It’s 2009 – and I’ve decided to get on the Twitter bandwagon. I’ve had a Twitter account for a while, but I just couldn’t see the benefit of using it. But now I’m seeing clients getting lots of traffic and engagement with their users via Twitter, so in for a penny, in for a pound.
Let’s start with a brief introduction to Twitter: it’s a service that lets you send small messages, no more than 140 characters, letting people know what you’re doing or what you’re thinking about. It’s often called “microblogging” and it works either by using the Twitter website, or sending and receiving text messages on your mobile phone.
I found this big list of companies using Twitter to be very persuasive in demonstrating the business benefits of using this technology
It’s all about social engagement. Having a conversation with your customers, building a community, engaging with your potential clients. It could be a way of conducting surveys and getting your customers’ opinions.
What do you need to do to play the Twitter game?
- Decide what you’re going to Twitter about. What will I be tweeting about? My tweets will cover Internet marketing news and updates, using it as a way to quickly share useful information and resources. Restaurants could send Tweets about today’s menu. Estate agents could tweet new properties. How about tweeting about new products or new services. Consider sending customer service tweets. Or even tweeting discount codes.
- Get a sensible Twitter identity. Use your real name, or your company name, or your brand. Make it easy for people to recognise that it is you doing the talking.
- Use a tool to make small web addresses. I like to embed web links in my tweets, and so use either www.tinyurl.com to generate small versions of urls. With only 140 characters to play with, you need to use teeny web addresses in your tweets.
- Get a Twitter icon to promote your Twitter on your website. I got mine from www.twitterbuttons.com/
- Think about how you will promote your Twitter. Will you put an icon on your website? Send out an email invitation to your client base? Include it in your email signature? Put it in your product delivery notes?
- Learn the Twitter Etiquette. Spend a few minutes reading a bit:
And why am I using Twitter? It is a way to reach new audiences: some people like to read my blog on the website, some follow using an RSS feed, some subscribe to the email marketing newletter. And now it is time to get involved with the Twitterati.
I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime take a look at my twittering at www.twitter.com/susanhallam