The idea of social networking has really taken flight, and these days the use of certain sites to promote small businesses have become quite popular.
Twitter is one of these sites. If you haven’t heard of it and you own a small company or provide a service to others, you might want to take a look.
On twitter you set up an account using your profile, a photograph, your business or personal site, and some information about yourself. You then search for followers – people with whom you feel you may have a connection and who might be interested in reading what you write and share with your followers.
Your followers may be anyone – work at home moms, business moms, runners, crafty artisans, friends, neighbors, etc . . . You can search according to the users name – so if you set up the account and you are, say, a jewerly designer, your account name may be Suesjewelry (sorry if this user name exists!)
I’m a runner, and I write a blog about running marathons and fitness in general, so my twitter name is mamamarathoner. This is also the name of my blog, so by keeping it consistent I’m hoping to build a name in this area of writing.
Next, you can find people to follow by searching a variety of ways. Click follow when you find the people you are most interested in following and when they post on twitter you will see their posts.
So how does it work from here?
Let’s say you write a blog about the jewelry you design. You are interested in pulling potential clients in to purchase your goods. Each time you write a new blog post you can go to twitter and post a link and short blurb – but short is key, because you can only post 140 characters in each post (and this includes the characters in your blog title)!
The minute you click submit it is displayed for all of those who follow you to see.
The same is true for those you follow. Each time they post a message you can view what they read. You can get great information and ideas by clicking on the links they supply. I can spend an hour easily just visiting others’ blogs and business sites.
Some of these posts being submitted are social (making spaghetti tonight! any good recipes for meatballs?). Some of these are business related (Check out my new blog post on marketing!).
Some, such as the one Lance Armstrong posted yesterday regarding his missing bike, are personal. (Someone stole a bike and Lance is trying to get it back, so he sent a tweet (as posts are ferred to) asking those who follow him to keep a look out for the missing bike!) Update: They found his bike! Not Twitter, I don’t think, but at least it was found.
I’m new at all of this tweeting and twittering, but in the short time I have been exploring the twitter realm this is what I have learned and observed:
- Don’t continuously post links to things you are selling. Use this feature, of course, but don’t flood the board with them. I stopped following a few people because I was receiving sooo many of these posts. I want to see what you do, but I don’t want to be bombarded with posts each time I log on.
- Use a username that fits your personality so if someone searches for people to follow they’ll find you. Ie: kayakgirl, spalady, etc . . .
- I find it difficult to read through a lot of posts by the same person. I want some variety, so my tip is to keep the posts coming but do so on a random schedule rather than sitting down at 5 PM and posting 18 tweets.
- Link twitter with a blog to make it work best. This way you can post what you are going to write about ( a new service at your spa in Orlando ) and then link to it on twitter in hopes of getting new customers. You can track visitors to your blog to see if twitter is actually working (more about this in a future post)
- If you can’t fit it in under 140 characters, you can go on to a second tweet -but stop there! It’s tough to follow scores of tweets about the same subject when there are breaks. And the whole idea behind tweeting is keeping it simple!
- I like personal tweets (raining here, but had a good run!) but I also love tweets that contain great information (ie: links to articles about things that are interest to me)
If you are a mom, check out TwitterMoms to meet other moms that tweet! Again you can set up a profile, and you can also post in groups and message boards.
So are you tweeting? If so what are you learning and using to help increase business? And are there any tweeting rules you want to share with someone who has yet to twoot (hm, is that a word?) Have fun, and tweet me if you’d like!