Marketing managers, business owners, listen up! It’s been a long time since we talked about how important Twitter is for your business (see To Tweet or Not to Tweet), but if you haven’t accelerated onto this highway because every time you open Twitter it scares the kumquats out of you, fear no more! Scale the following down to business-card size and laminate it. You’ll thank me later…
As you know, Twitter posts are 140 characters or less, so use your text-messaging skills to abbreviate whenever possible (unless it’s a key word–you need to leave these intact so it is searchable).
Good ones to know: W = with, R = our or are, U = you, ur = your or you’re, $ = money, & = and (duh).
Common Twitter symbols (see uses below)
RT = Retweet
@ = denotes a Twitter account
D or DM= Direct message
# = denotes a hashtag
What to do:
1. Get in there. Fill that profile in accurately and immediately! Use your own profile image. A default Twitter avatar will not earn you any street cred, I guarantee it!
2. Search users and start following those that suit your target market or your own info needs.
3. Search posts for key words and see who’s saying what.
4. Add value daily by posting useful insights and links to good content, link back to your own brand urls regularly.
5. Develop relationships by “replying” or “mentioning” another user within your post by using “@accountname. “ You can also build your audience by “retweeting” others’ tweets regularly if you value the content provided by using “RT” in front of “@accountname”.
6. When needed, send a non-public message to another user using “D” or “DM” in front of their “@accountname”.
7. You’ll come across terms in posts preceded by a # symbol. These are called hashtags, and they represent a common theme that the poster intends to be discovered. You can ask your customers to use a particular hashtag in their tweets for a period of time for contests, conversations, and more! Add an actively used #hasthag to your posts; this is another great way to get exposure.
- Always follow followers back. This reciprocal gesture is the foundation of Twitter’s culture. No matter how great you think you are, you aren’t above following others.
- Always give credit with an RT identification if you are copying another person’s post and re-sharing the concepts they’ve presented. It’s better to edit what they’ve said than eliminate their credit to save on character count.
- Don’t power post! The name of the game is not to post 14 times in five minutes. There’s no faster way to get un-followed. Keep your posts at least an hour apart.
- Don’t dupe posts too fast. If you want to share out important content and make sure you hit different viewing times, keep them at least eight hours apart.
- Don’t @mention just to get the attention of their following with content that has nothing to do with that user. This is called SPAMMING, my friends!
- Auto direct messages are crap. Period. Some apps out there let you automatically send direct messages to new followers. At this point, “thanks for following” goes without saying. One DM out of every 100 or so in my message box is a sincere message meant for me specifically. It really burns my __ that I have to comb through the spammy auto-messages to get to the poor guy who has a legitimate question.
Have I confused the kumquats out of you? Just shoot me an email. I’m happy to answer your questions!
For weeks now, Billy Joel’s, “Don’t Go Changin,” has been playing in my head. It sure is irksome, but it’s a constant reminder of the theme of change that has come up repeatedly in my day-to-day meetups.
It is a romantic notion, as Billy meant it to be, but when it applies to business, we better think twice about not changing to please the object of our affection: the customer.
Many businesses still don’t grasp the concept of change, sticking with the “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” philosophy. I’ve met with several prospects who thrive on the printed word, an isolated web page, or door-to-door sales, and cannot see why they need to get in on the social media conversation. Without thinking forward to their future customers, who are doing most of their decision making on line within social platforms, they are destined for extinction.
The concept of change has come up with friends and associates as well. Some have become agents of change to seek new career opportunities, build a client base, or even to improve their social life. How? By embracing the social networks that have been introduced to us and harnessing all that they have to offer.
Yes, many fear the unknown: The very public status update. The transparency of our “behind the scenes.” The new culture of telling it (and hearing it) like it is. But changing your mindset means appreciating rather than fearing the new normal–and being liberated by it. It means that your local business is playing on the same field as a national chain. That your customers are bonding with your brand because they like engaging with the new open you. And that, if you’re really good at it, your brand personality is contagious and you go viral.
Your core business doesn’t have to change, nor your guiding principles. Just be open to the new ways business is getting done and how your customers are choosing which brands to be loyal to. You’ve heard it before, but it doesn’t get old, so I’ll close out with it—The company that doesn’t change, dies.