A Guide To Twitter: The Basics
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A Guide To Twitter: The Basics

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A Guide To Twitter: The Basics A Guide To Twitter: The Basics Presentation Transcript

  • A guide to Twitter: The basics David Somerville November 2011 @southcoastdavid @a1surf
  • Why use Twitter?
    • Boost website traffic
    • Creates a community
    • Quick and easy Customer Service (get feedback)
    • Make friends, build business contacts and networks
    • Get news, information, content ideas
    • SEO benefits – link building
  • The basics: Profile Picture
    • Select a clear profile pic that will be readable
    • or noticeable when small.
    • For Twitter you can use animated gifs as
    • avatars, so these can look good and attract
    • attention.
  • The basics: Background
    • You can replace the default ‘blue sky and clouds’ Twitter
    • background with your own customised one.
    • Make it simple and a statement. One thing to bear
    • in mind is that the main columns can hide anything
    • that’s central, so get around this by using the space to the
    • left and right.
    • Remember the background is static, not linked, but you can
    • display all sorts of information on it.
  • The basics: Mentions
    • You can see people talking about you by
    • clicking the ‘Mentions’ tab on your Twitter
    • home page.
    • To mention someone on twitter by
    • appending their twitter name with ‘@’
  • The basics: Direct Messages (DM)
    • If someone is following you (and you are following
    • them) you can choose to send a private ‘Direct
    • message’ to them. This is the same as a normal
    • tweet in terms of character restriction, but it’s not
    • public.
    • This is useful if you want to ask someone a
    • question without your followers seeing, i.e.
    • approach them about supplying a competition
    • prize etc.
  • Tweeting: Content
    • As with all social media, it’s important to post up a mixture of content.
    • Due to twitter’s restriction of 140 characters, it is used a lot just for
    • quick text updates or observations, but it’s worth also doing things such
    • as:
    • Include links (back to your site or others)
    • Include photos or videos
    • Ask a question
    • Join a conversation by giving your thoughts/advice
    • Topical related content
    • Discount codes/offers
    • Create hash tagged topics
    • Run competitions/games
  • Tweeting: Content (cont.)
    • As part of the ‘twitter etiquette’, it’s a good
    • idea to thank people if they have
    • recommended you or said something
    • positive.
    • Rewards – if you know it’s a birthday of one
    • of your influential followers then why not
    • send them a present?
  • Tweeting: Shortening Links
    • Twitter now automatically shorten links (to
    • 19 characters) if you tweet that way.
    • And if using Tweetdeck or other third-party
    • sites they use bitly or tiny services.
  • Tweeting: Hastags #
    • Hashtags are basically a way of tagging your tweets so that
    • they can be more easily found by people searching for
    • specific keywords.
    • You simply use a ‘#’ before the word you want to make a
    • hashtag. If you’re using more than one word then DON’T
    • put spaces between them.
    • By using a site such as hashtags.org you can find popular
    • hashtags related to your subject. Or you can make up your
    • own.
  • Tweeting: Hastags Gone Bad
    • Hastags can be used badly too…Here’s
    • Habitat’s blatant spamming misuse…
  • Tweeting: Hastags Gone Bad
    • This resulted in hundreds of angry tweets from
    • people…
    So they deleted the posts and replaced them…but the posts will always remain there on Twitter Search!
  • Tweeting: Hastags Gone Bad
    • What could they have done instead?
    • Replied to each person who tweeted and apologised
    • Apologised in person
    • Offered discounts as an apology
    • Asked what information, offers etc people want
    • Responded quickly to deal with it
    Case Study from Social Media Today
  • Tweeting: Retweeting (RT)
    • Retweeting is when you share someone’s tweet with your followers by
    • clicking Retweet or RT.
    • They will see you have done this and some people will thank you for it
    • directly. And they may follow you back as well.
    • It’s good to RT as well as posting your own content, as it helps prove
    • your respectability in that area.
    • When you RT something it’s often an idea (space permitting) to add a
    • brief note at the front (i.e. “Really useful article” or “Great advice
    • from…”).
  • Tweeting: Tag people
    • Tag people in your tweets – when tweeting about a particular story,
    • event, brand, person etc you can ‘tag’ them in your tweet by using their
    • name, i.e. @ThePonyClub.
    • Not only should the person see you have tagged them which may earn
    • you a RT – but also their followers may see your tweet, which can gain
    • you followers (and possible RTs).
    • An example is @ThePonyClub. They have nearly 4,000 followers, most
    • of whom you would expect are ‘horsey’, therefore they are all potential
    • good followers for @horsemart.
