WelcomeSince its 2006 launch, Twitter has changed the way the world communicates. It has opened up awhole new real-time method for sharing public (and private) messages with friends, businesses,brands and new connections.By asking people “what’s happening” in messages, called “tweets,” of 140 characters or less, Twit-ter mandates brevity. That conciseness and the ability to “follow” others — from Lady Gaga to thepizza joint around the corner — have driven Twitter’s rapid growth.Yet for many, Twitter’s constant chatter and breakneck pace can feel overwhelming.If you’re among the roughly 87 percent of Americans online who have yet to join the social net-work, according to a Pew Center Research study, perhaps you’re still thinking, “Why bother?”Or maybe you already have a Twitter account but worry about the time it takes or what to say.If you run a business, though, you shouldn’t rule out Twitter too quick-ly. The stats show that what people are saying on social networks suchas Twitter increasingly shapes opinions about companies and brands. 1 out of 5 Tweets relate to inquiries or infoAccording to Forrester Research in April 2010, Americans generated about products or services500 billion online impressions on each other regarding products and SOURCE: PENN STATE UNIVERSITYservices, more than a quarter of the impressions (or ad views) made byadvertisements. And of the hundreds of millions of tweets sent per day, about one out of everyfive is related to some kind of inquiry or information about specific products or services, accord-ing to Penn State University.If you ignore Twitter, you could miss out on a powerful channel for interacting with your customers.The good news: It’s not too hard to get started. But it does help to have a game plan. This eBookis here to help, with seven steps for using Twitter. We’ve covered proper etiquette and pitfalls toavoid. And for a little inspiration, we’ve shared examples of small businesses making Twitter workfor them.Read, and tweet away.3 7 STEPS FOR USING T WIT TER FOR BUSINESS Tweet this eBook!
Twitter By The Numbers 100 million Active Twitter users worldwide 250 million Tweets sent per day SOURCE: TWITTER, SEPT. AND OCT. 201195% TOP 5 REASONS PEOPLE SAY THEY USE TWITTER 1. To follow famous peopleTwitter users with 2. To follow newsmobile phones — halfof whom access the 3. To connect with friends and familyservice via their hand- 4. To connect with new friends and people of similar interestsheld devices 5. To express opinions and make their voice heardSOURCE: PEW RESEARCH CENTER TOP 5 REASONS PEOPLE SAY THEY FOLLOW BRANDS 1. To keep informed of the latest deals, discounts and offers25 to 34 2. To keep up to date with the latest brand news 3. Because they’re fans of the companyAges of largest group onTwitter — making up a 4. Because the brand tweets interesting/relevant contentthird of monthly users 5. Because they’re current customersSOURCE:·EDISON·RESEARCH,·2010¶ SOURCE: ECONSULTANCY, 201152% 26% 58%Twitter users who follow Twitter users who have Twitter users who havebrands and companies complained about a praised a brand on Twitteron the platform brand on Twitter SOURCE: ECONSULTANCY, 20114 7 STEPS FOR USING T WIT TER FOR BUSINESS Tweet this eBook!
Twitter Lingo#: Also called a “hashtag,”symbol used to denote akeyword or subject. Hashtagsmake it easier to find yourtweets in searches. SeeTwitter’s guide What AreHashtags?@: Used before someone’susername to direct a tweet tothem. For example, @jo-eschmoe. By using the @ sign,you ensure your tweet will bedisplayed for the other personto see. Can be used at the be-ginning or middle of a tweet.Also called an “at mention.”Blocking: Preventing someone Follower: Someone following Retweet: The act of resending afrom sending tweets to you. your tweets. tweet that you liked to everyone in your network. Can be usedDirect Message (DM): Handle: Your username. Each as a noun, as in, “Can I get aPrivate message that can’t be one is unique. retweet?” Often abbreviated RT.viewed by anyone else. Lists: Groups of Twitter con- Trending topic: A top wordFavorite: A way to mark a tacts that can be organized by or subject being tweeted; Twit-favorite tweet — by clicking a industry, geography, etc. If you ter lists trending topics in thestar or “Favorite” link — so it’s are placed on a person’s list, “trends” section on the right-easier to find and the sender you have been “listed.” hand side of the page.can see it’s a favorite of yours. OH: Standard abbreviation for Tweet: A message or updateFF: Short for “Follow Fri- “overheard,” most often pre- up to 140 characters long. Alsoday;” many Twitter users cedes a tweet about something used as a verb, as in the act ofsend tweets to their followers someone overheard in a public sending a tweet.on Fridays suggesting other place.people to follow. These tweets Unfollow: To cease followingusually include the hashtag Over Capacity: The error another Twitter user whose#FF. screen users see when the site is tweets no longer show up on having trouble keeping up with your homepage timeline.Follow: The act of signing up traffic. The page features a car-to see a person’s tweets in your toon whale, which Twitter users For more definitions,Twitter stream. have dubbed “the fail whale.” see Twitter’s glossary.5 7 STEPS FOR USING T WIT TER FOR BUSINESS Tweet this eBook!
