30 Ideas for using Twitter for Business – Just in case you still weren’t sure

Old style business communication and marketing
Hastings, UK 
Getting started
1.  Sign up!
2.  Complete your user profile – we want to know who you are. Be interesting and keep it real.
3.  Add a photo/picture/avatar – keep in mind real people like to see real photos – if you’re just an egg it shows you don’t care so why will anyone else.
4.  Find similar businesses to follow – start developing your community – use Twitter search for followers.
5.  Twitter is a conversation – Listen to and Talk to people about THEIR interests.
6.  Be wary Twitter is not a forum for relentless sales people. If you’re  ALWAYS selling or Promoting just your stuff, people will turn off.  Strive for balance.  Understand Twitter is a long term marketing tool.
7.  Follow people/organisations not just in your sector, you can have non-business interests too – be well-rounded.
8.  If more than one person is tweeting on behalf of the business make sure there’s a  policy/understanding in place so there are boundaries and a shared purpose.
9.  Always keep in mind why you’re using Twitter and ensure it adds to your marketing strategy. Use some of the statistical tools available to make sure Twitter is worth the time (therefore money) input.
10. When online be engaged and be helpful.
How to Tweet
11. Have other members of your team tweet if possible. It’s nice to have variety and if it’s one person’s sole responsibility they may get fed up.
12. When promoting a blog post, directing people to a website etc, give a hint what it’s about – give your followers an indication as to why you bothered to write/post it so they can be bothered to follow your link.
13. Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions – people love to share their knowledge and give advice.
14. Follow people who have similar interests but go a step further and see who follows them – follow their followers.  Remember you can unfollow.
15. Re-Tweet (RT) other people’s Tweet. This probably won’t directly impact your business, but you’re seen as someone who shares. Commenting on others’ tweets, and retweeting what others have posted is a great way to build community.
16. Tweet when your audience is online.  The wee hours or weekend are quite often quieter times. Have a break!
17. When you DO talk about your stuff, make it useful/interesting/fun. Give advice, blog posts, pictures, etc.
18. Share the human face of your company. If you’re bothering to tweet, it means you believe social media has a value for connecting people. Be a “human” not a “robot”. Share some personal items but nothing private.  Also share links of interesting events/people/places in your community.
19. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back but do share your successes. Share other people’s triumphs as well. Be supportive.  Don’t single-mindedly tweet about you and your business – don’t be an ego maniac. Boring!
20. Point out things of interest things in your field.  Become an expert.  Also share links of interest about your community eg:  events/people.  Be real.
Tips for helping you manage Twitter
21. You don’t have to read every tweet.  If you want to get anything else done in a day, you can’t. And honestly, ALL Tweets are not the same.  Some of them aren’t incredibly interesting.
22. You don’t have to reply to every tweet directed to you – some are robot anyway. But its nice to respond to say a quick thank you
23. Use direct messages (DM) for 1-to-1 and private conversations.
24. Use services like Twitter Search to see if someone’s talking about you.
25. Use a Twitter management tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite These tools make it much easier to manage Twitter.
26. Don’t let Social media take over! Be prepared to miss stuff but the good stuff will come around again.
27. Use an URL shortening tool. It helps tidy up your tweets. (the facility is available directly on Hootsuite).  You can also track who follows your links.
28. If someone says you’re doing it wrong, forget it. There are no hard and fast rules for using Twitter. They can unfollow if you if they want.  However, if a lot of people say you’re doing it wrong, well then maybe it’s time to reconsider Twitter as a marketing tool or get someone else to do it for you.
29. Schedule Tweets! You don’t have to be glued to the screen.
30. You can tweet some of your tweets again.  Resend tweets out at different times of the day.  The Twitter audience fluctuates so new people can pick up your old tweets.  Don’t get too repetitive though.
Stopping now 🙂  There is more advice but this is already too much to remember. I’ll save a bit more for later.
One last point and it’s the big one.Top, number one rule (and I’ve said it before, yes, will say it again) always keep in mind when using any form of Social Media for business that:
“People do business with people they know 
and people they like”
 New style communication is on the Web
Hampshire, UK 
Advertisements

10 (Plus 1) Random Golden Rules To keep in Mind When Using Social Media

Ta Dah!  An actual useful, “how to…” post.

