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Twitter for Business

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Wanna learn how to capture leads with Twitter? How to use hashtags for your marketing advantages? Or how about how to locate the important influencers you sometimes need for your campaigns to …

Wanna learn how to capture leads with Twitter? How to use hashtags for your marketing advantages? Or how about how to locate the important influencers you sometimes need for your campaigns to succeed. Here are the 3 major takeaways:
The basic how to’s of Twitter
How to be good at Twitter for business
Tips to develop leads through the use of Twitter

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  • Twitter is considered a micro-blogging website? What is the definition of micro-blogging and how can this be a good thing for business, you may ask. Micro-blogging can be defined as content that is smaller that an actual blog and allows users to exchange ideas and small elements of content like short sentences, images and links. Twitter should be considered an extension of your online content, including your blog and is a way to share your ideas and content with those who follow you.Twitter was designed to be very compatible with mobile phones through text messages; each update is limited to 140 characters. The 140 characters allows you to be put in a box, yet we know that when limitations like this are put on people, especially marketers, what you get is a creative response. Twitter is, most importantly, a tool for building relationships with users. Because people tweet what is going on in their lives and share relevant and personal information it is a way to better understand people without ever having met them. When actually meeting individuals either in person or on the phone information pulled from twitter can be great for "breaking the ice". As long as you approach Twitter from the stance of building relationships and authority first and business second it will make much more sense and you will stand a much better chance to succeed.For information on how to get signed up for Twitter and why you would want to use it visit our Twitter 101 starter guide and use that in conjunction with the information in this white paper to create success in your organization.
  • Twitter handles are your naming convention in Twitter. It is like your address and how people will find you. You want something that isn’t too long but is also memorable. People should be able to identify with you, and if it is your brand it should be a form of the business name.We often get asked if it should be someone’s personal account tweeting on the company’s behalf or if it should be at an organizational level. The answer is both. Social media takes a village at it requires more than just the brand interacting with people. Because Twitter is a social tool, people want to also interact at the people within your organization who should be supporting the company’s message. Try to find a name that is the closest to your brand, or what you do. For your personal Twitter handle we recommend your name or a version of your name that people will remember. Don’t wait to register your name because with over 300 million people being a part of the Twitter universe, names are becoming challenging to find.
  • Updates on Twitter have a 140 character limit. With "micro-blogging" you'll be posting very short updates, comments or thoughts. Remember, it's a discussion, not a broadcast. With the 140 character limit, if you have a really long URL, that doesn't leave much room for. Most people on Twitter use bit.ly to shorten their links.Before you are ready to go out and begin following people on twitter it is important to understand some of the special commands used in Twitter and some potential valuable reasons to tweet.
  • There are certain strategies when deployed on Twitter that can make you look like a rock-star. A lot of people don’t think about the strategic elements of Twitter, in fact they are very much caught in the moment of what is happening now on Twitter and don’t think of themselves as potential influencers. We want you to be an influencer and a master at this personally and for your brand.
  • There are a lot of theories about how to get followers on Twitter. In fact, there are services that you can pay for that can instantly within a few days get you more followers. These followers may or may not assist you in spreading your message and may not be the right audience. What you want to find is the right audience that wants to hear your message and we believe the only way to do that is by developing it organically. There are a few services that we would recommend that are based on a following strategy focused around topics and content, and those may help you build a listening audience. For more information regarding this please contact us directly. Developing followers organically requires to things. It requires that you be present and responsive and it also requires that you follow people that you find interesting. About 65% of the people you follow will follow you back. We note to be present and responsive because when you are engaged and actively participating in conversations, hashtag usage and following, and great content sharing you will see that your followers will increase. Interaction is a big element in gaining a following. The more active you are the more followers you will develop a relationship with. Additionally, the quality of your content will assist you in developing a following of people who want to listen to your message.
  • Being ActiveBeing active on Twitter means that you must:Thank people for following youBe involved in conversations and respond to what people are postingFollow hashtags that are important topics to your business and follow influencers in that marketRetweet content that others are sharing that is important to your audienceThese are all things that will help you in gaining followers which will also earn you some Twitter street cred.
  • Quality of ContentThe strength and quality of your content is a big element in gaining a following that will work for you. If you regurgitate the same messaging often, your followers will easily tire and stop following you. You have to find new ways to reuse content and you need to send your messages at different times of the day. You also need to mix your business messages in with personalized messages that share more of the personal side of your organization. Not all of your content needs to be original, in fact, often times you can earn more followers by sharing relevant information from third party sources.
  • When to ShareShare at different times of the day. Twitter is all about what is happening now. If you shared something three hours ago and not everyone that follows you was watching, they missed your message. That doesn’t mean that you regurgitate the same message over again, but maybe say it in a different way. This way, you will not be boring those that did see your message and you will stay fresh – and you can still spread the same content and use it multiple times.
  • How to Be Interactive Without Hanging Out on Twitter All DayDon’t get on Twitter and blast out five messages and think you have been active for the day. You need to set your Twitter options up so that you can be engaged but not have to sit in the tool all day long. Inside your Twitter account you can go to Settings at set-up your notifications to come to you as you best think they will work for your organization. As you can see here I’ve selected to be messaged when anyone uses my name. This can be key when working with a brand so that you will know the instant that your brand is being mentioned. This will allow you to respond to both positive and negative messages quickly. You will also want to look at mobile settings, in which you can have text messages sent to you when certain triggers happen. This way if you aren’t available via e-mail you can use text messages to make sure that you can interact.
