Are you using Twitter in your business?
There are the rumors. The Twitter is on its way out talk. The rebellion about lack of character count and then, the abundance of usable characters, now at a whopping 280.
And, of course, the bantering as to the benefits of the platform for business. Don’t forget the ongoing discourse regarding Twitter’s place in the on-the-spot, real-time presentation of news. Do people really rely on feeds for just-in-time news delivery? Yep. A resounding yes, in fact.
NEWSFLASH: My local news station on television (in the background as I’m writing this) just reported something of note. ON THE NEWS. The reporter says, “blah, blah, blah…as just reported LIVE on Twitter…” and it stops me in my tracks, proving Twitter is a news source even to the News!!!
For such a failure, a whole lot of activity and newsworthy conversations are happening on and around Twitter. Pretty much every single day.
Twitter is always on TV in its irrelevance, though that’s not where I personally like it, much. Hmm. Still. Do I need to hang my head in shame when I make this general announcement, my friends: I Love Twitter.
And for a girl with no intention of being on Twitter, EVER, that last statement surprises even me!
Here’s the deal. For me, Twitter went from a necessary evil to tumbleweeds to lukewarm to fun to real progress to today’s post.
So, in today’s post, it’s my pleasure to tell you about my latest plunge into the world of Twitter. It’s also about how I’m challenging myself, and you, (of course) to learn and do more using Twitter. And do better, perhaps.
When you tweak your Twitter, you can ramp up results using the (still) popular social media platform for business purposes.If you haven't made friends on Twitter, you're doing it wrong!Click To Tweet
I can’t wait to tell you more!
More and more, I’m writing about social media, much to my surprise.
The bigger surprise, remarkably, is finding social media both likable and valuable. Darn it, anyway!
The problem, sadly, is social media marketing, (SMM) does work for mega different reasons and results. It can even be fun.
So, before anything else, here’s a quote from one of the most insightful marketing leaders and learners of our time. Anyway, I think I’ll let Mark Schaefer, as quoted in a recent roundup post, straighten you out as you contemplate throwing Twitter out of your SMM toolbox:
I believe we’ll see a renaissance in marketing through Twitter. There’s a massive and highly engaged audience there (330 million) that has been largely ignored by brands. Meanwhile, advertising costs are going up on Facebook and AdWords, making Twitter an attractive alternative. Twitter has shown positive signs in user and revenue growth and is beginning a fun new ad campaign to insert some energy into the brand.”~Mark Schaefer
Latest stock reports show Twitter stock is on the rise so, if that helps you, there you go.
But, the best thing about Twitter has more to do with the many great benefits it offers you and your business.
I don’t think of Twitter as social media but as a relationship builder. It’s also a gateway to valuable connections and collaborations, to latest trends, information, and research and a source for business leads.
Plus, Twitter sends a high percentage of traffic to my site.
Twitter Away to Relationships
Hint: If you haven’t made friends via Twitter, you’re doing it wrong.
If you land among your peers, you draw interest and therefore, traffic to your site. Just sayin’.
Friends are business-specific if you develop a targeted follow/follower base and while there are benefits applying to business results, the real reward is well beyond mere business.
So far, Twitter and I are friends and well, not to sound too highfalutin but, I feel like I’m pretty good using the Twitter platform. But you can be great at it, too. It just takes a little bit of effort and intent. Connect with me on Twitter now!
One of the things I like is the DM (direct message) feature where you can talk privately to your twitter peeps. Peeps for me means friends I’ve made in my writing/business/marketing Twittersphere but, have sincerely developed an off-social, private relationship with.
I don’t recommend using an automated DM feature before you know someone, especially if you are going to send it immediately on follow and brag about yourself or try to sell something.
Twitter: Beyond the Basics
But, guess what? There’s a lot more to mine by using Twitter than you may think. In this post, there’s a bunch of new things about the Twitter Platform and ways you can use it for business purposes—beyond the basics. Ready to learn something new?
Bookmarks are a new feature in Twitter allowing you to save important tweets to revisit. Carolyn Nicander Mohr goes over how to use the new bookmarks tool for you in this post.
Bookmarks are a cool feature since one of the things I like about Twitter is it’s a fast-paced and on-the-go-with-you social media app. One of the easiest, I think, to access anytime and anywhere. Now there’s a quick save option. Yay!
Are you using Twitter Lists? Well, I thought I was until I invited Lisa Sicard to talk about how she uses Twitter Lists on a recent Twitter Chat. This is a great explanation from an article by Sharon Hurly Hall for why lists are a valuable Twitter tool:
Lists are an extremely useful Twitter function. The Twitter stream can get very noisy and lists provide a great way to organize it. You can have up to 1,000 lists with 5,000 Twitter accounts on each list. But you can also fine tune your lists so they are more useful.”
~Sharon Hurley Hall for CrazyEgg
Sharon fine tunes her lists by using one for her top interactors and one for those who RT her content most. Personalizing by lists. Hmm. She also has a small list, she confides, for “people whose content I find most interesting.” Remember, lists can be public (even interactive) or private depending on what you prefer.I don't think of Twitter as social media but, as a relationship builder.Click To Tweet
Meaningful Twitter Lists Add Functionality and Save Time
Some exciting and NEW spins for using Twitter Lists:
- Create a list of prospective business contacts. (Why didn’t I do this already? So Twitter “duh” of me!)
- Maintain a list to follow local weather situations. (This one comes in handy for Lisa who lives in the Northeastern US, a place with abundant snow hazard alerts.)
- Develop a list of A-list contacts for content curation for whenever you need top-notch posts for your feed, relevant to your audience.
