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50 Tips to Get You STARTED Using Twitter for Business



My last post “50 Ways to get More from Linkedingot a good response, so I decided to do one about using Twitter for business.  Twitter is perceived in some quarters as a lesser business tool and sometimes suffers from a bad press. I personally have found it to be a very effective tool – provided of course you go about using it in the right way. To date,  Twitter has generated for me – the most return vs. the time that I have put it, when compared to the other social media.

When using Twitter for business, It’s important to have a plan so that you have something to measure your results against. In my experience, the individuals and businesses that fail to leverage Twitter effectively are also those who have employed no strategy and/or have not taken the time to understand how to use it.  So what better way to help you to get off to a great start, than taking advice from some people and businesses that use it well. So from me and some of my Twitter friends here are:

# 50 Tips to Get You STARTED Using Twitter for Business

1. @CindyKing Remember that Twitter is a tool in your social media marketing/communication. It is like a hammer or a telephone… and so are all of the fun apps. If it’s a new medium for you, then don’t go blindly wielding that hammer all over the place. Spend lots of time listening to people on Twitter relevant to your business. Notice the different tactics people use. Start slowly. Give yourself 1-3 months to get a feel for the environment and to figure out the best way you can use Twitter to help your business.

2. @CindyKing If you remember that Twitter is just a tool, once you understand the environment it is easy to see how you can use it best to fit in with your business needs. And this approach also helps you to see how to integrate your Twitter activities into an overall social media marketing plan.

3. @whatswhat_sian It’s free and simple to sign up to Twitter. To make your listing look good ensure you have a catchy bio with a link to your website. This way someone can find out more info about you or your business if they need or want to.  Ensure you add an avatar (Picture), preferably of yourself, as lots of people don’t like to interact with someone hiding their identity. If you are on Twitter to market a brand name then make sure your twitter name is your brand.

4. @whatswhat_sian Don’t protect your tweets if you’re aim is to converse with people.

5. @whatswhat_sian To speak to someone directly, type their twitter name preceded by the @ sign – eg. @whatswhat_sian Anyone following both of you can see those tweets. If you wish to say something to someone without anyone else seeing then you send a Direct Message (DM).

6. @davidabrock If you want, you can lurk for a while to get a feel for Twitter and what’s going on.  Both look at interesting people, figure out the etiquette, etc.

7. @davidabrock Know who you are and how you want to be perceived in Twitter.  Stated differently, know your personal brand and be true to it.

8. @skipanderson Post several dozen tweets over a period of several days (or more) before starting to follow people. Many visitors want to know what you’re all about before they follow you, and your tweets do that better than even your profile.

9. @whatswhat_sian It’s great if you already know someone on Twitter and look at who they are following or who is following them – it’s simple to click to follow them then. And the majority of the time they will follow you back.

10. @rbconsulting Plan on how you going to use the service. For me, I don’t really use it for chat, but more for circulating interesting info / links in relation to my areas of expertise or interest.

11. @Barros_Isabel Although there are many applications to back up Tweets I think the easiest and more reliable way is to create a RSS feed of your own Twitter account to yourself (email account). This should be done as soon as possible (ideally when you create your Twitter account).

12. @calebgardner It’s OK to start small. Follow some people that interest you, some that you want to network with – and be sure to upload your email contacts and follow the people you already know. Gradually you will start to build your network.

13. @calebgardner Don’t sign on to a service that guarantees you tons of followers in a short amount of time, and don’t immediately start following tons of people. Both are frowned upon in the Twitter community and will make lessen the quality of the medium for you.

14. @emmattdigital Don’t simply just self promote, but join in on conversations. Establish yourself as an expert.

15. @fredchannel ensure not to go mad with the “integration” fever. If you integrate everything you’ll annoy your audience. I would strongly suggest that you DO NOT integrate anything until you understand what’s going on, what message is coming from “here” and going “there”…

16. @fredchannel After launching a blog post for example, make sure that you use Twitter to spread the word. First, use tools like Hootsuite.com or any Twitter client that allows you to schedule tweets. Depending on the frequency of your posts, you’ll go ahead and schedule tweets for the following days (e.g. if you posts only once a week on Mondays, then schedule tweets for the rest of the week), so you post gets exposure to your Twitter audience AM and PM. You only have 140 characters so keep it short. What I suggest is that you first announce that you have a new post, then include the title (tell people what you wrote about!), then include the LINK to your post (extremely important) Finally include an engaging question that makes people want to learn more about your post.

17. @whatswhat_sian Follow people that are in the same location as you, or the same industry as you, and the businesses that you could benefit – there are several different apps for finding these.

18. @whatswhat_sian Put your twitter address on your website, emails, correspondence and your business card.

19. @rbconsulting I use twitter to circulate links to my blogs and articles of interest or discussions that I have started in LinkedIn etc.

