A short guide to Twitter

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1 A short guide to Twitter What is Twitter? Twitter is a micro-blogging communication platform that enables users to send short messages (up to 140 characters) that can be read by anybody else on Twitter. What can it be used for? Having a huge marketing budget doesn t mean anything in social media you can t buy attention, you have to seek / earn your audience. Before you can really get started, you need to be clear on your purpose for using Twitter, how you want to present yourself and what messages you are going to communicate. For example, Twitter can be used to: Develop and promote your brand Interact with your customer base Track what people are saying about your company and brand Create buzz around upcoming events Promote other content you ve created, including webinars, blog posts or podcasts Develop direct relationships with bloggers and journalists for potential PR placement Generate sales leads for your business For many, Twitter is an opportunity to become an authoritative voice and key influencer in your industry/sector. The currency in social media is meaningful engagement, participation and value creation. Web 2.0 has provided a real-time opportunity for two-way conversation. Once you have grasped it, I can assure you, you will be hooked!

2 How to set up an account Go to where you will be asked to enter your name, password and address Choose a username that is clear, concise and direct Select the notifications you wish to receive by Using the settings tab to personalise your profile o Add a photo (or company logo) o Use the bio field to explain who you are in 160 characters or less. This is really important and should include keywords that people may search for. Personality will also attract more followers. o Add your chosen website address in the URL field (this may be a company homepage, a specific landing page or a blog) o Add your primary location be specific (again people may search on this criteria to find you) o Do not select the protect my tweets option if you want to be found! Use the settings / design tab to add a branded background image (you may wish to seek the help of a graphic designer with this). How best to manage Twitter You may wish to manage Twitter simply via the website. This is fine to get started, but as you progress you may find the use of an application such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck more helpful particularly as these tools have the functionality to schedule tweets in advance.

3 Getting started Listen Add content Follow Listening Before starting or joining in any conversation, it s important to observe and listen. It s useful to have a strategy for how you wish to listen to people on Twitter and what you expect to gain from it, for example:- Listen to customers: hear what they are saying about you Listen to influencers / thought leaders / competitors: keep track of industry trends and useful information you could share Listen to journalists and publications: share information to raise your profile with them After listening, then you have the appropriate baseline and credibility to join the conversation. Content (tweets) Sufficient content will need to appear in the twitter stream before you can really start to follow anyone. As soon as you follow someone they will receive a notification it is at this point they will check out your profile / content and decide whether or not they wish to follow you back. This is a golden opportunity and why it is important to have some content on your feed before you start to add followers.

4 How to construct a tweet Tweets should be written with the aim of being retweeted (RT). 140 = maximum length of a tweet 9 = length of username 10 = space to say it s a retweet / to include a comment 15 = use of a shortened URL (via bit.ly) = 106 maximum length for a tweet Tweet regularly, and often. An average account would tweet about half a dozen times a day. It is preferable to plan some content in advance and schedule tweets. It is OK to repeat messages not all followers will see / respond to each and every tweet one of your tweets in their timeline. Rule of Thirds This is a good guide to preparing messages that will lead to quality and engaged followers. 1. Recommend lots of interesting stuff; new sites you ve found, new music, good coffee shops etc. Chances are if you like it someone else will. 2. Let us get to know you. Tell us interesting things about what you re doing. 3. Promote your work and yourself. Hashtags A hashtag is simply a keyword preceeded by the # symbol. When you add a hashtag to your tweets, your updates can be seen not only by the people that follow you specifically, but also by anyone who happens to be following that particular hashtag (it is therefore a good idea to follow keywords that are relevant to you / your business). Hashtags are not registered or controlled by anyone. It is easy to pick up on a popular hashtag such as #Olympics and you now often see hashtags on a TV screen for a programme / news item (eg #bigbrother). You may also spot the use of hashtags for business events this is a great idea to create online buzz for your own event, or to follow events that for some reason you have been unable to attend. (Note: to work correctly hashtags cannot have spaces)

5 Who to follow Following someone on Twitter means: You are subscribing to their Tweets Their updates will appear on your homepage / on your timeline (if using an application such as Tweetdeck / Hootsuite) That person is able send you direct messages You may already know people who use twitter that s a good start! You can use the search box on Twitter or simply use a search engine with a search term such as Luan Wise Twitter to find the details. As you start to follow, you will receive recommendations on others you might follow (because they have similar profiles to those you already following or whom are followed by others you are following). Take a look at who other people follow particularly those who have an established twitter profile and appear to have similar objectives to yourself (eg industry sector / target audience). Remember, you can unfollow at any time. How to build followers Followers are people who receive your Tweets. If someone follows you: They'll show up in your followers list They see your tweets whenever they log in to Twitter You can send them direct messages As soon as you start to tweet / follow you will attract your own followers (it is possible to block unwanted followers if someone is offensive). It is good etiquette to thank someone for following. Followers Vs Following At all times it is important to maintain a follower:following ratio of at least 1:1, but ideally a greater number of followers than those following. This demonstrates influence and authority. (If your following number is significantly lower it indicates that those you follow just don t want to follow you back / have unfollowed you due to the quality of your content).

6 Summary Be clear on your objectives for using Twitter, have a clear plan for content and tone; then tweet often and regularly. Remember to think value in everything you do, make sure you know your audience and be genuine to who you are. If you would like further support or have any questions about getting started with Twitter, please do contact me, I d be happy to help. Luan Wise Call me on: / Follow me on Connect with me on LinkedIn: Visit my website:

7 Twitter Glossary / Useful sign is used to call out usernames in Tweets, like this: When a username is preceded by sign, it becomes a link to a Twitter can be used anywhere within a tweet to mention another user. If you send a tweet at the beginning of a message then only that person and any followers you both have in common will see that tweet in a timeline (it is still public). To overcome this, use a fullstop in front of sign to fool Twitter. Bit.ly Buffer DM Follow Friday Follower Followerwonk Following #Hashtag A free online tool that can be used to shorten weblinks (and not take up quite so many of your 140 characters). Using a bit.ly account can also provide valuable clickthrough statistics not available elsewhere. A free app for scheduling content for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There is a direct message function to communicate privately with one of your followers. Just start your tweet with d luanwise. Twitter users often suggest who others should follow on Fridays by tweeting with the hashtag #FF Followers are people who receive your Tweets. A useful tool to find influential people to follow on Twitter. Following someone on Twitter means you are subscribing to their Tweets and will see their message on your home page / timeline A hashtag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic. When you add a hashtag to your tweets, your updates can be seen not only by the people that follow you specifically, but also by anyone who happens to be following that particular hashtag (you can click on the hashtag to see all relevant messages) Once you start getting involved in twitter you will soon pick up on hashtags, and often spot those that are being used for key news items / events.

8 Hootsuite Mention Nutshell Mail Tweet Tweetdeck Retweet Tweriod Twitsprout A social media management platform. A free service that provides a snapshot of the latest updates for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, MySpace, Foursquare and Citysearch. The individual 140 character message posted on Twitter A social media management platform. The act of reposting someone else s tweet and giving them credit. If your message is retweeted you should receive a notification. It is good etiquette to thank someone for re-tweeting. A free twitter tool that provides a free analysis (of up to 1000 followers) by letting you know the best time of day to tweet. A free twitter reporting tool that provides a simple analysis of your Twitter activity over the past 7 days. Whounfollowedme A free tool to check your unfollowers, see who is not following you back and who you are not following back.

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