Back to Basics: Beginner’s Guide to Twitter for Businesses
By Small Screen Producer. Publish on February 11, 2014.
Tweets, hashtags, mentions, and replies. Jeesh. There’s a long list of lingo associated with this fast-paced, real-time social network, which is said to have over 232 million monthly active users.
Main Purpose: This particular social media platform is one-of-a-kind from its counterparts like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest. Twitter allows users to share news, insights, information, quick thoughts, and jokes in 140 characters or less. These quick bits of information are displayed on user profiles (usually publicly). Users may “follow” each other to keep tabs on these updates and to converse to specific users.
Twitter is great for businesses to:
- Connect with customers
- Receive customer feedback
- Discover new industry trends
- Give away coupons and promotions
- Promote referral links to website and blog
Basic Twitter Lingo:
Tweet: A 140-character message
Retweet (RT): Re-sharing or giving credit to someone else’s tweet
Feed: The stream on your home page that aggregates tweets from all users you follow
Mention (@): A way to reference a user in a tweet. This allows you to communicate to a user directly and publicly by including their username (@smallscreenpro)
Direct Message (DM): Private 140-charcter message that’s directly sent from a user. You can choose to receive the message from any Twitter user or from those you follow. You can only direct message a user who follows you.
Hashtag (#): Think of hashtag as a reference to a topic or event (#Healthcare #Olympics). You can include hashtags into your tweets to allow other users to find your content or click on the hashtag to see all tweets that mention that hashtag in real time, even if it’s from people you don’t follow.
Getting Started on Twitter:
Showoff Your Brand
The first step is to build your brand experience on Twitter. This is through setting up you background, header, and profile images that coincide with your company branding – logos, colors, and username should be consistent.
NOTE: Your username should be a company name or an abbreviated form if it’s too long. Usernames can be edited and changed at anytime – they’re not permanent!
Build Out Profile
Include information your company, and be sure to include a way for people to learn more about your company through a website or blog and contact you if they have questions.
Start a Following
Start following people in these categories:
- Your customers
- Business partners, suppliers, contractors, vendors
- Competitors and peers
- Professional organizations/groups
- Local associations
- Businesses within professional network
Your Twitter experience is dependent on who you’re following, pay attention to who you follow to see the most success.
Gradually jump in when you feel comfortable. Generally, you’ll want to balance out these five types of Twitter communication: tweets, replies, direct messages, mentions, and retweets.
Experiment to see what types of post get the most response, how tweets are worded, what reactions you receive when you mention, direct message, retweet, reply to other users.
With a 140-character limit, it’s important to get straight to the point and be concise with messages.
Drive Traffic to Website and Blog
Now that you’ve got the hang of it, Twitter is a great tool for driving traffic to your website or blog. To do this all you’ll need a message with a URL for users to click and “learn more”.
Since you have 140 characters to write, URL shorteners are useful for shortening long web addresses.
Connect Twitter to Your Online Presence
There are a couple ways to do this:
Include a Twitter link to your website
Embed your Twitter feed to your website or blog by using the "Widgets" feature that's found under Twitter settings.
Feature social plugins on your website or under blog plugins for users to click to directly share content on their accounts
About Small Screen Producer
Small Screen Producer is a full service, marketing firm located in Houston, Texas that specializes in online digital media marketing through a 4-step process. Step 1: WE PLAN a custom web presence strategy for your business through website design and development, mobile development, social media account creation and branding. STEP 2: We then POSITION your brand through Pay-Per-Click advertising and search engine optimize tactics that include on-page and off-page SEO that are Google and Bing approved. STEP 3: We then PROMOTE your brand using an Inbound marketing strategy or a content marketing strategy to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We do this through blogging, video production, infographics, call-to-actions, landing pages, and free educational offers. We help you build trust and rapport with your customer base. STEP 4: We then PROTECT your brand's web presence with a reputation management program that monitors social media and on line reviews. Get started today with a free online marketing assessment of your company's web presence. Your company deserves it.
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