I’m sure if you have looked at Twitter you will immediately notice that there seems to be a Twitter-lingo. For the novice this can be a bit confusing but if you are planning on using Twitter for Business then it is really important that you get the hang of it because it can make a big difference to your marketing.
So lets go through the basics…
Tweet = a message posted on Twitter. Publicly viewable. Maximum 140 characters per Tweet.
@username = Usernames are communicated with the @ symbol located directly in front of the name. When tweeted, this will automatically create a link to the user’s Twitter profile. For example, “@MattandLizRaad had a great workshop on business last weekend.”
Follower/Following = people who you are following on Twitter/people who are following you on Twitter. Remember Twitter is a relationship building tool…users follow others that they find interesting. If User A is following User B, then User B’s tweets will show up in User A’s timeline and on their homepage. When using Twitter for business this is how you maximise your exposure. By having many followers you will show up on many users homepage and timelines with your information and offers.
RT = ReTweet – often used where other individuals like a person’s post and want to share it with their followers. This is done by clicking on the ReTweet sign underneath a post.
Hashtag or # symbol = by putting a # in front of keywords you help to categorise your tweets, for instance you may tweet “Learned some #social media strategies on #Twitter for business”. If anyone searches on Twitter for Social Media, this post will then be categorised within the search results. Business uses for hashtag can included: product launch, event promotion, seminars, book launches etc etc. Remember to use hashtags when you tweet to categorise your tweets and show up in the search results.
DM = Direct Message. This allows private messages between tweeters generally only from followers or following. Use this for passing private information like phone numbers, accounts or email addresses.
Twitter has other lingo associated with it but for the purpose of starting out, get familiar with the basics and what is important for you in business.
Some tips to doing business on Twitter are:
- Don’t SELL, SELL, SELL. Twitter followers do not like being bombarded with sales pitches or advertisements. They want to connect, share and learn, so provide valuable content such as free trials, education resources or helpful links
- Don’t use Twitter as a one-way connection. Businesses will be more successful when they actively communicate with their followers. Respond to followers tweets and retweet useful messages, this will encourage others to spread the businesses tweets as well
- Take time to listen…Twitter can be a valuable tool to find out what people are saying about the business including products and brand. Conduct Twitter searches on your keywords and use the feedback (both positive and negative) to improve your service/product/brand
- Don’t get down…Twitter can take time to build up and it requires a serious daily commitment to engage with others. But as your network grows, so too will the awareness of your business/product/service
- Finally, and most importantly – ensure transparency. Don’t have someone that is not a company representative do the tweeting for you! You and your staff are the best ones to answer questions and build relationships with your followers. Be selective with who you choose within the staff – they must be good at customer service and competent in the business. Twitter users do not like to be misled and can provide serious backlash to the business if transparency is not in place. For a good example, see what happened to Hugh Jackman http://tinyurl.com/cnqnps
Again, thanks to Dainaz Illava for her great teaching at Social Media Meetup Brisbane and allowing me to share this content.
Next time I will be posting on How to Grow Your Twitter Following.