When a company, business, or individual comes to our firm for help on Twitter marketing, we usually have an initial “meeting” to see what their objectives are and if we are a good fit.
For whatever reason, Twitter seems to be one of the most misunderstood social media out there…and yet…one of the most popular.
Almost every prospective client thinks they want to be on Twitter…no…check that…they NEED to be on Twitter (they heard it from a friend).
The fact of the matter is Twitter really doesn’t work for 8 of 10 businesses.
I am not trying to dissuade you from Twitter, I use it everyday. I just want to use this moment as a reminder you don’t have to be involved in every social media fad out there.
Some social media platforms will be great ‘ongoing and active’ fits for your business.
Other platforms, well, the extent of your actions will be going out, registering your user name, and maybe an occasional “check in” or whatever.
So why does everyone want to be on Twitter?
By now, you see Twitter everywhere.
Watch the morning news and you will see a variety of newscaster’s Twitter names flash on the screen. @JoeMorningNewsCaster or something like that.
Hot topic? They will put the Hashtags on the screen
At night you will find them on any reality show or special.
Yep, Twitter has done a great job piercing the market.
But does it fit you? Why are so many businesses really interested in Twitter?
I think it is that Rock Star perception. I mean if a @YokoOno can get 4.7 million followers it shouldn’t be hard for me to get some right?
And, if I get some followers, that could mean business!
What exactly is Twitter?
You remember that game as a child when you tied two cans together via a piece of string?
You know the one that had you shouting into a can and the vibrations ran down the length of the can until reaching the person on the other end (who could then “hear” you no thanks to the fact you were only 10 feet away to begin with?).
Well, Twitter is kind of like that…except sometimes, despite your talking, there is no one on the other end.
Or, even worse, there are 7 billions cans & strings and you can’t separate the “noise” from the good stuff.
IF, and that is a big “if,” Twitter is right for your type of business, you may find it good for…
….keeping in touch with fans
…announcing new things
…running a last minute test or “special”
…publicly taking care of some bad PR
…gain insight to your customers and how to better serve them
Like many of the other social media sites in this book I am going to tell you set up a Twitter account even if you don’t end up using it. Even @Jello locked up their twitter name even if they don’t really seem to do anything with it.
Setting up your account is easy. Go to Twitter.com and create an account.
The account is going to be tied to an email and Twitter will send you a confirmation email that you must click on to complete the setup.
The only major decision you will need to make is your user name.
At the time of this writing, Twitter was still limiting your user name to 15 characters. So if you were hoping for @BradIsTheCoolestTwitterUserEver, you are going to have to tone it down a bit.
If you can find a Twitter user name that matches your company name, great. More often than not, you are going to have to be a bit creative.
Keep in mind that you can create more than one account per entity. One for your business, one for you personally.
At some point in your future, your personal twitter account may take over (especially if YOU become the brand). For example, I have twitter account for most of my companies, but the bulk of my tweets are sent via my personal account @Godfadr.
You can see that, very early on, I did not push @ExposureOne in favor of @Godfadr.
However, I still need a place for those people that only know about Exposure One to go – I mean @Godfadr is a pretty big disconnect if you don’t know my Twitter name and the reason for it.
The @TwitterName will always stay the same, but you can change the “title” if you wish.
Most of what you see on Twitter will show both lines simultaneously. For example…
You Can Change This Title (Name up to 20 characters)
@Twitter Name (Username up to 15 characters)
So, try and find something close to your company name – even a short version of it.
I tend you make the “name” line the same whenever possible. Unless the company is so broad the title needs clarification or we couldn’t get close enough on the Twitter name.
Now that you are set up on Twitter, should you actually start tweeting and opening up that floodgate?
Let’s look at a few things that may help you determine if using Twitter is a good fit.
Psst. I think you are being followed.
Twitter is a made of up of people following each other but in less of a creepy stalker way.
When you “follow” someone, you are going to see what he or she has to say (in the form of Tweets).
You decide which people you follow and which you don’t.
Just because someone is following you it doesn’t mean you are going to want to follow them (for a variety of reasons I will discuss later).
For the most part, you DO NOT decide who follows you.*
*Although if you ever don’t like someone following you, you can “Block” him or her at any time.
So, you have to be interesting enough for people to follow you.
They are basically saying, “Whatever you talk about (via Tweets) is going to show up on my home wall.”
Now, just because someone is following you, doesn’t mean they see your tweets on any consistent level.
If a person follows 500 people that all happen to be tweeting around the same time, your post will probably get lost on his or her “wall.”
So, just because you have followers, it doesn’t mean each one will see every message you post. But that also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep on the radar of the ones that are paying attention to what you say.
Uh oh. Are you long winded?
Here is example of a Twitter post…
Twitter posts are a max of 140 characters. If you are long winded or like to wax poetic on each of your tweets, you will be cut off, most li..
Ah dang….See what I mean. It is tough.
There is an art to writing short “Tweets” that both convey a message and prompt a response. Although some people get in to a considerable amount of abbreviations, most do not…so plan on getting pretty witty with the short prose.
On the plus side a portion of your tweets can link to a webpage or blog post you have elsewhere. Something like…
“We are going to change everything you know about cookies for 48 hours