Twitter Guide - Phil Jones


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One of the biggest referrers from search engines to my blog, derives from the words “Business Benefits of Twitter”. It’s clearly an area of great interest and with current economic conditions as they area, the $100M dollar question is, what are they? Lot’s of businesspeople I meet have heard about Twitter but are not quite sure how to do it. So, I’ve bashed this guide out to help

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Twitter Guide - Phil Jones

  1. 1. 1 My Guide to Twitter for Business One of the biggest referrers from search engines to my blog, derives from the words “Business Benefits of Twitter”. It’s clearly an area of great interest and with current economic conditions as they area, the $100M dollar question is, what are they? Lot’s of businesspeople I meet have heard about Twitter but are not quite sure how to do it. So, I’ve bashed this guide out to help. In this short guide I am to cover: - 1. Getting started. 2. How to navigate around Twitter, what all the different elements of the Homepage mean. 3. A glossary of terms you should know. 4. 4 Essential tools/add-ins that I use to save time and make life easier. 5. 10 Business benefits of Twitter. 6. Frequently asked questions. First a bit about me. Am I qualified to impart this to you? You decide. My day job is as a board director of a multi-national electronics manufacturer. I am responsible for a £100M+ business, have 160 staff and it’s my job to provide the necessary leadership, strategic direction and tactics for us to compete in the very competitive UK tech market. My specialities are in sales, marketing and PR. Outside of work, I am Vice-President of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the largest Chamber in the UK with over 5000 business members. I meet and greet a lot of people, from business leaders to political leaders and speak regularly in the UK about megatrends, leadership and how social networks can bring to your business. The point being, I wouldn’t be doing it, if it didn’t add some sort of value to either me or my work. So, enough of the self-promotion, let’s talk about you and how you can use Twitter to enhance your personal reputation, learning and growth. Throughout the guide, I have highlighted what I call a “HOT TIP”. These are the things that I wish people had told me early on in Twitter and it would have saved me loads of time. Recommend you do these. I hope this helps. If it does, why not follow me on Twitter or read my blog and share it with others? My details are below. …. Written by Phil Jones. Follow me on Twitter @PhilJones40 Read my blog at: - All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. 2 My Guide to Twitter for Business (1) Getting Started and Finding Your Way Around So, you’ve signed up. Things that you should definitely do are: - Make sure you put a profile in. You will attract more followers if you do. I don’t follow people with no profile. If you follow someone, they will trackback to you and see who you are and the sort of things you say. If you want to increase the number of followers who follow you, give yourself a chance and put a decent profile in of yourself. Having a good profile also means it will be easier to find you using other Twitter search applications. Upload a picture. Either of yourself or something you’re interested in. Makes it more personable. No picture, fewer followers. Check your username isn’t too long. This is more important than you think. The longer it is, the less characters you have to use. HOT TIP. As you get more advanced and grow your number of followers, you also need to think about when people “Re-Tweet” your message (don’t worry I’ve covered off what this means in the guide). If their user name is too long, they may have to edit down your original Tweet down, so the shorter the better. If it’s too long, change it. Don’t protect your updates. Unless you are launching your Twitter account for something very specific, by protecting your updates, you will keep your network fairly limited. People will still ask to hook up with you, but these will be much fewer than unprotected updated. Likewise, many of the additional applications which you’ll read about in section 4 won’t work unless your updates are available in the public timeline. I started protected and quickly removed it. Look for people you know. It’s surprising who you’ll find. Click on the “Find People” link at the top of the page. Then type in the name of the person you are looking for. When the list comes back, just click on the person you want to follow, then hit the “Follow” button at the top of the page. From that point on, you will see all of their Tweets. Business leaders on Twitter include: - @JackWelch @SirRichard Branson and of course me, @PhilJones40. Written by Phil Jones. Follow me on Twitter @PhilJones40 Read my blog at: - All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. 