Anatomy of a Twitter Page Click Twitter Type a username Use tabs to see View profile Click to see direct messages logo to or term here @mentions, RTs, or edit your you’ve sent or received, or to return home to search searches and lists settings send a new direct message Your tweet count, andType status your latestupdate here tweetClick for the Number oflatest tweets people you follow and who follow you, plus latest addedRunning listof tweets by Twitterpeople you suggestsfollow people you might want to follow The top topics in your area Twitter page navigation: If you need something from Twitter, you’ll find the links here. 6 7 STEPS FOR USING T WIT TER FOR BUSINESS Tweet this eBook!
1STEP START ON THE RIGHT FOOT Set up your account and pick a goal First things first. To get started on Twit- ter, you need an account. It also helps CHOOSING A TWITTER BUSINESS GOAL to begin with a goal, even a loosely Twitter can help with your busi- defined one. ness goals. Start with one goal. You can always mix it up later. You may not be sure how often you n Branding: Claim ownership of want to tweet, but securing an account your brand name. Identify and early on can be a good idea. Unique engage brand advocates. n Customer Service: Respond Twitter usernames are available on a to questions or complaints in first-come, first-served basis, so some- real time. one could easily snag the one you want. n Public Relations: Friend journalists or bloggers in your area or industry. Share resources 1. SIGN UP AT TWITTER.COM and articles. n Sales: Offer specials and cou- Twitter doesn’t differentiate between business and personal pons. Promote new products or accounts. services. n Marketing: Become a resource: Share tips, links or other helpful content. Gather testimonials. n Research: Monitor what your customers or competitors are doing. Poll others about new ideas, products or services. Search for buzz on keywords relevant to your business. n Network: Follow industry peers. Make connections who can help troubleshoot problems or answer your questions. 2. SELECT A USERNAME (A.K.A. “HANDLE”) TOP 5 WAYS COMPANIES USE TWITTER u Keep it simple. 1. Publicizing new content The ideal username is short, easy to remember and easy to spell. 2. Marketing 3. Brand monitoring u Stick to what’s logical. 4. Gathering customer feedback 5. Customer service For personal and corporate branding, it’s best to choose a SOURCE: ECONSULTANCY, 2011 username as close to your real name as possible. 7 7 STEPS FOR USING T WIT TER FOR BUSINESS Tweet this eBook!
u What if your name is taken? WHEN MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS n Get creative. Consider variations that touch on your per- OR TWEETERS MAKES SENSE sonality, incorporate your industry or include a mean- Single Twitter accounts are ingful verb. Example: “eatatsues.” adequate for many small busi- n Nicknames, initials or abbreviations are OK. nesses, says Hollis Thomases, n Add a city or state. Example: “suesdinerTX” author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day. They are less work, n You can also use a number or underscore mark, though and keep your audience central- such names tend to look less professional, are harder to ized. But multiple accounts can remember and are likelier to be misspelled. Example: make sense for: “joeschmoe59” or “joe_schmoe.” n Individuals who want to keep n If you think someone is intentionally hijacking your business and personal interac- tions separate, or segment the trademark or impersonating your business, report the types of info they share. violation to Twitter support. n Companies that want to seg- regate social media by depart- NOTE: After you secure a username, Twitter prompts you to start follow- ment (e.g., customer service), ing people, brands or topics right away. It also asks you to search for your geography or revenue stream. contacts on other accounts, such as LinkedIn or Yahoo!, to find friends on Twitter. But it may be best to flesh out your profile some and start tweeting n Businesses that want to a little first, so people don’t mistake you for a spammer. encourage a company-wide Twitter marketing approach.3. UPLOAD A PICTURE OF YOURSELFOR YOUR COMPANY LOGO TIPS FOR MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS OR TWEETERS This is an important step. A picture humanizes n Consider Twitter handles your tweets and helps people instantly identify with a common base name. you. (Without a profile pic, you’ll look like an You can use the company’s egghead by default!) You can always change name plus the individual’s name, such as “bobatsuesdiner.” your image later by going to “Profile” at the top n Share a common look andof your Twitter homepage and clicking on “Edit your profile.” feel. Use a common logo and background or take profile pics4. FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE against a common background.While in the “Edit your profile” section, fill out your profile as n Pick usernames for divi-completely as possible. Add your location, personal or company sions or different geographies served. Example: “@suesdiner-name, a link to a website and a short bio of yourself or company bakery” or “@suesdinernyc.” This(up to 160 characters). Use your bio to incorporate keywords that keeps clients in contact with theidentify your business or what you want to be known for. All of people who directly help them.that information appears in your public profile and search engine n Create posting guidelines.results, so it plays a big role in how searchers find you on Twitter. Draft a basic policy for what’s appropriate to tweet about personally or on behalf of the5. CUSTOMIZE YOUR TWITTER BACKGROUND business. Prepare responses to common questions, negativeTo add branding elements, change the colors of your Twitter comments or crisis situations.page or upload a background image that tiles or extends across Check out sample policies at socialmediagovernance.com orthe entire page. In your settings, click on the “Design” tab. Cus- socialmedia.policytool.net.tom background images are typically 1280-by-1024, 1600-by-1200 or 2048-by-1600 pixels.8 7 STEPS FOR USING T WIT TER FOR BUSINESS Tweet this eBook!
