Using Twitter for Business

twitterIf you’re in business, of any kind, you know that you need social media. But do you know how to use social media for business? There are a TON of how-to articles out there, but I’m going to try to not only give you the how-to, but also the why behind it. WHY should you be using Twitter for business?

Why You Need to be Using Twitter for Business

Using Twitter for Business is absolutely critical for any business that has customers! Especially if you have a B2C (business to consumer) industry. Twitter is perfect and has become a major platform for customer service. People want to be able to reach out to your business without talking to someone on the phone or face-to-face. They don’t want to wait for the manager of the business anymore, they want to tell the world about their experience, or reach out directly to your company through their mobile device. This is exactly why you should be using Twitter for business.

More Reasons You Should Be Using Twitter for Business

Also? You need to be using Twitter for business because you need to be “social listening”. You need to be actively searching for what people are saying about your business so that you can participate in the conversation that is already happening, whether or not you pay attention. By engaging with those people, you can possibly change someone’s mind or make someone’s day much better, just by answering them. This is how you build a community of people that love your brand — you pay attention, even if no one thinks you are. You take action when no one expects you to. People will love you for it.

Another reason to be using Twitter for business is to build your audience. You can connect with real people that use your service or product and find out how to make it better. Find out what they love so you can make something new that they will adore the next big thing. Talk with them and treat them like real people and they will follow you everywhere, and possibly become your next advocate.

How to Use Twitter for Business

So you’re sold on all the reasons for using Twitter for business, but you really just don’t know how. Let me break this down for you. I’ll try to go step by step for you so anyone can figure this out.

  1. Create an account:You can do this by going here and entering in all of the required information. (There’s SO much.. It asks for your name, phone or email, and password.)
  2. Before you do ANYTHING else, get your avatar and cover photos setup. You need to make sure your brand stands out from others who just created their account, but aren’t actually using Twitter for business of any kind. Dimensions at the time of this writing are: Avatar – 400×400 pixels and Cover Photo – 1500×500 pixels. (You can find more information on changing them here.) Be sure you are using professional graphics.
  3. Once you have your profile ready to go, you need a following. Now, you are using Twitter for business, so before you start following Kanye, let’s pay attention to who your audience is. Have you ever asked yourself that? If you’re an established business, you probably have a persona; begin searching for your customers! Follow people that are actually talking; my general rule is that they must have been speaking or interacting on Twitter within the last few days, and aren’t disappearing for months at a time. Follow those people and you have a better chance at getting engagement from them. Chances to talk with your customers should never be taken for granted!
  4. After you’ve followed a few possible customers, be sure to follow some industry news outlets or otherwise industry related accounts to share information from. You’ll use these to help fill your feed.
  5. Now you’ll begin tweeting! Find some of your favorite articles online and share them with a note about why it was a good article or why people should care. Always add something personal, whenever you can, to show you’re human. NOTE: DO NOT POST AN ADVERTISEMENT. For the love of all that is holy in social media, DO NOT use your first tweet to advertise a sale. No one cares. No one wants to hear it. Wait until you have shared a few other things first, then post once about it. Think 90/10; 90% other content, 10% yours. (9 tweets of something else, 1 tweet about you).
  6. Finally, you’re ready to go begin using Twitter for business! Watch other accounts from someone you trust or admire online and you’ll begin to get the hang of it. Of course, if you need help, ask us! We’d be happy to assist you.

Using social media for your business does not have to complicated, but it does take time and it does take effort. You need to be present and you need to be actively engaging with your audience. If all you’re trying to accomplish is “going viral”, than you don’t get social media, (and I don’t recommend starting until you do!) and you need to really think about the “why” behind your social media accounts. “Why would anyone care?” “Why are my customers following me?” What are your goals? You need measurable, concrete goals such as “earn more website traffic” or “build a community around my service”. This will help you figure out if you are going to succeed. If you don’t have a goal, how do you know if you’re succeeding?

As always, you can find me on Twitter @R3SocialMedia and I would look forward to talking to you more about Twitter or any other social media platform!

Tweet Archive: Marketing on Twitter in Less Time!

You’re probably asking yourself “What is a ‘Tweet Archive’?” or you might be thinking about the Library of Congress indexing tweets, but that’s not quite what I mean. A tweet archive is what we can create for ourselves in order to make managing our Twitter accounts much easier and, even, more organized. How can we do that? Let’s take a look.

What is a Tweet Archive and What Does it Do?

A tweet archive is also called a Twitter Library or Tweet Library, if you’ve heard of that phrase. It’s essentially pre-made tweets in a list or file that you can copy and paste into Twitter without having to type it all out. These can especially come in handy if you want to re-use tweets you’ve used before, if you participate in Twitter trends such as #FF or #FollowFriday, or if you just like to give a shout out to the same people a lot. Whatever you use it for, it can definitely save you time while still allowing you to create your own tweets versus retweeting someone else’s.

