Twitter for Business eBook 2012

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This popular ebook is currently being updated for 2015, so I'm sharing the first edition free here on slideshare. Inside are 19 pages of hands on Twitter tips and tricks to maximise leads and grow your network. Subscribe at www.chrisfinnegan.com.au to get a free copy of the second edition!
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  • 1. Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 1 Accelerate Your Networking with Twitter ......................................................................................... 3 How to Create a Professional Twitter Profile ................................................................................... 5 What you need to know before you tweet ....................................................................................... 7 14 Twitter Tips to Engage Your Followers ..................................................................................... 10 Social Media Dashboards: Tweetdeck vs Hootsuite ..................................................................... 13 Twitter lists: How to organise your tweetstream and see through the noise .................................. 15 3 Twitter Tools to Spring Clean and Grow Your Twitter Followers ................................................ 17 Time to get Tweeting ..................................................................................................................... 19 “A fast track guide to Twitter for business success. Hands on strategies by Chris Finnegan and ClickWebDesign” www.ClickWebDesign.com.au © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. Twitter for Business eBook 1
  • 2. Ph: 1800 602 007 Page 2 Introduction Twitter has been an amazing tool for us at ClickWebDesign. After signing up in mid-2009, we quickly met and engaged in conversation with people we would never have otherwise crossed paths with. These great people now form an exciting network of collaborators, clients, educators and suppliers that have been critical to our business success. More than three years on Twitter has taught us a few things about how to use Twitter for business. So after writing many blog posts relating to Twitter I decided to continue writing and share my experience with our first ebook. “Watch out for me as you read, I’ll be sharing interesting Twitter facts” This ebook is written to help both new and veteran Twitter users get the most out of Twitter with limited time and effort. A “how to” style gives you the knowledge to implement our techniques. To keep up to date with the latest Twitter tactics subscribe to the ClickNewsletter and follow us on Twitter, Thanks for reading! Online Business Specialist, ClickWebDesign Free Call: 1800 602 007 www.ClickWebDesign.com.au How To Use Twitter for Business Success © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. www.ClickWebDesign.com.au
  • 3. Ph: 1800 602 007 Page 3 Accelerate Your Networking with Twitter Networking events are a popular approach to finding new contacts and potentially new customers for b2b businesses in particular. It's most likely that you have attended some yourself, but was it really worthwhile? How many new customers and contacts did you meet? In the usual scenario you put on your suit, leave the office, business cards and elevator pitch in hand. After travelling to the venue, you start mingling, and if you're lucky you may meet 2-3 people who nod along to your pitch, whether or not they are interested in your services is another matter. If you're unlucky, you'll be corralled by the person who can't stop talking about themselves, and spend half the evening looking forward to the drive home. After returning from the networking event, it's not over. You need to follow up on the few contacts you made. So you've spent the best part of half a day, preparing, travelling to and from a networking event in the hope of gaining one new customer. Not a great use of time, or a profitable business model. There is a better way to network. Much better. Using Twitter to accelerate your networking connects you with thousands of potential new customers and contacts with just a few mouse clicks. “Twitter has more than 140 million active users worldwide” When the uninitiated think of Twitter, they often think immediately of Ashton Kutcher. After all, the man is a veritable God on the platform. But there is astronomically more to Twitter than first appears. If you're in business, do yourself a favour and take a closer look. Twitter is one of the best ways of networking without even leaving your desk, or if you're umbilically-attached to your mobile phone or tablet, then those too. Twitter is a remarkably simple social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". So how can you harness the power of Twitter to accelerate your networking? Rather than fronting up to dozens of networking events every month, you can find your preferred clients easily on Twitter. You can search based on keywords (e.g. caterers, mechanics or babysitters), and even set your search geographically to target prospects in the areas you service. Thanks to the countless applications created to support Twitter and make it ever more efficient. Advanced Twitter tools grow your followers in a targeted fashion. How To Use Twitter for Business Success © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. www.ClickWebDesign.com.au
  • 4. Page 4 This popular ebook is currently being updated for 2015, so I’m sharing the first edition free here on slideshare. Inside are 19 pages of hands on Twitter tips and tricks to maximise leads and grow your network. Subscribe at www.chrisfinnegan.com.au to get a free copy of the second edition, or follow me on twitter @chrisjfinnegan.