2STEP TWEET LIKE A PRO Know what, when and how to tweet After you’ve set up an account, it’s time to start tweeting. You can share text, links and multimedia. Twitter also has its own WHAT TO TWEET lingo. In this step, we’ll review @ mentions, hashtags, direct Your tweets should relate to your business goals on Twitter and messages and retweets and offer additional ideas for what and the audience you want to reach. when to tweet. Here are a few ideas: n Questions: Ask for feedback HOW TO TWEET on ideas. Seek recommendations u Using the @ symbol on places, vendors or resources. n Tips and answers: Respond Whenever you tweet someone’s username preceded by the to customers’ questions or is- @ symbol, that’s called an “at mention.” Whether or not they sues. Link to FAQs. Offer helpful how-tos. follow you, it’s a way of making your tweet show up on their n Links or news: Share blog Twitter page. or website updates. Pass along Examples: community or industry news. n Quotes, one-liners, jokes: n Addressing a tweet to an individual Share observations or what “@joeschmoe Thanks for a fabulous presentation today!” inspires or makes you laugh. n Addressing more than one person n Say thanks: Acknowledge “@joeschmoe @suesdiner You guys did a great job pull- your best customers, vendors or new acquaintances. Thank those ing together this year’s biz expo! Congrats!” who follow you, mention or n Mentioning someone in a tweet but more in passing retweet you on Twitter. Example: “@joeschmoe, thanks for stop- “Had the best time celebrating my birthday with ping by today. Hope to see you @joeschmoe. Thanks for coming out!” again soon!” n Calls to action: Ask others to download, sign up for or retweet your stuff. n Regular features: Host trivia challenges, offer Twitter-only specials or spotlight customers. n Sales: Let customers know about sales and specials — at your business or elsewhere. n Events: Tweet during events you attend or host. 9 7 STEPS FOR USING T WIT TER FOR BUSINESS Tweet this eBook!
u Using hashtags (the # symbol) If you read a stream of tweets, you are bound to see a few words preceded by the # symbol. They’re hashtags. Twitter users came up with the hashtag system as a way of tagging, tracking and promoting topics of conversation. You can create a hashtag for any keyword. Example: n CityVet in Dallas added #dog and #quote as hashtags to WHEN TO TWEET one tweet because those might be broader topics people No hard-and-fast rules dictate how often or when you should would search for. Note that #dog and #quote show up tweet. Again, frequency depends in blue because they are hyperlinks. Any time you see on your goals and audience. For a hashtag in a tweet, you can click on it to see all tweets customer service, for example, about that specific term. you may want to tweet as fre- quently as your customers men- tion your product or service. Other uses for hashtags n Many social media experts rec- ommend starting out with three n Events: Create a hashtag people can tweet before, during to five tweets a day. or after conferences, webinars, festivals or other events. n Businesses that get more into n Contests: Hold a contest for those who tweet a hashtag the rhythm of Twitter can pick by a certain deadline; reward participants with a gift up the pace and tweet once or twice an hour, or can even drawing or special offer. schedule tweets in advance (see n Build a customer community: Take ownership of a Step 7). hashtag over time. Pick a unique one that won’t be ran- n Because users are not always domly used by others. on Twitter and fresh tweets — can quickly bury previous tweets — it’s OK to share the same General hashtag tips content multiple times a day. But it’s better Twitter etiquette to n Hashtags should be one word without spaces. For longer mix up the wording a little each ideas, combine phrases or break words into separate time so your tweets don’t sound hashtags. like a broken record. n Keep hashtags short but understandable. n You can tweet any time of the day or week. Some studies have n Don’t overload tweets with too many hashtags. shown spikes in Twitter engage- n Generally put hashtags at the end of tweets unless you ment around noon and between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. — when can organically insert them elsewhere. people are on lunch break or n To find trending hashtags, search Twitter or websites have just gotten off work. such as hashtag.org. Or come up with something clever of your own!10 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
u Retweeting Retweeting simply means passing along someone else’s tweet to your followers. To do it, just click the “Retweet” link that shows up when you hover over a tweet. A retweet will be sent to your followers exactly as the original author typed it. But you can personalize it by adding your own insights. Copy and paste the original tweet, add comments and “RT” with the username of the author. (Remember: Using the @ symbol causes the tweet to show up on that person’s @ mention list.) If you trim the original tweet to make it fit within 140 characters, you can use “MT” for “modified tweet” instead of “RT.” To make your own tweets easy to retweet, write them in 120 characters or less. This way, there’s room for people to add their own comments. u Sending Direct Messages (DMs) Sometimes a Twitter conversation reaches a point that you want to make it private, say, if you are responding to a customer issue or complaint or you want to swap personal info. Then it’s time for a Direct Message. To send one, simply go to the top of your Twitter dashboard and click on “Messages.” As with a regular tweet, though, you still only get 140 characters. Note that you can’t DM someone unless he or she is following you. But you can ask a person through an @ message to initiate a private conversation. Example: “@joeschmoe Please DM us your phone number so we can help you with that issue.” Direct Messages also work via text messages. Link your phone to your Twitter account, then send a text message to Twitter’s short code (e.g., 40404 in the United States and 21212 in Canada). Type “d,” a space, the person’s username and your message. Example: “d joeschmoe Give me a call at 555-1234. Thanks!”11 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