The following list is a few choice tidbits on dealing with Social Media – focusing on Twitter and LinkedIn (I’m a long time non-fan of Facebook.  How much time do you have? Yes I’m there but not yet entirely comfortable.).  Of course accompanied by the usual disclaimer – “In my humble opinion the following is very good advice…”

1.  Remember it is a public forum.  “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, does not apply.

2.  Social Media is yet another tool and will not replace any of the tools you are currently using.  You will have to pick your demons carefully because you do not have the time to be brilliant on all platforms and you have to do them well. Choose wisely.

3.  LinkedIn – This social networking site is less about how many than about how good. You are expected to know your contacts and to be able to recommend them to others.  Remember people want to connect to you to use your reputation and access your contacts.

4.  Use LinkedIn to keep in touch.  Supposedly these are your most essential business colleagues.  Make sure they have your most up-to-date details.

5.  Consistency is king! If you use multiply forms of social media, say the same thing on all.

6.  Twitter might be a daft word and tweeting a seemingly frivolous activity.  Still, make an effort to be interesting, informative and real or no one worthwhile will follow you.

 7.  As much as possible (for your own sanity) try to use one social media platform to populate another.  Examples;  Tweet your latest (or relevant) blog posts on Twitter to drive traffic to your blog and website.  Use Tumblr to add content to your blog.  Post your Twitter on your website/LinkedIn. etc

8.  If you don’t want to tweet/blog/connect/follow and you still feel it is an integral part of your marketing plan (because it should be), hire someone else to do it. Delegating is OK, getting help to manage it better is OK too.

9.  THERE ARE NO OVERNIGHT SUCCESS STORIES!  Those people who say they made 3 million pounds in 18 months with their blog, yes they are trying to sell you something!

10.   If you decide Social Media doesn’t work for you, you really don’t have to stay.
How To Permanently Delete Your Account on Popular Websites – Here

Plus 1 – Finally – Always remember:

People do business with people they know and 
people they like!
So you are assured I don’t take myself too seriously:
Me as the reigning queen of Social Media
Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland, Australia – 2005

We All Love the Internet and Social Media But What’s the Catch?

I love the Internet.

I’ve been online over 20 years (not constantly! there was a lunch break or two) and I don’t want to go back to the “good olde days”.

What’s not to love about being online, chatting and sharing and keeping in the loop.  We like finding out answers to niggling questions instantly and with seemingly little effort.  We enjoy playing games, downloading music, streaming a film.  It’s never been easier to not miss out.

Now I’m going to spoil that mild reverie with a timely reminder that the cybersphere isn’t all unicorns and rainbows.  Like all good things there’s another side and I’m opening that can of worms for just a moment.

Here be dragons
Gastown, Vancouver, Canada

Controversies? Many!

To list a few there is:

– the debate about the Internet’s overall effect on learning and understanding – see Nicholas Carr – “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

– the growing phenomena of “moral disengagement” – people becoming online bullies as they feel safe hiding behind a computer screen (anonymity) – the more distance someone has from the consequences of their actions the easier it is for them not to care

– governments shutting down libraries across the world because everyone can get what they need online – Really!!?

– Wikileaks – who has the right to know what, how much, when….

– Google’s massive Library digitisation project – who should store all this information, who has access, what are the restrictions?

– Copyright issues

and finally,

Privacy issues – is our concept of privacy changing and does it make a difference? Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook doesn’t think privacy matters anymore.  Again – Really!!?

 Shhhhh?  It’s private. Don’t tell!
Longmynd Hotel, Church Stretton, UK

A few points to ponder on.

Not that I’m going to delete my online existence and go off-grid.  But if you’re serious you could permanently delete your account on a number of popular websites.  A tad extreme but always an option.

OK, I’m done now adding a touch of reality to your day.
I’m going to read a book (and then sneak back onto the Internet…….)
later
J

Please Stop Doing That – #1 – Your Website

This is the first of a series of blogs I intend to write on what you (some of you) are doing wrong and plead with you to STOP IT!!!!!!

What are my credentials?:

  • 20 plus years on the Internet.  Yes, I’ve been online THAT long
  •  A Masters Degree in everything (Information Studies, from a university you would recognize)
  • the nous to tell you what you don’t want to hear, for your own good

I’m striving to make the Internet a better place for humans.

