A Guide to using Social Media – Part 1: TwitterWhat is Twitter?Twitter is a social network. People use social networks to share thoughts and information over the Internetvia PC or mobile phone. On Twitter, you only read and write one (140 characters) at a time. This is why userscall Twitter a micro-blog. Each time you visit the site you answer the same question: "Whats happening?" Inthe language of Twitter, your answer is a tweet.Other popular social networks are Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube. We have guides to using these sitesavailable too.What does Twitter do for businesses?As a business, you can use Twitter to quickly share information, gather market intelligence and insights, andbuild relationships with people who care about your company. Often, there is already a conversation aboutyour type of business happening on Twitter.From a business marketing perspective it is a great way to promote and build your brand. Followers can get asnapshot insight into what your business is currently doing, key areas you work in (great for service basedindustries), asking your followers questions that can help with market research. All of which enable you todrive traffic to your website. The key mistake businesses make when using Twitter is over selling. While it is agreat tool for pushing product and offers to your audience, be mindful not to solely use it in this way.As a marketing consultant I generally advise clients to work on building there brand and engage with therefollowers. So for example, much like generic advertising, if you are seen on a regular basis, you will begin to berecognized and trusted by your audience. So make sure you tell your followers what you are doing/workingon, give them information that may help them (I often post marketing tips or links to articles that may behelpful), and most important show some personality to your company. Much like with networking, peoplerespond best to people. So while you need a professional corporate image, you also need to show you areapproachable and friendly. This may be done in a tweet such as “Been a busy week, so looking forward to theweekend. Seeing “x” in concert, can’t wait!” That personal touch can really make all the difference.If we got all the BoB Club Members on Twitter…..Through BoB Clubs we meet great people and businesses from a variety of industries and locations. We helpsupport and promote each other through our contact base. If we were all on twitter following and supportingeach other, imagine the reach we would have! It will enable us to learn more about each others businessesand provide an extra resource when recommending to our contact base. “Oh I know a really good MortgageBroker. They specialize in …..their website and details are….and you can follow them on Twitter to get a real
feel for what they are about.” While you are recommending a fellow club member, you are also allowing thecontact to get more information on their business. This way when they both get in touch with each other,there is a real friendly feel to the conversation. The way we engage with people in business is a key factor, andif you already feel like you know each other straight away can only help moving forward.I would urge all BoB club members to connect with each other through Twitter and social media sites. It is notsomething that has to take a lot of time. You can use it as much or as little as you need too. For some they willbecome serial tweeters. Others will post a few a week – that’s all fine. The main thing is that you access thispowerful free marketing tool and use it. The next generation of business people are already using social mediaas a key networking tool. It will soon become part of every day business life. Learn to use it now as soon youwill be expected to have a Twitter account. Much in the same way you are now all expected to have awebsite, where many businesses 5 years ago could get away without having one.Best PracticesBuild your following, reputation, and customers trust with these simple practices:1. Share. Share photos and behind the scenes info about your business. Even better, give a glimpse of developing projects and events. Users come to Twitter to get and share the latest, so give it to them!2. Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand, and products.3. Ask. Ask questions of your followers to glean valuable insights and show that you are listening.4. Respond. Respond to compliments and feedback in real time5. Reward. Tweet updates about special offers, discounts and time-sensitive deals.6. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your business.7. Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers.8. Establish the right voice. Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine, and of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you Tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community?How do I join Twitter? 1. Go to www.twitter.com. 2. Click on: Join or Sign up 3. Follow the steps to create a free Twitter account. 4. Choose your own username (ours is zorbasolutions). 5. Choose your own password. You must type 6 letters or numbers.
6. Type in your email address. 7. Prove you are a human (type the letters you see in the word verification box). 8. Accept the terms (Twitter users must be at least 13 years old). Thats it!Create a profileNow that you are a member, its time to personalize your Twitter page. 1. Log in at www.twitter.com (enter your username and password). 2. Click on Settings. 3. Add a picture (700K maximum) of yourself (or a character or logo). Click on browse and choose a photo from your computer. 4. Fill out the information in the boxes. If you dont have a website, you can use EnglishClub.com or another favourite. 5. In the bio section add one or two lines about yourself. You can write in point form.Example bio:Your complete marketing consultancy with the personal touch. Helping businesses run successful marketingcampaigns in all areas of media marketingStart tweetingLog in at www.twitter.com and type your first tweet. Remember, the question is always: "Whatshappening?". Write one or two short sentences. If you write too much you will have to delete part of yourmessage. You will see a number decreasing as you write. This will show how many letters you can still type.When you see "-1", that means you wrote too much.Example tweets: Im looking for BoB Club members on twitter. For financial service advice, please go to www……..com Seen a great article on energy prices that might be of interest. Click on this link…. Thinking about what to eat for dinner...any good recipes to share?
FOLLOW peopleNow you need to make some Twitter friends. Start by FOLLOWING @bobclubs. When you find BoBClubs, clickFOLLOW underneath the logo. BobClubs will get a message that you are FOLLOWING them. Soon you will startseeing their updates (tweets) on your page.Look for others to FOLLOW. Do any of your Bob Club members use Twitter? What about family members orpeople you work with? If not, send them an email and invite them to join.On your Twitter homepage you will see a sidebar on the right hand side. You will see the words following andfollowers. Under each there will be a number. Each time you go to a persons Twitter page and click FOLLOWyour following number will increase. Each time a person FOLLOWS you, your followers number will increase.Search TwitterUse the Search button at the bottom of your twitter page to follow more people. Look for people you want tonetwork with. Type anything you want in the search box.Example searches: marketing finance accountants (a certain location i.e. County or Town) cosmeticsReply and RetweetsWhen you see an interesting tweet reply to it. When you click reply you will see @username (@bobclubs) inthe text box. Type your reply after this.People will reply to you too. Each time you log in, click on @replies in your sidebar to view your messages. Toreply back put your mouse over the tweet until you see the curving arrow. You will see the words "reply".Click here and start your reply. Beside the word "reply" you will see the word "retweet". When you "retweet"something that means you like it. Your "retweet" will be sent as a status update from your account. Anyonewho follows you will see it.Share a linkUse Twitter to share links, such as your website or links to relevant or interesting articles. We use Twitter toupdate our followers about new marketing techniques and tips. You can shorten a link at tinyurl.com. If youdont shorten it, Twitter will shorten it for you. (Dont be surprised when your link looks different.)
Send a Direct MessageTo send a private reply or message, use the Direct Message function. Only you and the recipient will see thesemessages. Direct Messages will also go to the recipients email address.Hashtags #When you put a hashtag # in front of a word it means this is your key word in the tweet. It will then be pickedup by any searches made but other users. So for example I may use #marketing in my tweets. This meansanyone who types in marketing in the search box my tweet will appear. Do not use anymore than 3 # pertweet.Personalize your SettingsYou can change the look of your Twitter page. You can use your own picture or favourite background. 1. Log in to Twitter. 2. Go to Settings. 3. Click on Designs. 4. Choose a twitter background or upload your own.And Finally….For more information on social media and how it can benefit your business, please contact us as below.We also have additional guides on Linkedin, Youtube and Facebook, as well as other marketing methodsand techniques.Zorba Solutions Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1795 8576233 Addington Road Fax: +44 (0) 1795 500285SittingbourneKent ME10 1HTUnited Kingdomaskzorba@zorba-solutions.co.uk Twitter@zorbasolutionswww.zorba-solutions.co.uk Linkedin/zorbasolutions