Getting Started With Twitter Marketing

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1.0 T w i t t e r F o r B u s i n e s s . n e t Getting Started With Twitter Marketing Helen Lindop 2. 1 Contents Getting started with Twitter marketing ............................................................................................. 2 How to get more Twitter followers.................................................................................................... 4 Nine things to avoid when using Twitter for marketing...................................................................... 6 Using Twitter to boost your face-to-face networking......................................................................... 9 Five Twitter tools to save you time.................................................................................................. 11 Want to know more?....................................................................................................................... 12 About Helen.................................................................................................................................... 12 About this e-book............................................................................................................................ 12 3. 2 Getting started with Twitter marketing Does it feel like the whole world has gone social media crazy? Maybe you feel youve missed the boat when it comes to promoting your business on Twitter? In fact, now is the perfect time to try Twitter marketing precisely because so many people are using Twitter. Whether youve never used Twitter before or youve dipped a toe in but not really used it for marketing, here are my top five tips to get you started: 1. Dive in The best way to learn is by doing, so create an account at and have a go. Find a friend who is confident with Twitter and practice sending and replying to tweets. Youre welcome to tweet me at @HelenLindop if you like. I promise to reply! Follow the key people or businesses in your industry and learn from them. Dont copy them, but watch what they do and look out for what they do well. 2. Be yourself People like to connect with real people, so dont talk business all the time. Wherever possible, add a profile photo of your face rather than your logo. Share some personal information like what youve got planned for the weekend. If youre not sure exactly what to tweet, think about what you might say face-to-face at a conference or networking event. You might chat about what you were doing that day, where youre from and mention a little about your product or service. But you wouldnt sell people your product in a direct way. Its much the same on Twitter. 3. Be useful That said, if youre tweeting for business you need to do more than just share what you had for lunch. Think about the followers youd like to attract. What would they like from you? Do they need advice, links to articles or videos, to feel connected, to be entertained or perhaps something else? Think of how you can be of value to your Twitter followers and then provide that in your tweets. 4. Share Social media is all about sharing the good stuff, so dont just tweet links to your own articles. If you share useful resources created by other people the chances are they will share yours in return, too. 5. Get more strategic when youre ready One of the dangers of using Twitter for marketing is making friends and having fun but not growing your business. Its great to play at first, but before too long youll need to start thinking more strategically. Youll need to think about whether youre aiming to reach out direct to clients or to network with influential people in your industry. Are you aiming to gather leads that turn into sales? 4. 3 Or are you increasing your visibility and building your reputation? Each of these will need a slightly different approach. The day will come when you need to think about how Twitter fits into your wider marketing plan, so make sure you take the time to do this. But for now, just log on to Twitter and get tweeting! (If youre not sure how to use Twitter Ill show you in my free e-course, 5. 4 How to get more Twitter followers Want to know how to get more followers on Twitter? It's not rocket science and you don't need any clever tips or tricks. It's all about getting to know people, finding out how you can help them and...well, helping them! Here is my simple strategy for getting more Twitter followers: 1. Prepare If you want to get to know people, you need to help them get to know you first. That's why your first task is to make sure you have a good, relevant bio and photo. 2. Who do you want to follow you? Now you need to decide exactly who you want to follow you. Be as specific as you can. Then have a think about what does this person wants. Information, fun, entertainment, tips, advice or news? On which subjects? Which problems are they trying to solve? Then think about how you can offer that using Twitter. This doesnt have to be hard, often people just want to feel connected with someone who really understands what they are trying to do. Sometimes they want to be part of a community rather than needing more information. And you dont have to write or create all this stuff yourself, you can (and should) be tweeting links to articles and videos that have been created by other people. Dont get too hung up on this stage of the process. The great thing about Twitter is that tweets are so short and fly by so fast that if you get it wrong you can easily try something else very quickly. Actually, dont think of it as getting it wrong, just think of it all as an experiment! 3. Give them what they want Now you know who youre trying to reach, start sending the kind of tweets that these people might like. Its a good idea to follow some blogs, websites and YouTube channels that your followers might enjoy, that way youll never be stuck for something to share. You can schedule links to some of this content in advance, but be careful that you don't schedule too much . Make sure you follow interesting and relevant people on Twitter so you can retweet (share) their tweets too. Your followers will appreciate it and it helps you get noticed by the person who sent the original tweet, too. 6. 