As a firm of accountants we have recently commenced a social media campaign for our practice and from this we have gained some valuable experience and knowledge on various social media platforms, including
We would now like to take some time to share with you some of the key aspects of twitter which we have become skilled in over the past number of months.
Why use twitter?
Twitter has over 230 million active users worldwide, with 27% of the adult population in Ireland owning a twitter account. One of the primary functions of twitter is that it will enable you to network with individuals and other businesses throughout the world. Another use for twitter is to promote your business and website. For example, sharing a link to your blog or website through your twitter account can increase traffic to your website and thus will act as a promotional tool for your business.
Twitter can also be used to communicate directly with your customers and will in turn allow your customers to get in touch with you, without having to go through customer service.
Many business owners are already on twitter and creating a link with them could potentially lead to new clients for your business. The global market is expanding at a significant rate and having a presence in that market through twitter will be beneficial to your business, no matter how big or small you are.
Your twitter profile
Incorporating your business’ logo into your avatar (your profile picture for twitter) will be essential so you are identifiable to your followers. It is also recommended to give a brief description of your business offering so people can easily understand your product or service.
It is important to learn the twitter language before you start. The following are some of the key phrases you will require for twitter:
- A follow: when you click to follow someone on twitter. This will enable you to see that persons updates and tweets.
- A follower: someone who is following you on twitter, i.e. they can see your updates and tweets.
- A tweet: the information you post on your twitter account for your followers to see. A tweet is only 140 characters long, including spaces, so you are limited on what you can say on twitter.
- A retweet (RT): This is similar to forwarding an email, you retweet the tweets of others allowing all of your followers to then see that tweet.
- A reply: when someone sends a tweet directly to you with your @twittername at the very start of the tweet. This is similar to a conversation between both parties, however the posts are only viewed by the followers of both parties.
- A mention: when someone uses your @twittername, but not at the start of the tweet. Not including the @twittername at the start of the post allows ALL followers of the tweeter to see the tweet, not just those of the parties involved, as in a reply above.
- A Direct Message (DM): a private message to another tweeter. DM’s are only visible to the parties involved and are best used for personal conversations. As with a tweet there is a limit of 140 characters to a DM.
- A #hashtag: #Hashtags are used to enable individuals to easily follow a certain topic or event. When a lot of people use the same #hashtag in a tweet it is then classed as “trending”. For example if you were sending a tweet on Income Tax you could include #IncomeTax.
Getting the best from Twitter
To get the best from twitter you should ensure your tweets are interesting and relevant to draw more followers to your page. It is important to be engaging with your followers to ensure they read your tweets and hopefully retweet them to their followers. As outlined above, if you have a weekly blog you could share this blog with your followers by tweeting a link to your blog which will bring traffic to your website.
If you want to increase your followers and would like others to retweet your information then you will need to engage with others by retweeting their tweets. Retweeting will also give you the opportunity to share information on varying topics with your followers. Twitter is a two way platform and you must retweet to be retweeted.
Never do a hard sell or post continuous sales tweets.
To gain and keep followers it is essential that you keep your tweets interesting and helpful. If your followers feel you are only using twitter to do a hard sell then you will lose them.
Find solutions to people’s queries.
You can search for topics relevant to your business through #hashtags as these may lead you to queries from potential clients which you can resolve.
If someone engages with you or retweets your information you should respond or thank them as soon as you can. It’s good social media etiquette.
Join in conversations.
Keeping yourself present and engaging with followers will ensure people will remember you. While you may not help your followers directly, they may recommend you to someone else as you will be in the forefront of their mind.
Build up your reputation.
If you gain a reputation for helping and assisting people with their queries on Twitter you will quickly become the “go to” person for advice in your field. As with all business, word of mouth is very influential and building a good reputation is key.
Manage your time.
If you do not control the time you spend on social media you can easily lose your whole day to it. Using platforms such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, which can run in the background on your computer, will allow you to monitor your twitter account without letting it take over your day. These platforms will also allow you to schedule tweets for the week ahead, allowing you to minimise the time required on twitter.
At Roberts Nathan Corporate & Private we have found twitter to be a very useful tool in our social media campaign and it has helped us to connect with a larger global market. We have shared and gained valuable knowledge from both the people we follow and those that follow us. While we understand that we are still a relatively new user of twitter and have much to learn, we hope you find the above information helpful and if you have any queries or suggestions please let us know in the comments section below.
Images: ”Origami blue paper twitter bird on a white background / Shutterstock.com“
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