Twitter Tips 101: What Is It, How Does It Work, and How to Use Twitter for Business?
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Twitter, what a misunderstood social media channel! Do you often wonder, “What is Twitter? How does it work? And how can I use it for business? You are not alone, many online marketers avoid it altogether (or give it very little attention).
If you do not use Twitter, we are here to tell you that it can be an amazing tool that yields real leads for your business. Twitter Tip 101: when you know how to use it correctly, it is TRUE that you can get amazing leads from it.
What is Twitter?
This is one of the fastest moving social channels to date. A Twitter feed may look like nameless accounts flying by, the average lifespan of a Tweet is 8 seconds or so. But believe this, Twitter users are real people, who are looking for real help, products or services. Twitter is one of the most underutilized social media channels, and when you use it in the right way, you will be the product supplier these real customers buy from!
This is a Twitter 101 post. Don’t be nervous that you have never tried to use Twitter before, this article is for the beginner. We want you to dominate Twitter marketing first by learning the basic definitions and tips for people just starting out on Twitter.
How Does Twitter Work? Let’s get started:
Tweet: A “tweet” is a message in Twitter. You are allowed 140 characters of text, and this includes photos, videos, gifs, and other forms of media. These message will be public unless they are sent from protected accounts or direct messages. You can also use WordPress plugins to embed your tweets right into your posts.
Handle: A Twitter handle is just another way of saying account name. At IMU we have two Twitter handles: @fitlittlelife and @aedrjmns for Meredith Dale and Anne DiVitto. Some schools of thought will tell you that you should keep consistent handles across your social media profiles. This is entirely up to you. If you change your handle after you have started an account, you will lose @mentions, (next up) so keep this in mind. Your profile can be searched by name, so if you cannot change your handle, do not worry too much about it. (in our humble opinion)
Mention: A mention is when you tag another user’s handle (user name, account name) in a social media message, like a tweet or a direct message. Keep in mind the formatting is important; use the “@” sign before the handle, so that your audience may click through to the mention user’s profile.
Retweet: This is a tweet that is shared out to the followers of another user’s Twitter account. This can be VERY POWERFUL if you are able to get someone with a lot of followers to retweet your content. This grows your reach exponentially! There are two kinds of retweets: a regular retweet, which happens when you click the official retweet button. This will show the full Tweet in your timeline along with the user’s name. This is the easiest way to retweet content and considered good form.
You may also “Quote Tweet” which will show the tweet in its original form, but also allow you to make your own comment. I recommend only doing this when you have something relevant to say about it.
Feed: This is the main page when you sign into your Twitter account. This is where the stream of updates and information are showed. Your feed will only be from those Twitter users that you are following.
Direct Message (DM): This is a direct message inbox within Twitter. You can only send DM’s to a user who is following you and you can only receive DM’s from users you follow.
Hashtag: This is a word or a phrase that proceeded by a “#” sign. This is used across all social media channels. What this does is mark your tweet with a topic so that I can be found by people who share your interests or are researching your topic. The hashtag originated on Twitter and is now used by Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and most notably, Instagram. By clicking the hashtag, it will show all of the most recent published messages that have that hashtag as well.
Above are all of the definitions that you should know before embarking on using Twitter as your marketing platform.
How to Use Twitter for Business?
Besides your tweets, the most important thing you should focus on to build your business with Twitter is your Twitter bio.
- Your Twitter profile picture. If you do not include a profile photo, and leave the dreaded egg head there, people will think you’re a fake. If you are serious about using Twitter to generate leads and therefore make sales, upload a nice, clean, crisp, professional looking photo.
- Make it interesting. You don’t need to be outrageous, but people are on Twitter because it’s exciting. Add a little fun to your bio! (try http://twitterbiogenerator.com/ if you need a little help)
- Tell people what you have accomplished! This can be something as simple as “Mom”, but maybe you can add a little zest to it by saying “SuperMom extraordinaire”.
- Use hashtags, “@”s and Links. If you are an entrepreneur and/or own a business then hashtag it! Do something like, #handcraftedjewelry or #personaltrainer. If you work for someone else, and they have a corporate account, be sure to include their Twitter handle. (@Target) Finally, USE THE LINK field. At IMU, we ALWAYS push to use a capture page link, so that you have the chance of gathering leads for your efforts. If not, definitely include your personal website so that people can be taken off the quick pace of Twitter, and get to know the real you through further communication.
If you implement only one of these suggestions you are off to a great start. Do not get overwhelmed. Once you learn the rules of the road Twitter can be so fun and very rewarding. I NEVER thought I would use Twitter! Now, I’d have to say it’s one of my favorite platforms.