5 4. Follow them Now start following the people that you want in your audience. Usually, they will follow you back if you have got steps 1 and 2 right. (Want to know how to find people to follow? Its also in my course at 5. Talk to them Start talking to people on Twitter. Get to know them and allow them to get to know you. Dont be shy about making contact with strangers, as long as youre polite, helpful and dont try to sell them anything youll be fine. 6. Repeat, then repeat again Keep repeating steps 3, 4 and 5. If all this feels like its not working too well at first, keep at it because it takes time. Keep experimenting with the content, timing and frequency of your tweets to see what your followers like best. 7. 6 Nine things to avoid when using Twitter for marketing Many of us are worried about annoying other people when we're getting started with Twitter. You don't want to be too pushy and look like a dodgy second-hand car salesman, but on the other hand just tweeting about what you're planning to do at the weekend isn't going to bring you much new business either. The problem is that while you're nervously wondering whether to send that tweet or not, you're not really relaxing and being yourself. So here are the top nine things you should avoid, then you can dive in and enjoy the party! 1. Too many sales tweets If youre on Twitter to promote your business then youre going to tweet about your business at least some of the time. Its perfectly OK to tweet about a project that youre working on or an event that you have coming up (assuming client confidentiality isnt an issue, of course!) In fact, this is a good idea as it lets your followers know about what you do in a low-key way. Its also fine to send the occasional tweet about a new product youre launching or a discount youre running at the moment. But dont do it too often. If you're not sure what 'too often' is, try one sales tweet then nine 'non-sales' tweets and see how you get on. 2. Too much automation What do I mean by 'automation'? Here are a couple of examples: Scheduling tweets so that you can send tweets when youre away from Twitter Sending tweets or direct messages automatically when someone follows you or mentions you Im not saying all automation is bad, after all there are times when it makes total sense. If you are in the UK and have followers in Australia, then why not tweet in the middle of your night when the Australians are awake? Also, its usually better to schedule tweets throughout the day while youre working on other tasks than it would be to log on for ten minutes and send ten tweets all at once. Automation turns bad when youre: Rarely on Twitter but you want to pretend you are there When you dont follow up on the tweets and DMs (direct messages) people have sent to you Using it to pump out buy my stuff or look at my free stuff tweets or DMs The key is that Twitter is all about building and maintaining relationships. If a little automation helps this then that's fine, but it shouldn't be used to trick people into thinking they are talking to you when they are talking to software instead. 8. 7 3. Not being active on Twitter If you dont show up to a business networking event then you cant talk to the people there. Its the same with Twitter, you need to show up regularly if youre going to get to know people. 4. Not having a photo, background or half-decent bio I dont follow people who don't have a bio or a picture. It takes few seconds to do each of these so if they cant be bothered with them, then the chances are that they are spammers. (I'll show you how to add a bio, photo and background in my free e-course, by the way.) This may sound harsh, but one of the big challenges of using Twitter is cutting through the noise. Not having a photo or decent bio is often seen as a sign that a person should be avoided, so make sure you DO have a photo and bio if you want to be followed. 5. Not saying 'thank you' If someone takes the time to retweet one of your tweets, say thank you. Some people say thanks to all new followers, but this isnt essential. Just be as polite on Twitter as you would be face-to-face. Dont be offended if a Twitter celeb with thousands of followers doesnt say thank you for a retweet, though, as they probably have hundreds of retweets a day and wont have the time to respond to all of them unless they automate their responses. 6. Not sharing other peoples content Social media is all about sharing. So if you share other peoples stuff they will be more inclined to share yours too. Your followers will want you to share links to articles, videos and news because they are interesting, useful or entertaining and only some of that will be content you have created yourself. So sharing other peoples content is both a good way of both helping out those other people and giving your followers what they want. Everyone is a winner! 7. Using text speak' rather than proper English You may only have 140 characters but you should still use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation wherever possible. Tweet like a business rather than a teenager. 8. Embarrassing tweets Dont assume that a tweet is quickly forgotten. This is true for most, but some tweets can linger for a very long time indeed. Tweets do appear in Google searches sometimes. You dont want an offensive or embarrassing tweet popping up in a Google search five years from now when a prospective client is wondering whether to hire you or not. 9. 8 So dont tweet anything youre not happy for the world to see. 9. Auto-direct messaging new followers If you follow a new person on Twitter and then you immediately get a direct message saying Hi! Please download my free e-book or Follow me on Facebook too! it can feel like too much, too soon. On the other hand, if its a friendly Hi, thanks for the follow then thats OK. Its probably not very useful though, which is why I dont do it. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, Would I do this face-to-face in a networking meeting?. You wouldnt force a card into a strangers hand and say Download my e-book, the link is on this card. Instead, youd talk and see if they expressed an interest before asking them if theyd like a one of your business cards, which would have the download link on the back. So now you know what to avoid, why not get stuck in and start networking on Twitter? 10. 9 Using Twitter to boost your face-to-face networking You may think the kind of online networking you do with Twitter as completely separate from the offline world of networking meetings and conferences. But the two can work incredibly well together. Here are some ways you can use Twitter when you're out of the office: 1. Take a photo Say it with a picture! Its quick and easy to take a photo and post it to Twitter with a smart phone. Photos add interest for your followers and if your photos are especially interesting or engaging you may also find your tweets being retweeted more often. 2. Use it to connect with people before the event You dont have to wait until a conference or event to start networking, with Twitter you can introduce yourself before you meet face-to-face. You can find the Twitter handles (e.g. @HelenLindop is my handle) by looking for the list of attendees on the event website, then going to the websites of those people you wish to contact. Many conferences also have a hashtag that you can use to search for people tweeting about that event, for example the New Media Expos hashtag is #NMX. 3. Include the conference hashtag your tweets If the event youre attending has a hashtag then include it in your tweets about the event. That will mean that other people who are interested in the event can find you. Not sure how to use hashtags for marketing? Its in my course at 4. Use Twitter to follow up after the event Meeting new and not so new faces at an event is not the only part of networking. Following up after the event is essential if youre going to continue to get to know, like and trust each other. The good news is that Twitter makes this very quick and easy, because firing off some tweets after the event is fast compared with phoning or emailing everyone you met. Twitter has certainly not replaced the phone as nothing really beats speaking to your new business contact. But following up with a tweet is far better than not getting around to following up and it means the two of you can stay in touch with the minimum of time and effort. 5. Tweet about any other content you create at the event. Live events are a great opportunity to create content for your blog or website. By content I mean photos, short videos, audio interviews or anything else that is useful or interesting for your clients or prospects. Sitting down to write a blog post can take a while, but having a short conversation in front of a video camera takes just a couple of minutes. Upload it to YouTube either from your smart 11. 10 phone or when you get home and you have something else to tweet about. If video isnt your thing, use a sound recorder app on your smart phone, get the interview transcribed when you get home and then you have a blog post. Or use the audio social media platform Tweet about your new content as soon as its available for people to read, listen or watch. 12. 11 Five Twitter tools to save you time One of the biggest fears people have about Twitter marketing is that it all takes too much time. Here are the top five tools I personally use to make the time I spend on Twitter as productive as possible. 1. Hootsuite Hootsuite ( is a social media dashboard program, which makes it far easier to manage Twitter. There is another popular dashboard program called Tweetdeck, although I prefer Hootsuite. Hootsuite has many features including the ability to manage multiple social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and others), to save search results, to schedule tweets for times when you are away from Twitter and many more. I use both the web version and the Android version on my phone. 2. Buffer Although you can schedule tweets in advance in Hootsuite, I find it faster and easier to schedule multiple tweets using Buffer ( The easiest way to describe Buffer is as a leaky bucket that drops out tweets at regular intervals! So you fill your bucket with tweets and they trickle out over (say) a few days. 3. Tweriod Theres not much point in tweeting at 9am if most of followers dont log on until 2pm. will tell you when your followers are online, so you can send your tweets at the times they are most likely to get seen. 4. Bitly shortens long urls so that they dont take up as much space in your tweets. But thats not the only benefit, because it will also tell you how many people have clicked on that shortened url. Thats great for finding out which links are the most popular with your followers, so you can give them more of what they like and less of what they dont. Hootsuite has a link shortener built-in, but I prefer Bitly. 5. Untweeps shows you the people you are following who havent tweeted in a while, and then you can click a button to unfollow them if you wish. Why would you want to do this? Twitter sometimes stops you from following any more people (find out why and when here - limits). You can free up space to follow new people by clearing out those who arent tweeting. There are many other tools to make Twitter marketing faster and easier, just search for Twitter tools to find more. 13. 12 Want to know more? I created my free Twitter For Business e-course to help you learn Twitter marketing if: Youve never used Twitter before, or Youve used Twitter for business but have been disappointed with the results, or Youre a personal Twitter user, but youve not used it for business until now To take the course, just enter your email at About Helen Im a social media trainer and strategist, creator of the Twitter For Business e-course and blogger. You can find more of my social media articles at Id love to hear from you, so please do send me a tweet or a message! About this e-book Please feel free to share this e-book with your friends, but do keep it intact and please dont copy it or republish any part of it without my permission. If you would like to republish parts of it - or you would like me to contribute to your blog or website please contact me here