your latest blog post, a new video blog, a new song that you just released or something else - you have to link them to the exact page that it is located on. You should not send them to your homepage or leave them to find it themselves. If you do that, less people will see it and you will receive less traffic.

Let's use Diddy as an example. These are not real tweets, just made up examples to illustrate my point. Let's say that he just added the unofficial "Diddy Bop" video to his YouTube channel and now he wants people to check it out.

These two messages would not be the best way to mention this on his Twitter account:

We just leaked "Diddy Bop" on my YouTube channel! Check it out!

We just leaked "Diddy Bop" on my YouTube channel! Check it out!

You'll notice that the link in the second message takes you to the BadBoyRecords YouTube channel homepage.

Instead of sending these types of messages, do this:

We just leaked "Diddy Bop" on my YouTube channel! Check it out!

If you click the link in this message, you'll see that it takes you directly to the unofficial "Diddy Bop" video on YouTube. This is exactly what you want. Send people to what you are talking about - don't make people look.

3. Easy on the CAPS

While CAPS can be a good way to show emphasis, they should not be overused. Sending a message or two with all caps is no big deal - sending every message like that can annoy people. It's just one of those things. Sometimes, people will even think that you are yelling at them.

Just because you use caps, does not mean that people will pay attention to you or that your message will be viewed as more important. It's better to use no caps, than all caps.

4. Try to Limit the Vulgarity

Now, I'm not telling you to change who you are. But, just try to keep in mind that a lot of your followers are kids or they have different audiences that they'd like to share you with and not all of those audiences are going to appreciate vulgarities or profanity.

Your Twitter page is your Twitter page, so if it's you... do it. But, it wouldn't be a bad idea to look at your Twitter page as you might look at a TV interview. You wouldn't go into the a TV studio and start cursing like mad, right?

5. Avoid Repetitious, Bland Marketing Messages

Yes, you have a new album in stores now. And that's great! But, you don't need to send out bland marketing messages repeatedly every day. Just telling people, repeatedly, to buy it, isn't really going to help you. If your album is out soon or was just released, OK, no one is going to fault you for your excitement - it's a big accomplishment. But, something like "In Stores Now!" doesn't need to be said 10 times every day.

Talking about your work is cool, though, when it's natural. For example, on some days, I've talked about my book, "Managing Online Forums," a lot. But, it has pretty much never been anything like this:

My book "Managing Online Forums" is out now! On and in Barnes & Noble! GO BUY IT!

That sort of thing gets old, quick. Instead, when I talk about my book, it's usually to point out something cool that's happened. For example:

"Managing Online Forums" has cracked the top 10,000 best selling books on Amazon. Thanks everyone!

"Managing Online Forums" was reviewed on Slashdot! Wow! Thanks @geekbook.

Mequoda Daily included the book in their top 10 online publishing books to read in '09! Thanks @mequoda, @michelle2colby!

Let me explain what's going on here. In the first message, I'm mentioning a sales milestone for the book. In the second and third, I am mentioning new reviews of the book and thanking the people who wrote them and/or published them. So, I'm still mentioning my book, but it's not to tell people to buy it - it's about sharing my life and sharing my successes, which is one of the things that Twitter is all about.

Repetition in and of itself isn't bad. For example, if you send out a tweet in the morning, people who don't use Twitter at that time might miss it, so you might retweet important things in the evening - but don't do it too often. Repeating the same boring marketing stuff over and over again can turn people off.

6. Less Promotion, More You

Self promotion is definitely one of the things Twitter is about, but your profile should be about you, more than anything else. Your thoughts, your life, your conversations, your activities, your interests. Besides, when you make it more than a promotional vehicle, you get more promotional value out of it because people tend to be more interested.

7. Try to Engage Fans, Supporters and Non-Celebrities

I know you may be floored by the number of @ replies that you have. I know that you may be overwhelmed and that you need to be careful about who you let into your life. However, it is a good idea to make a concerted effort to reply to some people who are not celebrities, or who are not people that you know. Talk, engage, reply, answer, discuss. Retweet interesting messages.

