When I started dipping my toes in the social media website and marketing world I didn't have a clue what I was doing. So it made perfect sense to put on a series of social media marketing seminars for myself and other small business owners to learn from the experts and ask questions directly.
So far so good. I've ended up learning a lot more than I had originally thought I would. Now I get asked for help with the getting started with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and co. I'm getting quite comfortable with Twitter and Facebook, still have my training wheels on with LinkedIn and haven't even ventured into Instagram and Pinterest.
To keep the learning circle going I thought a series of useful how to articles for small business owners on how to make the social media platforms work would need to cover things like how to set up your Twitter business profile, tips for structuring your Twitter posts, tips for scheduling your Twitter posts, tips on how to get Twitter followers, 20 Twitter Tips and a series on Facebook for business tips too.
Beginners Tips for Twitter for Business
So you want to get the power of Twitter on your side and start building a Twitter following that loves you back? Well Twitter is one of my favourite social media websites because it's so friendly to the small business owner.
Unlike the constant changes over at Facebook, Twitter keeps the goal posts in the same place and only makes small improvements at a time and they're easy to get along with and they work.
How to Set Up Your Twitter Business Profile Tips
It's easy to join Twitter and set up your Twitter account, whether that's through a Twitter app on your tablet or on your computer. I'd recommend setting up your Twitter account on a computer - PC, laptop or Mac - rather than on a mobile or tablet because of the full funactionalities available through them.
If you look after these key elements when you're getting started with your blog or business Twitter profile you'll be ahead of the pack:
1. Start with a plan. Plans always make life easier, especially with a full plate within your business or blog. Decide what you want your Twitter marketing efforts to achieve and how you're going to measure, to define whether they are working or not. This can be as simple as tracking the traffic to your blog or website from Twitter. I find keeping plans simple works best for me. Having one or two pages outlining my aim, goals, 5 steps to how I'm going to achieve what I'm after and how I'm going to know when I've achieved my goals makes it much easier for the plan to actually happen.
2. Create a Twitter handle that reflects your blog or business name - so if your business is Best Flowers in Town don't have a handle like @any4567tc - instead have a handle (Twitter name) as close as possible to your business name @FlowersTown would work much better. You might have to take your time finding the right handle that is available for you and maybe a catch up session with the girls over dinner might help with the brainstorming. Just don't Tweet under the influence!
3. Have a profile picture that works with your branding - be consistent and keep it simple. The image is made quite small on the tablets and mobiles so if you want it to work think through the design and keep it simple.
4. It's really important to have a description about your blog or business as people will use this to decide whether to follow you or not. Writing your first one can be challenging so write a few drafts featuring the keyword phrases and summary about your business, include your website and test them out. You can always change it and improve it.
5. If you're on Twitter to grow your profile and promote your blog or business make sure you have posts that people will want to share and retweet (RT). This will create a balance between your conversation tweets and your sharing information tweets. People don't generally RT a chatty tweet but they will share and RT an informative post that adds value for their readers.
6. Sharing and retweeting other people's posts is a great way to start connecting and building relationships. Look for tweets that are potentially interesting to your followers - and it doesn't matter how many followers you have. Make it easy for people to promote you by having Tweets they will want to share.
7. Say thank you for retweets and mentions - manners make the world go round better.
8. Don't get into arguement with trolls - you have a better life to be living. Trolls go away when starved of attention oxygen so starve the slimmy buggers.
9. Have a solid password for your account and look after it. Don't share it with those who say they can build you up lots of followers quickly - they are trolls and hackers pretending to be nice and excited about getting your money and details. Starve these ones too.
10. Present yourself on Twitter as you would at a business event that's important to you. Put your best foot forward and be ready to connect. Don't share a heap of personal stuff, don't Tweet when under the influence (oh, I mentioned this already!) and have beautiful manners - repetition again!
Not All About the Numbers
While social media marketing might seem all about the numbers you'll discover that's a great big myth. Without engagment and interaction with your followers it won't make a difference how many people are following you.
What's more important is who is listening to you and sharing your content. Key industry influencers are far more valuable that 1000's of junk followers. You get key influencital people interested in you by sharing great content and connecting.
There's a school of thought on Twitter than it's better to be seen to have a lot of followers but not following many others. Personally I disagree with this concept for a business. It makes sense if you're the Dali Lama and a few others but if you're a blogger, a business owner, membership network wanting to create relationships that matter then get involved with your followers and follow back.
Of course, you don't have to follow everyone. I certainly don't. I don't follow obvious spam accounts, nasty negative people etc. You choose.
How to Use Twitter Articles
Here are some very useful articles from Twitter to get you going with your social media marketing:
Signing Up with Twitter
Promoting Your Profile
Take a Tour of Twitter
The Twitter Glossary of Terms
The Twitter helpdesk is really easy to use and has practical articles available to answer your questions.
More Twitter Business Help
Read on to know more about how to get Twitter followers, using Twitter tools to schedule posts and how to structure your Twitter posts.