How to Twitter
Most of us have heard of Twitter, but so many people I speak to don’t know how to use it. So we thought we’d put together a little step by step tutorial to help you get on your way using this fantastic tool for promoting your business.
What is it?
Twitter is a website that allows you 140 characters/letters to tell the world what’s going on. The people who can see what you post are your followers. The aim of the game is to get more followers and you do that by following people yourself (we’ll tell you how to do this in a moment).
Why use Twitter?
Twitter is a great way of making personal contact with a wide audience – when used correctly. It’s especially useful if your target market is businesses. If your main clients are consumers, you may still want to use Twitter, but you may find you get more response through Facebook. (www.facebook.com).
Twitter is a nice, easy way to get the message out there without spending a huge amount of time on the internet. If you think of it like an online database of people you can interact with on a semi regular basis, you’ll start to get the idea.
First Steps for new twitterers:
1. Add your website
2. Add a profile picture
3. Add a background picture
4. Visit the useful website list below
5. Follow Truesilver Coaching and Leigh Frost by visiting http://twitter.com/truesilveruk
There are loads of tutorials on twitter to help you actually set up your account (visit http://help.twitter.com/entries/18375-welcome-to-twitter-support)
The 4 screens you need to know about
This is a list of who you’re following. Remember the golden rule is to get more followers and you do this by following people yourself and posting interesting information / updates. You can click on the “find people” tab at the top of the screen to look for a few famous people and friends, but you only get more followers by finding people who are actively using Twitter and will follow back.
This is a list of people who are following you. When you first start make sure you are following back genuine followers, but watch out for spammers and unsuitable followers, especially ones with adult content. You can always block followers and report them for spam by right clicking on the icon next to their name that looks like a cog.
This is where people reply to you publicly. Keep an eye on this page as this is where you can interact mostly with your followers.
This is where people message you privately. You can only direct message people who are following you and visa versa. Make sure that any personal information like telephone numbers and email addresses are sent through direct messaging (also known as DM)
This is where you can save tweets you like or want to keep.
This is where you forward on a message from someone you’re following. Retweeting is a great way of sending interesting posts without having to write lots of information. You’re also promoting someone you are following, so it can create loyalty with them as well. Think of retweeting like forwarding on an email – except you’re sending it to everyone you know with the click of a button.
Finding people to follow and getting followers
As I said before, the aim of the game is to get as many genuine followers as possible. So finding people to follow who are not just an automated machine is a great thing to do. I use www.twellow.com to find people local to me. It’s like a Yellow Pages for Twitter and will help you find people in your area. Remember to search for all abbreviations of your town and county and each individual town around you if you want to find as many people as possible. You can also search for keywords.
When you are looking for people to follow, make sure to look at their profile. Specifically note what they’re posting as this will tell you if they are sending out lots of automated tweets. Also look at how many followers they have in comparison to how many people they’re following. If their number of followers is lots more than how many people they are following then there is a good chance they won’t follow you back so you need to decide whether it’s worth adding them. If the number of people they are following is much less than the number of followers, then they could be another automated tweeter or a spammer.
What to tweet
When people start out on Twitter, it’s difficult to know what to post. It’s fine to start with “making a cup of tea” type posts, but it’s not going to be hugely interesting for those people who are looking to interact with you.
Helpful information is good to share – it can be things you’ve seen, heard, read, news articles, what ever is personal to you. You can share knowledge about your industry. Obviously enough to show people that you know your stuff, don’t give away all your secrets.
How to interact with people
The main thing to remember when you’re interacting with people is that everyone can see what you’re posting if they want to, not just followers, unless you protect your tweets. Personally I don’t as this means that people who genuinely want to check you out before following you may not.
But always be positive.
If you’re using twitter as a business tool, then negativity and rants can damage your public persona. Remember, people have been sacked for posting their strong opinions on Facebook and Twitter. If you have your own business, then you could lose potential clients if they don’t like what you’re writing.
Remember that all networking, including online networking and social networking, is about building relationships. You need to be connecting with people personally for it to work well for you. It’s also worth remembering the age old sales formula – a face to face meeting is better then a call, and a call is better than a letter. That means that where possible, have a chat with people on the phone or meet them for a coffee. Twitter should be a gateway to more people – rather than working as your voice.
Good luck – and call us if you want some help.
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