1 An Introduction to using Twitter for Business By
2 Twitter for Business 2 Welcome Using Twitter personally and professionally are two very different things. In this highly practical guide, we ll take a look at Twitter generally What is Twitter - and then delve into using Twitter as a tool for your business. This guide is a companion to our Twitter for Business Training Course that takes place in London every month. It doesn t matter whether you have signed up for our course, completed our course or are just reading this guide for advice - the guide has been written for anyone who is interested in getting to grips with using Twitter for Business. We hope you enjoy the guide. Happy Tweeting!
3 Twitter for Business 3 Contents About Twitter The Jargon Setting up your accounts Setting up your profile Profile Page Your Twitter activity The impression you give Tweeting Hootsuite Followers Join Us Page 4-5 Page 6-8 Page 9-10 Page 11 Page 12 Page Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21
4 Twitter for Business 4 About Twitter Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read tweets, which are text messages limited to 140 characters. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them Wikipedia Whilst Twitter started out as a microblogging service (demonstrated by the wiki definition) answering the question, What are you doing? now Twitter position themselves more as a news channel. Connecting people with the information they want. Interestingly, 40% of people using Twitter don t actually tweet. Instead they use Twitter as a newsfeed directly getting up-to-date information from brands, businesses and friends. With Twitter, you can tune in and listen to the news and information you want.
5 5 About Twitter Some Stats Total number of active registered Twitter users 554,750,000 Number of new Twitter users signing up everyday 135,000 Number of unique Twitter site visitors every month Average number of tweets per day Number of Twitter search engine queries every day Number of active Twitter users every month 190 million 58 million 2.1 billion 115 million Number of tweets that happen every second 9,100 Statistics courtesy of Statistic Brain Correct up to 05/07/13.
6 6 The Jargon Bio Your chance to tell Twitter about yourself (or your business). Bios sit on your profile page, under your photo and on top of your header. You get to use a maximum of 160 characters to build your bio - so be sure to include all the important information that you want people to know. From a business perspective this will be your business name, what you do and a link to your website or blog. Direct Message (DM) Private tweets that only the sender and recipient can see. Tweet Twitter is all about the tweets; messages comprising of 140 characters or less. The beauty of Twitter is that messages have to be short. You are limited to just 140 characters and so you have to learn to say a lot with less. Re-tweet (RT) If you want your followers to read a tweet that you didn t write, re-tweet it and it will appear in their home. Effectively, if you re-tweet something, it s similar to sending an to everyone on your mailing list. A re-tweet is a signal of advocacy or that people like what you ve said so they are sharing it into their audiences too. Hashtag (#) Putting # in front of a word makes it clickable. If you click a hashtagged word within a message you re taken to other tweets that use the same hashtag. More on this on page x. Home A list of tweets from the users you follow that s constantly updating. Favourite Really like a tweet? Favourite it and it will sit in your Favourites area forever(ish). It s similar to bookmarking.
7 7 The Jargon Follow The act of subscribing to another users tweets. If you want to hear what they ve got to say Follow them. Follower Someone who is following you. Follow Count The amount of people you follow and the amount of people who follow you. Follow Friday (#FF) This is a Twitter tradition where you recommend users who you think your followers should follow. For example This is effectively you promoting other Twitter accounts to your followers. Username name this is your handle on Twitter your brand, it s the name people connect with and is shown in your tweets. Header The larger image that appears behind your profile picture. Lists Fantastic feature that lets you group users you follow. More on this on page x. Profile Page that displays a user s information as well as their most recent tweets.
8 8 The Jargon Profile Picture Your smaller image. Promoted Tweet A paid for tweet that appears at the top of search results. Mention When someone mentions you in a tweet (or you mention someone), it s cunningly called a mention. You get alerted to mentions so you can keep a track on what people are saying about you. Reply When you simply reply to a tweet. Search The box that lets you search Twitter for keywords and other accounts. Trends The most popular topics on Twitter at the time.
9 9 Setting Up Your Account To set up a Twitter account you will need to provide the following information: See next page for an explanation of the above image.
10 10 Setting Up Your Account Full name This will appear as the main name on your page and will also be part of your Twitter URL. This doesn t have to be your own name, it s fine to use your business s name. It s worth considering using industry keywords in the name too. For example, if you were a plumber named Dave Smith, instead of just using Dave Smith, you could use Dave Smith Plumber. address This is where account notifications will be sent. If you want multiple people to have access to the account, use an address that multiple people have access to. Do not use an address that is never checked. You can have as many Twitter accounts as you want however, each Twitter account needs to be set up with a unique address. We recommend that if you are creating multiple accounts, it s worth logging all the passwords and addresses in a central repository. Password We recommend you regularly update your password set an alert and change it every 6 weeks. You do get spammers on Twitter and so a good way to reduce your account getting spammed is to regularly change your password. Username This is name. Once again, consider using industry keywords in the name. Security Only give your log in details to people that you trust. Unlike Facebook, Twitter does not offer different levels of admin rights. If someone has the password, they can change the password.
