Published by Designzillas on October 22, 2013
Social media sites aren’t just for chatting with Grandma or creeping on ex-significant others. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn each have their own “business accounts” and if you aren’t using these to their full potential, well, you’re missing out on some great opportunities! Social media is a great way to connect with customers and potential clients in a way that your website alone just can’t do. Use Facebook to supplement your website. Use Twitter to post consistent updates about your business. Use LinkedIn to post interesting and enlightening articles related to your industry!
Each of the top social media sites have its own personality and culture surrounding it. In last week’s blog, we talked about how to use Facebook to enhance your business. Facebook has a very casual vibe, like catching up with old relatives at a family get-together or friends at a college reunion. But this is only one of the social media networks that is making a lasting impression on the Internet and how people conduct business. Today’s focus is Twitter, which has its very own culture, personality, and etiquette. Successful businesses know that style, tone and content differ among social media networks and this blog aims to help you use Twitter in the most successful way possible. It’s time to tweet your way to the top!
WHY SHOULD YOU TWEET?
Twitter is a great way for businesses to get their information out there in a quick, concise, and exciting way. 42% of Twitter users follow brands and companies and the website receives over 180 million unique visitors per month. With over 105,779,710 registered users, you can definitely use Twitter to make an impact on your sales and marketing. It’s no longer just the website where you can go to feel connected to your favorite celebrities — now you can use Twitter to connect with your favorite brands!
Twitter’s personality is different than Facebook’s. It’s still more casual than sites such as LinkedIn, but it’s much quicker and to the point. After all, you need to catch your followers’ attention in 140 characters or less! Twitter is a great way to test your ability to write catchy headlines and first sentences in blogs and other articles. It’s not for fluff, but rather straight to the point, eye-catching updates. Because posts are so short and concise, tweets are great when attending or hosting events! You can send quick updates to let your followers know what’s going on immediately.
Here are some common terms in the Twitter vernacular:
- Handle: Your username, preceded by an “@” (ours is @designzillas)
- Tweet: A status update
- Direct Message (DM): A private message that no one else can see
- Twitter Stream: Like your Facebook newsfeed; a list of real-time updates from people you follow
- Hashtag (#): This tags a topic
- Retweet (RT): To repost something that someone else already has tweeted
- Trending Topics: words, phrases or hashtags that are popular on Twitter
In general, use Twitter to build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers, to keep them up to date on current events, to promote blog articles or reviews, to enhance customer service and support, and generally drive people to your website.
WHAT MAKES TWITTER DIFFERENT
Tweets have a much shorter shelf life than Facebook posts. Because of this, it is customary to post a lot more on this website than others. The average agreed upon amount is anywhere from 15-25 times daily (that’s much more than the ~4 times for Facebook!). Because it’s so quick and concise, Twitter has been described as somewhere between email, instant messaging and blogging. Your followers expect an active account, and this means responding to replies, direct messages, and any questions they might have with haste. It’s important to foster an involved presence on Twitter — where Facebook is like a family reunion, Twitter is like going to a party where your goal is to meet as many people as possible and make yourself known.
Like we saw with Facebook, Twitter also features its own ad service: Twitter Ads. These are “promoted” accounts, tweets, and trends that you can pay for to reach more people in the demographics you target. You can target via timeline, geography, interest, and even device (a lot of people use mobile phones for Twitter!). Twitter also offers “featured tweets” which are paid ads that are promoted to the very top of your Twitter feed. These are for the most important tweets that you don’t want missed by your followers. And like Facebook, Twitter helps you analyze the ads you pay for with its own analytics service. You can track which tweets were the most popular via retweets, favorites, and replies. If you want to check out more, Twitter Ads has its very own blog with interesting posts and answers to questions and common problems.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF TWITTER
Twitter can definitely help you to promote your business and form relationships with possible clientele, but that is only if you use it properly! Here are some tips to follow to best optimize how you make use of the site:
- Pick the right user name; this is how your followers identify you! Nothing weird or reminiscent of an AIM screen name from high school. Don’t use numbers, or underscores!
- Personalize your account before you start following people. People are more likely to follow back an account that is active.
- Pick the right profile picture! This will most likely be a clear image of your logo.
- Include a link to your website in the bio, along with a quick and concise pitch!
- Customize your background with a professional image, but keep in mind the dimensions so the tool bar doesn’t cover it up! (2048 x 1900 pixels)
- Tweet about observations or fun things happening around the office, events you are hosting or attending, any content that you have written that you would like to promote, and any offers and product or service information.
- Interact with people! Retweet interesting posts and start conversations with other users!
- Make your Twitter icon visible on your website so they know that you are active on the website; also encourage any employees to create an account.
- Create a hashtag (#) for events or promotions! We did this with #Zillathon!
- Always respond to your customers!
PROS AND CONS
Like Facebook, Twitter has more pros than cons. It has a very simple to understand interface and it’s easily navigable. Twitter has an extremely far reach, as well. If you send a tweet to someone with a large follower amount, or if this person retweets you, your tweet is being seen by potentially thousands of people! Twitter also allows for constant communication and rapid responsiveness.
This may also be seen as a downside, however. For businesses that don’t have a lot of time to foster their social media sites, they may find that their Twitter account runs stagnant and untouched over time. It is also essential that you master the “Twitter etiquette” so as not to appear out of touch with social queues. But again, there are plenty of companies that specialize in this kind of thing that can help you out with your digital marketing solutions.
An interactive social media presence always brings more positives than negatives. It’s a unique way to promote your business and connect with already existing and potential customers. Social media sites are meant to be social. So sign up for a Twitter and start connecting with your customers!