The internet has made all communication democratic. Which creates the perfect platform for a load of self-appointed experts. I’m not an expert, just a bloke running a business who’s learnt some stuff. Here’s what I’ve learnt about Twitter for business in 10 handy steps. If it’s useful, great, I’ll probably publish a book, if it isn’t, well, I probably will anyway.
1. Twitter is good, Facebook is rubbish. Since Facebook began charging exhorbitant sums just to reach the people who already follow you it became ineffective and inefficient
2. Avoid ‘follow back farms’ – following people who follow you gives you lots of followers, but are they the right ones? Businesses that follow other businesses in order to be followed back are missing the point – the followers they generate aren’t actively interested in what they do
3. Be engaging. To attract and keep followers you have to be interesting. That means you have to love what you do, and that can’t be faked – it will be easily spotted.
4. Be interactive – if someone responds to your Tweet, be polite enough to acknowledge it. If you see an interesting Tweet, share it or reply to it. Twitter is not a broadcast medium, it’s a conversation
5. Repeat The Tweet – Twitter is an instant, quick medium with a very short ‘opportunity to view.’ As a result, you need to retweet messages that you particularly want seen
6, Tweets work at different times – daytime and evenings work better than early morning. Different users will respond at different times, depending on their lifestyles – whether they work at home or are retired, for example
7. Stick to the knitting – a business account is your shop window. How you tweet will be many people’s only experience of your company. Don’t go off-topic to express personal opinions on irrelevant topics and don’t be rude or negative
8. Be personal – Twitter is personal and about engagement. Faceless, corporate Twitter accounts are hard to relate to and therefore to engage with. I Tweet so my company account says that. This also let’s others in the business Tweet too
9. Vary what you Tweet – constantly Tweeting hard sell messages is dull and not engaging. Vary it. If you do something interesting, talk about it. Tweet photos. Write interesting articles. Don’t just sell. Twitter isn’t an advertising medium
10. Be joined up – Twitter is a way to link up your other social media activities like your blog, photo site and Linkedin. If you don’t do those then you’re stuck in 1st gear with Twitter.
So there you go. That’s the stuff I’ve learned. I do have a business to promote but I don’t hide that. I enjoy what I do and I enjoy engaging with like-minded enthusiasts on Twitter. And that, perhaps, is the key ingredient.