In a perfect world, you'd respond to every respectful message you receive. But, if you are getting loads of them, no one expects you to reply to every one. That said, replying to some people and creating a two way dialogue, rather than a one way dialogue, can go a long way toward building community and allowing people to get to know you - which will make it easier for people to support you.

Don't know how to get started? Easy, sit down every day at random intervals for 5-20 minutes and reply to as many @ messages as you can, with a focus on quality interaction versus short quantity. If it helps, schedule it, rather than doing it randomly.

Don't worry about getting back to everyone, just send as many quality replies as you can within your set period of time and then put it down. This short time invested can mean a lot to your followers and supporters.

8. Understand What "Hating" is and Talk About it Less

"Hating" and "haters" are two words that are very overused these days. A hater is someone that will criticize you no matter what you do and roots for you to fail out of their own jealousy. That's hating. A bad album review is not hating. Someone not liking your music is not hating. Someone saying they didn't like what you wore last night is not hating. Someone unfollowing you is not hating. Someone who asks questions about a negative event in your life is not hating.

At Bad Boy Blog, we have a responsibility to our readers to deliver fair and honest reports and commentary and that's what we do. If something isn't right, I'll say it. That doesn't make me less of a Bad Boy fan and it certainly doesn't make me a hater. Though, I've heard that one before.

So, first and foremost, please understand what hating is. Using the terminology too much makes it meaningless. If everyone is a hater, chances are it's your problem and not theirs.

With that in mind, don't spend all day talking about hating. It can come off as whining. Yes, they are a part of your life, but they are a part of most people's lives, too. We all have people rooting for us to fail. It's sad, but it's life. Talk about them here and there, sure, if you want - but don't make them a focus and don't give them endless attention.

Instead, give attention to those who are fair or those that support you. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a Bad Boy artist (and this includes Diddy) mention a random gossip website or "blogs," in general on their Twitter, in an interview, in a video blog, etc. in a negative way.

Here's an idea: instead of giving more traffic to the sites that treat you unfairly, how about giving traffic to the ones that don't? For example, you could mention Bad Boy Blog in a video blog or in a verse or on your Twitter. I realize that gossip can grab more attention than fair reporting, but it's on you to change that and to send people to reliable sources instead of sending them to the sites you don't like or, worse, unfairly criticizing online writers, as a whole, because of the actions of some of them.

9. When You're Talking About Someone or Something Include Their @Username

When you reference someone or something in a tweet, try to include their Twitter username in @ form in the tweet, if they have one and you are able to do so. This allows people to know who or what you are talking about, more easily, and also for that person to see that you mentioned them.

Let's say that you are tweeting that you just saw Ashton Kutcher, Fabolous and Diddy on MTV's Spring Bling. You might say:

Watching Ashton, Fab and Diddy on MTV's Spring Bling.

But, instead of this, say:

Watching @aplusk, @myfabolouslife and @iamdiddy on @MTV's Spring Bling.

Obviously, many people will know who Ashton, Diddy and Fabolous are - but, the point here is to use Twitter names rather than just mentioning someone's whole name or first name. They'll see you mentioned them (which is important if you actually want them to see your message and/or reply) and everyone will know who it is that you are talking about.

10. Use Twitter Apps (Applications) to Enhance Your Experience

Twitter's website is OK, but most power users swear by some sort of Twitter application. Windows and Apple users, check out TweetDeck (what I use) and twhirl. If you use Firefox and want Twitter built into the browser, check out TwitterFox.

Mobile users, check out TwitterBerry for your BlackBerry and TwitterFon or Tweetie for your iPhone.

Once you start using an app, chances are you'll wonder why you hadn't started doing so earlier!


Twitter is a great tool and one that has been highly beneficial to me, from both a personal and professional perspective. I hope that these tips allow you to create the same value for yourself. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me via the comments or e-mail. Good luck and have fun!