Twitter For Business

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What’s inside the Twitter for Business guide?

What is Twitter?
How is Twitter good for business?
Guide to using Twitter (set up your account, find your friends, flesh out your profile, follow and be followed, use third party apps like HootSuite, get tweeting, and monitor your ‘buzz’)
Now that You’re set up
Outside the ‘Twitterverse’
The wider web
Marketing reports

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Twitter For Business

  1. 1. Twitter for Business A report by Missing Link // March 2010 ©Missing Link 2010
  2. 2. Twitter for Business A report by Missing Link // March 2010 © Missing Link 2010
  3. 3. This document is supplied by: Kaila Colbin call +64 (0)3 930 3443 mob +64 (0)27 466 2530 email kaila@missinglinknz.co.nz ___ www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  4. 4. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 1 What’s inside Table of Contents Twitter for business .......................................................................................................................... 2 What is Twitter? ............................................................................................................................... 2 How is Twitter good for business?.................................................................................................... 3 Guide to using Twitter ...................................................................................................................... 4 Step 1: Set up your account ..................................................................................................... 4 Step 2: Find your friends ........................................................................................................... 5 Step 3: Flesh out your profile ..................................................................................................... 7 Step 4: Follow and be followed ............................................................................................... 11 Step 5: Use third party apps ................................................................................................... 14 Step 6: Get Tweeting .............................................................................................................. 18 Step 7: Monitor your ‘buzz’ ..................................................................................................... 23 Now that you’re set up................................................................................................................... 24 Outside the ‘Twitterverse’ .............................................................................................................. 26 The wider web ........................................................................................................................ 26 Marketing reports ................................................................................................................... 27 www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  5. 5. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 2 Twitter for business In June 2009, Dell announced that they made US $3 million from Twitter click-through sales and that over 600,000 people follow their deal oriented ‘DellOutlet’ Twitter page. This proved what marketers had suspected; Twitter’s soft sell approach results in hard sales. Small businesses also benefit. Sales & Marketing Technologies reports that when boutique tea blenders 52teas started offering a new customer-guided tea blend each week on Twitter, they moved from selling 1-2 packages ever few weeks to 40-50 packages to customers around the world. What is Twitter? Twitter.com is a social networking site where users post short messages (140 characters) about their activities and observations. On Twitter, people engage in public conversations about current affairs, business, politics, technology, or fun. You can find comments like ‘3000 Megawatt Project In India Award Coming http://bit.ly/Smap1’ or ‘Looking for more experiments we can do at home with kids to learn about climate change - any ideas?’ Users can choose to view others’ messages by ‘following’ them, and in turn they attract ‘followers’. The power of Twitter is that users are actively interested in reading messages and passing those messages on. Missing Link founder Kaila Colbin’s recent interview on Campbell Live explains the Twitter phenomenon and what it means for business. Kaila made some key points: • Google is now too slow; if it’s searchable on Google, it has already happened. Twitter’s real value is as a real time search engine, it shows what is happening around the world as it happens. • Twitter has the unique ability to broadcast to everyone, and yet be a tailored message to a specific person. This creates huge brand appeal through genuine, two-way conversation. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  6. 6. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 3 How is Twitter good for business? We all know networking and word of mouth are powerful tools, but it’s easy to underestimate just how powerful they are. So here’s some perspective. People are: • 22 times more likely to respond to a personal referral than to a direct mail piece • Nearly 5,000 times more likely to respond to a personal referral than to a television commercial. Twitter provides you with the ability to create genuine personal relationships at a much larger scale than ever before possible. Here are the top ten reasons why Twitter is good for business: • Increases message reach and attention – when Twitter’s 50 million users are on Twitter, they are in a curious, information-seeking frame of mind, so your communication reaches them when they are ready and willing to view your online information. • Democratizes marketing – on Twitter, all ideas are given an equal platform. There isn’t an online equivalent of a Superbowl ad, where