11 11 Setting Up Your Profile Now it s time to populate and prettify your profile page: First up you should add a profile photo and header photo. Looks matter on Twitter so make the most of these. Images should be good quality, eye-catching, and relevant to your business. Next on your to-do-list is the Bio. This is where you tell everyone what you do (in 160 characters or less) remember, words matter and so, with just 160 characters, be sure you are including important keywords! Finally you need to fill-out the rest of your profile page by adding your location and website. How do I add my own custom background? Ever wondered how Twitter users get their own snazzy background onto their profile page? Here s how: When in Settings select Design Scroll down to Customise your own Select Change Background Then Choose existing image Upload the image from your computer
12 12 Profile Page Your Profile Page Here s our profile page. For demonstration s sake, let s pretend it s yours. Home - click here to see Tweets from your followers Your custom image Photos & Videos you ve tweeted or re-tweeted Twitter search Compose new tweet Settings & Help Direct messages Your Full Name Your Username Header Image Your Bio, Location & URL Who twitter thinks you should follow based on who you re already following What s trending now Tweets you ve tweeted or retweeted
13 Your Twitter activity Social Media Guide 13 Who to follow Great, your account is all set up and hopefully looking great. Now you need to start following the right people. This is extremely important. Follow the right accounts and your timeline will become a great resource for information and yes, sometimes entertainment. On the other hand, follow the wrong accounts and your timeline will become a messy noise. Start out by following the people and businesses that your own business is associated with. Partners, suppliers, regulators, even customers. Some of them will be easy to find using Twitter search, others you ll have to track down by visiting the contact page on their website. Once you ve done this, you should start looking for any influencers within your industry. These are the heavy-hitter accounts that people love to engage with. They tweet something and minutes later they ve received multiple re-tweets and comments. These are great people to network with for the simple reason that it helps to have powerful connections in your network. The ease at which you find these accounts will depend on your industry social media training for example has a wealth of influencers. The easiest way to find these people is to search for your industry keywords from the Twitter search; you ll soon notice the people who are getting the most traction. You should then endeavour to find everyone else associated with your industry (that could have some relevance to you of course). This is where Twitter Lists come in handy. Lists are absolutely great for piggy-backing on someone else s hard work. Let s say you re an accountant in Manchester who wants to connect with accountants in London: 1. Search for London Accountants using Twitter search 2. Select an account 3. Select Lists 4. You can now see the lists that the user is Subscribed to and a Member of 5. Click on a relevant list name, ie Accountants in London 6. Select Subscribe
14 Your Twitter activity Social Media Guide 14 This creates a dedicated timeline, accessible from your own Lists menu, populated by tweets from people in the list. Now you can follow any accounts that interest you. Whilst subscribing to a list means that you don t have to follow the people in it, it s not anonymous. Other users can see if you subscribe to a list. Therefore it s not suitable for monitoring your competition. This brings us neatly onto Monitoring your Competition So how can you keep an eye on your competition without them knowing that you re watching them? Don t follow them as they will receive a notification via that you re doing this (they ll also be able to see your account in their own Followers timeline). Instead create your own private list made up of competitors. This way, they ll never know that they re being watched. To create a private list: 1. Go to the users profile page and select the head icon ( User Actions ) 2. Select Add or remove from lists 3. Select Create a list 4. Name and describe your list and then tick the Private box Now you anonymously keep tabs on them from your own Lists menu! Should I follow back the people who follow me? In a word, no. When you re notified of a new follower via , take a look at the account and see what they ve been tweeting. Then ask yourself if the account is relevant to you. If they can add value to your timeline, give them a follow. If not, thank them for the follow and leave it at that.
15 Your Twitter activity Social Media Guide 15 Do Listen Engage Don t Plug Spam Twitter is all about engagement. If you set up your account and then immediately start shouting about your services, Twitter is not going to work for you. The old adage is true; you ll get out what you put in: When a plane takes off it expends the most fuel. Once it s up and on course, it s far more plane sailing... Carvill Creative 2014 The initial stages should be dedicated to listening getting the lay of the land. Find the right people to follow and pay attention to what they re tweeting. Feel free to introduce yourself but let your bio do the (subtle) selling.
16 Your Twitter activity Social Media Guide 16 How to Share your Content on Twitter It s absolutely fine to link to any content (such as blogs or videos) that you ve created, just make sure that you don t overdo it. If you re linking to something more than once, which you should be doing if you want it to be seen, change the tweet. For example, to advertise this guide we could tweet We ve just created a Twitter for Business Guide download it for free now!, and then later on in the day we could tweet Download our new Twitter guide for our tips on using Twitter Lists. Don t tweet the same thing more than once; give each tweet a different spin. What it s all about Ultimately your Twitter activity needs to provide value. You should be: Providing advice on your industry Assisting customers and potential customer (up to a point) Sharing content that you think is useful, purposeful, educational or even entertaining to your audiences. If you can do this successfully, you are: Establishing yourself as an authority in your industry Making people aware of your brand The Re-Tweet The Hear Hear of Twitter If you like a tweet, give it a re-tweet. Not only does this share the tweet with your followers, it also lets the original tweeter know that you appreciated it. For bonus points, use Hootsuite (more on this on page xxx) to add a comment to a tweet that you re retweeting, like this: To do this: 1. Locate the tweet on Hootsuite 2. Select the re-tweet icon 3. Select Edit 4. Add your comment 5. Send the tweet!
