I just returned from a Twitter for Small Business seminar led by Sunday Shields, of Media Marketing Strategies. Most of the attendees were beginners (and I guess I still am too). She kindly consented to let me blog about her top tips:
- Tweets need to be to the point, “sell the benefit,” and be clear as to whom the info benefits. For example, if you want readers to click on a link to a blog post targeting executive secretaries, it might read: “5 timesaving tips for executive #secretaries. Click here:” followed by a shortened link.
- Hashtags! If you want people to find you, use hashtags to help people find you by key words. And if you don’t know what hashtags are, click here.
- Stay consistent with your brand. If you’re trying to use Twitter to promote yourself as a real estate agent, don’t tweet about what you had for dinner, or your awful new haircut. Stay on target. Yes, you want to be “real” and personable – but do this by tweeting in your own voice, rather than going on about your personal life (unless you’re a celebrity or are using Twitter for the purpose of talking about your personal life).
- The 80:20 rule: 80% of your tweets should be for and about the greater community (e.g. retweets on your topic, or general information about whatever your specialization is). The other 20% can be about you and your business.
- Be a person, not a business. Yes, you may be talking about business, but people want to hear from a real human being. So put your photo on your profile – not your company logo. And use your name, not your company’s name.
- Be timezone sensitive. If you have followers in other countries, post on their timezone. For example, if you live in the US and have followers in the US and Australia, repost your US tweets in the late PM/early AM so the Australians seem them on their feed when they’re awake. You can use a service such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to queue reposts up automatically.
- Just do it! The only way to learn Twitter, is to get going. Yeah, you’ll make mistakes, but the people on Twitter are generally forgiving.