If you aren’t using social media — such as Twitter, Facebook, or other – to promote your company and your products – then you need to start TODAY! Here is a short introduction to Twitter for Business – I hope it will get your creative juices flowing!
So, What Is Twitter?
In simplest terms, twitter is a free service that allows anyone to say almost anything to anybody in 140 characters or less – it’s the “what are you doing right now” micro-blogging that permeates online social communication.
Why would I use it?
Now that is the real question isn’t it? The following is an excerpt from Twitter for Business by John Jantsch.
Many people look at twitter on the surface and conclude that it’s just one big waste of time. I can’t say I disagree completely, but like all social media and marketing tactics, before you can determine if something makes sense you need to analyze your objectives. So, instead of asking why you would use it, ask how it might help you achieve some other already stated objectives.
1) Would you like a way to connect and network with others in your industry or others who share you views? It’s a good a tool for that.
2) Would you like a way to get instant access to what’s being said, this minute, about your organization, people, products, or brand? It’s a good tool for that.
3) Would you like a steady stream of ideas, content, links, resources, and tips focused on your area of expertise or interest? It’s a good tool for that.
4) Would you like to monitor what’s being said about your customers to help them protect their brands? It’s a good tool for that.
5) Would you like to extend the reach of your thought leadership – blog posts and other content? It can be a good tool for that?
6) Would you like to promote your products and services directly to a target audience? Not such a good tool for that?
Before you really jump into a service like twitter, it’s important that you identify at least, and initially only, one objective from the list above and focus your efforts on learning how to use the tool to that end.
So How Do You Sign Up For Twitter?
- To sign up, go to http://www.twitter.com and click on “Sign up now”.
- Choose your username, which can either be your name or your business name, or a keyword of what your business sells. Your username will them become a part of your twitter url.
- Once you have chosen a unique username, click on Create my account.
- You will now need to fill in the rest of your information.
- If you have a website, enter your website url. For this you can either link to your main page on your website or a specific page on your website for your Twitter followers.
- Write a short bio. Twitter directories will use your bio to add you to different categories within their listings so make sure what you have in this section is how you want to be known.
- Upload your photo, logo, etc. It’s a good idea if you are going to jump into social media sites that allow you to build profiles to create a square image, or avatar as they are called, to use on your profile and often with your activity. Keep the overall size of this image fairly small but know that some tools expand the image so you might want to upload a 400 x 400 px image.
Once you have filled in your basic information entered, you are ready to start tweeting!
Start following a few people right away to get used to Twitter and then follow more and more people the more comfortable you get.
Following someone simply means receiving their Twitter updates. When you follow someone, every time they post a new message, it will appear on your Twitter home page. New messages are added to your home page as people post them, so you always get the updates in real time. When you log in, you can see what the latest updates are.You can search for people by name or user name, import friends from other networks, or invite friends via email. Once you’ve found your friends, follow them to start getting their updates.
Note: Unless you are following others your twitter feed will be empty. If you don’t have followers then nobody will see your tweets.
Incorporating Tweets on your Website
Twitter can easily be integrated with other communication tools, like Facebook, or your WordPress blog. We have a link here to a plugin that will make a widget available for your blog sidebar to display your tweets. The plugin properly handles twitter feeds, including @username and links parsing. It supports displaying profile images, and even lets you control whether to display the time and date of a tweet or how log ago it happened (about 5 hours ago, etc).
Twitter Widget Pro allows you to not only have more than one instance of this widget on your site, but even allows more than one instance of this widget in a single sidebar. How cool is that!
You can go to the twitter help guide – http://help.twitter.com/portal where you can get all your basic how to questions answered.
This is a brief overview of Twitter for complete beginners (4 minutes)
How To Use Twitter Effectively for Business and Advocacy (57 Minutes) (haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but it may have some good info).