17 17 The impression you give How you conduct yourself on Twitter should reflect exactly how you want to be seen by your customers and peers. Obviously that s for you to decide, there are however a couple of things that you shouldn t do. Don t sell, sell, sell Sorry if we re over-egging the point but this really is important. Don t get involved in any Twitter-spats If a non-customer tries to provoke you, simply ignore them. If a customer is unhappy, apologise and then do your utmost to get the conversation offline by politely requesting that they the relevant member of your team. Twitter is not the place to get involved in detailed discussions about specific account information. Don t be offensive Okay, okay, we know it s obvious.
18 18 Tweeting How often should I Tweet? Aha! This is one of the most common questions that we re asked. Don t worry about tweeting too much, the lifetime of a tweet is just seconds. Just remember, tweeting should be organic and not forced don t tweet for the sake of it. If you want to twist our arm for an exact figure, let s say 2 tweets per working-hour and a scheduled tweet (we ll tell you how on page xxx) every couple of nonworking, daytime hours. Do keep in mind that the amount of tweets you share will vary. If you are at a conference and tweeting around a #hashtag (more on that in just a moment) then you may be tweeting a lot throughout that conference. Hashtags What better place to start than Twitter s own definition of the hashtag? The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages By putting # in front of a word (which can appear anywhere in your tweet), you are making that word clickable. If clicked, you are then taken to a timeline made up of other uses of that hashtagged word. As Twitter pointed out, hashtags are a handy way to categorise tweets. For example, if you were a dog groomer (for some reason we re very fond of this example at ), you could tweet quick tips about dog grooming using the hashtag #DogGroomTip. That way, whenever someone clicked the word, they d be taken to more tips about dog grooming.
19 19 Hootsuite Hootsuite is a free platform (there are paid for versions too) that connects with your Twitter account. Using Hootsuite allows you to: Manage multiple Twitter accounts from one place If you take care of more than one Twitter account, Hootsuite allows you to store these accounts (up to 5 with the free version) under one log in. Now you can tweet, from Hootsuite, for each account without having to log in and out of Twitter. Schedule tweets in advance It s inevitable that there ll be some days when you re away from the office, however, that doesn t mean that your tweeting has to stop. Simply schedule in tweets for times when you know you ll be away. Set up Keyword timelines Set up multiple timelines dedicated to specific keywords. Interested in people mentioning, oh let s say Social Media Training, create a timeline dedicated it! Import your lists Constantly monitor your lists by importing them over to your Hootsuite account.
20 20 Followers Don t get bogged down with your numbers Delegates who come to our Twitter for Business Training Course always want to increase the amount of people that follow them. This is completely understandable but also misguided. Having an engaged following is far more important than having a huge following that doesn t interact. Having said that How can I get more followers? Apart from ensuring that your tweets are outstanding, the best advice we can give to grow your following is to shout about your account. Link to it from your homepage, link to it from your contact us page, link to it from your blog. You can even mention it on your offline materials; just remember to give your accounts full URL (instead of just saying We re on Twitter. We ve written some blogs on it... Are you tracking your keywords on Twitter? Twitter, Hootsuite and Twitter Lists: How To Merge 5 ways to work the room at the Social Media Party At last! You ll soon be able to Direct Message who you want on Twitter Twitter for Business: Multiple accounts from your mobile
21 21 Interested in learning more? Join Us Thanks for reading We hope you found the guide helpful. Interested in learning more? We offer a range of training and consulting solutions: Join us on any of our training courses and get 50 off the usual price. Social Media for Business Digital Content Twitter For Business Facebook For Business LinkedIn For Business Social Media Strategy Google Analytics Google Adwords Search Engine Optimisation Simply enter SMPLAN50 when at the checkout to receive the 50 discount. In-house Training Courses All our courses can be delivered in your offices and be tailored for your specific requirements. For more information simply Consulting Services Need help with the practical elements of getting started with social media or with your social media strategy? We have partnered with digital marketing and social media consulting agency, Carvill Creative. Call the team on for more information. Webinars You will find a range of viewable webinars on our website. Topics vary and cover anything from How to Set Up Google+ to Getting to Grips with Twitter Hashtags. Watch them here and don t forget to join us on the first Thursday of every month for new webinars. Please visit our website for information on any of our training and consulting services. Or to discuss your training needs, give Jenny Howden a call on Finally... Don t forget to connect with us!
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