Friday, 24 February 2012

What am I Tweeting About? - Twitter Tips

I often meet businesses at the point where they have dipped their toe into the Twitter pool, but still don't quite get what the fuss is about. So if you are at that point where you have braved setting up an account, but are daunted by what to tweet - here are some quick tips to get you started.

Twitter Don'ts

  • Don't forget Twitter is a public forum - Unless you have 'protected tweets' (which as a business why would you - surely the objective is helping people find you) don't forget that anyone who has internet access can see what you are Tweeting. So think carefully about what is appropriate for public viewing
  • Don't get too personal - One of the biggest complaints about social media is posts about what people are eating. "Just having a slice of toast and orange" - who cares? The personal touch can be appealing, but only if it's relevant. "We just got a mention in such and such a publication" is a better example of personal meets appropriate.
  • Don't leave it too long - If you send out an interesting tweet and then wait a month before the next one, potential followers looking at your profile will see a follow as a pointless endeavour. Time commitment can be an issue, so why not set up an account on Tweetdeck or Hootsuite where you can plan your tweets in advance and time them to go out throughout the week.
  • Don't be afraid! - The best way to learn is have a go. Once you get a flow going you will soon pick up on what tweets have gathered you the most response.

Twitter Do's

  • Do be interesting! - Give potential followers other reasons to follow you than keeping up with your sales patter. Why not set up Google Alerts for news and blogs around your industry to keep your finger on the pulse. This makes for some interesting tweets to web articles your clients might want to hear about.
  • Do keep it short and simple - Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet, so think carefully about keywords you use in that space, and add a weblink to more information if needed.
  • Do Follow - Find the masters in your industry and follow them. They may produce tweets you can retweet. I often use the example 'If you are a fashion business, why not follow Vogue and every designer you can think of'.
  • Do Tweet @ - Finding people you would love to have as a follower, seeing what they are talking about and tweeting a reply can help you get noticed.
  • Do link it all together - If you also have a blog, facebook page etc. then use applications that will help send tweets out through twitter automatically as you update those sites. Save time and spread your content far and wide. NetworkedBlogs is a great app for this, and using the Twitter app on Facebook can easily help you link your facebook activity to your Twitter feed.
  • Do be relevant - It's ok to use Twitter as a way to tell customers about your special offers, up coming events and new products. Just try and spread that out with other content too. Keeping an eye on Twitter trending topics is one way to find an angle. Using the hashtag # in front of key words highlights when you have joined the conversation. An example of joining in but keeping it relevant would be this - A few weeks back there was an own goal scored in a high profile football match. The own goal scoring footballer's name became a trending topic on Twitter. A holistic therapy business asked me how they could possibly join in that conversation without being too spammy about it. My suggestion was "We are really thinking #Footballer could do with one of our relaxing aromatherapy treatments today - link to own webpage advertising this treatment". Simple!
  • Do Tweetpic - Pictures of products, places that you are visiting for business purposes, your newest marketing materials, people at your latest event all add interest to your Twitter feed. There is a tiny camera icon under the box where you type your tweet to click on to upload a picture from your computer. If you are stuck follow this link.

For further reading check out this great Twitter guide book from the masters Mashable or visit the Twitter Help Center. Or for more advice on using Twitter effectively for your business contact Jo Austin Marketing via

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