Of all the social networks, Twitter seems to be the one that gives people the most problems. But once you “get it” it will be an indispensable tool for networking and letting people know about your small business.
This post is dedicated to getting you started with Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter account yet, head on over to the Twitter sign up page and follow the prompts. If you already have a Twitter account then read on.
Become an Expert
To put it simply, you need to give people a reason to follow you.
This can be done in a variety of ways, but from a small business perspective you really want to become a person or business that people go to when they want information about your industry.
You want to be an expert.
But do keep in mind that this can, and probably will, take time. And by “take time” I am taking about 12-18 months, remembering that social media is a long-term investment.
It’s All in the Details
The first practical thing to do after signing up for Twitter is to fill in all your details. Put a picture up of yourself (I would recommend this over a logo as people like connecting with other people), and set your location.
The next thing to do is to find people to follow. Don’t just follow anyone though. You want to find people who share your interests and that of your business.
How to Find Followers
There are several ways to do this, but depending on your business you could use Twellow to find people in the same industry, use Twitter’s (newly upgraded) search, Tweepz (use their advance search features), Justtweetit, Wefollow and there are many others as well.
I would also recommend using Twitter Lists.
The best way to do this is to have a look at someone you follow – preferably someone who has been using Twitter for a while or is a power-user – and click on the “Lists” menu option in the upper left-hand side of their profile. You will then see all the lists they have subscribed to and are a member of.
You can then click through to those lists to see if anyone else in the lists would be worth following as well.
This can take a little time but it will be worth it.
Now Down to Business
Once you start following people of interest you should be doing the following:
- Re-Tweeting their interesting tweets – this will make them happy and get you on their radar
- Tweeting your own relevant thoughts and comments – make them as helpful and precise as possible
- Linking to online articles and news stories related to your industry – make sure you add context and commentary to each link
- Comment on others tweets
- Always thank people for following you and re-tweeting your tweets
Consistency is Key
Always remember that you should tweet often and consistently.
That doesn’t mean you need to be on Twitter all day, every day – simply get yourself a third-party Twitter client (I use Hootsuite, but many others are available as well) and spend 15-30 minutes scheduling your Tweets throughout the day. Then simply check in every so often for replies, re-tweets, etc.
That should be enough to get you started. Please ask any questions you have in the comments section below.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter as well.