20. @calebgardner Be careful just using Twitter as a way to continually blast out your own content. This is a sure-fire way to get ignored at best and unfollowed at worst. Instead start responding to people and having conversations. Share other people’s content. Then, when people come to know and trust you, you can share your own content.

21. @careerscoacheu Your tweets should be relevant and add value to your audience. Ask yourself does this tweet add value for my followers.

22. @careerscoacheu If tweeting a link – tell your followers the subject of the link so they know what they are clicking on.

23. @nialldevitt Twitter allows you to use up to 140 characters when creating a tweet. When tweeting a link, It’s a good idea to use a URL shortener to save space.  Also, if you are planning to get RTed, you will need to leave space for the person/s doing the RTing.

24. @fredchannel I use Tweetdeck as my primary way to handle Twitter. It is a fantastic tool. When you’re actively looking to network, besides the chit-chat, there’s nothing better than look for people asking questions and try to hello them! Go to the very lower left (First column showing the people you follow) and click on the option below: you’ll find a space where you can search for keywords in order to filter the information in the stream of tweets. The best way to find people asking questions is very simple: just insert into that space “?” and everybody asking a question will pop up

25. @whatswhat_sian I believe networking on Twitter is basically done by chatting to people and getting retweeted (RT’d). Using tweetdeck it is simple to see other people talking and there could be something you are interested in chatting about too or maybe someone is asking a question and you know the answer to.  If you are able to see the conversation then you are following them so it should not be a problem if you speak to that person.  Getting something you say RT’d is huge networking as someone with perhaps 1,000 followers will RT you and there’s a possibility of those 1,000 followers seeing your tweet. Even if you think 10% are online at that time you’re still reaching 100 more people that maybe hadn’t heard of you before.  This is much quicker than face to face networking.  I look at it as follows – imagine you are stood on a stage in front of your 500 followers and you say what you want to say (in 140 characters of course lol). Of that 500 only 50 people are actually listening to you and only 5 of them decide to tell other people what you have said (i.e. an RT). Those 5 have a total of maybe 2000 followers between them and working off that 10% your tweet may have reached 200 people who aren’t even in the same place as you are on a stage and have never heard of you.  Of course if your tweet is interesting enough it could be RT’d again and again – growing awareness of you. Don’t know about you but I’d never stand on a stage and talk to people so it’s a perfect way to network for people like myself.

26. @davidabrock Use Twitter as the starting point to build relationships.  Reach out and touch them, get to know them over the phone, in person, via something more than 140.  Some of my most valued relationships started in Twitter.

27. @rbconsulting Find out who tweeting on areas of interest to me and RT their tweets ts or reply with a response/question to their tweet.

28. @ganeca I’d suggest finding those local people & businesses using Twitter. Connect with them, and join in on their conversations that you can add to. You can use these sites to do that:

Twitter Advanced Search
ChirpCity
Nearby Tweets
Tweepz
Twellow Pages

29. @calebgardner Add yourself to services like Twellow and WeFollow. Start following people in your field and have conversations with them. See when others are posting their content and comment on it. Twitter is a fantastic networking tool when used that way.

30. @nialldevitt Its easy to get sucked in and waste a lot of time on twitter. At the start just spend a few hours a week seeking real results such as making X number of introductions etc.

31. @careerscoacheu Be disciplined about your time. Don’t get distracted with idol chit chat – that is if that is not your objective.

32. @calebgardner I’ve found that turning off Twitter completely for a period of time is the best ways to get things done that absolutely need to be done. There are also programs like Concentrate for Mac that will actually close programs for you and not allow them to open until a certain amount of time has passed.

33. @davidabrock Find good tools and leverage them.  For example, Hootsuite is fantastic.  It allows me to have a great twitter presence without actually spending a lot of time on Twitter.

34. @davidabrock Don’t let Twitter consume you.  You can be seduced into spending all your time on Twitter.  Set specific time for tweeting, stick with it, and again use the tools to leverage your presence.  While I have a pretty good Twitter presence, I actually spent less than an hour —spread through the day—on Twitter.

35. @skipanderson Be real. Be yourself. Find your “Twitter Voice.” Authenticity will set you apart from all the Twitter noise and make you attractive to potential followers.

36. @careerscoacheu Follow mentors and competitors as well as targeted customers.

37. @whatswhat_sian Start building up your Twitter friends by following people – use friends that you already know or follow and look through their followers and followers.  It’s likely you’ll have the same interests if they are friends of your friends.

38. @calebgardner the most important thing to remember on Twitter is: be a human. No one wants to follow a robot, and more importantly, robots don’t gain loyalty or get RTs (unless you’re a Dell or NYTimes, which you’re probably not.

39. @davidabrock Follow who you want, don’t feel obligated to follow everyone who follows you.

40. @davidabrock It’s about quality, not quantity.  It’s actually very easy to get 1000’s of followers very quickly.  But who cares if they are never paying attention to what you say.  Focus on developing a strong, loyal following.  Be loyal to them.

