It seems like every week, a business owner says “I just don’t get Twitter”. I understand this as I was a slow burner with Twitter but now I’m a convert.

So, here are my responses to this familiar conversation.

What is Twitter about?

Twitter is about conversations. It is a way to chat, learn, share and network, with hundreds, thousands and millions of people, without leaving your desk. Like all conversations, some you want to actively be a part of, some you are happy to just sit back, listen and learn from.

Is it worth it?

Used with a purpose, yes. Used aimlessly, no.

Some of my clients use Twitter to create awareness of their business, products and services. This is the first step of any sales process – unless people know you are there, they can’t find out more to see if you provide what they want or need.

Some businesses use it to share and learn. It’s a great way to see what’s happening, what’s trending, to learn about new ideas and keep up to date with what’s going on in your sector, your neighbourhood, areas that interest you…in any arena actually.

Twitter can help establish you as an expert or knowledgeable in your sector/area of interest. If you are tweeting interesting things, helping people out, and spreading knowledge, people will take note of that and therefore take note of you.

How do I start?

1.      Decide what you want to use Twitter for: personal use or business use? If you want to combine the two, make sure your personal use is appropriate for your business use (eg if you are a tax lawyer, do you really want to be retweeting about the latest celebrity gossip to clients and potential clients? The answer may be “yes” but make it a conscious decision.

2.      Set up an appropriate profile, bearing in mind what you want to get out of Twitter.

3.      Start following people. Choose areas you are interested in. When you choose to follow someone, see who they are following…then follow them if you want to.

4.      Start tweeting. Even if you have 1 follower. People are more likely to follow you if you are tweeting and making inroads.

5.      Think before you tweet – how do your tweets fit in with your aim.

6.      Retweet. If someone tweets something you like, retweet it. This is the equivalent of “word of mouth” and people will appreciate it and start to retweet you.

7.      Be genuine. People will twig if you are fake or manipulating them, and won’t appreciate it.


Does it work?

It depends on your aim. Every customer I’ve advised on how to use Twitter has achieved the result we’ve set out to achieve. Those that have just “given it a go” haven’t got far and soon become disenchanted.

Remember – Twitter is like any marketing tool. Used thoughtfully and well, it will deliver results. Used randomly and without thought, you might get something but it’ll be hit and miss.

 

Kara Stanford, MD, KMS Marketing

 

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