How To Use Twitter For Business


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How To Use Twitter For Business

  1. 1.
  2. 2. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Social Media Series This is the first report in this series to be published. A report will be published every six weeks in 2009. The aim of the series is to take your through the learning curve in how to apply the tool in your business quickly. This means not every allied tool is included and you may find other tools better suit you. These reports are designed as a starting point. The forthcoming reports include: Facebook Blogging Squidoo Friend Feed Google Applications – Reader, Alert, Friend Connect Plus more Each report covers how to use the tool for marketing rather than just how to use the application. To some extent, it is assumed that you have the IT skills to set yourself up with an account. You can influence the sequence of reports, by sending a tweet to me @karenpurves Also, if you would like a report prepared on a Social Media Application that is not listed, then please add it to your sequence. Copyright Notice All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical. Any unauthorised use, sharing, reproductions, or distribution is strictly prohibited. Copyright © Centre for Effective Marketing part of Leaping Frogs Forte Ltd First Published 2008 Updated in March 2009 Page 2 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  3. 3. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series So, what is twitter? .................................................................... 4 What to post? ........................................................................... 5 Twitter etiquette ...................................................................... 6 Find people to follow.................................................................. 7 Twitter for PR .......................................................................... 9 Attracting Followers .................................................................. 10 Viral Aspect of Twitter ............................................................... 10 Using Favourites ....................................................................... 11 Keeping track of your posts ......................................................... 12 What about your followers? ......................................................... 16 Thanking your followers?............................................................. 18 Promoting your Twitter name....................................................... 18 Being Alerted to what is being said ................................................ 19 Here’s something new................................................................ 20 There’s too much noise! ............................................................. 21 Tracking Effectiveness on Twitter.................................................. 21 Twitter Stats ........................................................................... 22 Can I make sales on Twitter? ........................................................ 23 What’s left? ............................................................................ 23 Links ..................................................................................... 24 Page 3 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  4. 4. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series 2008 saw Twitter achieve exponential growth. The majority of people using Twitter have only been doing so for the past 270 days – less than a year. The average number of followers is 70. Both these statistics are from a report by Hubspot published in December 2008. Twitter will continue to grow in 2009 and become a mainstream tool for companies of all sizes. Twitter offers you the opportunity to connect with people you would otherwise be unable or not even know of their existence. You can listen to conversations and learn. You can also participate in those conversations and build your credibility. Used effectively, Twitter will be an essential tool in your marketing toolkit. This guide is aimed at getting you started, avoiding the pitfalls and building your followers. You will gain more than you think. I’ve built relationships with people who I have become quite fond. I’ve made sales. I’ve visited websites I didn’t know about, learnt about topics and about people. It can take you over – if you let it! It really depends upon where you are with Twitter in where you start. If you are yet to get an account, then I suggest following each section and taking action. So, what is twitter? Well, it is a micro-blogging tool that enables you to engage, inform, entertain and promote all in less than 140 characters per post - out with streams of detail and in with pithy entries. You create an account through adding your photo, your website address and your biog – this is displayed for everyone to see. Your posts are read by your followers. And in the beginning you won’t have any followers. But start posting anyway! I know it may sound strange, but it will work this way. Page 4 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  5. 5. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series What to post? Really this is a key way of letting people know you exist, who you are and what you are about. Think about your posts in these terms. Twitter enables you to maintain existing relationships and start new ones. So, give information on any or all of the following: Blog entries Articles published Promotions you have coming up Create a buzz about events and new releases Free reports or teleseminars Info-Videos Asking for feedback Some personal information The emphasis is on content rather than selling. Your content strategy is key for using social media marketing. MaxWeb, the social media marketing training programme gives you all the steps to make the most of your content in the various forms – and to make money as well! You are developing relationships and with more and more contact – the relationship develops and sales are made. So this is the giving of information but Twitter is two way communications. To engage in this, we need to be following people as well as having followers! You also participate in conversations rather than just broadcasting. The better your content the more followers you’ll gain. Here are two aggregator sites where you can see what is hot at any moment: Stories are listed based on the number of clicks search for specific niches or people to see what is popular. You can read stories listed and tweet the most interesting sharing it with your followers. This develops your position as commentator and thought leader in your space/niche. Page 5 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  6. 6. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series You can plan your tweets around what else is happening in the world, your business, your thought leadership and developing your business to becoming a destination for up to date information, tools, programmes along with products and services. Twitter etiquette To be clear about how to post messages, let’s take a moment to explore the mnemonics and conventions with Twitter. To let people know what you are up to, just type your message in the tweet box keeping it within the 140 characters! When you want to reply or be included into a conversation, then add the @ symbol immediately before the username eg @karenpurves message – When you hit the reply key everything you have said after the @ symbol will be sent to that person – it will also be shown on your personal timeline. This means if you add twitter widgets to your blog, website etc, these posts will be displayed. Retweeting RT – now this is a great way of spreading the message to new networks. Here’s how it works: I send a tweet that other people find interesting and they RT. This means that my tweet is then read by everyone following them. And, if they find it interesting may RT it as well… mmm this develops a viral element which increases your exposure and may bring more followers. Page 6 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  7. 7. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Find people to follow This means you are a ‘follower’ of others. Take a look at my profile: I am following 404 people and 833 people are following my posts and I have made 720 posts The first temptation is to start following lots of people and hope that they start following you back. There is a problem with that – Twitter monitors the activity of your account and if you are all out following lots of people then you may find your account blocked. Consider who you want to follow. These may be Marketing leaders in your niche Key influencers in your niche Current clients and customers People who are your ideal clients Ask people you meet when networking for their Twitter name so you can follow them. Look at the leaders in your market and see who they started Page 7 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  8. 8. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series following early on, chances are that these people provide valuable information to that person. You can use to monitor what people are saying about your space using keywords. You may find interesting people to follow using this technique. An aside: you can also monitor what people are saying about your niche, your brand or you! You then receive posts from these people to which you can comment upon and/or take action. You see from the screenshot that I have posts starting with @[name] - and you use this symbol to send an open post to that person. You only see one side of the conversation on the screenshot. To see the other side you would need to go to the name in blue to see what they said. Having @ based conversations increases your exposure as your posts are shown on that person’s feed when they reply to you. Depending upon the content, you can gain lots of followers. You can also send direct messages to people – but you have to be following each other for that to work. So, where you want to have a conversation or messages, it can be better to have them directly. Follow Mr Tweet ( this is a software programme that suggests who should could be following and who of your followers you can follow. Now Mr Tweet is particularly interesting. Not only does the application suggest who you can follow but it gives you an update on who’s following you but you’re reciprocating. You can then browse through the list and see who is interesting to follow. But there’s still more! Mr Tweet also stores recommendations and these are important – just as important as retweeting (RT) When you have recommendations, you are more likely to be recommended by Mr Tweet and hence get more followers! Page 8 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  9. 9. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Here is what the screen looks like for Mr Tweet! These are the numbers of recommendations If you find this report helpful, from the profile page, please recommend me on Mr Tweet like this: It’s helpful for you to have people recommend you too. I recommend people so they can build their network. You do the same. We went a bit off topic here but I thought it made more sense to have all the Mr Tweet stuff together! Twitter for PR Developing relationships with journalists, bloggers and other media people is a great way to use twitter. Two great resources are: Media Outlets: • Page 9 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  10. 10. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Media People: • • When you follow journalists, watch out for requests content. Because the immediacy of twitter, it’s a great way for journos to request last minute information for their story or feature. Attracting Followers Well, we’ve sorted covered it by deciding what to post. People will follow you because of your content, when you tweet and how you tweet. Here are the top five tips for getting followers: 1. Say something of value 2. Give people time to react to your posts 3. Be conversational (Mr Tweet gives stats on this!) 4. Tweet at peak times 5. Be yourself – people buy from people! If you aren’t sure about this, sign up for MaxWeb. It is the affordable social media training programme that allows you to hop on and off to suit. Alternatively, you can stay on and store the information until you want it. Viral Aspect of Twitter Twitter doesn’t just operate between you, your followers and those you are following. Where you receive some information that would benefit your followers, as I said before, you can Retweet (RT) the content. By putting RT in your message, people know that you’re forwarding information received. This is you adding value to your followers. When you want to store a collection of content that will be useful to others, add the hashtag - # and the name of the group you want eg #mtwips is my group for twitter tips. You can go there are read through the tips whenever you want. Type in mtwips or whatever group you are searching for in But, what’s even better, you can add to them by adding the hashtag #mtwips. Your name will be chosen alongside your twip for everyone to see – another great way of getting followers! Page 10 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  11. 11. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Another Hashtag group is #followfriday. This is used every Friday to promote people who are worth following. Here is my tweet: Recommend you follow @garygorman @sharoneden @lynnterry #followfriday 9:41 AM Mar 6th from TweetDeck I recommended three people – and this may have lead to others looking at their profile and following them. And this brings me onto an important aspect… Nothing on Twitter is deleted or hidden. All the entries are searchable apart from where you hide your posts – but why would you do that if you want to increase your business and engage with others. Using Favourites Using the same view as before, you see the favourites button. Now, it may not seem obvious how to use the favourites button. But, you are able to store comments received from people – these are testimonials from real people with a date stamp – these are verified social proof about you and your content. This is much more powerful than just having testimonials as part of your website. You can add a link to your favourites twitter page on your website as additional social proof. Below is an example of my favourites page. See that each of these was sent as @ tweets so every follower of the sender saw that message. This means that there is increased exposure of your name which may also lead in additional followers. Page 11 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  12. 12. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series See another example of a #group – this time #canihelp See all the tweets on marketing I have posted. This is continuously updated – you can add your own twips so we can all benefit! What’s really cool about this is that you don’t need to keep coming back to the page to get updates. There is an RSS button which means you can subscribe to the page and get updates automatically to where you want them – google reader, browser, friendfeed – wherever is convenient to you Just like everything on the internet, there are tracking devices. By following hashtags, you will have analysis on your group. Some people don’t use the favourites folder or just use it for posts they found particularly interesting. It is up to you how you decide to use Twitter. Keeping track of your posts You can post on Twitter from the home page as below: This is an example of just how much you can say in 140 characters! Page 12 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  13. 13. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Signing onto Twitter to make a post may seem a bit of a drag. So, there are lots of applications that can help you to keep the posts together. You can use Outwit within outlook to post, get tweets. You can set up Outwit so you get all your tweets automatically and set up folders for all tweets or for tweets from specific people. They are added in time order which means you will be scrolling through to see your @ messages – the ones you will probably want to reply to. I have a special folder for all the tweets that have my username included. Having used this tool on and off for four months, I grew to like it a lot. Particularly the versatility of the tool: Download topics of interest to a specific folder But what I do like is that you can download tweets according to the keyword and you could have all the posts relating to a particular hashtag (eg #mtwips) sent to a folder you create within outlook – now that is pretty cool! Take a quick look at how to do this: Choose the Search/Track keywords option from the main drop down menu Choose an Outlook folder that you want all the searches to be stored and that’s it. You can also get stats on the top twitterers with the display stats. Here are the stats for December 2008 Page 13 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  14. 14. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series I know the graph is a bit small to read but it is shown as an example rather than who are the top twitterers! If you don’t use Outlook, I can recommend another option – Tweetdeck This is a self contained programme that you load up just as you would any application. It informs you how many tweets are coming in. This application is versatile as the panel can be split into as many sections as you want. Below is just a selection of the panels I use within Tweetdeck. When the mouse hovers over the picture, you are able to respond to that person through a reply, a direct message. You are also able to view their profile and stop following them. See the example: Page 14 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  15. 15. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Hover your mouse over the avatar and these icons appear. Click on the cog and the menu appears so you can do all these things! You are able to group your tweets so you can see them more easily. When you have more followers, you’ll have to decide whether you follow everyone and then separate them in Tweetdeck or such like OR whether you select the people you follow. I don’t follow everyone but even so, I am following around 400 people and I have to separate the information into categories otherwise I miss stuff from clients or my mentor. (Yes, I have a mentor – it’s very difficult to run your own business without help. I am part of a small mastermind group as well.) If you don’t have these, please get them – they are essential for any small business owner! Maxweb could be one way of starting. Let’s get back to the topic!... Remember, you don’t have to follow someone to see their tweets, just do a search within Twitter. At the time of writing, Twitter doesn’t come up in google searches. But, most people with twitter accounts will be adding them to their signature, blog and website. And, you know, it is ok to stop following people who annoy you – for whatever reason. Some people post nonsense, post too much, post information about their eating, sleeping and whatever else habits – and if this just becomes an interruption then just stop following them! That is the beauty of Twitter – you choose what you want, when you want. This is the first tool where there is real power with the recipient – and that is why Twitter won’t go away. It’s part of the new paradigm for marketing. Page 15 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  16. 16. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series It has the potential of changing the way we use email – and that is one of the staple marketing tools in anyone’s marketing toolkit! What about your followers? You may be thinking that I have left this section late in the report. But, you know, it’s better to have done the thinking about what you want from Twitter, set up how you are going to do it and start doing before having lots of followers. Why? Well, because no one’ll see your mistakes! ☺ People start following you by the posts you make in reply to someone you’re following. Sure, you can look to people offering similar services and start following those people hoping that they will follow you. There are lots of people who advocate this tactic to boost numbers. To be honest, I tried this really to see if it worked and it did but they start following you because you followed them – not because they are interested in what you have to say. Now, I see this as a fundamental difference between having a group of people who are genuinely interested in you and those who are following as part of a reciprocal arrangement. Yes, I know reciprocity is key when influencing but… is this the way you want to start a relationship? People will follow you because of your content, when you tweet and how you tweet. You just have to decide what you want to be known for! Here are the top five tips for getting followers: 1. Say something of value 2. Give people time to react to your posts 3. Be conversational (Mr Tweet gives stats on this!) 4. Tweet at peak times 5. Be yourself – people buy from people! Page 16 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  17. 17. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series You can add yourself to Twellow. This is a directory where you can add your details to the relevant categories. You can see who the movers and shakers are in each category and decide to follow. But, here, you can create your profile so you can be seen by more people. If you look at my profile, karenpurves, you will see the latest tweets along with the categories I chose to be listed under. I keep track of the conversations here through my aggregated feed through Google Reader. Depending upon the browser you have you can set up the RSS feed to be shown on the toolbar. Is another application where you can create your profile in directories for others to see and start following. This is also a good place to look at who else is in your space. This directory is not as comprehensive as Twellow. As part of twitiquette, you are expected to welcome your followers as they arrive. Now, when you are starting off you may like to do this personally but, as your ‘tribe’ grows, you will want to spend your time on other aspects of your business. Sometimes it is helpful to read both sides of the conversation as it happened. So you can set up Tweetree ( for just those occasions. It does not operate in real time! Well, not at the time of writing! gives information about the number of followers you have along with a widget to put on your website or blog. Page 17 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  18. 18. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Thanking your followers? So, in comes Tweetlater, you are able to set up all new follower notifications to be answered automatically. This does require you to set up a googlemail account to act as a go between – I set up an account specifically for this task. There are step by step videos – so it couldn’t be easier – if not a bit time consuming! Now there’s a protocol to follow here too. Just thank people for the following. You don’t want to be like the party bore who approaches you, introduces themselves only to launch into what’s great about their latest product – even if it is a give away – who wants that? I know there are lots of people who don’t like the auto-responses but if you have 20 or 30 new followers each day then you are taking time away from your business to the admin. But, it’s your choice! You can set up tweets for later in the day or week with its other application and this does blogs as well. Promoting your Twitter name The easiest way to get more followers outside twitter is to promote it on your website add a link to your email include a link on your newsletter on your blog Facebook and all the other networking sites you belong to Business cards letterheads Page 18 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  19. 19. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series You can put a text link of download a one of the many widgets: There are 181 different badges and widgets from which you can choose – have fun scrolling through and deciding which one suits your personality! to-help-you-find-followers/ Twitter is about having conversations and from those conversations people will visit your website either to get something you are promoting or to make a purchase. This means your tweets have to be followed through with information and easy ways of gaining more details about them. Being Alerted to what’s being said With so much being spoken about all over the world, there is no way you will be able to keep on top of everything AND do any work. Not to worry, there is an application or two to help you. If you use Tweetdeck, you may not use the applications below but, please be aware that twitter has a ceiling on the number of times you can access twitter. So, if you have groups being updated in Tweetdeck that will count towards your 100 accesses in any hour. I find Twilerts are good to have a summary of all the posts. is an application that enables you set up alerts on key words. It is similar to Google Alerts but just for Twitter. And if you are really interested in tweets around your location, you can set up alerts on key words or combinations in bands of miles or kilometres. So, Page 19 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  20. 20. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series this is great for companies operating globally as well as those concentrating on a specific region. Tweetbeep is a great site that is very similar to Google Alerts. Using Tweetbeep, you can track any keywords that you want on Twitter and instantly get emailed when your keyword has been tweeted. This platform is much better than Just Signal because you don’t have to sit idly waiting for your keywords to stream in. With Tweetbeep, you just set your keywords and let them come into your email box. The site was down at the time of writing. You also have Twitter Search that performs the same tasks as Twilert without being sent automatically to your mailbox. is another application that enables you to search in real time for keywords. This is great to look for tweets relating to a particular area or topic. You can then send people @ messages and engage them in a conversation prior to following each other or speaking via email or phone! Here’s something new When updating the report, I came across this application. Now tyo be honest, I haven’t tried it out. But this struck me as interesting and could it be an alternative to conference lines…. Perhaps worth watching… anyway here it is.. Page 20 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  21. 21. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series There’s too much noise! When you really get involved with twitter and follow a few hundred people, there are a lot of tweets and you really want to isolate the tweets that are of consequence from those that are using Twitter as an instant messaging service. You have a choice. You can un-follow people who don’t or you can isolate them. Here are different ways to isolate them and reduce the noise. In Tweetdeck, you can group the people you are following into categories and monitor. If you are following people in the categories listed earlier, then you may want to group them accordingly. Tracking Effectiveness on Twitter Now there will be times when you don’t really want to be glued to your Tweetdeck, Outwit or Blackberry to send Tweets are these are applications to help you out here. is pretty cool application particularly if you want to track what happens to your tweets. To be honest, if you are using twitter to market yourself, then you will want to measure what happens. It is easy to set up, just follow the video! A new entry to the report is You set up a url for tracking along with your username and password. You then have a Twitpwr url that gives you the stats on the number of clicks/ Here’s a profile of LayZ Daisy. I just picked them out as an example. You see there biog from twitter, their twitter feed and the last 20 URLs that they have tweeted about. These URLs can be tracked and that is great as a way of measuring what people are doing with your tweets. Page 21 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  22. 22. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Twitter Stats Outwit gives you stats but so does Tweetstats and there are pretty graphs along with when you tweet in the day and which day of the week. I send 4.3 tweets per day which isn’t that many but really there are days when I am not very active! Contrary to the research by Hubspot, my most active days are Monday and Tuesday. The research showed the most active days for Tweeting are Wednesdays and Thursdays. So, I could alter my pattern and see whether there is a change in the reaction to my tweets. Also, I tend to tweet in the morning. This means that few of the non-UK followers may never hear from me. So, there is a case to use Twitterise or Tweetlater to let them know I am alive! You could do this too! Page 22 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  23. 23. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series Can I make sales on Twitter? The short answer is yes! When you have a following, people understand who you are, that you post items of interest then people will buy from you. And, they will buy across your product range. Remember, Twitter is a channel. It is made up of people who are interested in what you have to say – start selling to them instead of posting content or doing a mix and they may not stick around. The most important thing to remember is that you have a relationship with each person and it is that relationship that enables sales to be made. So, implement the tips and tools in this report and the sales will follow (well, with the help of your sales page of course ☺ ) If you would like to have some help with this, join the MaxWeb programme. What’s left? Congratulations for getting to this part of the report. If you have taken action as you progress through the pages, you will now have: A twitter account Download Tweetdeck or Outwit Set up Tweetlater to welcome Even set up Twitterise to send messages to people when you are available Followed people who are of interest to you Tweeted on things that are important to you New followers Also tweet about this report and suggest people read it ☺ Tracking what is being said about you and your business Learning about your market Participating New visitors to your blog, website etc Building relationships – nurturing them and they are becoming your fans. Realised that MaxWeb can help you grow your web presence for market leadership Page 23 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008
  24. 24. The Getting Started Guide to twitter Social Media Series You only need fans – ignore the recession! ☺ Follow me – there’s always an opportunity to learn. Links Not all the links in this report work. So, you have the domains This is the first report. The next one is on LinkedIn. I know there are lots of people who don’t make the most of this site. And of course, you can’t forget Facebook! Enjoy Twitter! Recommend this report to your followers through the link: and recommend me to Mr Tweet – I will reciprocate based on what I know about you! Page 24 of 24 © Centre for Effective Marketing 2008