u Sharing links (URLs) Links are one of the most widely shared types of Twitter content. But given the 140-character tweet length limit, long links typically must be shortened. Twitter has an automatic URL shortener that reduces links to something that starts with “http://t.co/.” As you type, Twitter’s automatic counter tells you how many characters you have left. Other link shorteners include bit.ly or ow.ly, which can track metrics such as clicks on links. Some businesses also adopt their own link shorteners to brand their content. u Sharing multimedia (photos and videos) Tweeting with photos and videos can be a great way to feature customers, showcase new products or services and share something fun that’s happening with your business. Multimedia content shows up as clickable links in a tweet. You can upload photos from your computer to Twitter. Look for the camera icon below the box where you type a tweet. Click on the icon, and select your photo. You can also link applications such as Instagram, yfrog, TwitPic and Flickr to your Twitter account. For a video, simply share a link to one hosted on a site like YouTube, Vimeo or Twitvid or record a video straight from a webcam using a tool such as TweetDeck or Twitcam. When a video link is clicked on Twitter, the video is shown in Twitter’s sidebar so people can view it without leaving the page.12 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
3STEP BUILD YOUR NETWORK Follow others and gain followers Networking is one of the chief advantages of being on Twitter. But growing a Twitter network is not just about numbers. You should strive for quality connections based on your industry, customer base, location and, yes, interests. As you build your network, you will discover that finding followers and identifying people to follow often go hand in hand. And remember, even if you’re not following someone or they’re not following you yet, you can initiate a conversation by tweeting an @ mention with someone’s username. WHO SHOULD YOU FOLLOW? As soon as you log on, Twitter will offer “Who to Follow” suggestions. They’re based on accounts similar to yours, the way you interact on Twitter and other factors such as geography. Twitter also gives you the option to find out which of your contacts on other accounts, such as Gmail, Yahoo! or LinkedIn, are already on Twitter. u Other people you may want to follow n Journalists or bloggers, especially those who cover your industry. n Local businesses. Search for other businesses in your community active on Twitter, or follow competitors. (To learn how to track competitors on Twitter without them knowing, see Step 5 about Twitter lists.) n Your customers. Ask them if they’re on Twitter, and follow them. Pay special attention to your biggest fans or the ones who are most vocal on Twitter. n People tweeting about your community and the regional topics you care about. See Step 4 on using Twitter Search to learn more. 13 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
u Other cool tools for finding people to follow n Wefollow.com Search by geography or keyword. Sort Twitter users by greatest influence or number of fol- lowers. Add yourself to the directory. n Twellow.com Consult this Twitter account directory with hundreds of categories and a map feature. And add yourself. n Followerwonk.com Search for people by their Twitter bios. Sort by relevance or follower count. n FriendorFollow.com See whom you follow that hasn’t followed you back yet and who follows you that you haven’t followed back. u Other ways to tell people you are on Twitter n Add your Twitter handle to business cards, signs presentations, invoices and ads. n Add a Twitter link or button on your company website or blog (see Step 6). n Add a Twitter link to email newsletters and other content such as whitepapers. n Consider Promoted Tweets. Rolled out in July 2011, Promoted Tweets are a form of Twitter advertising that allows companies to pay for greater visibility at the top of users’ timelines. Promoted Tweets can target non-followers and geography. See Twitter’s FAQ on Promoted Tweets.14 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
4STEP SEARCH TWITTER Track your brand, industry and competitors Twitter Search has many useful applications for businesses. You can use it to find people to follow, track buzz about your brand and listen to conversations near you around a particular topic. TERMS YOUR BUSINESS CAN SEARCH FOR: n Your company name n Products or services (as either you or your customers might refer to them) n Industry keywords or hashtags n Your city or neighborhood n Names of competitors BASIC TWITTER SEARCH Type terms in the search box at the top of your Twitter page. Searching for a term without the @ or # symbol in front of it will pull up all tweets including that term — whether part of an @ mention or hashtag or not. ADVANCED SEARCH After any Basic Search, you can refine your results with more robust parameters. Or you can go straight to Advanced Search. Learn more about Advanced Search operators. u Keywords you don’t want You can tell Twitter which keywords to leave out of a search by typing them into the “None of these words” field. n Shortcut for Basic Search: Use a minus sign before a keyword. Example: “pets -dogs” would bring back recent tweets about pets, excluding tweets about dogs. 15 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
