Hello there, hope you are all enjoying the weather around Oxford at the moment. We have had a couple of inches of snow and it’s still going!
Well basically because there are a great deal of users looking to engage with people/personalities/brands and everything in-between. If you already have a strong brand and want to engage with your customers it’s a great way of being able to do so in a social fashion. If you are building you companies brand and want to find people who fit your demographic to promote awareness then Twitter can also be useful. Twitter has also been used as a support channel for customers with queries, a place to run competitions and much more. Twitter is also another SEO spot (yes I like bringing this term up a lot!) for your company and can help build your online profile. I see it like this; Twitter is a bit like walking into your local pub looking to meet new people. There’s all sorts of people there but you are going to have to great them all in a conversational style, whilst fitting in, if you want to converse with them further. So if any of the above interests you then Twitter could be a great tool for you. Here are a few statistics about Twitter you to mull over
• There are over 100 million active users
• Circa 50 million users active every day
• Twitter gets 3 billion requests everyday (i.e. a search request for information)
• Circa 2 billion Tweets are made every quarter • Circa 640 Tweets per second
• These requests are generated by over 180 million users (source: Viralblog) So the truth is out there and people are looking for it and talking about it on Twitter.
On to the setup!
Firstly if you don’t have a Twitter account you need to sign up here Sign Up For Twitter You will need to enter your own name and an email address which you have constant access to. Now you will need to choose a user name, this is an important step. This is what other users will see and how you will be titled on the search engine results page (SERP). Most of you will want your username (or Twitter handle) to follow your business name e.g. @bongo_it is ours. Follow us there now to stay in the loop. Some of you may want to abbreviate your business name to something that is easily memorable however I would recommend using your company name if you can. It looks a lot better in the Google SERP and it’s a little better for your overall SEO strategy.
Ok so now you have received your confirmation email and have logged in to your basic account there are a few things you will need to do. You will be asked to follow 5 people, then 5 more. Do a quick search and see if you can find 5 competitors to follow. It’s often useful to see what they are saying and who is following them. If not chose 5 people you think are worthwhile following or follow something that you have an interest in e.g. Ministry of Sound…if you like that sort of thing. If you get stuck at this stage there is a skip button at the bottom of the search panel on the left.
Next you will need to add your profile picture. It needs to be 73 x 73 pixels. You may need to consult your local Photoshop experts or a graphic designer to help you with this. It does NOT need to be your own self portrait that you upload. I always use a logo which identifies the brand further.
Next under the profile picture you can add your company bio in 160 characters or less. E.g. “From computer problems and IT support services in Oxford to YouTube optimisation and SEO, Bongo IT is the support service for you”. This is our current one but is soon to change as we update our SEO copy. Currently it’s a bit keyword heavy. I’m not afraid to say that we still learn and experiment with SEO. You should too! This is another SEO hotspot so make sure you get a good description of what your company does in here and remember you will do well to update it from time to time. Keep the changes in line with your company’s overall marketing message.
You will next need to add a nice background which will sit around your profile picture. This will help identify your brand further and should include some of the themes from your website. The twitter background dimensions are 520 pixels wide and 260 pixels in height. Your logo will appear in the middle of this so be careful to include this in the design. You can always change it though so no need to panic.
Ok so next you will need to edit your profile. See where the Twitter search bar is near the top of the page well just right of that is the settings icon and a little drop down arrow. Click on that and choose edit profile (of course!). Make sure to put your location in and your website address. Include your website address in your Bio too if you can. It is an SEO hotspot after all. Check that your Twitter Email notifications (on the left hand side of the screen there is a menu) are set up how you like them. I like to get emails when my Tweets are marked as favourites, my tweets are retweeted and when we are mentioned.
You may want to customise your Twitter page further by changing its theme. You can do this from the design menu in your profile editing screen or you can try this tool which we love Themeleon
Now on to some useful tips for making your Twitter profile work for you.
• Follow your competitors. No doubt they will follow you too. It’s good to see what they are up to and even sometimes to converse with them. It may expose you to their audience.
• Find your competitors followers and follow them. They might be interested in you too so hopefully they will follow you back. Many people will use tools such as Twiends or MarketMeSuite to auto follow people back.
• Find niche followers in the discover search tool. At the top of the Twitter page there are four tabs (I would suggest you check them out after you have made a few tweets and interacted with a few people). One of these has a # (hashtag) next to it. This is where you can find people that are talking about the things you are interested in talking about. E.g. if I search for “Business Oxford” a local business school comes up at the top of the list and much more below.
• To quickly build your own following you must follow others starting with 20-50 a day.
• Use @ replies to specific people and # where possible as this creates searchable terms so anyone looking for your hashtag is more likely to find you e.g. #blogpost
• Post between 1 and 10 tweets a day, vary the times you post these and see if particular times of the day get you more activity
• Have a plan about what you are going to post. E.g. 30% self-promotion/30% promoting others/30% valuable content/10% inspirational quotes.
• Respond to messages and keep the conversation going if you can
• Re-tweet other relevant tweets you think your growing audience would like
• Ask questions, add photos/media and promote events. Get stuck in!
• Be sociable, be nice but don’t be afraid to challenge people.
• DO NOT click on spammy links!
• DO NOT post things you don’t want competitors to know!
Well that all depends what your objectives were when you set out. Have you increased your customer lifetime value (CLV)? Did you want to raise awareness by gaining followers? If so how many do you have, are you engaging with them and them with you? Have you learnt anything new about your customers that you didn’t know before? Have you been asked questions? Is this a good way to get customer feedback? It’s up to you and your creativity at the end of the day.
Twitter; some people just don’t get it.. Then again who cares what Twitter critics think?
PS: Here’s a few more tools for you to have a look at
Market Me Suite Social Media management (we love this tool!)
Tweet Grader Look at stats by region
Twellow Pages a search directory
SocialOomph Social Media management
Hootsuite Social Media management
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