Twitter is an opportunity to network with people and build some relationships in your business.
Developing your business on Twitter by maintaining a presence will take time and effort. Twitter needs to be used effectively to achieve maximum benefit. Here are some tips on how to make this possible:
Building up “followers”
If you are looking to build up and target a local client base of small businesses, it’s no use being followed by people in the other corner of the globe. There are some great Twitter tools to help you find and follow the right people. Locally here in Northern Ireland we have, Northern Ireland’s Twitter Directory, Tweet NI or if you want to target the whole island there is Ireland’s Twitter Directory, Twit Ireland. Other big directories include www.wefollow.com and www.twellow.com. Twitter has its own “Who to follow” suggestions when you login into your profile, based on your location and current followers.
Make people want to follow you back
By communicating directly with the people you follow on Twitter, using @username, you can build up relationships with them and often they will follow you back. It is important that you share useful and relevant content in order for them to continue to follow you. Do not abuse Twitter by spamming your followers with marketing material which leads onto my next point...
Mix business with pleasure
You don’t like getting spammed with marketing material, neither do your followers. People will unfollow you if continually tweet out advertisements. Make your tweets interesting and personal by talking about what you are doing outside of work.
Tell people you like what they are tweeting by retweeting it to your followers. For example, if someone has shared an interesting link, let your followers know about it aswell.
Create shortened links
You are limited to 140 characters for a tweet so if you want to include hyperlinks in your tweets it’s best to use a URL shortening tool such as Bit.ly.
Twitter is often used to direct your followers to your blog posts, products and other interesting articles you may find. Include the title and the hyperlink you want to share. The Google URL shortener tool is also worth looking into.
Analysing your Twitter
Tweet Analyzer allows you to see what is proving successful. It allows you to see what types of people are following you including where they are located and what common subjects they are discussing. You can also see how many people are clicking your links on Twitter using the analytics that come with your URL shortening tool.
Quotes and Follow Friday
You will notice people using hashtag symbol # before keywords to categorise their tweets and make them searchable. On a Friday you will find people using the #ff hashtag. This is an opportunity to recommend to your followers, people you are currently following.
Tweetdeck is a useful tool to help you manage your twitter conversations. You can group your followers and have live searches on different hashtags being constantly updated. Tweet deck also works with Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google Buzz.