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Are You Really Using Twitter?

Andy Williams

by Andy Williams on 13th March 2012

TwitterTwitter has become part of everyday life with over 360 million accounts signed up and live. However for a majority of users see Twitter just as a platform used to share random thoughts within 140 characters a couple of times a day.

Beyond that they don’t get much more out of it. After using it for a while they lose interest and their accounts lay dormant. Twitter is so much more than a board for random thoughts. It can be used in so many ways, providing you with so much information. Here are some ways you can use Twitter for more than just telling the world what you had for breakfast.

Promoting Your Brand

It’s an obvious starting point with most businesses using Twitter as a form of promotion.

Twitter has become one of the buzz platforms that all businesses “should have”.

As with any online platform, it’s not enough simply having an account, you need to be using it correctly to get the most out of it.

As has been spoken about before in past Koozai blog posts, so many companies set up a Twitter account without any kind of strategy or clue as to what they are going to do with it.

The enthusiasm is there to start with but then fades with the account left without an update for 6 months.

If you are going to use Twitter to promote your business you need to do it properly. You need to plan what you want to get out of it and what message you are trying to get across.

Twitter is a very powerful tool that gives you the chance to engage with your customers one to one as well as promote your products or services.

  • Follow the Right People

To get your account going you need to do your homework. Find who is talking about you or about related products. If they are showing an interest then follow them. Most of the time, if they really are interested in what you have to offer, they will follow you back.

However you need to be sensible. Don’t go and follow 1000’s of people straight away. Build your account naturally. Target who you follow and who you want to follow you back.

  • Announce Deals/Discounts

If people are following you then you have direct contact with them. Promoting discounts or deals will encourage them to use your services or buy your products. If they like what you are offering then they are more likely to “Re-Tweet” your messages.

This knock-on effect can help spread the word about you.

  • Run Competitions

If you run competitions that are aimed solely at your Twitter followers then you will actively be encouraging more people to follow you.

  • Answer Customers

Engage with your customers. If they ask you questions about your services or products, make sure you answer them. The more you do this, the more people will interact with you. The more this happens the more followers you will gain.

  • Monitor Your Brand

Finally, monitor your brand. It was important to find people talking about you right at the start. It’s just as important that you continue to monitor what people are saying.

Provide Killer Customer Service

Twitter is an excellent tool for providing customer service.

As I covered in my recent post Social Media Monitoring – Are You Offering Customer Service? monitoring your brand and what people are saying about your products or services online can give you the opportunity to address any issues directly with your customers.

Monitor your brand and watch to see who is talking about you.

If it’s positive, thank them.

If it’s negative, offer to help. You will be surprised just how many opinions can be changed by simply addressing the problem when someone has simply moaned on Twitter.

Create Lists and Attend Live Events
Twitter has become my most turned to source in keeping me up to date with live sporting events that I can’t attend, especially football.

I don’t go to as many games as I used to, it costs too much and I now have a young family (and that is my excuse for becoming an armchair supporter). But I have found Twitter to be an excellent platform (if not a little bias at times) to get second by second updates on what is going on during a match.

I naturally follow a lot of people who support the same team as me, I probably follow over 300 supporters. To filter these guys out from everyone else I follow I’ve created a list within Twitter that only included fans of the same team. Using Tweetdeck, I then created a column that gives me updates from this list and this list alone. Now, come match days I have my very own personalised commentary on the match.

As well as giving me up to date game commentary it can also serve as a News source.

Using this technique you can attend any event you want without being there.

Twitter Feed

Follow the Hashtag
A variation on the above is to follow event hashtags.

Something like a sporting event won’t always have an official hashtag you can follow however most and more events these days are using them. Even TV programmes now display the relevant tag at the start of their shows.

By following the desired hashtag you will be able to read all Tweets that include this tag giving you up to date information, opinion and commentary on what is going on.

Hashtags aren’t just used for events, these can be keyterms related to the Tweet. So if you are interested in a certain subject, follow the hashtag and see what everyone else is saying.

Find a Job

If you are looking for a job, Twitter is a very good job board if know how and where to look. Again follow the hashtag. More often than not if a job posting is Tweeted then a hashtag will be assigned to it. Do your research, find the type of hashtags that would be relevant to the type of job you are looking for and start following.

Take a look at this article to get an idea as to the type of hashtags that may be being used:Job Search Hashtags on Twitter: http://www.careerrocketeer.com/2009/09/top-100-job-search-hashtags-on-twitter.html

Are you following recruitment agencies? You should be, that way you will receive updates straight into your timeline.

It is also important to follow and become social with people who are in the industry you are looking to work in. Sometimes companies will Tweet that they are recruiting rather than go through an agency. If you are already on talking terms with these people this will be to your advantage.

Ask Questions
With over 360 million signed up Twitter accounts, you have a readymade knowledge base at your fingertips.

If you want to know something, ask. Use a relevant hashtag and see if you get a reply. Twitter users like to share knowledge so ask.

The more you engage with people on Twitter the more likely you are to have a base of friends willing to help you out.

Learn
Twitter is full of people sharing links to articles and information. This makes it an amazing source of up to date opinion.

If you are looking to learn about a certain subject or find out about the latest news then follow those hashtags again or people relevant to the subject you are interested in. More often than not you will be fed with links to sources of information that will be helpful to you.

Andy Williams

Andy Williams

Andy Williams, our DADI award winning Digital Marketing Manager will be giving you useful insights into local search and the overall SEO landscape. Andy has over 9 years experience in the SEO industry including 2 years as the in-house SEO consultant with a leading Web Design company.

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3 Comments

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  • valentine belonwu 13th March 2012

    Hi,
    I like your input here on how everyone should really use twitter but another way to use twitter is not to spam your followers with your sales products, (self promotion) etc.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Valentine

    Reply to this comment

  • Dean Marsden

    Dean 14th March 2012

    Nice list of tips Andy. Twitter gives you a direct connection to the people who are interested in you or your brand. So it’s important to engage with others rather than just pushing out your own messages. Take time to search and read what others are saying and join the conversation!

    I use twitter mostly for learning. I follow a lot of people and keeping up with the constant streams of tweets is not very efficient, luckily there are some great tools out there to help you gain insight into what news and articles are being shared the most. I use one called Strawberry Jam http://strawberryj.am/, feel free to message me (via twitter of course!) if you need an invite @koozai_dean

    I also recommend not posting consecutively updates to give your messages more visibility and to not look spammy. The twitter app has a built in tweet scheduler and there are other 3rd party ones out there that offer a few more options. One I use is called Buffer and you can use it for free by signing up here: http://bufferapp.com/

    Reply to this comment

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