more dollars = more attention. • Positions brands – an authentic Twitter presence says you are human, approachable, and in line with your customers. • Maintains competitiveness – as more companies join Twitter, it’s increasingly likely that your competitors are reaching your target market. Twitter allows you to be present in the same channel at the same time as your competitors – or to get there first. • Provides instant communication – you can market in real time, broadcasting your presence at a trade fair from your mobile phone. • Generates sales leads – with persistent real-time searches, you can find and reply to people’s ‘I’m in the market for…’ messages. • Encourages word of mouth – Twitter allows you to stimulate and facilitate conversations, and directly engage with people who are talking about your business. • Measures customer satisfaction – Twitter gives you access to candid unsolicited comments from your customers that reveal what they think of your product. • Informs product development – find out what your customers want now, not in your focus group three months later. • Provides a testing ground for your product launches – the currency of Twitter is news; new products are news, and your most engaged customers (the ones who follow you on Twitter) are the most willing to trial and review your new products. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  7. 7. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 4 Guide to using Twitter Step 1: Set up your account Create your profile by visiting www.Twitter.com/signup and entering your details. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  8. 8. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 5 Step 2: Find your friends Twitter can check if people in your Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL address book are on Twitter. Click on your email provider and follow the instructions. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  9. 9. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 6 It’s not necessary to follow any of these pop culture Tweeters unless you want to – there will be plenty of opportunities to follow people in your industry later. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  10. 10. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 7 Step 3: Flesh out your profile This is your home page on Twitter. From here you can add an image and text to your profile and customize the background. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  11. 11. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 8 Once clicking on the ‘Settings’ area, add your details to the ‘Account’ section. When changing your settings, remember that people want to connect with a person, not a company. Highlight the values that personify your company. We recommend you do NOT click the ‘Protect my tweets’ option; you want your tweets to come up in search results. If you have anything private to share on Twitter you can use direct messages (more on this later). www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  12. 12. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 9 Put your best corporate face forward by adding a friendly photo of a person in your company. Click on ‘Picture’. Then ‘Browse’ for an appropriate photo. Missing Link Top Tip: Twitter will automatically crop photos , so iif you want more control, crop photos, f it. your photo into a square shape before you upload it . www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  13. 13. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 10 You can change the background and the colors of design elements and text. First click on ‘Design’. Selecting a theme other than the default is one of the easiest ways to differentiate yourself. You can then ‘Change background image’ or ‘Change design colors’. You can access free designs at http://tweetygotback.com. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  14. 14. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 11 Step 4: Follow and be followed Followers are people who volunteer to receive your tweets. One of the best ways to gain followers is to follow others. You can find people who identify themselves as being in your product category by using a free service like www.tweepz.com. This service lets you find people who have included key words of interest in their profiles. Click on ‘advanced search’. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  15. 15. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 12 Secondly, you can enter the corresponding words in the search bar (e.g. social media and Christchurch). Firstly, click on the type of search(s) you want to perform (e.g. bio and location). This search will find everyone who has the text ‘social media’ in their bio and lives in Christchurch. Selling an engineering magazine? Search for engineers. Starting a new makeup brand? Search for makeup, cosmetics etc. Missing Link Top Tip: Seek out the opinion leaders in your industry, and follow the people who indus try, are following them because of common interests. Following opinion leaders will also make you more visible to people who are interested in them. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  16. 16. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 13 If you pick up any followers who you don’t want to be associated with (e.g. a financial advisor wouldn’t want a get rich quick schemer following them), it is acceptable to block them. Click on ‘Home’ Click on ‘followers’. Click on the circular symbol next to follower x. Click on ‘Block x’. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  17. 17. