Some of you may know my name from reading the Ning Blog, but I also run the @Ning Twitter account as part of my job as a Marketing Manager at Ning. If you and your members are posting engaging, interesting and current content on your Ning Network, chances are you want to get the word out about it — and encourage new members to join. Twitter is a simple way to push out content, and pull followers back in. If you are new to Twitter, here are four short guidelines to get you headed in the right direction.1. Do more than broadcastIt’s easy to set up a Twitter account, and even easier to stick in an RSS feed and forget about it. The only issue with this approach? No one wants to be friends with someone who only talks and never listens or replies. Use Twitter to highlight the best of what’s on your Ning Network, but refrain from tweeting out every piece of activity. TwitterMoms, Tu Diabetes and No Depression do a great job of highlighting only the cream of the crop on their Ning Networks in addition to replying to other people and posting their content unique to Twitter.2. Monitor what people are chatting aboutOne of the most useful things you can do with Twitter is monitor the conversation that’s happening online about your Ning Network. I keep a running search of all mentions of Ning going, so I can see what people are chatting about (two good programs for doing this are 1) Tweetdeck and 2) Seesmic Desktop, which actually has its own Ning Network, Team Seesmic). Once you start monitoring, you can reply, or simply get a better sense of what people are thinking and talking about.3. Become part of the conversationThis one is obvious, but it’s easy to forget when you are caught up tweeting, searching and listening; replying to other tweets is key. If your Twitter account represents your Ning Network, reply to other tweets that cover a similar subject. MyModernMet tweets out links to content on MyModernMet, but also replies to tweets from others about design and urban lifestyle.4. Support your membersOne of the things I like to do with the @Ning account is highlight some of the amazing accomplishments of Ning Networks and celebrate the accolades Network Creators receive. You can do the same thing for your members. If one of your members tweets out an accomplishment, replying at them, or retweeting it can help get the message out about your Ning Network, while reinforcing the relationships you’ve built with your members.From 2–3 p.m., Pacific on Thurday, Nov. 19, I’ll be hanging out on Creators and answering your questions about Twitter in the forum replies below. I’d also love to hear your advice and experiences on using Twitter to promote your Ning Network!
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