How to Use Twitter for Your Business
Is your business on Twitter? Well if not you better get started. Write 140 characters in a tweet and you are going. Last time I read about it Twitter had 500 million members – sending around 65 million tweets every day. So yes your business should get started now and get in touch with all theses people.
But remember – there are a lot of differences between the social media platforms. You cannot establish or engage people the same way on Twitter as you do on Facebook or LinkedIn. Let me tell you about some of the unique aspects of Twitter. And yes – also how you manage it and make effectively communicating to your potential customers.
Are you ready? Okay coffee in your cup right? Music on? (Yes yes yes play some Sting or Paul McCartney)
How to get followers
If you only have 1 follower (your mother) or 10 or even maybe 100 your marketing communication will not work. You need followers. Your readers can search your content – they are all public searchable. Your followers is your community, and they are the people you want to engages.
If you are very popular like – Charlie Sheen or Lady Gaga, you don’t have to do much. You will have millions of followers instantly. But if you are like me (well okay I admit it – I am not Charlie Sheen lol) – you will have to do a little work first.
The normal way to get followers on Twitter is to follow somebody and then many of them will follow you back. Also click on the “who to follow” link suggestions. You can also do some marketing for your twitter account on your normal website or blog. Remember also to use your e-mail distribution list. When you write an email put your Twitter address just under your name. Make sure everybody knows you have this twitter account.
There is a free tool called TweetDeck which is a very powerful tool for twitter. It can help you to organize and schedule your tweets. With TweetDeck will let you view and manage a lot of your different social media accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Google buzz and Foursquare.
So its a great tool to post updates to various connected social networks. You can also manage several Twitter accounts and monitor them all at once. You definitely have to try this tool.
A tool like Tweet Adder software could help you a lot. Well I do have some more tricks to get many more customers. Read my article here about how to get followers – You have a Twitter account but no traffic from Twitter?
How to engage your audience
You will have to know the basic of Twitter to get it going. Get to know the best practices – like direct messaging, “@”, replies, and “retweeting”. You can send a direct message to a follower of yours.
You can just type in the letter “d” in front of their user name in your tweet. Then its only your receiver that can read it. You can also use “@” when you replies to somebody. Maybe when you make a comment to a tweet. If you really love a tweet, you can choose “retweet” just by including the letters RT at the beginning of your tweet.
All these different kind of tweets makes your audience noticing you. When you are retweeting something, remember to add something to the tweet. Keep the conversation going. After this you can make a Group Tweet which will enable you to communicate with a lot of people in a group.
Don’t use slogans
Maybe the biggest mistake business are making when they start communicating on Twitter is to use their normal old-fashioned marketing. Maybe using their slogans like some kind of a billboard, or maybe the headlines from a printed ad.
But you have to engage your audience with your thoughts and make a conversation with your audience. Social media is all about engaging in the conversation. Its not the old-fashioned marketing !! Social media is all about conversation right? And a conversation is a 2-way talk. Not 1-way talk.
So make sure your tweets provide value to keep your audience interested in you and your business. Make retweets to keep the conversation going. Try to make your tweets entertaining, witty, original. You must position yourself as an expert in your field. Be sure the audience and see your personality.
Only 140 characters
You only have 140 characters in a tweet. So if you have a long webpage address you can say much right? The solution is to use services like www.Bit.ly or www.TinyURL.com. Here you can put in your long address and you will get a shorter one back (amazing right).
I use www.Bit.ly for my tweets.
If you are using www.Bit.ly you will get some additional value by gathering some valuable metrics which you can use to monitor the success of your tweets. You can check how many clicks any of your shortened links get, and also some information about where in the world you get the most action (this can give you some good information for your business. Where are the people most interested in your business – right?)
Software that can help you
I will tell you a secret about Twitter. Did you know you can do much more with Twitter than just type in 140 characters? What about pictures? Well you can start trying out software like TwitPic or Yfrog. Then you can send photos or video clips via Twitter. That will engage your audience I promise you. Now you don’t have to tell people what is happening around you – you can show it in a video 🙂
I want to do pictures on my Twitter account too now… Wow I get inspired myself now… Love it.
Well that was all about pictures. Another great thing you can do is polls. Try to use a service like twtpool. Or you can use chat rooms like Nurph. If you are standing out from the crowed, you will get much more attention. And your audience will start to put more attention to your tweets.
You can also integrate your Twitter account with other software location-based services like Foursquare. Then people will know where you are. People in that area will get curious and you will have their attention to.
No no no no I am not done yet… Much more to come. Still ready? The coffee is still hot?
Have you ever heard about Klout. I really love this. How good are you doing with your tweets – do you know? Are you good at engaging people? How much influence do you have on your audience? Well with Klout you will find out.
I know my score is 33.. But well I am not Charlie Sheen – I just told you right?
A fantastic tool is Timely. It will take all your past tweets and it will estimate what time of day your audience favored them most. And with this knowledge it will auto-schedules your future tweets according to this (I am amazed).
Do you know about hash tags?
Well its the # symbol followed by a keyword. This hash tag makes it much easier to search for your tweets. Again you can use TweetDeck but also a tool like www.hastags.org.
A very common hash tag on Twitter is the #FF which you can include on Fridays together with the name of the account you are following. A golden rule is to reply back to say thank you when somebody is writing #FF to one of your tweets. This is a great way to get the attention of new potential new followers.
Another way to use hast tags is to tweet about a topic while it’s popular. So this is what you can do. First you will have to set up a Google Alert (http://www.google.com/alerts) to your email Inbox. Then you will know what it’s going on, and what people are talking about, and writing about regarding your topic. So make a tweet about an upcoming event, or what is hot in your topic. So if you are in the business of cars you can put in the hash tag @cars in your tweets. (I will start putting SEO into my tweets from now on).
Many people are like-minded
You know many of the people that will follow you are like-minded. They have a blog or a website or a small business and want followers like you. So remember that not everybody is hanging around just waiting for your golden tweets.
Well I am sure they are all waiting for my tweets of course lol.
When you have enough followers you will have to change your strategy – and not just following back. Then it’s time to let your Twitter account speak for itself. Then it’s time to let the word of mouth build quality followers. But you still have to post great engaging tweets 🙂
Twitter is not a miracle
Unless you are Lady Gaga or Charlie Sheen don’t expect Twitter to be a miracle for your business. Twitter is a great tool for your marketing. For engaging your audience. To get into conversation. So you can say it’s a little miracle. But it will not give you 2 million dollars from day one… Lol…
You will have to get to know Twitter. How can it help you. How do you want to use it.
But I tell you – all your competitors are here.. So if you are not you are already loosing future market shares. Do it right and Twitter is a very very very powerful tool
Okay.. I know the music has stopped already. I am going to put some Stevie Wonder in my CD player now. Was that 8 golden rules. I am not sure if I wrote 12. Hmm next time I will make the article a little shorter. Lol.
FREE Complete SeoCustomer Guide 2011
Get the FREE Complete SeoCustomer Guide 2011. In this guide you can get all the articles from 2011 in one PDF. Most of the articles from 2011 is no more online here on this blog, but you can still use the articles to get higher ranking and more traffic to your website 🙂
Remember to add me to your Google+ circles too. I appreciate that 🙂 thx.
All the best to you all