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 14 Step 5: Use third party apps Twitter itself does not have all of the tools you need to engage in relevant conversations. Third party applications, or ‘apps’, help you be more efficient with your Twitter activity. These applications have been built by people who have no affiliation with Twitter, but who see an opportunity to make it easier to interact with the service. Missing Link Top Tip: If you are using Twitter for business, it is critical to use a third party app. There are many free third party apps, all of which have different benefits depending on your needs. One third party app we recommend is HootSuite, a website that allows you to manage the various aspects of your Twitter account from one screen, effectively giving you a ‘dashboard’. Visit https://hootsuite.com/signup to create your free account. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  18. 18. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 15 You can add some of your other social media accounts such as your Facebook account. You can also add additional Twitter accounts. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  19. 19. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 16 Check your email inbox for your confirmation email. Clicking on the link in the email will activate your account. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  20. 20. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 17 Clicking on your Twitter name tab near the top right of the page will bring up your columns. You automatically have three columns: ‘Home Feed’ (tweets by the people you are following), ‘Mentions’ (people who are mentioning @yourname), and ‘Direct Messages’ (private messages similar to short emails). You can also add columns, such as a tweet ‘Search’ which will allow you to monitor conversations surrounding key terms in your industry. Missing Link Top Tip: Creating permanent columns in HootSuite for your company name or relevant keywords will allow you to see every time someone mentions your company or your opportunity keywords, giving you the opportunity to respond in real time. Once you’ve got the basics of HootSuite down, have a play with the additional features. For example, you can see how many people are clicking on your links by region, add colleagues as editors of your Twitter account, and schedule tweets for later. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  21. 21. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 18 Step 6: Get Tweeting When you post 140 character updates, or tweets, they are visible to everyone. Even people who don’t follow you can visit your Twitter page and see the messages you’ve published. Write your tweet in the text box at the top of the page. If you have a long Click When you’ve finished hyperlink to ‘Shrink It’. writing your tweet, click shorten, ‘Send Now’. paste it into the link box. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  22. 22. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 19 Retweeting A ‘retweet’ is simply a repeat of something someone else tweeted. Retweets make messages spread quickly throughout the Twitterverse. When you read a tweet that you think is interesting and relevant to your followers, retweet it. Click on the ‘Re-Tweet’ icon. You can write your own brief comment ahead of ‘RT @username’. It is customary to quote directly and not edit the original tweet unless you need to do so to make it fit (i.e. be under 140 characters). www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  23. 23. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 20 You can directly ask people to pass your tweets on by writing ‘Please retweet’ or ‘Pls RT’ at the end of your message. Getting retweeted is your ultimate aim because this broadcasts your message to your followers’ followers. So if you have 1000 followers, who in turn have 1000 followers each, your compelling tweet could reach 1 million people. Missing Link Top Tip: Make sure to allow for the extra characters people will add when others pass it on so that your tweet will still be visible in its entirety. Your message, plus the number of entirety. characters characters. characters in ‘RT @your_username ’, should be no more than 140 characters . Referencing people You can reference people on Twitter by using the @ symbol followed immediately by their username (‘@user_you_are_referencing’). Use these ‘@replies’ in your tweets when replying to people or referring to them in your tweet. Bear in mind that @replies are public. If you’re exchanging @replies with someone, ask yourself whether the conversation is relevant to the rest of your followers, and consider shifting it to direct messages or email. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  24. 24. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 21 Sending direct messages When someone sends you a direct message (‘dm’), they are entering a private conversation with you. Treat direct messages as you would a personal email. Ask yourself these questions when deciding whether to send an ‘@reply’ or a ‘dm’: • If this were an email, would the other party mind if I published it online? • Will publicizing this relationship or request embarrass anyone? • Do my followers have enough information to understand the exchange? • Can I include enough information in my ‘@ reply’ to make it valuable for someone who is unfamiliar with the original context? Even if respecting privacy isn’t an issue, there may be a relevance issue. Only send an ‘@reply’ when non-sensitive and immediately comprehensible information is involved; otherwise, send a ‘dm’. To send a direct message, click on the ‘Direct Message’ icon next to their username. Type your message. Click ‘Send Now’. A person needs to be following you in order to receive your direct message. If you want to direct message someone who is not following you, tweet ‘@person_you_want_to_dm’s_username pls follow me so I can dm you’. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  25. 25. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 22 Follow Friday ‘Follow Friday’ is when you compile a list of people you think your followers should follow by tweeting ‘#FF @first_person_you_are_ recommending’s _username’, ‘@second_person_you_are_ recommending’s _username’, etc. It is a way to pay someone a compliment or say thank you for a favour they have done for you. Adhere to the time zone that most of your followers are in. