Twitter is a fun, fast-moving form of social media that some people are unsure about or maybe find a bit intimidating. Others have jumped into the Twitterstream with both feet, knowing that it’s important, or at the very least fun, but they aren’t using it well. 140-character updates are flying around left right and center, and you’re either on-board or you’re sitting on the sidelines trying to figure it all out! Whether you’re just getting started, or have been tweeting for a while, here are some Twitter Do’s and Don’ts.
DON’T join Twitter unless you actually intend to be active on it.
I hate to start with a “don’t” but this one is pretty important. It’s no secret that social media is the place to be for marketing and interactions online, and many people see the immense value in having a Twitter account set up. However, other than a posting few tweets to start with right after setting up the account, many people also leave their account dormant. This almost looks worse than having no twitter account at all. It looks like you’re uninterested, or too busy. Twitter is about being interactive, and a poorly managed twitter account says that you don’t care to interact. A marginally active or dormant twitter profile is self-defeating.
If you’re going to have a twitter account, be sure that you are ready to maintain it and be active with it, interacting with people and seeking followers. Otherwise, stay off of twitter until you’re ready to engage there. Another option is to have a social media manager to help you to maintain your Twitter account (and other social media profiles), to keep it up-to-date and active, while retaining your personal voice. Being active is the only option you have on Twitter!
DO select your Twitter name carefully.
Your Twitter name (username, or Twitter handle, as it is commonly called) will be how all of your Twitter followers know you. In a Twitterstream, followers will only see your Twitter name, not your business name, or your own name, so you want to be selective when choosing your Twitter name. You can only use 15 characters in your name and you want it to be representative of you or your business. It needs to be recognizable and usually something relatively readable, that people can figure out and relate to quickly, while attributing that name to you or your business.
You’ll also want to be careful to look at your username from many different perspectives to see if it could possibly be read as something different than you intend. For example, a good friend of mine is @knitwitshair and her blog is The Knit Wit (by Shair). Even though I know who she is, I always read her twitter name as “knit wits hair” instead of “knit wit shair”. My personal twitter is @OKtobeWEIRD and I’ve had a few people comment that they think it’s meant to say “October Weird”… this wasn’t an option I had ever considered, but I can see how it would happen. So, you need to be careful in choosing your Twitter name. (see What kind of Twitter name should you choose? for more details.) A social media manager can ensure that your desired username is available across all social media profiles, and make sure to get them all (or as many of them as you intend to use) registered for you. They can also advise on good possibilities for Twitter names / usernames for your specific business. Having a Twitter name that accurately reflects you or your business is an important first impression for your Twitter followers.
DO add a personal profile picture to your Twitter account.
A good profile picture says a lot about you and your business, company or organization. Even just using your logo helps people to identify with your brand across all your social media profiles as well as your real life business face. A profile pic that is consistent everywhere people find you means you’ll be easily recognizable, and you want people to be able to pick you out of the Twitterstream crowd. Read more >>
In Social Media Unjumbled, I described social media in general and provided some videos for more specifics on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and YouTube.
So, you know a bit (or maybe a lot) about social media, but you’re still not sure what Social Media Management is exactly.
Simply put, Social Media Management helps find, put together, and keep together, all of the MANY pieces of your social media marketing puzzle. And there are indeed many pieces to manage!
As we saw before, social media is not just Twitter and Facebook. Social media includes many different forms, such as blogs, video sharing, podcasting, message boards, review sites, forums and more. Pretty much any place online where there is the ability to post user-generated content is social media!
Social bookmarking (Stumble, Digg, etc.) and geolocation applications (Foursquare, Gowalla, etc.) are also becoming more popular in the social media world. Whether bookmarking a website or blog they want to be able to find again, or visiting a retailer or business location where they want to find their friends, more people are keeping track almost everything online and sharing that with others. That is all part of social media, too.
The number of different ways available for users to share information and create content is staggering, amazing, even astounding, and not to mention that they are changing on a continual basis.
Now, this is not meant to overwhelm or discourage you. I’m just giving you a glimpse into how much is going on in social media, and how these various avenues can potentially be used to effectively build your business.
When looking at all the various sources involved in social media, it’s easy to see how Social Media Management can aid you in reaching more people than you might have ever expected before. A Social Media Manager makes it possible for you to focus on what you do – your business, products and services – by being available to manage the social media outlets and avenues that you may or may not be aware of, as a means of promoting your business to a wider audience. Read more >>
Welcome to Off the Wall!
Raylene and Jeff Wall