Because you don’t want this to be your website traffic
St Laurence’s, Shropshire

This first article is directed at your website

Please Stop: 

1.  Any kind of audio.  No music, no backtracks, no videos starting up when the page opens (yes you, Youtube!).  It’s not clever, it’s annoying.  And tedious.

2.  Really, really, really big files that take forever to load – Bored now, leaving……. Speed matter check it here

3.  Ads!  So many of them.  Buy this!  Go here! My book!  My awesome seminar!  Get updates email to you here! – You sound so needy.  Self esteem issues perhaps?

 4.  Things that move, things that swirl, things that blink, things that have a life of their own.  Do you remember the helpful, jiggling paper clip on Microsoft Office, who popped up every 30 seconds?  Did you note the PAST tense!

5.   Overzealous claims.  Subscribe to this blog and you will lose 50 pounds! Don’t believe you already.  Don’t undermine your credibility from the start.

 6.  Don’t leave in dead links.  We can’t find you and won’t make the effort.

7.  A colour scheme that matches the grout in my bathroom.  Beige is beige not biscuit, or fawn or stone, and a rainbow banner won’t make you interesting.

8.  Text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text picture text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text

Here I’ll do that again

Text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text textpicture text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text text

Get it?

Hope this helps.  I do mean well.  Well, at least I mean something.

Thank you for reading.

Later

J

 

A sweetie for you, in case I hurt your feelings
Sparkles,  Manchester

 

A Little Reminder

For those of you who believe the Internet is all you’ll ever need:
“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, 
 a librarian can bring you back the right one.”
Neil Gaiman

And don’t you forget it!

The Radcliffe Camera
Oxford University

The Internet and How I’m Going to Wean Myself Off It

I’ve spent a great deal of time in the last few months on the Internet.  Probably (not probably, very actually) too much time.  Strolling, trolling, sifting, sorting and a whole lot of meandering has been taking place.

Rain – Shropshire, UK – 2010


These wanderings haven’t been completely aimless as there is a point.  As a reformed librarian (read that as Information Goddess) I’m extremely interested in: 1. what sort of information other people are interested in and why, and 2. how to use the Internet and its tools (eg social media, the Cloud, online resources etc) more effectively.  So, see it’s work! Indeed my curiosity and, therefore my business, depends on my ability to sift through the “stuff” to find out what people need to know (very different from want, that’s a another chapter).

And there is A LOT of stuff in the ether.  There’s a lot of clever, gorgeous, mind-blowing stuff, quite a bit of mundane yet useful stuff, and vast waste lands of “OMG why did they bother???!!!” stuff.

Mad Eye – Manchester, UK – 2009


Sadly percentage wise, 86.4% (how to lie with statistics – that’s a fictitious stat, but I’m sure the number is high), of the visible Net is “OMG What were they thinking!”.  Like with driving, you feel there should be a test to pass before people are allowed to upload to the Internet.  Really, there are some treasures out there (and some that should be buried!)

I expect we are supposed to be egalitarian about the Internet, so anyone can come to play.  But I, for one, don’t have to pay attention.

Mad Eye 2 – Manchester, UK – 2009



Which comes nicely to the point of this blog (yes I have very long introductions).  The Internet is wonderful and exciting but also not.  I think its a brilliant platform for many people, organisations and assorted humanity but for many more it’s just another empty space to fill up.  Like a loft.

I’ll continue to spend too much time on the Internet, but feel (for me anyway) that I need to get away from the “empty space” sometimes, and even the mind-blowing stuff en masse, can lose their WOW factor due to over indulgence.   

The WOW Factor – Powys, UK – 2009



I’m going to spend more quality time with some of my favourite carbon based life forms (e.g. family, friend, colleagues, friends’ pets).  Or, get this, a book!

I’m going to instigate digital free days.  As I’m self employed this has to be feasible so it’s not a total ban.     


 
Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland, UK – 2009

My new rules for DF day:

At least one day a week, I pledge;
– not to use the Internet,
– to keep the computers turned off and not to sneaking off to a friend’s to use their’s
– my antique mobile phone will still be checked for messages but not on all day

– no Twitter (not even scheduled messages)
– no blogging here or on Tumblr (but I can make handwritten notes :-))
– radio is OK, CD collection is better, no TV

*Caveat – If someone else has an emergency that I have to deal with, then all rules can be broken.

Wish me luck.

Later

J

Wild – Long Mynd, Shropshire, UK – 2009