Twitter launched in 2006 as a social media platform, where users can “tweet” what’s on their mind in 140 characters or less. As it has gained popularity business has got on board and embraced Twitter as another social media marketing tool. This post will explain how to use Twitter for business marketing and explain some jargon to help you sort your tweets from your tweeps and your hashtags from your RT’s.
‘What is a Hashtag?’ and other Twitterisms explained.
Before we launch into how to use Twitter for your business marketing, it is important to get you up to speed on the unique lingo of Twitter. Like we examined in our Business Jargon 101 Post, Twitter has brought with it a while host of new terminology that we see as the first roadblock for new businesses wanting to embrace this channel as a marketing platform.
What better way to learn then via an infographic, this one via the GravityJonesProject
- are topics that people use with a # in front;
- this makes them trackable;
- using Hashtags puts you in the conversation;
- it helps people find you and know you are an authority or an interested party for that topic; and
- can use tools like TagDef to browse for hash tags or use ‘Discover’ on Twitter.Com to follow Hashtags.
- RT is to Retweet;
- there is a button under each tweet that says ‘Retweet’;
- it’s the equivalent to forwarding an email; and
- it puts that tweet into your twitter feed, and is your way of saying you agree with or like it.
- use the ‘@’ to involve someone - it’s like tagging on Facebook;
- put it at the start and only you and friends in common see the message in their feed; and
- put it in the middle and it goes publicly on your feed
How to Use Twitter for Business Marketing
Successfully using Twitter for Business Marketing has three major components
1. Set Up Your Account
Set up your profile so that your business name is your username, (you may need to try different options to find a variant still available). Then decide if your display name is best suited to your own name (good for professional services) or again your brand name. Fill in the bio section considering if it is best about you as a person or your brand (tie back to what your website homepage focuses on). Then decide to link to Facebook – if you do, every tweet will automatically be replicated on your Facebook page. We see the downside to this is that if you RT, @ or use Hashtags, they don’t really make sense on your Facebook page.
2. Start Following People
If you are on Twitter.Com go to the ‘Discover’ menu and type in keywords that are relevant to your business. You may want to find similar businesses, complementary businesses, people that educate on business development or people with an interest in your offer type. Following people gives you access to content that you can then RT for your followers benefit and in many cases the people you follow, will follow you back, helping your grow your twitter community.
3. Start Tweeting
From research we have conducted (more on that below) we know that from a business point of view the most powerful tweets are those with content to click through to. 140 Characters used to talk about the weather, your day or what’s for dinner is not the best business use of Twitter. The number 1 thing you should be tweeting is your blog posts, new and old. Use your characters to summarise what the post is about, perhaps give a hashtag to the topic and add a shortened link. The next best things to tweet are images, then links to products or services on your website, always using your 140 characters to maximise the appeal to your target to take action and click! Alongside creating your own content, use Twitter to share the content you find that you feel will appeal to your target market.
I have recently been involved with a major market research project under the banner of MumsNow, where Wise Up Marketing Solutions together with Motivating Mum undertook a survey of over 1,000 Australian Mums (If you have read my blog posts Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Market Research, Turning Surveys Into Solutions, Market Research for Small Business, there are no prizes for guessing how much I enjoyed this venture).
As part of looking at Mums relationship with Twitter, we now know that about 48% of Mums are using Twitter for personal enjoyment, with close to 40% been engaged, active users, tweeting and retweeting regularly. We uncovered that 30% use Twitter to stay in touch with Brands they like and close to 20% enjoy Twitter for celebrity stalking. When it comes to Mums in Business, 25% use it to get tips and advice for business development. Keep this in mind as you plan your content if Mums are in your target market.
We have now released a series of reports on everything from Social Media Habits of Mums to the rise of the Mumpreneur, you will also find a Free 1 Page Report about Mums, now.
Managing your Twitter … along with every other Social Media Platform
In our last post How to Effectively Use Social Media for Business Marketing , we looked at the difference between a range of social media platforms. When you start playing in two and three arenas the time and ease to maintain each community individually can be overwhelming.
Thankfully, there are tools designed to help. I like to use HootSuite , which has a free and a paid access option. To date I have found the free to be sufficient for my needs. You can use it to monitor Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and more.
What I really like to use it for is managing Twitter. In the image to the left, I have added streams from Twitter to view my news feed, @ mentions and DMs, as well as monitoring any Hashtags I want to be a part of. Having this all in one handy location makes navigating Twitter far more efficient.
We hope that you feel empowered with your new Twitter vocabulary and these simple strategies. Find us on Twitter @wiseup_hoots and we look forward to being a fellow tweep and enjoying your tweets!
Until next week, T is for How to Use Twitter for Blogging and also Trying to Blog regularly!