17 November 2011

My Top 10 Tips for using Twitter.



I started out on Twitter in 2009, and was inspired when I read stories about coffee shops in America taking orders for more coffee on Twitter! Gosh, who wouldn't be inspired to use a medium like that, increased coffee sales was the mantra in my mind whenever I got on there to tweet. The coffee ordering didn't happen, the questions about our products didn't happen and it was only rarely that someone would think of sharing how wonderful they thought our shop was, on Twitter.

Over 2 years on and when I'm on Twitter, just some of the things I'm thinking about are connections, communications, community, information and inspiration and now, we receive orders on Twitter, we get requests to save cake, we get people asking for more information about a product that I might have mentioned, people retweeting our offers and people mentioning how much they love My Coffee Stop.

It's absolutely incredible how Twitter has helped us to grow our business and our connections, raise our profile in the local community and internationally.

We've even had the local papers follow up our tweets and found ourselves on the front page of the news!

I want to share these tips with you, so that you too can experience the positives that Twitter can bring to your business.

This is what I would tell my business contacts and friends, if they were to ask my advice on how to make the best use of Twitter for their business.

DO...

1/ Use Twitter to connect through conversation....
Twitter is great for building connections through conversations, it is not a stream of promotional messages from your company to your public. If you are promoting your company on Twitter by posting special offers constantly and not taking part in conversations and responding to other people's interesting tweets, change the way you're doing it now!

2/ Choose who to connect to...  
It's not just about connecting with your customers or potential customers. You can follow your suppliers or potential suppliers, people in the same area of business as you, people that you could perhaps cross promote with, people from different industries, people that inspire you and people all over the world.

3/ Make your timeline interesting...
What does your timeline do for people? If your timeline does something for people, like cheer them up, inspire them, give useful information, points out things of interest locally and if you contribute to conversations and you're responsive to people's comments, then this will encourage mutual connections to form.

4/ Invest time in Twitter...
Are you getting on Twitter every few days, now and then? If you think it's ok to respond in a few days, well, that's not going to crack it. Twitter is swift and it moves, it's called a timeline because it's timely and it's in realtime and that's how people expect you to respond.

Best thing to do for your business, if you seriously want to use Twitter, is to invest in a phone or pad that will notify you of your Twitter mentions or messages and use it to respond.

If you don't respond to mentions or messages on Twitter in a timely fashion, you might as well not be on there, ever!

5/ Be yourself....
When you write about personal things on Twitter, it adds colour and interest to your timeline, maybe don't get too personal, it needs to be professional too. But I find those timelines with a bit of emotion in them, are more interesting than bland tweets. If you're having a problem with something, then the Twitter community is usually very quick to rally round and help. If you've got a question, post it up there and wait for the responses to come in and don't forget to respond back.

DON'T.....

1/ Bore Me...
Posting promotional tweets only, is boring and bland. If I'm thinking of following you and all you have are tweets about yourself, I won't be following, sorry!

2/ Ignore Me...
If I mention you, then write something back. Doesn't take much to do that. If you don't answer back and respond, what's the point on being on Twitter? Just broadcasting, with no interaction on Twitter is not the way to play the game. So remember to respond, respond, respond!

3/ Have an egg avatar...
You won't be taken seriously if you have an egg as your picture, to be frank it looks rubbish! Lots of companies post a picture of their logo but I think for Twitter, people want to connect with the personality tweeting first and then the company, so a picture of yourself could be a more effective avatar than your company logo.

4/ Forget the Biog...
Why am I going to follow you if I don't see something about you, to make a quick easy decision. Forget to fill this in and you've missed the opportunity to make a connection to like-minded people. If you love chocolate, say so. If theatre's your thing, mention it. Your biog doesn't have to be completely business centric.

5/Use the original colours for your background...
Spice up your profile page by making sure that you choose your corporate colours, or your favourite ones, or ones that just look darn good! Don't leave the Twitter background, your profile looks uncared for and un-nurtured.

Get some help with Twitter backgrounds, here.

Find out how to get more help with social media, for your business here.


Connect with me on Twitter, here. Tell me you read this blog and I'll connect back to you.

In the meantime happy tweeting! xx



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