3 My Guide to Twitter for Business (2) Navigating around, what does it all mean? Number of people you are following. Click on This is the main interface page of Twitter, This is where you it to remind you who. type your 140 when you sign in. character “Tweet” Number of people following you. Click on it to see who. “HOT TIPS”. Number of updates or “Tweets” that you have actually sent. 1. Don’t forget to regularly click on the This is a Tweet posted by someone you @yourusername on the right hand Their username follow panel. This is where you will see where v This shows people that have mentioned and will be displayed to everyone. people have sent messages to you or Direct msgs to you only you have appeared in conversations in Where your favourite Tweets will show up if you have flagged them the public timelines. Where you can search on topics such as leadership 2. Look at who is following you regularly. Then look at who is following them. You’ll quickly find people of a “like mind.” A visual display of the biggest topics being talked about on Twitter rignt now 3. Remember that you when you post a “Tweet” you can’t unpost it. So make sure it’s right before you press the update button. Written by Phil Jones. Follow me on Twitter @PhilJones40 Read my blog at: - All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. 4 My Guide to Twitter for Business (3) Glossary of Terms Like anything new, if you don’t know the “lingo”, it can make you feel a bit stupid when you are with people that do. Here are the main things that you need to know: - Word What it Means User Hint – Generally speaking, the whole point of Twitter is to grow your followers. So, many of the tools provided are there for you to publish or re- publish interesting Tweets in order to grow your followers. HOT TIP. All this is much easier if you download Tweetdeck (see section 4). Tweet The update that you send is called a “Tweet”. You have a maximum character length of 140. HOT TIP. Always try and leave 15 characters or so free at the end of each Tweet. This means that if someone else “Re-Tweets” you, they have room to add a small comment or to accommodate some elses long username. Re-Tweet or RT If someone says something on one of their tweets and you want to share it with other people, you “re-tweet” it (republish it to your network of followers). What this means is that the original author of the tweet gets credited with the original tweet. By doing this, it means other people reading the Tweet may then visit the original author and follow them. To do this you put RT at the beginning of your Tweet. Example RT @philjones – “the message”. It’s much easier if you’re using Tweetdeck as it has a dedicated button for this. HOT TIP. Always add a small comment of your own to personalise it. Direct Message or DM To send a direct message to someone, you need to be following them. Direct messages do not appear in the public timeline (for everyone to see) but are only between you and the other person. To do this you put DM at the beginning of your Tweet. Example DM @philjones – “your message” @ replies Twitter is a conversation. If you post something, your followers might like to post a comment back. They do this by putting the “@” sign in front of your username. Example @philjones – That was a funny Tweet! This means that if will be posted right back at you (but also appear on their Twitter timeline). HOT TIP - Don’t forget to check this everyday, to see who wants to engage you. # Hashtags You add a hashtag when you want to add something you’ve said into a discussion group or interest group. For example, a lot of people post meaning quotes from business leaders or books. When posting, if you put this in your message #Quote it goes into a timeline with all the other people. HOT TIP - Hashtags are a good way of building followers. I regularly search on #Quotes #Leadership, so try and remember to put this in my own Tweets. Like minded other people with also be searching on the same and therefore you increase your propensity to be followed. Written by Phil Jones. Follow me on Twitter @PhilJones40 Read my blog at: - All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. 5 My Guide to Twitter for Business (4) 4 Additional Applications you should consider downloading: - Application Why? Looks like Download From Tweetdeck  Much nicer interface, more modern feel to it.  Easier to Re-Tweet and Direct message people Good FAQ’s and Help  Allows you to create groups to filter key users (brilliant when you start to follow more people). 9/02/22/all-your-tweetdeck-  HOT TIP. (Downloaded this early doors and found it to be one of questions-answered/#1 the best apps and simplified Twitter no end). YouTube Video: TxXHpsMKPps Hootsuite  If you’re tied up in meetings all day, you can prepare some Tweets and schedule them to send later or at set times.  Or if you have multiple Twitter accounts you can use this to send from both profiles at the same time or individually.  HOT TIP. Don’t automate too much or you will suffer from lack of authenticity and followers may quickly drop off. Tweetspace  Allows you to personalise your Twitter Homepage  Adds more personality to your page.  Allows you to put on your company logo and contact details.  