  • Using the 140 Characters WiselyThere are theories on how many characters you should use to make it easy for information to be passed along. If you use all 140 characters, then it makes it very challenging for someone to take that message and retweet it. In fact, to take a 140 character message and retweet it you need to usually modify it in some way. Don’t make your followers work that hard. Try to use as little characters as possible but still get your message across allowing others to add to what you have said and pass it along
  • Don’t Forget Hashtags (#)The # (number sign) in front of any word or phrase indexes that content and allows people to follow that phrase or word to watch the conversation. You will see this a lot at conferences in which a hashtag related to the conference will be used so that all attendees can share content and those that are not there can be a part of the conversation and knowledge without physically being present at the show. You can create hashtags as a part of your business to start discussions about particular topics. We have a hashtag #Blydea in which we are encouraging business leaders to share their business ideas with a community of business leaders. If you want to see how it works, follow the hashtag #blydea by setting up a saved search in your tool of preference or on Twitter itself and become a part of the conversation
  • What Not to ShareDon’t share anything that may negatively impact your brand. As you may have noticed from the news – Twitter spreads quickly. You will want to stay away from any subjects that may negatively impact your brand image that you want to achieve.
  • It’s Not All About YouRemember that Twitter is about sharing content with your audience and appealing to them. The minute you make it too much about you (shamelessly plugging a particular product or service) you become less interesting and you may get un-followed. Try to make your content relevant and timely. Mix in business with personal to show you are a well rounded brand.
  • Don’t Share Just to Share – Have a PurposeWe like to make light of topics and have a webinar called “If you liked it then you should’a put a click on it” which quotes a Beyonce song but makes the point that if you are getting people to click and have no where for them to go, and nothing for them to do, then it is essentially a wasted opportunity to engage with a follower. We call this a Call to Action or CTA. Not only does your content have to be good, it has to include hashtags, it must be easy to share by being less than the allotted 140 characters AND it must go to a place most of the time that has something for your follower to do . Great calls to action are:Blog articles with the CTA for more informationWhite paperseBooksComparison guides
  • Engage your senior executives in social media. You can make and manage connections with prospects, customers, bloggers and other influencers. Senior executives typically have little time to write a blog or answer lots of messages and friend requests on Facebook. If your CEO can send a text message, they can use Twitter from anywhere in the world. Twitter is perfect for any influential senior executive who is always on the road meeting with people and who has some interesting opinions on your market. If you can translate those messages into a blog, and tie them back to a particular CTA you can then take their messages and use them not only to develop the relationship but to engage.
  • Build and maintain PR relationships media / bloggers. It is really easy to follow someone on Twitter. And you'll be surprised how often they decide to follow you as well. It's often an easier way to connect with influential people in the media instead of calling and emailing them. I have used this technique and Twitter really has the ability to bring two people together quickly and easily. I recently was reading a blog in Harvard Business Review and at the end it had the Twitter handle for the author. I went out and followed him, and he followed me back and sent me a message. We are both in the same industry yet he is in China and I am in the U.S. We have now engaged in a conversation that would have never existed without Twitter.
  • Promote blog articles, webinars, interesting news and more. It’s really easy to post a link to something in Twitter. If you have RSS feeds like a blog you can even feed that to Twitter automatically. Be careful of not automating too much so that you become impersonal. This does not work on Twitter. You need to be authentic in your messaging.
  • Announce specials, deals or sales. If you are a retailer or anyone who often has special offers, you can use Twitter to announce these deals instantly to a large audience. Amazon is a great example of this. Their Amazon Deals twitter account has thousands of followers who are interested in deals that get posted to this account
  • Live updates on events or conferences. If you participate in a large trade show or run your own corporate event, you can use Twitter to announce last minute changes or cool events that are happening. If you can excite your audience into sharing on twitter you can get a whole lot of extra exposure. With conferences you can extend offline events into online marketing buzz.
  • By clicking on the prospect's Twitter profile, it’s easy to eliminate those with little chance of purchasing. You would do this if you are engaging with someone for the first time that is tweeting about the same subject. You will also want to go after certain customers and follow them and engage with them on Twitter if possible. For instance, if you combine some tools like InsideView and Twitter you can run lists of prospects and see if they have a twitter handle. You can then follow them and engage with them on Twitter to build rapport.
  • Demonstrate that you have actually read and understand their tweet. As we have mentioned before, if you aren’t personalizing messages people won’t feel that you are sincere and they will stop following you. Tips can be to use words from the original tweet. By doing this you prove to the reader that your tweet was specific to them. Avoid canned pitches that can seem too much like spam and cause you to lose credibility with followers
  • People don't like feeling sold on a solution, they want to feel as though they've come to the solution on their own. Think about how you would want someone to engage with you on Twitter. We’ve found success by directing people to a blog article that directly addresses the specific need (and make sure that it has a specific CTA so that if they are interested in more they can engage with you). Also, testimonials from past customers with a similar problem or a similar industry work well too. Never direct people to a product page.
  • We have actually found that the quicker the response is the better. You don’t want to seem like you are stalking anyone, but everyone has some understanding that when you send a message to a brand, they should be monitoring that brand and respond. You can use tools like Hubspot to track your social media terms to find people to engage in conversations with. We aim to respond to tweets at least four times a day as part of our eCommerce marketing efforts.
  • While we get more retweets than we do Tweets that directly lead to sales, we believe these ReTweets still have value as they serve as referrals for our brand. Regardless of whether a visitor makes a purchase, we want them to have a positive experience. Acknowledging the person's need is the key to building a connection. And while they might not need us now, they may remember us in the future. Try to refer people to the right resource if you have a relationship. This can go along way for not only your brand but for your relationship to those that you are referring business to. They will likely return the favor.
  • Transcript

