Social media is all the rage these days and many individuals and businesses alike have jumped on board to flex their social skills. If you or your business are not currently working with social media, now is the perfect time to start, though the most common question encountered is "How do I begin?"
One of the easiest social media tools is Twitter, a networking and micro-blogging service where users send and read messages known as 'tweets'. A tweet is a 140 character text message that is read by your 'followers', Twitters term for 'friends'. To get started just visit twitter.com, sign up for an account and start tweeting. Keep it simple and let everyone know what you or your business is doing.
Often we find that the new user can be confused regarding topics to share with their new followers. A typical question is: Why does anyone care that I'm eating lunch or clearing the garage? Twitter is actually much more than this. The personal 'tweeter' may choose to let everyone know what they are reading or may discuss the next quilt meet they will be attending. The business tweeter, on the other hand, may want to talk about a project that has just been completed or offer specials to their followers. Eureka Pizza has been getting excellent responses from this type of marketing. Don't forget to follow these few rules of social etiquette to maintain and grow your follower base:
It's important to stay active in the Twitter community by posting news, re-tweeting and talking about recent events, but too much is still too much. Depending on a number of followers you currently have you may want to set a number of daily tweets spread evenly throughout the day in order to get the most reaction. For example, if you have 100 followers consider roughly 10 tweets, alternating between regular tweets, and re-tweets at various times throughout the day.
Remember that everyone on the web has access to and can view your tweets, so be careful what you say. Your reputation is always on the line from both a personal and corporate perspective.
Controlling the amount of company related news is important to maintaining followers as not everyone wants to follow a robot tweeter. Instead throw in a mix of social tweets, business-related articles and don't forget to talk to your followers.
Some of you out there love to write (you know who you are) and the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter may seem a little hindering. Pushing a tweet into a second or third entry can be irritating for readers as your message can quickly be interrupted by others, forcing a reader to track down the follow-up.
Try not to publicly tweet a message meant for only one person, try a Direct Message (DM) instead.
It is a common courtesy to send out a thank you to those @ commanding you or re-tweeting your tweets. They will appreciate the acknowledgment and more than likely stay a follower for longer.