What is Twitter & why use it?
Twitter is a popular Social Media network famous for its 140 character ‘Tweets’. Twitter is a chatty network and allows for easy broadcasting of messages.
In the UK it is reported to have 15 million users, a high number of which read only. I liken Twitter to a newspaper where most users follow their interests and keep up to date with the news that matters to them, as it happens.
Creating your profile
Here are some tips to start your twitter account
Your Twitter Handle. This begins with an @... and should be synonymous with your business name or as close to it as possible so people can find you easily
Your Avatar is the smaller image box, which begins as an egg. It is good practice to change this as soon as you can to either a photo of you or your company logo.
The cover photo is the larger image, and again should be an image, which is relevant to your brand. Good practice to use these images then on other social networks.
Your bio is a short space, which enables you to describe briefly what you so. Use this carefully so customers can easily understand what you do.
You can then add your location (Your town & county) – Highly recommended, and your website link.
Growing your following
Twitter will recommend some keynote celebs and media to your when you first start the account. Just choose what is relevant or interesting to you.
Follow some of the key accounts for your area e.g. local business organisations, the local councils, and people you know in real life.
If you use the search bar on the top tool bar and type in your town e.g. #Kettering – all tweets will come up which are relevant. This can be a good way of finding people to follow and also ensure you know the latest news for your area.
You can also find people to follow by searching for your subject e.g. #gardening – this will bringing up tweets and people using that keyword
People will start to follow you. Do not feel obliged to follow back if the follower is not useful to you.
Time to tweet
Twitter helpfully has a first tweet for you to announce to the world that you’ve set up your account
From then on, you need to think about what you are going to say and how you are going to make sure your message reaches your target audience.
Using Hashtags in your message helps direct your tweet to your most likely audience. In my case, I would use #marketing & #Kettering or #Northamptonshire in my messages if I wanted to make sure people with that interest in that area could find my message.
If people pick up on your message they may do one of a few things
They may Retweet it (RT)
They may favourite it (the star)
Or they may reply to it
It is good manners on Twitter to thank people for Retweeting, as they are sharing your message with their followers
Favouriting is like ‘liking’ on Facebook but can also be used to bookmark tweets you don’t have time to read
People can also mention you in a tweet they write – again it’s polite to thank them.
All of this activity will come up in your notifications.
Other top tips
There is a cog function on people’s profiles. You can use this to add or remove people from lists (a handy way of organising people you follow); to block or report people if they are offensive or you think they may be spam; and also to tweet directly to them
You can only direct message someone on Twitter if they follow you
If your tweet begins with the @... with nothing in front of it, then only the person you are tweeting will see the tweet.