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What really works well for businesses on Twitter?

Social media has been the biggest revolution for marketing for some time. The sheer speed of growth and development has been astounding. Twitter in particular has proven to be a great tool for any business to market themselves effectively online. But with all the tips, tricks, blogs and advice, how do you know what really works?

Photo_14-03-2013_15_12_16.jpgI’ve been immersed in Twitter for two and half years now, and although I was late to the party, I have spent some serious time using, analysing, testing and reaping the benefits from Twitter. The greatest thing about Twitter is that it’s live, it’s constantly evolving, and it really is led by the people who use it. Keeping up with it means a constant attachment to its digital tentacles, and I love reading views and blogs from all over the world on what works, what doesn’t, and of course what drives people mad about it!

Just to help you all, here are my findings from the last 30 months and over 200,000 tweets, 150 blogs and countless hours on Twitter.

Twitter: The good, the bad, and the downright ugly!

The Good

  • Be positive: Research shows that positive tweets get more interaction, and more importantly more retweets.
  • Be social: Interactivity with others is the way to go. Don’t just shout about your stuff, listen and share theirs. SOCIAL media (the clue’s in the title).
  • Be present: No one notices when you’re not there, they only notice when you are.
  • Be consistent: Make sure you’re consistently tweeting information about your niche or business.
  • A picture tweets a thousand words: 140 characters is a difficult way to share. Pictures and video are your friends – use them!
  • Be an expert: It works to show off a little. If you know about your subject – tell people!
  • Content, content, content: There’s a mass of information on Twitter, make sure you post quality AND quantity to stand out.
  • Follow your SEO strategy: If you have a website then you need a strategy for it; your Twitter can and should follow it too.
  • Have a plan: We probably all just hopped on Twitter and started blurting out anything we could think of. Make a plan and follow it.
  • Responding well: Whether you’re on Twitter or not, people will say things about you. Responding well on Twitter is a powerful way to prove that you care – to your current and future customers!
  • Track your success: Twitter changes all the time and you should be testing ideas and tracking their progress.
  • Be human: Sure, you can cut corners and auto-post some of your stuff, but nothing really replaces the personality you can bring to ‘live tweeting’.
  • Be alert: I know this won’t suit everyone, but I’m alerted to every tweet, every follow and every retweet. I have gained countless contacts and jobs because I respond quickly and effectively to ALL interactions on Twitter.
  • Show some passion: No one will buy into what you’re saying if you don’t believe it yourself. Show your true feelings and put your heart in to it; you’ll be amazed at the difference.

The bad

  • Twitter_Bird.jpgBoring content: There are millions of people on Twitter. Stand out. Be different and be seen.
  • Repeated material: Don’t keep posting the same old crap! People will soon learn that you’re not saying anything new and learn to skim over you. (They probably won’t unfollow you, so you won’t even know they’ve turned off.)
  • Shouty rants: See the first point. Twitter works if you’re positive. No one wants to work with a business that rants and moans on social networks.
  • Link diarrhoea: Yes, posting links is great, but don’t go crazy. You need to talk to people as well!
  • Blah blah blah: A constant stream of utter tripe is really not going to help your business. Keep it focused and keep your plan in mind.
  • Autobots: Please don’t think that automating your entire output will get you anywhere near the success that you could have with Twitter.
  • Too many RTs: Got nothing to say? Think retweeting everyone else is going to make that OK? Think again. Over sharing other people’s content can be a big turn-off. Share YOUR story and occasionally others’ if they’re relevant to your cause.

The downright ugly

  • Twitter meltdown: Having a bad day? Things not going right? Step away from the computer and put the phone down. No one needs to see it, but they do love the car crash of a ranting business, it’s just that they love it for all the wrong reasons.
  • Retweeting an inappropriate article: Read it first! I read an article recently that said links were shared more than views were registered for articles on Twitter. That means more people are retweeting the link, than actually reading it! It’s a risky game, so be sure you know what you’re sharing.
  • Orfull speling: We all make mistakes but it can look pretty unprofessional. I won’t deny it; I was awful at spelling and my grammar sucked until I found my proofreader @pinky_princess. Double check before you press the tweet button.
  • Losing your patience: One of the ugliest things for a business Twitter is when their office junior shows their poor customer service skills, live on Twitter.
  • #Hasthag #Crazy #Tweets: #Please #stop #tweeting #like #this. It doesn’t help me read your tweets and it’s not helping you reach more people. Use relevant hashtags and keep them to a maximum of 2-3 per tweet.
  • OMG LOL INNIT: Please keep a lid on the text speak and try to remain professional. Social media is meant to show your personality, and not your inner 13-year-old!
  • #ff crazy lists: Regular readers will know I HATE #ff lists. I personally don’t see the point in a professional account doing follow Friday recommendations, but if you must, at least give a reason why you’re recommending someone.
  • Smartphone pictures: Your avatar should be as professional as your business. If you want the world to know that you’re not, then using a selfie as your company Twitter picture is the best way to do it. Also taking a picture of the outside of your premises with Dave’s car in shot should do the trick too!

Hang on Todd; haven’t you contradicted yourself all the way through that?

Well, yes actually I have, and there’s a very good reason why. Twitter is constantly evolving and the way I use it and succeed from it is too. This often leaves me wondering whether that works, this works, or what if I tried that. The thing is, my Twitter output now is a far cry from my Twitter output some 30 months ago, and it will be far different next year and then beyond. I love how it shapes and forms around new trends and it certainly keeps me writing about it too!

Adapting to change is important for every aspect of business, and the same applies to Twitter.

We can help YOU with your Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and online marketing. Just check out our services here.

 

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My name is Graham Todd and I’ve been immersed in social media for almost three years. I train, blog and manage social media for business.

Find me on Google+

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