u Geography You can search for tweets that originate near certain places by filling in the “Near this place” box on the Advanced Search page. Then specify a 1- to 1,000-mile radius. n Shortcut for Basic Search: Use the words “near:” and “within:” to look for tweets within a certain proximity, e.g. “near:denver within:10mi.” (Note: Use quotation marks around location names with more than one word. Don’t use spaces after colons.) n Geocodes: To be even more exact, use tools such as geocoder.us to find the longitude and latitude for your business address. For example, “geocode:38.922495,-94.778145,5mi” would return tweets originating within a five-mile radius of one Lenexa, Kansas, address. u Sentiment n Add a filter to look for tweets with positive or negative attitudes or questions. n Shortcut for Basic Search: Add :) or :( or ? to Basic Search queries. u Save your searches If you want to save searches, simply click “Save this search” after running one. Your saved searches will then appear in the drop-down menu under “Searches” on your homepage. u Track your brand via email While not a search feature, another easy way to monitor your brand on Twitter is to set up email notifications. Find your account “Set- tings” by clicking your Twitter username on the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Then click on the “Notifications” tab. You can get notified by email about: n Direct messages, replies or @ mentions n New followers n Retweets, etc.16 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
5STEP HARNESS LISTS Segment users into meaningful groups As you grow your network on Twitter, using lists can help you organize your connections into more manageable groups. Lists can also help you keep up with people you don’t follow, and identify people or brands you do want to follow. u Advantages of lists n You can monitor other Twitter users without following them. n Lists can be public or private (useful if you don’t want to publicly follow a competitor). n Lists are easy to delete. It’s faster to delete a list of people than unfollowing them one at a time. n If others have compiled lists, you can easily follow those lists. n There’s no limit on the number of lists. u Types of lists you can create n Your employees n Competitors n Suppliers or other local businesses n Industry experts n Local government agencies and officials n Event or conference participants, e.g., speakers n Customers, grouped by geography or another trait n Journalists, bloggers, trade publications and associations u How to create a list n Click on “Create a list” in the drop-down menu of the List tab on your homepage. n Name and describe your list. n Make your list public or private. NOTE: Anyone can see or follow a public list, so choose an appropriate name, e.g., not “prstooges”. 17 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
u Add people to your lists n In a Twitter user’s profile or beside his or her bio on your “Follower” or “Following” lists, look for the icon that looks like a person. n Click the icon, and choose “Add to list” from the drop-down menu. n Pick the list to which you want to add the contact. u Follow other people’s lists n As you network on Twitter, check out other people’s public lists. It might save you the trouble of compiling a list of industry experts, local media outlets or businesses similar to yours. Instead of reproducing the lists, you can simply follow those lists. n To do so, simply click the “Lists” tab on other people’s Twitter profiles to see a drop-down menu with lists curated by them or lists they follow. n To determine whether you want to follow a list, click on it and view recent tweets. Or click the “Following” tab to see bios of Twitter users on the list. n To follow a list, click “Follow” in the upper right-hand corner of the list page. The list will then show up on your profile’s list tab. n Search for popular lists using a site such as Listorious. u Check out who has “listed” you n Inthe Lists drop-down menu, you may find “Lists following you.” n This could reveal your biggest fans or at least the people who deem you worthy of listing. n Consider following those users or including them in your own lists.18 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
6STEP CONNECT TWITTER to your website and other social media Twitter makes it easy to share content across many platforms. Hooking up Twitter with your website, blog or social media accounts can make it easier to gain followers, bring a wider audience to content (such as blog posts) and add dynamic content such as real-time testimonials to your various sites. u Add a Follow button to your website or blog. n This makes it easy to get new Twitter followers from the visitors to your website. n Start at Twitter’s Resources page — twitter.com/about/resources — and choose “Follow button.” n Pick a button style, e.g., “Follow us on Twitter” or just the Twitter bird. n Copy and paste the code into your website’s code or ask your webmaster to help you do this. u Add a Tweet button to a webpage or blog. n This step allows people to share a link or blog post without leaving the page they are viewing and makes it easier to spread your content faster. n Go to twitter.com/about/resources/tweetbutton. n Pick a button style and customize the text for people to tweet. Example: “Check this out via @deluxecorp!” n Copy and paste the code on your website. NOTE: Many blogging platforms, such as WordPress, have tools that simplify adding Tweet buttons throughout your blog. 19 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
