If you take your business marketing strategy seriously, you probably already have a Twitter account. That’s a good start, but do you really know how to promote your business in 140 characters or less? Twitter is fun, Twitter is challenging, Twitter can be dead annoying (info overload!) but it’s without a doubt an amazing tool for direct marketing.
The following Twitter Rules are a guideline for the small business owner who wants to make it on Twitter. Some of them refer to the Twitter etiquette, some explain common Twitter terms and some offer a better understanding of Twitter as a marketing tool.
Tweeting like crazy every few minutes will not only be frowned upon by the community (especially when tweeting for your business), it will also be completely counter-productive. Each new tweet that you post replaces your previous tweet on your followers’ timeline. Tweeting too often will reduce your tweets’ actual reach.
Marked by the symbol #, hashtags turn certain terms and keywords into (searchable) tags . By adding the hashtag #camera, for instance, you increase the chances of your tweets being seen by people who are interested in photography and cameras. Using multiple hashtags in one tweet is considered spam, so use them scarcely and wisely.
Use Twitter to find out what’s going on with your competitors. You don’t have to follow them as a Twitter user, but you should follow their activity. It’s a priceless insight – for free!
The 10 most tweeted terms at any given moment. To see a quick snapshot of the most tweeted-abot topics, look to the sidebar on the right of your Twitter homepage. Spammers will tweet about trending topcis like crazyto increase their reach but moderate use is harmless. Keep track of Trending Topics (in short: TT) and if they ARE relevant to your business, join in the conversation by adding relevant tweets.
Every tweet should be examined – did it generate replies? Was it retweeted? How many people actually clicked on the link you tweeted? How many new followers were gained in a day? These things are all easy to track and they will help you measure your success and see your weak spots.
If you want to delve into your stats more seriously, check out these Twitter Management tools:
The 140-characters limit requires a lots of creativity. Tweeple (people who use Twitter) have created a whole new vocabulary that you need to familiarize yourself with. A few examples:
RT – Retweet. The act of sharing someone else’s tweets in your stream
MRT – Modified Retweet. An RT that was altered by the Retweeter
DM – Direct Message. Private message between users who follow each other
FF – Follow Friday. Tweets marked with FF recommend to follow certain users
Spitter – A Twitter spammer
Tweed – A Twitter feed
b/c – Because
w/ or w/o – With or Without
RTHX/TQRT – Thanks for the Retweet
Dweet – A drunken tweet
Communication and interaction in Twitter are very versatile. You can follow tweeple, retweet their content, mention them (by tweeting “@username”), send direct messages, or credit them for content that you tweet (by tweeting “via @username”). Use these tools to keep in constant contact with followers and potential followers. It’s vital that you interact with people and not just shoot general tweets into the air.
Businesses often tweet links, as part of their promotional efforts. Keep in mind that adding more than one link in one tweet can harm the clicking rates. When you tweet links, use a link shortening service that will be able to track the number of clicks.
You need to make it worthwhile for users to follow your Twitter feed. Use original content, creative incentives and relevant information to get as many people as possible to click “Follow”.
Twitter has its own dynamics. It takes time to develop a faithful and growing following, but if you’re persistent it will pay off. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but don’t fail to learn from them!
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