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Getting Started With Twitter for Business: 10 Tips & a Guide

Posted by Christine B. Whittemore on Aug 26, 2011 9:15:00 AM

This is a 4 minute read.

Simple Marketing Nows' Top 10 Twitter Tips

Are you ready to get started with Twitter for business?

In 'How Do I' Social Media Marketing Series, I mentioned Tip Sheets and Guides based on my How Do I social media marketing series created to help busineses make sense out of the chaos inherent to this wildly fluctuating digital and social world. In this post I share with you 10 Tips for Getting Started with Twitter and a Twitter Guide.

Brief Twitter Overview

I consider Twitter to be the most effective way to connect with people around common interests rather than because of social ties [i.e., Facebook] or work connections [i.e., LinkedIn]. For that reason, I often refer to Twitter as the "affinity social" network. Despite a 140 character constraint to the updates you can publish, it enables you to participate in global conversations about topics relevant to you, monitor what's happening at a conference you can't attend, learn about breaking news and find links to articles you never would have been able to find on your own.

Twitter isn't for everyone. However, you can get value from it without actively participating [i.e., through search] and it's worth understanding how a micro-blogging platform such as Twitter creates value for users [i.e., it's not all about what someone had for breakfast]. Not to mention how you might participate to promote your ideas, learn about others' and become part of an online community.

To that end, I share with you Twitter Tips for Business.

My 10 Tips for Getting Started With Twitter

1. Set up your profile. Include – ideally – a photo of yourself. Succinctly describe your interests and background. Include keywords relevant to your interests. Add a link to your website, blog or LinkedIn profile for more information about you. If you use a company logo, identify your name in the profile.

2. Your Twitter handle = what your username is on Twitter. It’s preceded by @

3. Learn Twitter language:

  • '@username‘ is a tweet directed specifically to another Twitter user.
  • 'RT’means 'ReTweet' and refers to repeating another's tweet because you admire/appreciate/find it relevant and want your followers to benefit from the content.
  • You can DM [direct message] another Twitter user if you both follow one another.
  • '#' symbol is a way to tag or identify Tweets that are related. It’s referred to as a hashtag.

4. Publish a ‘tweet’: Twitter allows you 140 characters for publishing a succinct message to your followers.

5. Keep your tweets to fewer than 120 characters if you want others to retweet you. That leaves 20 characters for others to include a Twitter handle, a comment or even a hashtag.

6. Learn Twitter Best Practices:

  • Respond back when people interact with you via @ or RT
  • Don’t autopost automatically to Twitter from Facebook or LinkedIn.
  • No hard sell. For every tweet about yourself, issue 7 tweets about others.
  • Add value. Don’t spam. Be focused on your topic in what you publish.

7. Start following others on Twitter. Use WeFollow to identify people in your space that you might want to follow. Follow people whose tweets you enjoy.

8. Follow back. You’ll receive an email notification of new follows. Check out their profiles to make sure they are real people; if yes, follow them back.

9. Create Twitter lists. Add new people you follow to a list [e.g., dog lovers, marketing mavens] that you create. Follow others’ lists.

10. Keep two browser tabs open: one for twitter.com/username and one for search.twitter.com. On your Twitter.com/username page, be sure to monitor the @Mentions tab so you can acknowledge.

You can download the formatted version of my 10 Tips for Getting Started with Twitter by clicking on this link.

Using Twitter for Business: a Guide

If you'd like more detail, consider downloading my 10 page Twitter Guide. It's filled with details on Twitter, how to get started, and how to use Twitter for business. You'll find advice on making sense out of Twitter with ideas and examples.

Simply click on Simple Marketing Now's Twitter Guide. You'll be taken to a landing page where you can download the 10 page guide after entering your email address.

Twitter and how we use it to market our businesses and communicate with potential customers continues to evolve. That's what makes these tools so fascinating. If you're using Twitter, how are you getting value out of it? What have you found most effective? Which tools do you prefer?

And, if you aren't, let me know what you would add to this Twitter Guide!

Topics: Twitter, B2B Social Media

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