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Dec 05

Twitter for Small Business

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On a recent Podcast, Social Media Sunday with the Delaware Blogger” we discussed Twitter for Small Business because many small business owners still don’t understand why they should be on this social media platform. 

I actually had a client say that Twitter was dying and that it was old fashioned…not sure why he thought this, but I invited him to listen in to the Podcast in hopes of changing his mind. 

social-media-and-small-business-building-a-community-on-facebook

Not only do I, but several other social media strategists feel that Twitter is the #1 social network because it is truly social. On Facebook, your are limited to an established circle of friends and family. But everyone is fair game on Twitter.  I can jump in and out of all sorts of conversations with people I’ve never met—I’ve made connections with my best blogging sponsors this way.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a microblogging network of real time posts that are limited to 140 characters or less, however, at one time they wanted to change it to make it unlimited characters and Twitterverse lost it’s mind.  What they did do was change the algorithm so that images do not count as part of the 140 characters.

Twitter’s demographic is geared more towards the younger generations, however, that doesn’t mean that the older generation are not using it as a matter of fact, Twitter is my favorite social media platform. 

Unfortunately, many boomers and seniors are using it in the wrong way and I won’t mention any names. (DT)

reading-news-on-iphone-5s-gold-picjumbo-com

You may remember that I once said that, “Twitter are the friends that you wished you had in high school” versus Facebook which are like the friends you did have in high school.

I made that statement because, you can establish relationships and followings with the really cool kids, not to say that the people you connect with on Facebook aren’t cool, they just aren’t the really cool tweeps.  For example, I remember my first celebrity follower was Kimora Lee Simmons, she started following me because I had made a comment about a beautiful family photo that she had posted online. 

I was so over the top excited that little ole me from Middletown, DE was recognized and followed by a real celebrity.  Unfortunately, it was short lived because after I posted one of her purses that I bought from a local discount store she inquired as to where I got it.  I responded but the next thing I knew, the store was no longer carrying them! 

The power of Twitter and network marketing was solidified for me on the day, I guess she didn’t appreciate having knock offs of her bags being sold at discount.

Rugged Wearhouse discount store

You don’t have to be uber famous like Kimora Lee Simmons, Justin Bieber or even Ellen Degeneres to get a decent following and if you’re a small business or brand, Twitter will actually help bring in new customers. It has been proven that 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands that they follow on Twitter.

Steps to set up a Twitter account:
  • Sign up with your real name, your email address and a password.
  • Choose Your Twitter Name:  Your Twitter name is limited to a maximum of 15 characters.  Although Twitter names are not case-sensitive, Twitter will save the name exactly as you enter it when you create your Twitter profile. So even though you can create your profile with “DelawareBlogger” and be listed as @DelwareBlogger, your Twitter fans will be able to find you by using @delawareblogger.  Avoid names with numbers, uncommon abbreviations and names that are difficult to remember. Keep mobile users in mind and avoid underscores, which require extra steps to type in on mobile phones.
  • You can skip interests and importing address books because you may want to wait and get comfortable before you start advertising your profile.
  • Check your email to confirm your email address that will be sent to the email address that you provided.
  • Upload Your Picture: It’s important to change the default picture to show others that you are a real person and not a spambot and definitely not that ‘egg’ which is the generic profile pic.
  • Fill in your Location – If you are a local business put the town/city, county/state and then country.   Enter your website/blog address, and your bio.  Fill in details about yourself or your company, use keywords wisely as part of your description especially for SEO.
  • Create a background and design your page, usa Canva.com or Picmonkey.com which both have templates to make it easier.
  • When you send your first tweet make sure to introduce your brand or business explaining briefly what you aim to give followers through your tweets. Create a mission statement and remember no selling just yet, wait to build an audience/following.

Pavlograd UKRAINE - December 18 2014: Person holding a brand new Apple iPhone 5S with Twitter logo on the screen and twitter page on laptop. Twitter is a social media online service for microblogging and networking communication.

How to get Twitter Followers – What is your mission statement ~ Who is your ideal customer ~ Tell them why they should follow you

When using Twitter for business it’s important to ensure that you are getting followers that are relevant to your topic, so you need to balance out your activities to get those numbers versus activities aimed at just getting mass quantities of followers.  Remember the SNL skit with the Coneheads, they were an alien family that just wanted to get mass quantities of everything.

  • A hashtag, or the pound symbol (#) is a way to connect or search others with the same interests.  Type a hashtag keyword in the search bar to discover content and accounts based on your interests.  For example, on twitter if you type #Podcast,  you will be presented with tweets about Podcasts or anything anyone has ever tweeted about using the hashtag Podcast (#Podcast). And this ladies and gents is what makes it so very easy for you to find and connect with your targeted audience. 