- Organize lists for categories or topics, like Writer Gang or Social Media Top Dogs or Digital Marketing Magicians. (Or, use less exciting names like Web Writing, SMM, Website Design, SEO, and WordPress.)
- Create a Twitter List for vendors you work with or service providers you use.
- Curate a list of companies you admire and want to follow.
- Design research lists relevant to your work, business, or industry for easy access to timely data and information.
Okay, okay so Twitter Lists can be a lot more valuable than I realized, how about you? How are you using lists? What can you add?
Besides some of the insights above, in this post, Sharon walks you through properly setting up your Twitter profile. She includes a bunch of other good information for optimizing your Twitter campaign, as well, so check it out.
While you’re thinking about the fine points, Lisa (from her Inspire To Thrive blog) brings you the latest updates reflecting NEW and more stringent rules for how you tweet and share content.
Pinup a Twitter Billboard
Are you pinning something to the top of your Twitter feed to feature your own banging content?
The Twitter feed moves quickly so blogs like Buffer’s that specialize in social media suggest sharing multiple times* for any single post to gain traction. But, when you pin something to the top of your feed, views soar. When views soar, so does my heart.
*Hint: Be careful you do this within the new Twitter scheduling rules.
Another way to increase views via Twitter is to make sharing your posts or pages easy. Share buttons are your first best friend for amplifying your work and distributing your valuable content.
Try to be thoughtful in the buttons you select to feature and consider their placements for both visibility and usability.
Recently I switched from using a Google+ share button to a Flipboard button for sharing. I love this visual magazine-style curation tool.
I’m just starting to use and learn about the beauty of creating a Flipboard as a way to collect, showcase, or curate content. So, as a user, promoting its use by adding this share button makes sense, right?
Besides, Google+ is my weakest social channel and they no longer allow shares counts anyway! (In other bad news, LinkedIn counts may be over in social as well. But for right now, LinkedIn is too important to dump the share buttons, with or without it registering share counts.)
Make sure visitors to your site can easily see and use share buttons to help ignite your content. Don’t be afraid to let them share content for you, even on social channels where you aren’t active, especially (remember that 330 million person audience Mark mentioned?) Twitter.
Leave enough character space for people to add an additional note or comment when you use click to tweet buttons, for a pro tip.Are you pinning something to the top of your Twitter feed to feature your own banging content?Click To Tweet
Bot Be-Gone for Better Content Sharing
Don’t panic too much about the new Twitter rules when it comes to sharing content because along with taming automation, bots (who are not our friends) will take a hit to get off our feeds. The way this TechCrunch article explains it, Twitter is cleaning house from spam and other bad germs infesting our valuable feeds.
And luckily, social media automation services like Buffer, my fav, are on the case and altering their interface and giving prompts to help make sure you’re doing it correctly.
This is a look at the NEW Tailored Posts Composer guide from Buffer. And something else my lovable Buffer does and I just discovered (okay like while I’m writing this—that’s how lately) is, it gives you the ability to highlight text and then send it as the text message for social sharing.
And speaking of better sharing, other tactics can help bump your profile, too. Like using #hashtags (more on how coming up) and gaining extra notice from influencers or connections by tagging them in tweets.
Instead of emails to people you link to in posts, just hit them up in a tweet by using the @ sign to include them, instead. Hopefully, if your work warrants it, they’ll share it with their audiences, too.
Twitter helps to find an audience for your content. Then, it helps you reach more people and new audiences through other people’s shares.
I try to thank everyone who shares, likes, or RT’s content on my feed. I’m always a little more excited and grateful when it’s my original work. The thing is, I think people notice this small gesture of appreciation and I’m sincere.
By using hashtags effectively, you are grouping content in a way that makes it easier to find. You are also attaching keywords, showing relevance, and illustrating topics or content subject matter more clearly.
Searching by hashtags on Twitter helps you find people interested in the same topics as you; or, use them to research a specific subject.
Twitter says this, “A hashtag—written with a # symbol—is used to index keywords or topics on Twitter.”
Hashtags are also used to identify Twitter Chats and you can follow news and events by their hashtags. In both cases, Twitter filters all the content on the feed related to your desired hashtag, making it easier to keep track. This is a great help in the case of following tragic events and breaking news, as well.
In this post, Ian Cleary tells you about Twitter Chat tools. But, it’s the human to human conversations and ideas sharing I like best about participating in Twitter Chats.
Twitter Chats let you interact with people and, builds credibility for you at the same time. Having discussions around a topic builds community and gives you the ability to ask or answer questions. Sharing and learning are part of the benefits.
This list of the Best Social Media and Marketing Twitter Chats, composed by Madalyn Sklar, gives you some options to try one out. Madalyn moderates one of the most popular Tweet Chats from what I understand. It’s called #TwitterSmarter, talking everything Twitter. Maybe it’s time to tune in and put your best Twitter foot forward.Talking all things Twitter...how about a kind ReTweet, please?Click To Tweet
Trending on Twitter: Customer Insights
Adweek talks about the unique opportunities and insights you can explore using the trending and search functions on Twitter to leverage for business.
In a similar way, using lists, hashtags, and following relevant Twitter Chats allows you to take a focused approach. Working your twitter feed intentionally helps you to stay on the pulse of your industry and specific topics.
Even though Twitter is a big, busy, and noisy social platform, what stands out, is the two-way conversations taking place there.
Making connections through conversations helps you build an audience. It brings free traffic back to your website. And ultimately, leads to new prospects and business for you.
Are you working Twitter to grow your business, too? Let me know what you think or what I missed in the comments below and Happy Tweeting:)