But who am I?
Building your profile is a simple process that is beyond no-one’s capabilities. Just follow the instructions and bear in mind a few guidelines:
Tell them why they should care
Make sure your Biography is targeted, relevant and will make people want to follow you. Help them see the value in following you.
Put up a picture – people like to know who they’re following. The idea of Twitter is to be personal and human – people will not like following a logo.
Make a name for yourself
Your user name is an extension of your brand so use your company name. Avoid numbers and underscores – these are devices that people simply don’t use on Twitter.
Personalize your profile – consider getting a web design company to put something together for you. It won’t be a long (and therefore costly) job and will be money well spent.
Learning to talk like a native
As with any social network there is a new language to learn but don’t worry it’s all simple stuff.
Twitter has 3 core functions:
• You can send a message to a group of people publicly
• You can send a message to a specific person publicly
• You can send a message to a specific person privately
Its core terms are:
- @username – This allows you to send a message to a specific user by typing@ and then their username. The message will be clearly addressed to this person but will be seen by all.
- DM or Direct Message – This allows you to send a message to a particular user that will only be seen by the recipient.
- HashTag – In the same way as using a Meta Tag for a Blog Article you can HashTag a message. This will enable users to search for your article via that HashTag. These are entirely user created – you simply type # and then the Tag you feel is most relevant.
- ReTweet – This is a great was to pass on Tweets that you’ve received you think will appeal to your followers. This is a great way to share useful information or ideas and create goodwill.
Finding your Voice
You should start slowly and find your feet in a new space. Take some time to look at feeds you think are relevant to you. Have a root around for relevant content and if you think something is useful follow it. Reciprocity is a big thing on Twitter so it’s likely they’ll return the favour and follow you.
Tone is important in the messages you send out. Remember, it should be relevant, conversational and have value. Many sceptics will tell you that Twitter is simply a conduit for people to send nonsense and banality into the wider world – in some instances that’s correct – but it doesn’t mean you have to.
Tweeting into the Ether
First off you need to find some people to follow you. The obvious choice are your customers, prospects and suppliers so make sure to tell them you’re on Twitter and why it will be of value. A new initiative is a great reason to talk to your clients so think about some direct marketing, an email out or just ringing around to spread the good news. Make sure you put a link front and centre on your website, on your email footer and print media as well.
Finding followers on Twitter proactively is simple. As I said above find people to follow and they will most likely follow you in return.
Make sure that you have a good balance of people who follow you and people you follow. Following more people than follow you will make it look like there is no value in listening to you so be mindful of that.
Some more rules for you:
- Use Twitter to build valuable relationships and not just to broadcast untargeted information.
- Don’t send un-solicited DM’s or @ Messages – it’s just Spam and won’t be appreciated
- Don’t always talk about your business – talk around the topic as well
- Ask questions and promote responses, feedback and interaction
- Pay as much attention to your critics as you do your advocates – don’t be afraid to engage with them and DO offer solutions. If you do it quickly you will gain or re-engage with a valuable customer
As with any PR or marketing activity it needs to be measurable and there are certain strategies you can you use to achieve this:
- Keep a tally of positive and negative messages – generate easy to use metrics such as a weekly percentage
- Use landing pages to track message response using Google Analytics
A Few Success Stories
Now before I send you on some merry way I’ll impart some inspiration. For a relatively young medium large companies and brands have integrated Twitter into their marketing armoury quickly and effectively:
- Dell use Twitter as a direct marketing channel. By sending out vouchers to their followers they have generated $3 million in sales that they can directly attribute to Twitter.
- Pepsi have used Twitter to “humanize” their brand and engage with customers who would normally be lost to their traditional customer service infrastructure and gained vital feedback and insight.
Go Forth and Tweet
So there we are – Twitter is not just for Stephen Fry it’s for us all. As always, make a plan, decide on your objectives, work out how it can deliver value to your business, implement and commit.
And don’t ever log-in after a few lemonades. It will be funny, but it won’t make you many friends!