  • Building followers: Follow the crowd
    • One simple step is to follow more people (who are relevant to your
    • industry) and a percentage of them will follow you back.
    • To find out who to follow you can…
    • Use Twitter’s built-in ‘Who to follow’. This suggests a list of people you could follow, based on your interests, tweets etc.
    • Use Twitter’s ‘Search’ – you can enter keywords related to your
    • industry and it will suggest people who match them. Use the controls of “near:[location]” and “within:[miles]mi” to target this if better for your brand.
  • Building followers: Follow the crowd
    • There are also options in the ‘Advanced Search’ to help you.
    • When you have found someone who you want to follow you can also
    • then browse who they follow and their followers, then just pick out the
    • ones you want to follow.
    • Other third-party tools can be good for seeing who to follow as well.
    • Tools like SocialBro can show you how influential or important people
    • are and how many followers they have.
  • Building followers: Off-Twitter promotion
    • In order to help build your follower it’s worth promoting your Twitter
    • account in other places too.
    • This includes on your main site, in enewsletters, print ads etc. Twitter
    • itself has a number of buttons you can add:
    • https://dev.twitter.com/docs/twitter-for-websites
    • One note though is to try and give people a reason WHY they should
    • follow you.
    • For example, don’t just say “Follow us on twitter”, but instead expand
    • with “Follow us on twitter for all the latest horse owning and riding
    • advice, news and more”.
  • Building followers: Create lists
    • On Twitter you can create lists of people you follow and name them. By
    • making these Public, other twitter users can then find your lists and
    • follow those, which helps to show you as an authority and spreads your
    • profile virally.
    • For example on Horsemart we could create a list for ‘Professional
    • riders’ or ‘Celebrity horse owners’.
    • Create lists you think other people would find useful.
    • You can do this on Twitter or even on Tweetdeck
  • Monitoring: Searching
    • As well as getting into the habit of tweeting regularly, it’s also
    • important to frequently monitor what people are saying about you on
    • Twitter.
    • The simplest way is to use the ‘Mentions’ tab on twitter itself – this will
    • then list everyone who has mentioned you using your “@xxxxx” name.
    • It’s worth also searching for your name or even misspellings of it (i.e
    • Friday ad, fridayad etc) so you can check those tweets where you
    • weren’t mentioned directly.
  • Monitoring: Searching
    • You can use the search functions in twitter or the third party services
    • (like Tweetdeck).
    • It’s also useful to do regular searches for important keywords in your
    • industry or competitors (you can obviously “follow” competitor
    • updates, but do so from a personal account if you don’t want them to
    • know!).
  • Monitoring: Replying
    • It’s crucial that if people are talking about you on twitter that you reply
    • as soon as possible.
    • It’s also important that if they have negative feedback or are slating you
    • that you deal with it politely – if necessary ask people to email or
    • message you privately to avoid an online discussion.
    • If you think that the people posting are spammers or trolls then it’s fine
    • not to reply! And if they are proper spam then block/report them.
  • Good Twitter Customer Service
    • One excellent example of good customer
    • service on Twitter is the Airline JetBlue
    • (@jetblue)…
    They ensure they respond quickly and in a friendly way to every tweet that mentions them. This has lead to hundreds of positive mentions on Twitter from people who they have helped and direct ticket sales increases.
  • Monitoring: Track it!
    • Just as you are (or should) be doing with any content you post on
    • Facebook etc, you should use Google’s trackable link building tool.
    • Simply list ‘Twitter’ as the Source and ‘Social’ as the Medium.
    • You may find that the type of content you use works better for one
    • social channel than another.
  • Twitter Tools
    • Here’s a selection of tools that will help you with your tweeting…
    • Tweetdeck.com
    • Hootsuite.com
    • Use these as desktop or web apps (or mobile) to tweet from, schedule
    • tweets, create searches/monitoring etc. Both allow multiple account
    • use.
    • SocialBro
    • A new Chrome app that allows you to access a whole host of info
    • about your account, your followers etc
    • Followerwonk.com
    • Find users with similar interests by searching their bios
  • Twitter Tools
    • Topsy.com
    • Real-time search for twitter (and G+ in beta) to see who has been
    • tweeting about specific keywords.
    • You can set up email alerts too which is handy for monitoring of your
    • brand name.
    • Backgrounds
    • Here’s two useful links with more information:
    • http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/create-twitter-background-photoshop/
    • http://edigitales.org/making-twitter-background-things-you-need-to-know/