If you’re new to Twitter, don’t be afraid, it’s a fairly simple platform that can offer a host of benefits for only a little bit of a learning curve.
I could just sit here and tell you to be careful, abide by best practices, and don’t forget that there are real people on the other side of the screen, and I’m sure you’d do just fine, but let’s dig a little deeper.
1st Tactic: Don’t forget that Twitter is just a tool
Just like every other social media platform out there. It’s not the answer to your problems, or a chance to air your dirty laundry (we are talking Twitter marketing strategy after all and not public relations mishaps)
That said, it’s a very valuable tool depending on your goals, and when used in conjunction with other social media sites and combined with your website, you can dramatically increase your traffic and authority on a subject that matters to your business. That’s the key, Twitter should be used in conjunction with other tools to really maximize its effect.
2nd Tactic: Don’t forget why you’re on there in the first place.
Are you on Twitter to build an audience? Connect with like-minded individuals? Keep up to date on the latest news? Your tactics should reflect your goals. (ie to build followers be sure to actively post, respond to users, interact, and frequently add those you’d like to connect with.)
Keep this in mind when forming what to say, and deciding who to follow. Be consistent.
3rd Tactic: Don’t be spammy.
This applies to direct messages, also known as DM’s, or what I like to call them, “Dams”. (As in the kind that block water 😉
A “DM” is a dam because it puts up a barrier, and creates an annoyance to the other person. This is interruption advertising at its worst.
Odds are even if you think your DM is wanted or needed (ie “here’s a link to my new website” or “be sure to like my facebook page”) these aren’t normally appreciated so be sure to disable any DM’s. Dm’s also fail the 4th Law…
4th Tactic: Be personable
You’re a real person (actually the majority of page views on the internet happen by “robots” searching and scanning for content, a whopping 61.5%) and your customers are real people, so let’s act that way and we can all get along. Just fine.
Say hi, comment on their work, their posts, their links, whatever, and never forget that behind the screen is a living, breathing, talking, feeling person. Possibly a potential customer (one day, don’t rush it)
5th Tactic: Know the rules of the game
They’re really not that complicated once you’ve used them a few times.
Use the @ symbol to mention another user, use the # symbol to label a topic, and keep your messages to 140 characters (letters and symbols) or less by using URL shortners like bit.ly or ow.ly.
Easy right?! The trick is to just get on there, type a few things out, see what works, what doesn’t and get your feet wet. (Just don’t set up auto-reply DM’s)
6th Tactic: Start now
Aside from the fact that Twitter posts your join date, as it becomes more popular, the odds of claiming the name you want become slimmer and slimmer.
Twitter is also the social media platform that separates casual from more “advanced” social media users.
What this means is by hopping on the Twitter bandwagon (even if you’re a little late to the party) you’re still showing a technologically accepting culture, able to connect with your audience in the manner that best suits them. (Fun fact, the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 age bracket.)
7th Law: Use the search
If you’ve made it this far congratulations, you’re now on Twitter (or at least just about to sign up) and are hashtagging and tweeting and connecting.
I’ll leave you with just one more piece of advice on using the search function. There’s a search bar in the upper right corner of the screen that you can use to find subjects being discussed. Play around for awhile and type in your city, industry, interests, or anything else you can think of to see what’s being said, in real time, and who’s saying it. Valuable and free market research? Thanks Twitter.
Most businesses resist joining Twitter because they don’t see the business value in it. I hope you see now that it’s not only a valuable marketing tool. but can also be a little bit of fun too.