Twitter 101: What, Why, How?

Twitter 101: What, Why, How?

Last week I published a post called “Why Small Business Leaders Should Give Twitter a Chance” where I covered many ways Twitter can be beneficial to both individuals and businesses. Unfortunately, Twitter is not as straight-forward as some of the other social networks. This is why it’s often times misunderstood. When done right, Twitter can help you generate more leads and drive more traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, connect and build relationships with customers and industry influencers, etc. etc. 

This post is meant to help you get started on Twitter and hopefully fall in love with it. We will cover how to set up your profile and what information to include to maximize your efforts, what content to share and where to find it, how to engage with current and prospective customers and influencers and what tools to use in order to save time.

How Do I Get Started on Twitter?

Don’t Be an Egg

When setting up a new Twitter profile, the profile picture defaults to an egg. The egg avatar signifies the ‘unhatched’ state of a new profile. The birth of the account involves adding a real profile picture, which leaves behind the egg.

In order to look professional, adding a profile picture or a company logo is not enough. I have picked one of my favorite social media companies to use as an example of a great Twitter profile:

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 1.21.38 PM

1. Background Picture

2. Company Name

This is especially important in case you were not lucky enough to secure a Twitter handle with your company name, Ex. @Nimble

3. Bio

Use this section to summarize what your products and services are about. Don’t forget that all links and Twitter handles are clickable, so take advantage of it :)

4. Call-to-Action

Make sure that your Twitter profile visitor know what you want them to do. Do you want them sign up for a free trial of your product? Include a link!

5. Location

Let people know where you are located.

6. Website Link

You have one more option to direct people to your website or a certain page of your website. As you can see on the screenshot above, Hootsuite is directing traffic to their company blog.

Be a Resource

You have successfully set up your Twitter account. Congratulations! Now it’s time to start sharing some updates. It is more than ok to promote your brand and your content, but talking just about yourself could put people off. It’s much better idea to mix your content with content created by others. At Nimble, we use the 80-20 rule which means that 80% of the updates we share are not directly mentioning our company and only 20% are.

Focus on sharing educational and inspirational content that is relevant to what you do. In our case, we post anything related to sales, marketing, technology, social media, etc. Below, you can see a list of some of the types of content we share with our social media community:

  • Podcasts

There’s so many great podcasters out there who produce amazing shows. One easy way to find them is to explore the categories on iTunes:

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 1.26.31 PM

  • Industry News Sites

Ex. TechCrunch, MIT Technology Review, World Economic Forum, Venture Beat, Business Insider, eMarketer, CMO.com, Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Land, etc.

  • Blogs of Influencers/Industry Thought Leaders

Ex. Bryan Kramer,  Jamie Shanks and the team at Sales For Life, Keenan’s A Sales Guy, Kelly Riggs’ Biz Locker Room, Alice Heiman, etc.

  • Statistics or Market Data

Sites like Statista or eMarketer offer interesting statistics and insights into data about different industries. Take a screenshot or summarize one and share with your audience!

  • Something Fun, Like Cartoons

Find something fun to share with your followers, like a cartoon! We love following @Marketoonist or @byStuHeinecke.

 

  • Share Great Original Content (Created by You)

This can be content from your company’s blog or articles created by you that were originally published on LinkedIn Publisher, Medium or anywhere else. Share them with appropriate pictures and hashtags with your Twitter community!

Use Content Scheduling Tools

There’s no need to spend all day on Twitter when we have technology helping us for free! Use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts in advance. Don’t forget to download their browser extensions so you can grab content as you see it (Buffer Chrome App, Hootsuite’s Hootlet). If you have some money to spend on social media tools, take a look at Edgar. This awesome tool not only allows you to schedule content ahead of time, but it also stores it for you and reshares periodically saving you a lot of time.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 1.31.01 PM

When scheduling content, don’t forget to include the following:

Title

Link

Attribution

Hashtags

Image

A picture says a thousand words and a tweet with pictures stands out thousand times more on Twitter. If the post you want to share does not include an image, use a free tool like Canva to create your own!

Engage

Go out there and start following accounts you like. Retweet or like tweets that you think your followers will also find interesting and valuable. If you see somebody asking questions, answer. Add you two cents. This is the best approach to get people following you back and interested in what you do.

Don’t know who to engage with? Try other people’s Twitter lists! Ex. Nimble’s Social Selling Superstars, Neal Schaffer’s Social Media Content, Robert Scoble’s Tech New’s People, etc.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 1.32.12 PM

Here’s an article that explains (not only) how you can run a Google search for relevant Twitter lists, check it out!

A great way to grow your following and build relationships with like-minded people and generation leads on Twitter is to attend Twitter chats. If you are not familiar with what Twitter chats are or how to participate, go through this excellent resource our friends over at Buffer put together.

8 Comments

  1. Thanks for the useful tips, I’ll try applying these to our company. I think our business hasn’t fully utilized the potential of Twitter. I personally think that Twitter really helps us get in touch with our customers in connecting with our customers.

  2. Michaela Prouzova says:

    Hi John!

    Thank you for reading the article and taking the time to comment. I’m happy to hear that you will try to apply the tips from this post to your company.

    I think Twitter is the easiest platform for starting conversations with potential and existing customers as well as with industry influencers.

    If you have any question about getting started on Twitter, please feel free to let me know here or shoot me an email at michaela@nimble.com.

    I love talking Twitter and social media and will be happy to help :)

    ~ Michaela

  3. Hi Michaela!

    Yes we will try to apply the tips from this post since we think that it can really help is our current state. Most of my coworkers use Twitter just for the connecting to people and I think personally that the site can help us reach one of our goals, to connect to our customers easily :)

  4. Hello Michaela!

    In other projects we have, our great ally in social networks is Twitter.

    Michaela, you explained perfectly how to act on the Twitter account, but, I think it’s missing: How to get followers?

    Twitter, like any social network, lets you mark who you follow, and here is where success lies.

    – Select companies of the sector, or better to which your product is destined, and if you think convenient, your possible suppliers, and follow them
    – Maintain a level between followers and followed, initially about 100 or 150 more in followed
    – Follow those who follow you
    – Gives a prudential time to those you have marked, to be followers, for example a month, if they do not follow you de-mark them and mark others, surely you will follow them again at another time
    – Gives thanks all who follow you with a twet, if there are several, group them
    – Retweet your followers’ twets and followed, will help establish a good relationship with them
    – Be active in the network with different tweets every week

    Michaela, I hope you accept this point, you can even include it in your post to have a greater diffusion.

    We are interested with all your posts, greetings

  5. Michaela Prouzova says:

    Hi team from Best Online Printers!

    I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my post. You are absolutely correct, knowing how to grow your following and community is absolutely essential when starting on Twitter. All your points are great. Thank you for listing them here and adding value to my article! 😉

  6. Thank you for this post. Great reminder of how the ‘little things’ in life add up to a big deal! I appreciate this. What has been your experience with using a large image in the message? Appreciate your time and thought leadership.

  7. Hi, your blog is truly flawless and unique. Good content, but it would be better if in future you can talk about more about this subject. Really very perfect your article and blog post.

  8. Thanks for sharing these useful information! This is really interesting information for me.

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