Beginner’s Guide to Twitter for Business Users

The big world of Twitter can seem a bit overwhelming when you first log in. There are so many tweets, so many people to follow, so many #unnecessarilylonghashtags and so many words and phrases that are not used anywhere but the ‘Twittersphere’.

But it is worth sticking it out and it can be very useful for your business. Tweeting is a great way to make new contacts, find the products or information you’re looking for and sometimes even have a good laugh!

It is useful to have a specific aim in mind when you use Twitter so that you don’t end up spending hours without much to show for it. Do you want to build contacts? Get more traffic to your website? Get information from clients/suppliers? Use it to build a ‘face’ for your company so that your customers can get to know you better? If you have an existing marketing plan in place then tie in your tweets with that so that you have a consistent message.

Here’s a simple guide to getting started:

Profile

Once you’ve logged in, update your profile with your bio, picture and your website details, then it’s time to begin. It is vital that you have included your picture (or even company logo) as a lot of people just won’t follow anyone who still has the generic ‘egg’ picture on their account.

Following

You need to find people to follow. These are the people whose updates will fill your timeline. I find it useful to start with existing clients and suppliers. Tweet them and say hi, let them know you are there! To direct a tweet to someone in particular you need to @ first. eg to tweet to me you would type @practicalpanda

Often they’ll give you a mention or retweet too. Anyone who types @youraccount the tweet will be in your ‘mentions’. Where they are giving you good feedback you can retweet and also make them a favourite so that it’s there saved for people to see.

Take a look through who other people follow and then follow anyone interesting/relevant yourself. A lot of people will follow back people who follow them so you should find your own number of followers rising too.

Most importantly… remember to follow @WAHMweb and @practicalpanda!

Tweeting

At this point you should be tweeting some things about yourself, your business and your interests. Make sure there is content on your account so that when you start to follow people and use other hashtags, people can see that you are there and that you are worth following.

People don’t like to be ‘spammed’ so rather than just posting lots and lots about your business and what you do, it’s useful to use Twitter to share things about what you’re doing personally along with recommendations for other people (and you’ll find that they often return the favour!)

If you retweet things of interest from people you follow then you’ll find that they retweet (RT) you in return. Try to RT info that is relevant to your followers and/or useful for building a business relationship with the original tweeter.

Think twice before set your Facebook updates to appear on Twitter and vice-versa. I know it’s tempting to save time, but they are different platforms and as such, have different styles and different wording that works best on each.

#hashtagslookscary #whatdotheymean?

Using a # in your tweets can mean that more people who are interested in the same things as you can see them. For example #wahm #parenting #bizitalk #purplebiz #bizipig

There are hundreds of different #’s every day and it can be useful to click on one on a tweet you find interesting & tweet the same # so that your tweet is then linked to theirs.

If you’re watching sport or an interesting TV show then they often have popular #s which can get your account viewed by more people.

In the same vein, if you find someone interested in the same things then follow them and often they follow back.

One important hashtag is #FF (aka follow Friday). Each Friday lots of people use #ff and then post recommendations of people to follow. Rather than just listing #ff @lotsofpeople I try to make it personal: eg: #ff @wahmweb for business advice, friendly chat & new #wahm contacts

Once you get started if there is anything you’re still unsure of then either ask here at WAHMweb, get in touch with me at www.practicalpanda.co.uk or tweet about it – the beauty of Twitter is that there is always someone who has the answer!