Twitter is about answering the question ‘what are you doing’ in less than 140 characters. That’s about 12 words. In this article I suggest 10 quick wins to get you started in Twitter or to review your current approach. I hope these wins work for you whether you’re a business or personal tweeter or both.
Before we get to my 10 quick wins, here’s a quick refresher of some of the Twitter commands since I find that many small and medium businesses are still picking up on Twitter.
Twitter jargon buster
- Tweet – a post, message or update on Twitter
- @username + message – an open tweet that can be seen by your followers and by @username’s followers
- DM username – a private tweet that can only be seen by username
- #hashtag – a Twitter keyword. Adding # makes the word searchable.
- RT – repeating a Tweet, known as a ReTweet
- Promote key messages
- Build brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Promote special offers
- Respond to customer queries
- Provide advice and tips
- Share news
- Build community
- Raise funds
- Generate sponsorship
- Customer services
- Product demos
- Recruit new staff
- Research your market
One of the challenges with Twitter is that user names are limited to 15 characters. If your company name is longer, you may need to think carefully about how to present your brand. Once you have agreed your Twitter identity, don’t change it as you could lose and confuse followers.
3 – Protect your brand
If someone else is using your brand name you can apply to Twitter to get the account suspended and eventually transferred. This does take a long time, so register new brands early.
- Easier analysis of how visitors found your site and the actions they took [Editor’s note: Like this – hadn’t thought of it = DFA, Design for Analytics]
- Your twitter followers to get all the information they need about you, in more than 160 characters, in one place
8 – Use free software
We use Tweetdeck and Hootsuite for the PC and iPhone. We also have Echofon on the iPhone which is a cut down version of Twittter online.
- Business cards
- LinkedIn profile
10 – Get Interactive
- Re-purpose (re-use) existing content
- ReTweet interesting Tweets
- Recommend interesting Tweeters – ‘Follow Friday’ #FF is set up to do this
- Tweet about useful and interesting information, sharing your breakfast menu is not that fascinating – unless you own a Bed & Breakfast establishment!
- Tweet on a regular basis – this could be daily or weekly, but a Twitter account with few tweets won’t attract many followers.
And finally, set up alerts via www.google.com/alerts and tweetbeep.com to monitor your brand online and measure the impact of Twitter.
Article by Annmarie Hanlon.