In a twist over Twitter?

Always be a unicorn

Always be a unicorn

Are you getting in a twist over Twitter?  If tweeting and hashtags leave you baffled you could be missing out. These top tips can help your small business make the most of Twitter.

  1.     Is Twitter for you?

Twitter can be a great way of interacting with your customers. But before you dive in make sure it’s a medium that will work for you. It may be free to use, but you’ll need to invest time to build your Twitter presence.  Kenny MacDonald, CIPR Scotland Committee member, recommends using Twitter – but cautions:

“Ask yourself, will Twitter actually help reach and engage target audiences and how does this fit the comms plan?” @marcommskenny

2.       Pick a name

Your Twitter name is how your customers will find and address you. It shold reflect your brand or business and may be as simple as your own name. However, with more than 200 million active users your first choice name might already be gone and you’ll need to get creative. Try to keep your name short and memorable. Stephanie Frasco explains why here.

3.       Follow, follow, follow

Once your account is set up find some people to follow. You don’t have to follow anyone – but it defeats the point if you don’t.  Use twitter’s search function to find accounts which tweets about subjects relevant to you. Or look for your competitors.

4.       Encourage people to follow you

There’s no special formula to persuade people to follow you. If your tweets are interesting and engaging then you’ll pick up followers. Try sharing useful advice, ask questions and get involved with discussions. It’s almost like Field of Dreams – if you build it they will come!

5.       Interact

Twitter is all about conversations. Simply broadcasting information isn’t as effective as interacting with other users. So reply to tweets made by other people. Share posts you’ve enjoyed by retweeting them.  Get involved. The more you give, the more you’ll get.

6.       Consider using a platform like Hootsuite

It can be a good idea to have a personal Twitter account and a separate one for your business. If you are managing more than one account you might find it easier to use a social media platform like Hootsuite to help keep all of your accounts in one place.

7.       Go mobile

One of the benefits of social media is its speed. Twitter works really well on mobile phones. You don’t even need to use up your data allowance. You should be able to set up your phone so  you can tweet and receive notifications by text. Download the twitter app, or try another Twitter mobile platform such as Ecofon so you can tweet on the move.

8.       Be yourself – unless you can be a unicorn

It’s the same online as in life – trying to be something you’re not is very difficult. Use appropriate, informative language. “Don’t under sell the business but don’t proclaim it to be something it isn’t”, says @urkypaby. Or take some well used online advice:  Be yourself – unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.

9.       Don’t panic if it goes wrong

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how you deal with them that can make the difference.  Helen Reynolds, digital and social media manager at Monmouthshire Council, suggests there are seven Twitter mistakes you have to make before you can call yourself a pro.

10.   Analyse your results

You need to know if your efforts are worthwhile. Did anyone see your tweets? How do you know? Check out these free analytic tools.

There are loads more Twitter tips – these are just a few. Why not share yours here or even better, tweet them.

@vindicatpr

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