u Add a Twitter feed widget to your website or blog. n This adds a scrolling list of most recent tweets — from your own profile, a list you follow, a search query or tweets you’ve marked as favorites. n Go to twitter.com/about/resources/widgets. n Choose the kind of widget you want to add. Adjust the size and colors to match your company or website colors. Copy and paste the code into an appropriate spot on your website. n The favorites option is great for showcasing real-time testimonials. l Hover over a tweet with a positive message about your brand. l Click the Favorite star or link that appears next to the timestamp when you hover over the tweet. l Give the widget a title like “What customers are saying about us on Twitter.” u Connect Twitter to LinkedIn. n Log on to your LinkedIn account. Choose “Settings” in the drop-down menu under your name in the upper right-hand corner. Select “Manage your Twitter settings,” and add your Twitter account information. n You can choose to display Twitter on your LinkedIn profile. You can also opt to post only tweets that contain the hashtags “#in” or “#li.” n When you post a status update on LinkedIn, you can choose to post it on Twitter by check- ing the box with the Twitter bird. u Connect to Facebook. n Tochannel Twitter updates to your Facebook wall, visit twitter.com/about/resources/wid- gets/facebook or review these instructions. n Caveat: Many social media experts caution about over-automating your Facebook updates with tweets. Facebook and Twitter are very different platforms. And Twitter’s lingo, length and frequency may seem out of place on Facebook. 7 u Automatically tweet about new blog posts. Times more often that websites n Blogging platforms such as WordPress or Tumblr can be set with Twitter sharing buttons are up to automatically send tweets when you publish new posts. linked to on Twitter, compared to sites without tweet buttons. n You can also use Twitterfeed or NetworkedBlogs to add blog SOURCE:·BRIGHTEDGE, 2011 feeds to Twitter.20 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
7STEP KICK IT UP A NOTCH Use time-saving Twitter tools Twitter has given rise to a whole ecosystem of tools and applications — many created by third- party developers. As you get more active on Twitter, give some of these tools a try. They can help you be more productive on Twitter and do things such as post to multiple social media accounts at once, monitor search terms at a glance and schedule tweets in advance. Here’s a quick look at just a few popular Twitter tools: u HootSuite: hootsuite.com n Allows you to post to multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and WordPress, among other platforms. n Accessible anywhere through a web interface — allows you to carry your settings and preferences wherever you log in. n Provides analytics, such as popular content and how tweets direct traffic to your website. n Gives a tab view for each social media profile n HootSuite Pro (paid) plans allow multiple team members for one account; you can assign messages for follow-up or track who’s doing what. n Allows scheduling of tweets in advance, individually or in bulk (Pro accounts). u TweetDeck: www.tweetdeck.com n Can post selectively to multiple accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace and Twitter. n Runs as a desktop or mobile-device application. Requires a little more work to set up on each of your devices, although a web browser version is in development. n Tracks multiple profiles and search terms in different columns in one window. n Instantly updates. Tweets show up faster than on HootSuite. New tweets pop up on your screen as they come in. n Can upload video and photos from a webcam. n Translates tweets into many languages, such as Span- ish, Chinese and Arabic. n Allows analytics with URL shortener bit.ly. NOTE: Twitter bought TweetDeck in May 2011. 21 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
u Mobile Twitter Tools About half of Twitter users access the platform via a mobile device. n Besides using SMS text messages (as described in Step 2) or Twitter’s mobile website mobile.twitter.com on phones with web browsers, Twitter users can download numerous third-party mobile apps for BlackBerry, Android and iPhones. n Twitter’s own mobile apps also get better all the time. For instance, Twitter’s integration with Apple’s iOS5 makes it easy to tweet direct- ly from iPhones, iPods and iPads to share photos, maps, webpages and videos and get push notifications. n To learn more about such apps, visit Twitter’s Help Center pages about mobile options.22 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
Case Study: Building a Following RIGGINS CONSTRUCTION Santa Ana, California When Bridget Willard started Riggins Construction’s Twitter account, she didn’t even tell her boss she was doing it. The office manager simply felt that it was something the company should be doing. Three months later, she finally fessed up. Her boss wasn’t sure how he felt about the idea. But she said: “I asked him, ‘Do you remember how everybody said you need a webpage in the ’90s? Do you ever look up anyone in the phone book anymore? Twitter is the new phone book, and we need to be there.’” Two years later, Riggins Construction has more than 6,000 followers, @RigginsConst and wefollow.com ranks Riggins among the top 10 most influential Employees: 3 contractor accounts on Twitter. People began asking for Willard’s Founded: 1977On Twitter since: March 2009 advice on starting a Twitter account. She shares tips as well as stories of Followers: 6,000+ other active construction-related Twitterers on the blog rigginsconst. wordpress.com. 23 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
Willard’s advice for using Twitter for business: Be patient: “Don’t expect to start an account, send a couple of tweets and sud- denly have 50,000 followers. People think it’s instant, but it’s not.” Start by following: Willard started with the area she knew — Orange County, Calif. “It didn’t matter what you did. If you were in Orange County, I was going to follow you.” She also found her email contacts on Twitter, people in construc-tion, real-estate people, even newspeople. Willard looked at the lists of some local reporters tosee whom they followed. “If someone looked interesting, I followed them, too.”Have realistic expectations: “Do we get a lot of straight leads from Twitter? No,” Willardadmits. “I sometimes joke that Twitter is like my cubicle mate. It can be like visiting the officecooler. But to me, it’s more like a think tank. I ask people what they think. We’re peer reviewingeach other’s blog posts. You can make Twitter whatever you want it to be.”Do they like us? Twitter also allows Willard to keep an eye on what’s being said about Riggins— which proved