Twitter is a social networking site that uses micro-blogging (communicating in 140 characters or less), where users give quick updates on what they are doing, researching, and as a way to share interesting links. Updates are displayed on a user’s profile page and users have the option to share their “tweets” (or micro-blogs) with the general public or with friends only. A useful networking tool, Twitter has many applications for business as well as personal networking.
Benefits of Using Twitter:
- Drive Website Traffic – Links can be shared through micro-blogging and through the user’s profile.
- Public Engagement -You can use twitter as a quick way to inform customers of specials, events, or new products for free.
- Industry / Customer Tracking – By “following” other twitter users in the same industry or your target customers, you can monitor how users feel about your brand and market trends.
- Blog Promotion – Users can set up a blog feed from their blog to their twitter profile. All blog posts become a part of the Twitter feed, keeping “followers” updated on the blog.
- Speed and Ease of Use – The 140 character limit and simple interface allow users to reach a large group instantly with very little time commitment.
- Establish Credibility – By sharing articles and expertise on a topic, users can quickly establish a following and develop a reputation as a credible source on a topic.
- Establish Intimacy – Twitter allows users to establish a sense of intimacy with customers through an enhanced level of communication. Instant and constant updates to customers and other followers can give them a deeper sense of involvement with a person or organization.
- Mobile Access – Users on the road can easily send twitter updates via their mobile device, allowing them to be connected during conferences and while traveling.
How to Set Up Your Twitter Account
1.) Choose a username that reflects your business.
2.) Fill in Account details, profile photo (personalized photos rather than logos give a more personal feel to the profile), and profile background design.
Example of Profile Page:
3.) Invite contacts & find users to follow:
The “tweets” of users you are following will appear on your Home page, while your own twitter feed will be displayed on your Profile page.
The website http://www.twellow.com/ is a yellow pages directory of twitter users organized by industry. This is a very useful tool for finding industry leaders to follow on twitter. Following industry leaders allows you to keep up to date with what they are saying. If the people you follow have a large number of followers, that can lead to developing more followers for your own profile.
Another Twitter directory organized by industry can be found at: http://twitterpacks.pbwiki.com/.
4.) Start Twittering:
Share interesting articles, exciting company news, product releases, and company accomplishments. Users are more likely to gain a following when they establish a reputation as a credible source of valuable information. Users are interested in information that they can use, so keep tweets informative.
How to Use Twitter for Reputation Management
- Go to http://search.twitter.com and perform a search on your organization’s name, client name or your own name.
- Create an RSS feed for your search query:
Add the feed in your RSS reader. Every time someone talks about you, your RSS reader will let you know about the source and what they are saying. This RSS feed allows you to track who is talking about you and what they’re saying on Twitter.
How to Set Up a Blog Feed
Users can feed their external blog feeds to their twitter feeds—automatically sending out a tweet when the blog is updated with a post. The blog feed includes a link to the blog, and instantly updates all followers with the first few lines of the blog post.
- Go to www.twitterfeed.com and log in using OpenID.>
- Create a new Twitter Feed
- Enter your Twitter login information and blog RSS feed URL to feed your blog to Twitter
- Be personal. Don’t use twitter only to promote your business or product. Post interesting industry trends or personal experiences to keep others engaged.
- Encourage conversation by asking questions.
- When promoting a blog post or accomplishment, don’t just post a link, post an explanation so that others will be interested enough to click.
- Be involved – post regularly and comment on others’ posts.