  • 5. 5 Ph: 1800 602 007 Page 4 Once you locate your potential customers, follow them on Twitter and make yourself known. Avoid the sales pitch; just approach and engage. Social media dashboards help you monitor tweets and engage new clients. In time – sometimes hours, sometimes months – you will have a bona fide contact to invite to coffee to discuss mutually beneficial business matters. Using Twitter to seek out your prospects is efficient, time-saving and powerful. Attending networking events in person – without having identified in advance if your potential customers are on the guest list – is setting yourself up for failure. “Twitter users or ‘tweeps’ send out a staggering 340 million tweets per day” By following people and businesses on Twitter, you'll often see if they're signed up for various networking organisations and you'll discover where your target audience congregates. Industry-specific events are bullseyes for your networking endeavours. Instead of the stab-in-the-dark approach, illuminate your potential and meet only those with whom you'd like to do business. It will spare you a great deal of footwork, time away from critical tasks and endless handshaking that delivers minimal results. Jump on Twitter today, set up your profile and start mingling! How To Use Twitter for Business Success © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. www.ClickWebDesign.com.au
  • 6. 6 Ph: 1800 602 007 Page 5 How to Create a Professional Twitter Profile Creating a professional Twitter profile is easy! Twitter guides you through the entire process and you simply follow the instructions found at www.Twitter.com. Aside from the mechanics of creating your profile, there are other elements that are important in developing a professional Twitter profile that will perform for your business. Name Long gone are the days when anonymity was critical on the Internet. After all, you’re marketing your business. Avoiding mentioning your name makes no sense whatsoever. Use your real name in this field or if your Twitter account is for a company – or even if you want to focus on your business name rather than your personal name – then use your business’s trading name. Twitter handle You have to create a unique Twitter handle for your account. This identifies you specifically from all the other millions of Twitter users. This is typically your business’s trading name, or as close as possible. Some add “au” to handles when their business name is already taken. “A shorter Twitter handle leaves more characters for tweeting!” Image The image you use in your Twitter profile is key to being remembered. When people use Twitter, they become accustomed to seeing the same images popping up again and again as tweets flow into their stream. You can use a photo of yourself (but make sure it’s professional and easy to see), your logo or an item that is representative of what you offer. Bio Your Twitter bio can be a maximum of 160 characters, including spaces, punctuation, numbers and letters. Here is where you don’t want to waste any opportunity to use all your characters. Your bio appears in notification emails to other Twitter users when they are advised that you have begun following them. You have that miniscule window of opportunity for them to consider following you back so make the most of it. Think long and hard about what information you include in your Twitter bio.  Leave out superfluous, irrelevant information.  Include keywords pertaining to your business’s offering because they will appear in searches when someone goes looking for what you do.  Consider adding a call to action which could include a phone number or special offer.  You can change your Twitter bio whenever you need to, to reflect current specials, a change of phone number or variations to your business’s offerings. How To Use Twitter for Business Success © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. www.ClickWebDesign.com.au
  • 7. 7 Ph: 1800 602 007 Page 6  You can even include your web address or a shortened URL (using a service such as bit.ly) in your bio that leads to your preferred landing page on your website. Location Your location is vital, particularly if you run a business that depends on patronage from local customers. Remember, when people search for the products or services you offer, they will likely refine their search results to show location. Your suburb, town, state and country are relevant. If you mainly serve clients from overseas and your Australian location is a selling point then you may leave out your suburb and town. “A Vague profile location like ‘everywhere’ or ‘the internet’ is a turn off!” Web address In addition to including a web address in your actual bio, you are also able to add a URL to your general Twitter account. This should be easily readable, in other words, not a shortened URL or a long URL with complicated extensions. When people want to look up your business they want to know exactly where the link will take them, at least until your business is considered trustworthy and credible. Background You can create a Twitter background that everyone will see when they look up your profile. A custom background elevates your profile and makes it look like you’re serious about your business. One thing to remember is that a Twitter background is static which means you can’t create hyperlinks from it. It can be purely decorative, matched to your business’s branding, or it can feature information that you want viewers to see such as your logo, your tag line, key services offered or images of products you sell. Your design should be 240px wide and 700px high to account for common screen resolutions. This forms the visible left sidebar, while the remainder can be set by the background colour. Your Twitter profile is a marketing opportunity for your business. Capitalise on it as much as possible by including all the valuable information you can, without ‘polluting’ it with irrelevant material. Revisit it every now and then to make sure it’s still up to date or else you could be losing leads! How To Use Twitter for Business Success © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. www.ClickWebDesign.com.au