Whether you are looking for stay at home moms, which is hashtag #SAHM, millennials #millennial or a blogger in Delaware #DelawareBlogger, putting the hashtag in front of the word or phrase when searching on Twitter will provide you with an avalanche of people to follow which can increase your audience exponentially once you start following them.

  • Participate in #FollowFriday or any other trending hashtag topics that may be relevant to you, your product or service.  Same with popular events, movies or television shows as most networks are now placing their hashtag at the bottom corners of the screen which is how I find and follow #HAHN and #TWD viewers.
  • Check the trending topics on the left side of the screen, if they are relevant to your niche, join in share, comment and retweet which may get you a number of followers that are interested in the same trending topics.
  • Twitter chats is where a group of Twitter users meet at a pre-determined time to discuss a certain topic, using a designated hashtag ) for each tweet contributed. A host or moderator will pose questions (designated with Q1, Q2…) to prompt responses from participants (using A1, A2…) and encourage interaction among the group. Chats typically last an hour.  You can find twitter chats on websites like TwitterChat.com or TWUBS.com where you can also host Twitter Chats and they are great if you are promoting a new product, project or event. 

There are awesome places to connect with others including celebs especially if they are promoting a new project like Oprah and Tyler Perry.  When the OWN network went live followers were chatting up a storm and yes, I have been retweeted by both Oprah and Tyler.  I think my most famous follower now is Dick Gregory

 

“ Twitter Chats are business networking events – minus the dress code”

Twitter is less focused on “What you are doing” like on Facebook and more about “What’s going on around you in the world”.

What Should I Publish on Twitter?

  • Always share good content that is worth sharing and retweeting, use humor too, remember to tweet more than just your product or service
  • When you share something that someone else wrote, don’t just tell people why it’s great and share the link, also include the Twitter handle of the author. This will get you right on their radar as someone who supports and appreciates their work. That’s the first step to building a relationship.
  • If someone writes about you, @mention them when you share the link. This is especially important if you have a good following that will also retweet and engage with the article.
  • Use Twitter to follow up and respond to others.
  • Join Twitter Chats to get more followers and offer insights.
  • Add photos and images to your tweets.

The key to being successful on Twitter is sharing the right information, whether it’s your own links or other content. 

“Do what you do best then link to the rest!” 

getting your news from twitter

Twitter tips:

  • Use a timesaving tool to schedule your tweets. Free and low-cost tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule your tweets in advance so that you maintain a consistent flow of content, while saving time. 
  • Make sure you are following your customers.
  • Reward people who retweet you or offer Twitter-only specials.
  • Retweet and thank those who follow and retweet you.
  • Multitask and tweet while commuting to and from work on the bus or train. Tweet while on the bike at the gym, during commercials of your favorite shows; tweet while in the waiting room for the doctor.
  • Tweet inspirational quotes. Quotes tend to see higher engagement on Twitter because people enjoy reading them and sharing with others.
  • Communicate with your followers, answer their questions, respond to their positive/negative feedback and make sure that they can trust the information that you’re providing them.
  • Follow users who follow your followers as they are likely to share similar interests so you may consider following them as well.
  • Follow the accounts recommended by Twitter. In the #Discover section of your dashboard, Twitter recommends “Who to follow” for your account. 
  • Direct Message send a direct message to @abccompany and request for a follow back so that you can connect under the radar or take it offline to help or assist or work with influencers and potential vendors and customers
  • You don’t have to read every tweet on your timeline.
  • Put your twitter handle everywhere including, your website, Your email signature, Your email newsletter, Your business cards, Signs posted in your business, Paperwork you give customers (receipts, invoices, statements, etc.), Menus and product information sheets

  • Respond to everyone who mentions, retweets you, or favorites one of your tweets, they are seeking a connection with you. From a certain perspective, this is a truly humbling event. Someone has valued you and your profile enough that they want to connect.

  • It’s OK to tweet the same thing multiple times

Chime in: Do you have any other Twitter tips for small businesses?

5 comments

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  1. Rena McDaniel

    I love using Twitter, but haven’t been using it entirely enough lately.

  2. imagesbytdashfield

    Twitter when used well can drive traffic to your site.

    1. DelBlogger

      Definitely, especially if you use the correct hashtags

  3. Haralee

    OK I will use Twitter more often. My business is really missing out! Thanks. twitter@haralee

    1. DelBlogger

      Yes, go after those customers that are already on Twitter! Good luck!

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