Ah… the world wide web. Complex, confusing, and the one place that can connect people across oceans and cultural divides. With so much information, how does a particular subject become an overnight sensation? The answer is simple – social media.
We talked about why your business needs a Facebook page in last week’s blog. This week, we are going to tackle the Twittersphere. By now, you’ve definitely heard of Twitter. While most people are able to operate a Facebook page and at least understand its purpose, Twitter has some less-tech-savvy individuals shaking their heads.
What is Twitter?
So let’s start with the basics. Twitter is a social media networking service that allows members to post a 140 character message (otherwise known as a tweet). A photo, video, or link to a website or article can also be attached. Twitter is free, and you will be asked to choose a Twitter handle (a username). The Twitter handle is how you will be able to communicate with other Twitter users. As with any social media, you can network with friends. On Twitter, to read your friends’ posts, you’ll have to “follow” them. Your friends can also follow you. You can also follow television networks, news outlets, sports teams, specific tv shows, public figures, and celebrities — you name it — there’s probably some type of Twitter account for it.
Twitter has made television programming more interactive and social. Popular shows and sporting events have a Twitter account and they tweet live during programming and interact with viewers to create a conversation. Twitter is being used as a great marketing tool for companies and is constantly expanding.
How do I use Twitter?
So you’ve signed up for Twitter, created a handle, and started following friends and some other interesting tweeps (people on Twitter). You’ve joined the Twittersphere (and just so you know, the Oxford Dictionary does recognize this as a real word), so what now?
For the beginner, let’s break down what you will see on your Twitter feed (this will be the posts you’ll see from the people you are following under your home tab). You’ll see who you are following in bold print beside the profile icon or photo they’ve selected. Besides that, you see in gray an “at” sign (@) followed by a name with no spaces. This is their Twitter handle. If you wish to correspond with anyone on Twitter, instead of using their name, you’ll need to use their Twitter handle when you send a tweet. Beside their handle on your twitter feed, you’ll be able to see in real time how recent the post was made. Under that information, you’ll be able to read their tweet, see the photo or click on a link to a video or article they’ve shared.
If you’d like to comment on their tweet, you can click on the first icon on the left (it will be an arrow pointing left). If you find the tweet interesting and want to share it, you can click on the second icon – the two arrows that form a square. This will allow you to retweet their post. If you like the post and want to add it as one of your favorites, you can click on the star. And if you want more options, click on the three dots and a drop-down menu will pull up with other selections.
What do I use Twitter for?
Right now you may be asking why Twitter and how does it help you as a business owner? Let’s go back to the blue and black dress. You remember that internet sensation right? It became what’s known as a trending topic. Trending topics are typically started by using a hashtag (it’s the pound/number sign on your keyboard) followed by a keyword or phrase. This is a great marketing tool. It can be used in conjunction with a contest or just to get your brand out there. And hashtags are searchable on Twitter. If it’s a really popular hashtag, it will be considered a trending topic and show up in the trends section on your Twitter feed.
Here’s an example of how this might work. Say you’re a florist and you want to promote Mother’s Day. You’re going to give away a lovely arrangement to one lucky customer. For Mother’s Day, #ilovemom might be a hashtag you want to use. So you would send out a tweet with a photo of the arrangement and say something like – Tell us about your mom and you could win this stunning arrangement. #ilovemom #mothersdaygiveaway. Customers would then need to use your Twitter handle to participate and use the hashtag.
Twitter can be used in many ways to promote your business, build a relationship with your customers and create brand awareness. Experiment with different tweets. Share your content on various social media platforms and include hashtags. Encourage website visitors to follow you on social media. And follow the customers that follow you. See what their interests are and create content based on what your customers need and want. You’ll see your following increase and create a web presence that will stand out.
As always, we’re here to help. If you want more information about social media marketing and social media content, contact us. We’ll be happy to get you started.