Using a Tweet Archive to Save Time

Imagine you have tips that you like to tweet out at various times on various days. They come in handy because people always like to read them and you get a decent amount of engagement (retweets, favorites, and comments) from them. You have them memorized and so you tediously type them out randomly throughout your week.. but what if you had a list of those tips handy and ready to copy and paste? Even better, what if you had the ability to have those tweets go out at specific times, knowing you get more attention and engagement during those days and times? You certainly can and that’s just what a tweet archive can do for you.

Let me explain.

With a mixture of social media tools, your smarts, and some great content, you can create a scenario where the tweets are going out at just the right times and you can respond to engagement in real time without having to sit at your computer for minutes or hours at a time. After an initial time investment and some small amounts of maintenance, you can use a tweet archive to fill your Twitter feed with great, “evergreen” or timeless content that will earn engagement and help you build your account.

How Do I Use a Tweet Archive?

First things first, you’ll need to create a tweet archive to use. This is probably the most time intensive step, but also part of the most fun (aside from answering the people that retweet and talk to you on Twitter!). Think of your industry and the types of content you’ll want to fill your tweet archive (or Twitter library, or tweet library) up with. You’ll need to go out on the internet and search for the content you want to share, or else start typing up the tips you want to use on your Twitter feed. Right now, just use a text file or word document to collect the tweets you plan to use and in our next article, Starting a Tweet Archive, I’ll cover how to put them to good use!

What I do to make it easy, is to put these in a format like this:

As you can see, these are easy, pre-made tweets ready to use. While typing out yours, be sure you check how many characters are in your tweet! It would be really disappointing to find that half of your tweet archive is useless or needs modification when it’s time to use them!

In the next few articles, I am going to cover just how to setup your tweet archive and what social media tools you will be using in order to get these tweets into action so you can be sure that your Twitter marketing campaign will be that much more successful, organized, and easy to manage!

Your Customers Don’t Care About Your Clout.. err.. Klout

twitterIf you’re on Twitter, or you’ve been managing social media accounts for any length of time, you might have heard of Klout. Klout is a social media measuring tool that, when it first came out, was used by many as a legitimate way to measure how influential someone was on Twitter. As time went on, Klout was used a little less and a little less. Now it is still used by many, but I just don’t put much stock into it anymore, especially after what I’ve been seeing on Twitter more and more from people whom are supposedly influential, according to this Klout tool.

Social Media Basics; Being REAL

One of the most important social media basics advice I can give anyone choosing to use Twitter as a part of their social media marketing campaigns is to be real! Be yourself. If all you do is automate all of your tweets and you never actively engage on the platform with anyone, all you are is a robot and your twitter feed is ultimately useless to your followers. If you are a news aggregate, okay, but if you aren’t why are you trying to be one?

It’s great to use your Twitter feed to post about the latest news in your industry or to post about interesting facts and articles relating to your line of work, but be sure you are trying to talk to your customers or even your vendors. Getting some conversations going will work a lot faster in earning you an online reputation than simply automating an RSS feed to your Twitter. It doesn’t work.

Social Media and Clout.. err.. Kloutklout

Clout is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the power to influence or control situations”, in our case, social media. Like I said, when Klout first came out, it measured, essentially, how successful someone was on Twitter. It assigned a number, 1-100, to each account based on its own algorithm. As time has passed, Klout began measuring more than just Twitter, but as far as I’ve ever seen, most people only really pay attention to their Klout “score” on Twitter (I could be wrong).

However, as with most measurements, this “score” can be gamed.

Don’t Rely on Your Klout

Although I used to actually rely on a “good” Klout score to figure out who was a safe Twitter follow, I simply can’t do that anymore, and I’ll let you know why; people are gaming that system. (No surprise).

Here’s what I’ve been noticing for a long time now; people are simply retweeting ANYTHING where their Twitter handle is mentioned. If you say “Hi @SoandSo! How was lunch at that new place?”, @SoandSo would retweet it, or share it with their followers. By doing this, they are actually able to raise their Klout score because it is effectively using your handle again, like they are talking to you/someone and sharing something you shared first. It might seem obvious, but this is NOT engagement.

So, What Now?

If you really want to earn influence on Twitter, or any platform, here’s the first thing you need to know as a part of social media basics: you need to TALK to people and talk about your interests. If you were relying on Klout score to determine who to follow online, let me suggest you simply take a real look at the account you are looking to follow or unfollow. It takes some time, but by and large, it is the most sure-fire way to figure out if someone is really a robot, or a real person, worth talking to!

Need some help? Let me know! R3 Social Media would love to help you.