Social Media for Small Business - Part 3 - Twitter
The majority of people know about Twitter but unless they use it, most are unsure how it works. There are many people who sign up to Twitter because everybody is on it and they feel they should be but again don't understand how it works. We're here to tell you it is simple, easy and very powerful in the right hands. Whereas Facebook is only really suitable for businesses who want to reach the consumer, Twitter should be used by all businesses big or small. That is until the next big thing arrives and we all have to start again.
The key to Twitter's success is its simplicity. No fancy graphics, no adverts, no images, no waffle, just 140 characters of lingual simplicity. Really there are images, links and other content on Twitter but they are contained within the 140 character limit and if you want to view them you choose to click through. That is the beauty, you are not bombarded with the normal social media rubbish and you choose what you view and what you don't.
Let's go over a few little Twitter facts.
Twitter has over 225 million users and around 50 million of them log in every day.
On average 190 million tweets are sent per day.
Around 40% of users don't tweet but instead use Twitter to gather news and information on the things they are interested in.
More than half of the people on Twitter use it on a mobile device.
Twitter is growing by around half a million users per day on average.
So you can see why Twitter is a big deal and we believe it is the most important social platform to be on.
Now you know why Twitter is worth being on, let's go over the basics of general usage. Let's assume you've set up an account (easy to do straight from the www.twitter.com homepage) and you've gone through the step-by-step Twitter guide that greets you. First you need to fill out all empty information fields on your profile (found under Settings). A short Bio, Location and Web Address being the most important parts. You can, if you want to, change the colour of your profile page (also found under Settings) to match your company profile or upload an image for the background. Then you need to upload an image, this needs to be something that represents you are your company well. For businesses I would always suggest you use your logo and make sure it is a square image as that is how it will be displayed when you tweet.
Now you're up and running and you are ready to tweet. Don't worry about followers just yet, you need to get a few basic tweets on there to show you are a real tweeter and not a spammer. Write 3 or 4 to get going, maybe a welcome post and then something about your business and so on. An example opening post could be: 'Welcome to the 101 Twitter feed. We are a Norwich based Website Design and Development Company' and then we would follow that up with 'We also offer a comprehensive Email Marketing package http://www.smartmessenger.co.uk '. This way your profile page will have something on it and look credible.
There are many ways of gaining followers but for the sake of this article we'll keep it simple. The quickest way to get followers is to follower other people. Not just anyone but people who may be interested in following you. Find someone who is like you or in your field and follow their followers. The more you follow the more will follow you and we have found that around a quarter to a third will follow you back fairly quickly. From there you can use good content to get your numbers up. Another simple way to get yourself known on Twitter is to engage with people. Find someone similar to you and spark up a conversation or respond to one of their tweets. Their followers will see what you have been talking about and may choose to follow you.
Now you're getting the hang of Twitter and how it works we can look at what you actually put in your updates. Links to new products, services, courses, blog posts, newsletters etc. are always going to be good for driving traffic back to your website, but you also need to post things that are going to keep peoples interest in you. You don't always have to stay on topic but try not to stray too far. Talking about Pancake Day is fine but try not to post anything that could alienate your readers. Also if you come across anyone who has posted something interesting and you want to pass it on to your followers then you can retweet it with a simple click of the mouse.
Hashtags (#) are a must use tool. Let's say you are tweeting about Email Marketing then you want to link to all the other tweets about Email Marketing. To do this you simply add at the end of your tweet #emailmarketing (Not #email marketing). Remember you only have 140 characters so choose your words carefully. This will then group your tweet with all other tweets featuring your chosen hashtag.
Now you are ready to go and take Twitter by storm but why not start by following @101WebDev and we'll follow you back.
By David Tilyer
Tags: Social Media