The best analogy for Twitter is the SMS (Short Message Service) that you probably use all of the time from your cell phone to keep in touch with friends, family and business colleagues. Twitter is also another form of Social Media Marketing that you can use for your business.
Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters and was initially developed to allow small groups of users to communicate with each other. The idea being that the originator would “Tweet” a message and users interested in staying in touch would “Follow” the user. Then, if someone tweets something then, anyone who is following that user, would see the tweet. See more about Twitter here.
So, as a business, there are two key concepts to understand: tweeting and followers.
Tweeting: Tweets are Twitter messages and “tweeting” is what you are doing when you send a tweet. Like writing a blog or adding content onto Facebook, someone in your business needs to be responsible for writing content and then tweeting this. Because of the 140 character limitation, a tweet may often include a short URL (using such URL shortening services as bit.ly, goo.gl, ow.ly, etc.) that points to content on your website (such as your blog) so users can get more detailed information about your tweet. Click here to see Twitter’s How To for posting links in your tweet.
Followers: Followers, in the Twitter context, are persons that chose to follow your tweets. As a business, the most important thing to do is to put some social media links onto your website so that visitors to your site can follow you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media services you are using. Also important would be to have your social media links on your email signature. eMail signature services such as WiseStamp can help you with creating awesome email signatures that include linkes to your company’s social media sites.
Like we will mention in the upcoming Facebook blog (pardon the pun), people will LIKE your page if they think you’ve got something important to say or they want to keep up-to-date with what your business is doing. Similarly, people will only follow you on Twitter if you have something worth following.
Here are some tips for using Twitter effectively:
- Have something important to share & drive customers to your blog or website (using the URL shortner – such as t.co from Twitter – to put your website page link into the tweet).
- Share photographs in your tweet (similar to sending an MMS from your cell phone)
- Reach more people using Hashtags in your tweet. Example, using #toronto in your tweet to indicate something happened in Toronto. Then if people search for tweets with #toronto, they might come across your tweet.
- Rember, tweeting is real-time (happens instantly like sending an SMS or MMS) so excellent for sending alerts and time-sensitive information to followers.
- Make sure you chose a Twitter account name that re-enforces your brand and marketing strategy
- Put your Twitter name prominently on your website, business cards, marketing materials, etc. so your customers know how to follow you.
- Use it to pass important news to your followers.
- Add a personal touch from time-to-time and don’t forget to add some tasteful humor.
- Have a strategy to react if a tweet is misinterpreted or misrepresented so you don’t have a PR nightmare.
And remember, the folk at Rapidpage can help you build a marketing strategy for Twitter and help you add this social media service to your website.