Despite the fact that there are well over 200 million users on Twitter, many people are still phased by how it really works. Lots of individuals and companies have no doubt half-heartedly tried it and given up, confused by the language Twitter users speak and baffled by the simplicity of it’s main function – the tweets (status updates for those more Facebook savvy).
Wikipedia describes Twitter as ‘a website, which offers a social networking and microblogging service, enabling its users to send and read messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page.’
We must tell you that giving up on Twitter, particularly as a business owner is probably the worst thing you could do! This social networking site is, in our opinion, one of the most powerful online marketing tools available at the moment and by using it in the right way your business will be stronger than you could ever have imagined!
Simply having an account on Twitter is not enough! The management of the account in it’s entirety will be what is responsible for it’s success, so you need to make sure you are doing it right or using an agency who know what they are doing to specifically manage a campaign for you. The time you spend on managing your Twitter account alone should be in the region of an hour a day, in which time you must be doing the following:
* Sending out around 5 tweets a day
* Interacting with others to build relationships
* Promoting those you are building relationships with on Twitter by re-tweeting (RT) their messages
* Following people / businesses relevant to your target market
* Responding to mentions and direct messages from others
* Sending direct messages to those that start following you
* Send links to articles related to your business that will interest your followers (use URL shortening tools for this to save characters – remember you’ve only got 140!)
Something that you must not be doing on Twitter is too much shameless self-promotion! There are still companies out there that just post tweet after tweet about what they do, what they can offer and why people should use them but what they fail to do is respond to peoples messages and get involved in chit chat with other users – fatal mistake! This immediately tells us that they simply log on to Twitter to type an update about themselves. They probably don’t have any interest in what anyone else is doing and therefore are not someone that we can befriend. What will happen then is that most people will end up un-following them and in time they will see their follower numbers diminish, rather than grow as they should be.
Of course you can mention your business, your website and offers etc but just don’t make it too regularly. The key is to build relationships, become a person and a friend not just a business. Then the times you do mention something your business is offering you will get far more interest from your followers – we’ll eat our hats if that turns out not to be the case!!
Now we mentioned the Twitter language being confusing to new users before, so as a little jargon buster we’ve created a short key for you to be able to understand some of the most common abbreviations used:
DMs (Direct Messages) = A private message sent between individuals in your Twitter network.
#FF (#followfriday) = Every Friday this is used within a Tweet to suggest people your other followers should follow (for example ‘Our #FF this week goes to @visionodyssey & @kaoriking’)
# (Hashtags) = This is used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. Used before relevant keywords (for example #music) to categorise tweets to show more easily in Twitter search.
#MM (#musicmonday) = Every Monday people tweet about songs or bands etc that others should listen to (for example ‘On this #MM we’re listening to @officialadele and @foofighters)
@mention = Any twitter update that contains @username anywhere in the body of the tweet. Used to promote other users. Anyone can see this and the user mentioned will see this in their @mentions tab on their Twitter homepage.
@replies = An update posted by clicking the ‘reply’ button on another tweet. The reply will always begin with @username and will show in the users @mentions tab, as above.
RT (retweet) = Twitters equivalent of quoting. If you want to quote a users tweet, giving them credit for the original tweet, select RT on their tweet or type RT followed by @username at the start of the new tweet (for example RT @VisionOdyssey: Anyone that suggests people follow us today will be entered into a prize draw to win a FREE Social Media Healthcheck!)
We hope this helps you with your social media campaigns. However, if you would still rather the experts took over for you give us a shout as we’d be delighted to help!
By Kaori Jun 3, 2011 no responses

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