HOT TIP. Do this as quickly as you’re able too, it gives a greater level of personality to your on-line persona. Twitpic  Allows you to share photo’s quickly on Twitter.  Increases interaction with your followers.  HOT TIP. A picture speaks a thousand words. Tweets with pictures in have a greater propensity for clicks than standard hyperlinks. Written by Phil Jones. Follow me on Twitter @PhilJones40 Read my blog at: - All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. 6 My Guide to Twitter for Business (5) 10 Business Benefits of Twitter Here’s the $100M dollar question. I’ve put the key stuff down as bullet points so you can work through it quickly. 1. You can meet some like minded people very easily. Introductions and new relationships are really easy when you can talk about things you have in common with people. Someone you might find difficult to meet in person, may be more easily accessible in a social network. 2. You can keep an eye on people in your sector and see what their up to. Example, I follow many journalists to see what they’re talking about. Where they’re going. What’s hot. What’s not. 3. You can increase your own personal learning and growth. There are some awesome and really clever people on Twitter who share their daily insights. Some of their Tweets are really thought provoking. It’s free mind food. 4. You can hear things really early. Breaking news. It often now appears on Twitter before the TV or other news sources. Stay ahead of the market. 5. It’s a great way to build traffic to your website or blog. A well worded Tweet can entice people to click through to your website. But don’t cheat people or bend the truth or they won’t click your link again. My blog traffic increased threefold after I started Twittering and I now have readership in 20 countries. 6. It’s a great way to build authenticity for your brand. Do you have brand values that you want to shine through? Then, build a personality on Twitter. 7. Offer unique things. Many of the well known global IT brands are already successfully doing this by offering unique offers to their Twitter followers. This gives incredible ROI measurement when using unique codes. 8. You can see where people are. Meet ups (Tweetups in Twitter terms) are easy. I’ve seen some really good consultants offer “free consulting” in their downtime between meetings. You can take advantage of this or give tasters or your goods or services to others. 9. Get instant answers. Ask questions of your followers to get instant feedback. Got a problem, you only need ask. People will give advice. Want to see some early feedback on a new product or service? Ask, people will reply. 10. It’s a great way to understand what others are saying about your product or brand. Just type your company name into the search box and see what happens. Like anything, you will get out what you put in. If you just send relentless product promotions or spam, people will quickly unfollow you. Written by Phil Jones. Follow me on Twitter @PhilJones40 Read my blog at: - All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. 7 My Guide to Twitter for Business (6) Questions and Answers I’m already on Linkedin, Myspace, Facebook, why should I be on Twitter? Twitter is a more active communications platform than these. People are posting in realtime, where they are, there and then. It’s like tapping into a big global conversation in real time. HOT TIP. Download Tweetdeck and you can also update your facebook page with your Tweets from one interface. If someone follows me on Twitter, should I follow them back? Your choice. Twitter etiquette is generally to follow someone back, primarily to allow people to build their follow network. However it’s always worth a click through to their profile to see the sort of Tweets they send and whether or not it’s something you would like to read regularly as some people just do it to build huge followings. I’ve followed some profiles where they are sending 50 Tweets per day and they totally crowd your screen. Tweetdeck let’s you manage large groups of followers and profile them into appropriate channels. For me, Quality not Quantity matters. How do I go back and amend a Tweet I’ve already sent? Simple. You can’t. So, double check before you update and remember that’s it’s always there, so don’t say anything that you don’t want committing to the record. How much time does it take up? Completely your choice. It can be highly addictive. I tend to have a look two or three times a day. Before starting work, over lunch and at the end of a day. I run Tweetdeck in the background, so I can see any direct messages being sent to me, which flash up on the top of your screen, like an e-mail. What is #Follow Friday? Each Friday, Twitter users are encouraged to promote other people they follow. By putting a #Follow Friday in front of it, all these recommendations appear in a public timeline for others to see. It’s a very effective way to pick up new followers. HOT TIP. Add some narrative on to your recommendation. Example “#Follow Friday. I recommend @philjones because……” I’ll keep adding to this. Written by Phil Jones. Follow me on Twitter @PhilJones40 Read my blog at: - All Rights Reserved.