  • 8. 8 Ph: 1800 602 007 Page 7 What you need to know before you tweet Tweets just ain’t tweets, you know. When using Twitter, there are various things you should understand before you start sending your 140-character messages out into the world. Basically, you are using Twitter as a micro-blogging platform which means that you get to tell your followers a message in 140 characters or less. With such a small number of characters, you have to become adept at fitting as much relevant goodness in your tweets as possible, and leaving the ‘fillers’ out. But remember, tweeting is not like text messaging. Text-speak doesn’t win you any friends (or followers) on Twitter. “If u r going 2 tweet using text lingo, ppl will shut u down.” Leave the texting style for teenagers and people whose thumbs are so crippled they can no longer tap out whole words! Now, with 140 characters at your disposal, you have a range of tweet styles to choose from. Regular tweets This is your garden variety tweet. It’s up to you what you say, of course, but to make it count. Ask a question, make a statement, announce your specials, introduce your business, comment on a news item, provide gems of wisdom … but try to make it something your followers will find worth reading. Yes, even at 140 characters, you have to stand out above the crowd! Tweets mentioning the word marketing have a lower click through ratio! Regular tweets appear in your timeline and on your profile page. They also appear in the timeline view of anyone who follows you. They won’t appear on anyone else’s profile page unless they retweeted for you. Mentions Sometimes you want to ‘mention’ another Twitter user in a tweet. You may want to draw attention to them to thank them for helping you or to assist them in reaching a larger audience. By mentioning someone – simply by typing the @ symbol directly before their Twitter handle, anywhere in the tweet except the very beginning – all your followers will be made aware of them. So for instance, if you want to shout the praises of a Twitter friend, ‘WhiteKnight’ who has just won an award, you will tweet something like: “Wow! @WhiteKnight took out top honours at the Real Estate Awards last night!” You may also want to attract someone’s attention by using a mention. Simply tweet: “Hey, @WhiteKnight, congratulations!” Mentions will appear in your timeline and on your profile page. For the recipient (the person you’ve mentioned with the @ symbol), they will appear in their regular timeline but also under their Mentions and Interactions tab on their profile page. Mentions will also appear in the recipient’s tweets timeline view if they are following you. In fact, anyone who is following the sender of a mention tweet will see it in their home timeline. How To Use Twitter for Business Success © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. www.ClickWebDesign.com.au
  • 9. 9 Ph: 1800 602 007 Page 8 @Replies When you begin a tweet with another user’s Twitter handle, in reply to one of their tweets, it is known as an @reply. An example is if someone you follow has talked about something and you want to address them directly by reply. Your local fruiterer ‘FruitCo’, whom you follow, might tweet: “Red apples have just arrived in our fruit store” and you might reply: “@FruitCo, save some for me, I’ll be right over!” @Replies are still public, i.e. visible to all who follow you, and can be read when anyone visits your profile page, but there’s one difference. If you begin a tweet with @username, it won’t appear in the standard timeline of anyone else who follows you unless they follow the person you’ve mentioned as well. Direct Messages Also known as DMs, a Direct Message is a private tweet sent directly between someone you follow and who follows you. No one else can view this tweet anywhere. When you DM someone, the tweet will appear in their Direct Messages area. You would send a Direct Message whenever the information you want to relay is private, confidential or completely irrelevant to anyone but that particular person. DMs are commonly used to exchange critical information such as phone numbers, addresses and email addresses that are not for public consumption. Retweets A retweet is when you want to share with all your followers, a tweet that you’ve seen by someone else. When someone you follow tweets something that would be of value to your own audience, retweeting their tweet makes it available to everyone who follows you. So let’s say you’re a grocery store owner and you follow a food manufacturer. One day, they tweet information about an important product recall. You would retweet to your followers and urge your customers to return the product for a refund. How To Use Twitter for Business Success © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. www.ClickWebDesign.com.au
  • 10. 10 Ph: 1800 602 007 Page 9 Retweeting reinforces the authority of the tweet and conveys it more as first-hand information because the original tweeter’s username is shown in the tweet itself. To retweet, simply type the letters ‘RT’ and then a space before the entire tweet, as follows: “RT @SpaghettiTreats Important announcement! Tomato Sauce Spaghetti Treats have been recalled due to the presence of undeclared food allergens.” Retweeting is made extra simple however by selecting the ‘retweet’ option on your dashboard. Whether you use the standard Twitter.com interface or one of the many apps available (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc), you’ll find a retweet button to simplify things. Just get started Twitter may seem complicated at first but you just have to jump in and get started. It’s actually very simple and a joy to use, and the benefits it will bring to your business once you get the hang of it, cannot be denied. How To Use Twitter for Business Success © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. www.ClickWebDesign.com.au
  • 11. 11 Ph: 1800 602 007 Page 10 14 Twitter Tips to Engage Your Followers There are plenty of methods to gain Twitter followers – which is a different post entirely – but what is the point of having thousands of followers if you have no logical engagement or relationship with them? Just as quickly as people will follow you on Twitter, they'll just as quickly UN-follow you if the way you communicate doesn't suit them. So how do you engage your Twitter followers? Start acting on these social media tips and you'll be well on your way! 1. Ask questions Asking interesting questions can be a good way to draw some people out of lurking mode and get conversations started. The questions can relate to your business, or be general in nature (yes it's ok to be human). A survey is a more formalised way of asking questions but one that some people can't resist! It can also be anonymous so your followers get to respond without being 'outed'. When people are asked their opinion, they feel more a part of your community. 2. Help your Twitter followers Assistance never goes unnoticed. Try to respond to followers' questions and requests when they arise. Going out of your way to solve problems or find contacts is a great way build a relationship with followers. “Links in tweets containing the word ‘please’ get more clicks!” It also positions you as someone who has plenty of answers, you then become a go-to person and others will respect your advice and opinions. 3. Be yourself There's no need to create an online persona on Twitter. Many people meet some of their Twitter followers offline eventually. Don't let the 'real you' be a surprise! 4. Be consistent No one likes mood swings or other personality inconsistencies in the real world. On Twitter, it can be just as obvious. Try to maintain balance in your Twitter engagement. 5. Use humour Everyone enjoys sharing a laugh and Twitter folk are no different. Inject a little humour to break up your regular tweeting behaviours. Your sense of humour can make you more memorable as well as more approachable and that can help your business! How To Use Twitter for Business Success © 2012 ClickWebDesign all rights reserved. www.ClickWebDesign.com.au
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