Recently I’ve done quite a lot of presentations to companies and business groups about starting to use social media for business. I have been surprised how many companies have avoided social media for so long. This is mainly for one or more of these reasons:
- They’ve felt it’s all to complicated and techie for them to understand.
- They’ve never struggled for business and so felt they didn’t need to use social media.
- They don’t have the time to do it.
- None of their clients use social media and Twitter in particular.
I find that these companies are now showing an interest because:
- Their competition is using social media and so they feel they need to have a voice as well.
- Through colleagues and peers, they’ve been told how easy it is.
- The economy has hit them and whereas before they didn’t need to promote their activity, they now need to use all the tools available to them.
- They want to adopt a holistic marketing mix approach to stand a better chance of reaching potential clients/customers.
Whatever the reasoning, Twitter seems to be the place they want to dip their toe into the social media water first. This is because they see it as less time-consuming (we could argue that point, but this is their feeling) and so it could be more easily crammed into their schedule.
Anyway having seen this knowledge gap I thought it would make sense to list a few tips for people new to using Twitter for business.
So here are my 5 basic tips to get you started:
- Make a profile. This sound obvious but many don’t fill it out completely. Also you may not be aware that Twitter has just introduced a new webpage layout on the 22nd April 2014. So if you’ve set up your page but haven’t really started using it, you should take the time to update your profile to the new format. Remember to get your logos and graphics designed to the right size to make you look the most professional you can. Remember first impressions count. Click on the earlier link or here to get information on the changes. If you need help in updating your social media profile, we can help, please get in touch.
- Listen and then speak. As you would do in a business networking event, first get the lay of the land. Don’t post much… just search for Twitter users in your sector, even your competition, especially if they they have a lot of followers and watch what they’re saying. Follow them, remember they’re trying to solve the same problem as you are, plus in a Sun Tzu way you should keep and eye on their marketing just in case you can counter it. Whoever you follow, try and keep them relevant, some will follow you back and you’ll start to build an audience you can interact with and speak/market to.
- Share & Create. Start retweeting interesting posts from others and join in on industry relevant discussions. Point people to interesting industry news to show you’re up-to-date and share news about your company without bragging. Realise if you just talk about yourself people will get bored. Show an interest in others.
- Use Hashtags. Hashtags have become the way on social media to both organize your content and get it noticed. Even Facebook now allows you to use them. By simply including a hash mark (#) followed by a word or phrase your tweet content can be easily found by anyone searching for or clicking on that hashtag. This allows you to reach far beyond your immediate followers. Also use them to filter tweets for a common subject. For example use the hashtag #fifaworldcup2014 to only see tweets about this years World Cup Football Tournament.
- Promote it. Now you’re starting to use Twitter more, make sure you feature your Twitter name (ours is @ngd_agency ) on all your marketing materials. It should be on all your stationery items and email signature to help potential and existing customers stay in touch with you and build your following. If you need help in updating all your marketing material, we can help, please get in touch.
These are just the basics but if you follow these introductory tips you’ll have a solid foundation to start to build your social media presence. Please get in touch if you’d like me to come to your company to speak about social media for business.