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  26. 26. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 23 Step 7: Monitor your ‘buzz’ You can find out who is replying to you and referencing you by watching your ‘Mentions’ column. Thank people for replying/referencing you by reciprocating with an ‘@reply’ in one of your tweets or including them in ‘Follow Friday’. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  27. 27. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 24 Now that you’re set up The best way to learn about Twitter is by doing. ‘Follow’ people you think are interesting, monitor industry keywords/phrases, and embrace conversation. Once you’ve got the hang of things and you’ve figured out how to be personable and professional, you’re ready to start marketing. Think of the key messages you want to convey. For example, if you were Vodafone, you might want everything you say to reflect that you make technology easy, have the latest technology, and offer value for money. Continually check that you’re being polite on Twitter and not acting like a one-way marketer. Are you respecting the ‘you scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours’ philosophy of Twitter? Are you raising the profiles of others more than your own? Are you starting conversations? Twitter users will tune you out if you don’t tune in. Ads are expected in newspapers and on TV because ads sponsor the content. But people create their own content on Twitter and they have not granted you permission to advertise in their space. As P&G’s social media advisor Deborah Schultz says, ‘if you are invited to a dinner party and you show up and start selling Tupperware, there is a good chance you will not be invited back.’ Twitter etiquette dos: • Wholly believe in everything you put out there. • Reciprocate public acknowledgements. • Customize everything you tweet to the medium and your followers’ interests – short videos and all content that relates to special interest; timely topics are successful on Twitter. • Promote other people, events, movements, and ideas with tweets that begin with ‘@username loving…/currently reading…/amazed by…’. Twitter etiquette don’ts: • Be a one way marketer; remember your audience. • Claim someone else’s tweet/content as your own. • Forget that everyone can see your tweet. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  28. 28. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 25 Twitter has been likened to a giant cocktail party, which cocktail party character are you going to be? • The Bore – only talks about themselves. • The Nerd – can't relate to his audience very well, tweets technically with narrow focus, and uses incomprehensible jargon. • The Drunk – all over the place, can't follow the thread of their conversation, tweets inappropriately. • The Gossip – is sensationalist, feeds on others without contributing anything. • Little Miss Nice – offers very little new or interesting; will often tweet just to say Hi. • The Comedian – makes people around them laugh with their observations (Ashton Kutcher and Ellen are the two most popular people on Twitter). • The Gracious Hostess – introduces people to each other, makes sure people have everything they need to have a good time. • The Dude – tweets with authority, can afford to take a relaxed approach. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  29. 29. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 26 Outside the ‘Twitterverse’ The wider web Promote your Twitter presence through other media. Include links to your Twitter account on other social media sites, your website’s ‘Contact Us’ page, and your e-newsletters. Instead of each medium being used in isolation to drive traffic to your homepage, you can interweave them to build a complex web of marketing communications. For example, your Facebook page can support your radio campaigns, and your Twitter messages can automatically appear on your Facebook profile. When you create a media web, an entire conversation is created around your brand across multiple media, each reinforcing the other and keeping your brand in front of people whichever media they may use. www.missinglinknz.co.nz
  30. 30. Twitter for Business V10// 24 March 2010 Page 27 Marketing reports Include Twitter in your marketing reports; it is a valid marketing activity. As with any marketing activity or business endeavour, you reap what you sow. Make sure to realistically evaluate your usage and consistency so you can compare what you’ve put into Twitter with what you’ve gotten out of it. A great way to do this is to use a tool such as www.twinfluence.com that measures the combined influence of your Twitter account and your followers, as well as other statistics. Additionally, www.TwitterAnalyzer.com delivers indicative stats on everything from your follower count over time to the verbs most commonly used by your followers. According to Mashable, ‘one metric you absolutely must track [is] how much money Twitter has saved your brand. How many issues did you solve, leads did you create, and dollars did you save through Twitter engagement versus traditional resources? If your goal is to handle customer support issues via Twitter, it’s wise to check if there is any decrease in the call volume to your support centre. And if you are selling products via Twitter…you should of course measure your sales via that channel.’ And you’re off! There is always more to learn with social media, and the landscape is constantly changing. So keep learning, stay dynamic, and remember that it’s all about your audience; put yourself in their shoes. And finally, if you need any assistance at all, remember that Missing Link is on your side. Come and see us at www.missinglinknz.co.nz. www.missinglinknz.co.nz

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