invaluable for customer service on one particular job. An employee at one ofthe construction firm’s clients (a natural foods manufacturer) once mentioned @rigginsconstin a tweet, complaining about construction noise. Willard put in a call to her field superinten-dent, who went up to smooth things over with the employee and her co-workers. Not long af-ter, the same employee put a picture of a huge stream of water shooting up from a fire hydrantand posted, “That’s what it looks like outside right now.” Willard’s first thoughts: “Oh my God,what am I going to do?” She called the superintendent, and he asked, “How did you know?”She said: “There’s a picture on the Internet!” Within a few months, the company was saying,“You guys are the best, you have the best superintendent,” Willard said. She credits being ableto respond quickly through both Twitter and face-to-face customer service as the foundationfor what ended up being a great working relationship.Building on their motto: The company slogan “Building relationships since 1977” is a part oftheir Twitter page background image. “That’s what we’ve done,” Willard said. Twitter “allows us tostay connected with our clients and find out what’s new for them.”24 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
Case Study: Marketing with Twitter NADEN/LEAN CPAs Baltimore, Maryland Even though certified public accountants are known for dealing with numbers all day, Andrew Rose says more accountants should focus on words and social media. The director of marketing and business development for Naden/Lean maintains two Twitter accounts — the main one @nadenlean and @dentalcpas, because accounting work for dentists is a firm specialty. On how to market: Don’t. “The old way of thinking about marketing is to think about ‘how do I get my tweets out there in front of people.’ That’s push marketing. Pull marketing is when I want something. I’m thinking about maybe raising bees next year. I read about it. I come to you. If I put the right information out there, then the right person can come and find me.” But … Twitter has definitely resulted in leads. “We had an orthodontist who was in Vancouver send us a [direct message] through Twitter. He had found us through the Internet, and he wanted to know if we could provide services for him. We had a partner in Van-@nadenlean and @dentalcpas couver, and we referred him to them.” Employees: 40 Founded: 1956 What Twitter does for the firm: “It’s a way to add to our presence in On Twitter since: March 2009 the white space when you do a Google search. You have to think of Followers: 3,400+ (COMBINED) Twitter as one of many different fishing lines we have in the water.” Best advice: “At least lock in your username — even if you’re not ready to tweet. Someone could swoop in and snap it up unless you claim it. Then just listen for a while. Before you send one tweet, just read, absorb and listen to the conversation. Then tweet when you’re ready, and build your following organically.” 25 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
Case Study: Using Twitter to Keep Up with Industry News DR. CYNTHIA HAINES St. Louis, Missouri Cindy Haines sees herself as not only a doctor but also as a conduit for information. As chief medical officer for health news outlet HealthDay News, she keeps her Twitter account filled with the latest medical headlines. She talked to Deluxe about the role of Twitter in medicine. Doctors make shy social media types: Most doctors shy away from Twitter, Haines says. That’s not always wise. “[Twitter] would be helpful for doctors trying to build a practice or …service pro- viders, like cosmetic surgeons or dermatologists, who market specific pay-per-service amenities.” What they might be missing: Twitter isn’t just about marketing your services, Haines says. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health use Twitter to get the word out about the flu season or new vaccinations. “Doctors can re- @drcindyhaines ally benefit from following groups like that on Twitter to be aware of theEmployees (at HealthDay News): latest news,” Haines says. 30, plus freelancers Founded: 1998 The potential for sharing info: Haines said she’s also heard of doctors On Twitter since: May 2009 Followers: 3,900+ tweeting interesting cases, which could be useful for the medical com- munity at large to know about. But such sharing must be approached cautiously so as not to violate patient confidentiality. She suggests doc- tors might ask patients if it would be OK to share their cases with no identifying details. 26 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
Case Study: Know Your Followers by Using Lists CITYVET Dallas, Texas When Lauren Aiken took over CityVet’s Twitter account, the company’s marketing director grew its Twitter following from 800 to about 1,500 in just over a month. CityVet has four locations in the Dallas area and plenty of customers to reach with tweets. But the veterinary services company has followers all over the country. @CityVetDallas Employees: 125 Aiken went over the company’s list of followers and divided them into Founded: 1999On Twitter since: August 2011 more than a dozen lists. One is for other veterinary professionals on Followers: 1,500+ Twitter. She has one for Dallas-area followers. And she has one for res- cue shelters. Here’s what lists allow her to do: Metrics: Dividing followers into lists allows Aiken to provide refined statistics for her company. For instance, if someone wants to know how many Dallas-Fort Worth-area residents are following the company, she can quickly answer. Targeting your audience: Lists allow Aiken to target her tweets to specific groups. Say she wants to reach all of the animal shelters that follow CityVet. They’re all on a list (though she wishes Twit- ter would allow you to send one tweet to everyone on a list.) Staying on top of things: Segmenting your followers into lists also allows you to easily see what’s going on in specific sectors of your industry, so you can tweet about timely issues and stay on top of industry news. Aiken says that’s key to establishing your business as an authority. “People can go on your Twitter page and say, ‘Wow, they know what they’re talking about, they’re current.’ I know …I won’t even go to a doctor or a dentist before I do a Google search and see if they have a website. Twitter is the same thing.” 27 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
