Twitter Social Media
Twitter is one of the most popular of all social media microblogging sites. It allows each user to post messages of 140 characters or less at one time.
These posts can include quotes, personal thoughts, news and picture links, and, most important to the social media marketer, product and service links. While a lot of people will start a Twitter account in order to follow, and feel connected to, their favorite celebrities, media personalities and sports figures,
Twitter has quickly become the fastest way for information to spread around the world.
In fact, it has become such a force that it is lauded as the glue of current national and international social movements, including those intent on overthrowing governments.
In three word’s, Twitter is powerful.
Often, a business owner will sign up for a Twitter account to keep up-to-date on what the higher ups are doing in his industry, but he will fail to see the potential Twitter has to grow his own business.
In other words, business owners sometimes fail to realize that with Twitter social media you can pull the information from those you follow, but you can also push it out to those who follow you. It is one of the most underutilized and potentially advantageous social media marketing platforms.
Take a look at these figures:..
1. Twitter has more than 500 million registered users; 200 million of them are regularly active.
2. An average of more than 400 million tweets are sent each day.
3. Each registered user has an average of 208 followers.
Now, imagine that each of your followers has 208 followers of their own. Wouldn’t you want your followers to retweet (like forwarding an email) your tweets?
If your tweet is newsworthy or holds value, they will retweet it.
Then, guess what? Those 208 people will become aware of your brand, and if the retweet they received holds value to them, they will, in turn, retweet it to their 208 followers.
See how that works?
Now the question is going to be how to get started. Nearly every point made in the Facebook Intro work and strategy sections apply here, but, of course, with a Twitter twist.
The entire concept behind Twitter is to streamline communication between people, so the prep work isn’t nearly as lengthy as it is with Facebook. There are some key points to remember though.
Choose an appropriate name… If it’s a business page, use your business name. If it’s a business page, but representing only you, then use your name.
Upload a profile and header photo…
- Your professional head shot is fine for your profile picture, but they are typically not memorable. Use it only if it’s your page.
- Your profile photo appears with your tweets, so make it iconic (company’s logo) and memorable, but brand-relevant.
- Upload a header shot that is brand relevant, such as a picture of your business, or a collage of several photos. Do not make it distracting.
Enter your company’s website address in the field marked “Website”. This provides your followers with a direct link to your business site from your Twitter page.
Write a short description of either your company or what you do in the ‘Bio’ field. Include keywords that Twitter users may use to search for your type of business.
These are a few of the basics, but remember that nothing is set in stone here. You can change anything at any time. However, be cautious if you choose to change your profile picture since your followers will have already connected the original photo to your brand.
Once you are finished creating your profile and linking it to your business website, begin to build your Twitter reputation by sending a minimum of 5 – 10 tweets that include engaging content, such as image links, blog links, and current industry news bits.
You do this before reaching out for followers because, when people land on your page, they won’t follow back if you have nothing to offer, or do not appear to be an authority in your field. Remember that each tweet can only contain a maximum of 140 characters, so keep it concise.
Next, import your email contacts by clicking on the ‘Find Friends’ button that can be found under the ‘# Discover’ link at the top of your profile. Follow anyone of relevance in your contact lists who has a Twitter account. Then, using the Search field at the top of the screen, manually enter the names of industry leaders and businesses, and follow each of them.
You will see that, by following those in your contact lists, and important people in your industry, you will very shortly be followed by a lot of them in return.
Keep tabs on who is following you by clicking the ‘@ Connect’ link at the top of your Twitter page. Once you discover that people are following you but you are not yet following them, you will know that your strategy is already beginning to bear fruit. Why?
Those are the people who connected with you through someone else that you followed.
As with all social media sites, always keep in mind the seven social media types and what social media users want. Tailor your strategy to each specific platform, but, for Twitter, keep these specific strategy tips in mind:
Since part of your goal is to become known as an authority in your industry, stay current on industry-related information.
Read the tweets of the top-tier people and businesses you follow and retweet important information they post. In the eyes of your followers, this connects you to big business.
Read and tweet industry articles from iconic news sites such as The Wall Street Journal and industry trade websites. This shows your followers that you stay ahead of the curve and can be trusted to keep them informed.
Retweeting other people’s information isn’t enough though. Anytime you write a blog on your website, use it as an opportunity to connect people to your site by posting the blog link on your Twitter page.
Read your tweets regularly and respond to them in a timely manner. Twitter social media is the instant communication medium, and time travels at a much faster clip than it does on other social media sites. Don’t let an opportunity pass to engage your followers and show them you’re listening simply because their comment or question has been lost in your Twitter feed.
Enter your Twitter social media account name (‘John Smith Plumbing’) in the Search box at the top of your Twitter page often. Each instance where your company is mentioned on Twitter will show up. This is your opportunity to shine in a personal and direct way. Use it.
Incorporate a few hashtags into your tweets. Hashtags are the words or short phrases that begin with the numbers sign (ex: #tryjohnspizza). Don’t overuse them, but if you choose well, other people will begin using them, and when they retweet your posts, the hashtag will go right along with them. This is helpful in establishing your brand. To determine if it’s working, enter your hashtag, including the numbers sign, in the Search box and see how many people have used it.
Another way to utilize hashtags is to search for trending topics and incorporate those hashtags into your tweets. Don’t make it obvious though. If there is no link to your business, don’t use the hashtag. This makes it more likely that people will find and follow you because they will be searching for tweets that contain the popular hashtags.
Twitter is all about what is happening right now in the world and, as such, much of what is tweeted can be considered controversial.
Do not engage in any of it on your business page unless social or political issues are part of the brand you are building. Best practices tell us to ignore or delete incendiary tweets.
One final note about Twitter: As with Facebook, Twitter is a platform to engage and build your presence and generate leads, but not through direct and obvious product pushing.
That is a surefire way to lose followers.