    • 1. 800.425.9843 www.blytheco.com/bamThink.blytheco.com | twitter@blythecollc
    • 2. Twitter for Business (Twitter 102)
    • 3. Apryl Hanson, BlythecoDirector of Customer and Partner StrategyEditor of Bellwether MagazineDirector, Blytheco Advanced Marketing@aprylhanson@blythecollcThink.blytheco.com – blogwww.blytheco.com/BAM
    • 4. If you are on Twitter please tweet anything you findcompelling withhash-tag #blydea
    • 5. What will you learn? 3 Take-a-ways1. The basic how to’s of Twitter2. How to be good at Twitter for business3. Tips to develop leads through the use of Twitter
    • 6. The Basic how to’s of Twitter● Considered micro-blogging site● Exchange of ideas● Inclusion of images and links● Extension of your online content – including blog● 140 characters● Meant to build relationships and break the ice
    • 7. The Basic how to’s of Twitter Twitterhandles need strategy too @WHAT?
    • 8. The Basic how to’s of Twitter● How to Set Up Twitter ● Visit the Twitter Homepage and click on the "Join the Conversation" button in the bottom middle of the page. ● Create your Twitter handle; hopefully youll be able to grab your personal brand and/or company name! ● Personalize your profile by adding a photo, brand your background, add your location, link to your website, and write a short bio.
    • 9. The Basic how to’s of Twitter● How to use Twitter ● @ (Reply) - to publicly say something to another Twitter user, place the @ symbol directly before their username (i.e. @Blythecollc Awesome blog post today!). That user will see that you have said something to him. ● RT (Retweet) - to forward another Twitter users tweet to your followers, place RT @ directly before their username and copy their Tweet (i.e. RT @kylejames State of the Twittersphere - Q4 2008 Report http://is.gd/d3Ms). This can also be done in a lot of tools by using the forward button. ● DM (Direct Message) - to privately say something to another Twitter user in the form of a Direct Message, place a "d" before the username (i.e. d BlythecoLLC Awesome blog post today!) ● # (Hashtag) - to add to the conversation about a specific topic that multiple people are discussing, use a # hashtag before a phrase (i.e. Learning a lot from the #Blydea webinar!)
    • 10. How to be Good at Twitter
    • 11. How to be Good at Twitter 1stGet Followers
    • 12. How to be Good at Twitter  Thank people for following you  Get involved in conversations  Follow hashtags  Retweet
    • 13. How to be Good at Twitter Havequalitycontent
    • 14. How to be Good at Twitter Know when to share
    • 15. How to be Good at Twitter Get smart about settings
    • 16. How to be Good at Twitter Use 140characters wisely
    • 17. How to be Good at Twitter Don’t forget the hashtag #
    • 18. How to be Good at Twitter Knowwhat notto share
    • 19. How to be Good at Twitter Remember it isn’t about you
    • 20. How to be Good at TwitterHave apurpose
    • 21. Business Tips for Twitter Engage your senior executives in social media
    • 22. Business Tips for Twitter Build and maintain PRrelationships
    • 23. Business Tips for TwitterPromote blog articles, webinars, interesting news and more…
    • 24. Business Tips for Twitter Announce specials, de als or sales
    • 25. Business Tips for TwitterLive updates on events or conferences
    • 26. Tips for Developing Leads Qualify thecustomer
    • 27. Tips for Developing LeadsPersonalize your response
    • 28. Tips for Developing Leads BeUseful
    • 29. Tips for Developing Leads Timing is everything
    • 30. Tips for Developing LeadsShow some compassion
    • 31. What You Learned● The basic how to’s of Twitter● How to be good at Twitter● Business tips for Twitter● Tips for developing leads
    • 32. Inbound Marketing Strategy● Don’t know where to start? ● We can help ● Free Marketing Evaluation www.blytheco.com/BAM
    • 33. Questions?Thank you for joining me ahanson@blytheco.com @AprylHanson @blythecoLLC 949-583-9500 X 1180

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