Case Study: Connecting with Customers KOOKY CANUCK RESTAURANT Memphis, Tennessee Shawn Danko wasn’t sure if Twitter would benefit his business. Almost three years after joining, he finds it invaluable for reaching customers and building loyalty. The social network fosters more one- on-one interaction with customers, and has some advantages over Facebook, on which Kooky Canuck also has a large following. Danko uses Twitter to interact with customers in real time. Here’s how: Take advantage of opportunities in real time: “I’ll be sitting at the bar @kookycanuck some nights and say, ‘Hey, it’s kind of quiet.’ So I’ll tweet something out Employees: 55 and say the next 20 people get a complimentary shot or something, and Founded: 2005On Twitter since: December 2008 it drives [people into the restaurant].” Followers: 4,000+ Plan promotions: Last year, Danko gave away tickets to Memphis Red- birds baseball games via Twitter. He had season tickets, and let people claim them a few days before each game.“I had full seats every single time, and we always had a good time. … Your customers are happy because they’re getting something that a lot of businesses don’t offer.” Monitor Twitter for mentions: Danko monitors not only his Twitter account but search results to see whether customers have mentioned the Kooky Canuck. Doing this and having the information linked to his cell phone allows him to respond in real time. He uses a program called UberSocial, which alerts him any time his business is mentioned on Twitter. A customer once tweeted: “Sitting at Kooky Canucks, server is really slow.” Danko saw it and tweeted back: “What table are you sitting at?” Surprise customers: Someone once tweeted that two people were at the restaurant celebrating their wedding anniversary. Danko went out into the dining room, tracked the couple down and offered them complimentary drinks. “It’s just another way to make people feel a little bit special,” he says. “It’s kind of like the VIP service. And who doesn’t want to be treated like a VIP?” 28 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
Advice from Experts in 140 Characters or Less . . .WHAT’S YOUR TOP TIP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES ON TWITTER? @kyleplacy Send three tweets a day: one about you, one retweet about your industry and one about your biz. Kyle Lacy, author, Twitter Marketing for Dummies @chrisbrogan * Start listening by using search tools to find what people are saying about you, your products, your competitors and more. Chris Brogan, Trust Agents author and blogger @SmallBizLady * To be effective on Twitter, small businesses must have signature content and a target customer. Melinda Emerson, host of Twitter talk show #Smallbizchat and small business authorWHAT’S A MISTAKE SMALL BUSINESSES SHOULD AVOID ON TWITTER? @genemarks * Don’t use Twitter if your community isn’t on Twitter. It’s fine for Ashton Kutcher. But are your customers there? Gene Marks, small business owner, columnist and author @chrisbrogan * Don’t talk about yourself all the time. Talk about your buyers. Equip THEM to be the hero. Chris Brogan, Trust Agents author and blogger @deluxecorp Don’t use a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality. Engage. Use a tool like TweetDeck to track keyword searches and engage in real time. Erika Kerekes, Deluxe Corp., senior product manager, social media solutions @kyleplacy Don’t just create a feed. Use those reply and retweet buttons! Kyle Lacy, author, Twitter Marketing for Dummies* DELUXE PROJECT REV PRO ADVISORS FOR 201229 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!
Next StepsIf you’ve finished reading this eBook, we hope you’ve gotten a better sense of Twitter’s potential asa two-way channel for real-time interactions with customers and industry peers. It’s time to jointhe flock! Follow the steps outlined in this eBook, and you’ll be growing your network in no time.As Twitter evolves, keep experimenting with what works for your business.Here is a final checklist and a list of additional resources to keep you going. u Twitter for Business Checklist q Set up your account. q Pick a Twitter goal. q Tweet news, tips, sales and specials. q Share links, photos or videos. q Retweet great tweets. q Use Direct Messages (DMs) for private conversations. q Tweet a live event with hashtags and @ mentions. q Set up alerts for mentions, messages, replies, retweets or new followers. q Search for people tweeting near you, other businesses and brands to follow. q Engage others (including non-followers) with @ mentions. q Find relevant lists to follow. q Follow journalists or bloggers for your industry. q Add “Follow,” “Tweet” or Twitter widgets to your website or blog. q Check out more advanced tools, such as HootSuite or TweetDeck. q Download a Twitter mobile app. u Additional Resources q Twitter’s Help Center: support.twitter.com q Twitter for Business: business.twitter.com q Twitter blog: blog.twitter.com (for new feature and other updates) q Twitter status blog: status.twitter.com (for service updates)About DeluxeSocialDeluxeSocial works directly with small businesses to integrate social media into their overallonline presence. DeluxeSocial can help you customize your social media road map, setupaccounts for ongoing engagement on networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn,monitor your social presence and grow your followers and fan base.Need help with your social media?Call DeluxeSocial at 800.257.5385 or visit www.deluxesocial.com today.30 7 S T E P S F O R U S I N G T W I T T E R F O R B U S I N E S S Tweet this eBook!