41. @davidabrock Be generous in your RT’s and in crediting others.  Twitter is about sharing, RT’s are a great indicator about sharing.

42. @rbconsulting A great way to engage on Twitter is to place a short question at the end of your tweet – e.g. “Windows7 provides great performance – are you seeing this improvement on your pc?”

43. @calebgardner two keys to getting RTed are loyalty and quality of tweet. If people are loyal to the person behind the account, they’ll RT you just out of that loyalty. The more compelling your message, the more interested your followers will be and more likely to get RTed.

44. @skipanderson If you must directly self-promote yourself on Twitter (“Read about my new affiliate program that makes me money while I sleep!”), make sure you submit 50 non-promotional tweets for every self-promotional tweet. Blatant self-promotion makes me exercise my unfollow finger.

45. @careerscoacheu Be polite – Always acknowledge new followers and thank for RTs and Mentions.

46. @elainerogers Use the Pareto Principle – 80-20 rule – 80% of your tweets should be interactive and informative (including RTs), No more than 20% should be self promoting and declarative (without replying to anyone)

47. @davidabrock If Twitter is a part of your business strategy, then you got to be there.  You can’t come in and out. You have to build relationships and results over time.  Too many tweet for a few weeks, are disappointed in the results and give up.  It takes time and building a presence and reputation. Related to the previous point, be clear about how/if twitter fits your business strategy.  If twitter fits your strategy, there is not an excuse for not tweeting on a regular basis.

48. @nialldevitt Remember Twitter is like any other business tool, it’s possibly to use it effectively and it’s possible to use it poorly. Ultimately all social media is really about people and not technology. Always try to keep that in mind!

49. @careerscoacheu Engage, Engage, Engage – You have no visibility unless you contribute.

50. @davidabrock Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Please share your Twitter Tips in the comments section below.

Related links:

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

137 Small Business Twitter Tips

13 Twitter Tips and Tutorials for Beginners

35 Twitter Tips from 35 Twitter Users

Twittering Tips for Beginners

Twenty-One Top Twitter Tips

The Ultimate Guide To Twitter



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The Author:

Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (TweakYourBiz.com, BizSugar.com & MyKidsTime.ie) to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care. http://www.ahaingroup.com/

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.channelship.ie/blog/ fred

    Good selection Niall, thanks for sharing man!

  • Anonymous

    Niall

    Some good points – defo getting another read again and digest later today – …. Thanks for putting this together Niall and for all the contributions everyone. I for one will get good benefit from this. But I guess most readers should as Twitter is still a relatively young tool making us all students.

    Thanks Paul
    http://ie.linkedin.com/in/paulmullan
    http://twitter.com/paulmullan74

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    Quote: 50. @davidabrock Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously.
    Don’t take anyone else too seriously either!!

    I have seen MANY scraps on Twitter, luckily most of them fizzle out and people demonstrate their maturity.
    I have also seeing bullying on twitter – not nice to witness. So I would recommend people to simply not fuel tension any further – back off – even if the other person is wrong – it doesn’t really matter! It can be over in seconds.
    Thanks for compiling – nice to have some tips together in a group – easy to come back to!

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    @Fred, @Paul

    Thanks Guys! hope there something useful in there for everybody :)

  • Guest

    Great post Niall – thanks for the steer : Its great to get a genuine example of ”sharing’ effort. I have no doubt that this’ll be RTd all over the gaff ! Jim

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Elaine, I would add, plus the world and it’s mother is watching, so it’s a really bad advertisement for one’s business. If you feel the need to behave in a childish manner, at least have the decency to do out of public view :)

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Jim, Social Media is ultimately about community (people) That’s the point after all :) Glad you liked it and yes, hopefully it will get a few RTs. Happy New Year! Cheers, Niall

  • http://blog.myprojecttracker.com Barney Austen

    What a handy list :) Thanks for compiling Niall – and fair play to all the contributors. Further digestion required as well

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Cheers Barney, hope there something in there that you don’t know :)

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Great list of Twitter tips Niall. I find myself becoming more critical of who I read on Twitter. So I now take note of the people who share a large portion of quality links and only go to these people when I only have a few minutes to spare.

  • http://blog.myprojecttracker.com Barney Austen

    I did. Elaine’s Pareto principle!

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Thanks Cindy, it’s gets more difficult to manage the more people you follow that’s for sure :)

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Cheers Mairead

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Thanks Tom, many heads are better than one. Hope you find it useful. Regards, Niall

  • http://twitter.com/productful productful

    Look to post relevant content on your twitter account, and has been mentioned above try and mix up your tweets with posts unrelated to what you are doing. I personally found answering other people’s questions helps a lot, and finally always say thank you, two words that mean a lot and go a long way.

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Joe, Great points! particularly about answering questions and saying thank you. Thank you for your comments, Cheers, Niall :)