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The Talkweb guide to twitter

This little booklet aims to show you why you should be using Twitter, how you can use it to your company’s benefit and a few tips to get you started in the right direction. If you need a little extra guidance or have something you would like to discuss further, feel free to shoot over an e-mail and we can talk you through it. Happy tweeting! TalkWeb

What is twitter?

According to Twitter itself, it “is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting”. With an estimated 190 million users and 65 million tweets a day, there is plenty of information out there for you to use to change your company for the better.

why should i use it?

Social media seems to be what all the ‘in crowd’ are using these days, but many argue that it’s just one big waste of time. Sure, sitting on facebook or Twitter all day will not help your company grow, but integrating it into your current operations could give you that extra edge which your competitors lack. Finding the balance is a fine art which hopefully you will come to master. First and foremost, Twitter is a great marketing tool which can expose your company to a whole new range of possible clients. It also provides a personable voice for your company which customers can interact with. The benefits of maintaining a Twitter account for your business are dependant on how you choose to use it. As well as increased sales, your company could enjoy increased brand awareness, gain consumer feedback firsthand and stay ahead of your competitors. How Twitter affects your business depends on you.

how do i use it?

Now this is the tricky part. It doesn’t take much to set up a profile and start tweeting, but how do you know you aren’t just wasting your time or even worse, putting potential customers off? As with most things, the best way of learning how to do it successfully is to have a look at what others are doing such as Dell, who produced $1 million in revenue over a period of a year and a half through sale alerts via Twitter. Twitter is such an open platform that it allows itself to be used for a multitude of puposes. As well as regular updates on the company, you could use it to respond to customer feedback, recruit new employees or to research your target audience. Twitter is not just a marketing tool, use your imagination and think outside the box.

Direct Message (DM): A DM is a private message which is sent between two users which follow each other. These can be read in the ‘Messages’ section. Send personal and contact information through here. ReTweet (RT): Reposting a tweet you’ve enjoyed onto your profile and into your follower’s Twitter streams. Trends: The top ten most tweeted phrases at that particular time. #Hashtag: Denotes a topic or theme within a tweet, often appearing as trends. Clicking on a hashtagged words in any message shows you all other tweets in that category.


@Reply / Mention: An @ followed by a Twitter username is a tweet which is directed at that particular user. Available to read under the ‘@Mentions’ tab.

Imagine you are one of your followers, what would you want to read about: what you’re having for lunch or a special offer on one of your products? Unless you’re a big fan of sandwiches, I’m guessing your answer would be the latter. When it comes to following others, follow a wide range of people. Follow competitors, past clients and people who are mentioning topics related to your company. Keep your sources varied and interesting. Give behind the scenes sneak peeks, share a funny incident which happened in the office or ask your followers a question. Whilst it may be a business Twitter account, keep it fun and interesting.

The basics

The first rule, above all, is to update frequently to keep yourself in the minds of your followers. Remember to not over do it though, no-one likes a spammer.

next steps

Liven up your tweets by adding a photo, video or link. Services such as TwitPic, YouTube and add value to tweets and will improve the chances of people reading them. Make use of Twitter’s search functionality to locate possible clients that are tweeting about your products or services. As well as specifiying what words you want to include and exclude from your search, you can narrow the results down by location. Don’t forget to advertise the fact you have a Twitter account on your website and other social networks, People won’t follow if they don’t know you’re there! If you have an account on Facebook or another social network, make sure you don’t repeat yourself. If your fans are following you on both they’ll get bored of reading the same information twice.

how not to tweet

People want conversations, not shouting. Remember the first word in ‘social media’ is social, so stop being so self-obsessed and see what your followers are tweeting about. Strike up a conversation and see where it takes you; a few minutes chit chat could lead to a future client. If you have received a tweet telling you that the sender is disappointed with your service or product, respond in a professional and friendly manner at all times. This seems obvious, but it’s surprising how household names such as Nestlé have gotten it so wrong in the past. Remember to only send private information through direct messages rather than @-replies. Don’t be pushy or ‘salesy’ in your tweets, it’s a big turn off. Pushy tweets are the equivalent of junk mail on a Twitter stream, a few too many and your followers will be heading for the ‘Unfollow’ button.

To save a little time, make use of automated services such as Social Oomph which automatically follows users which follow you. This is a good way of staying in the loop as to what your followers are talking about. Beware of spam accounts littering your Twitter stream though, quickly block and report them as soon as they start to show up. If you would like to give recognition to a special tweeter, give them a shoutout with an @-reply. A popular way of recommending a group of tweeters to your followers is by adding #followfriday to the end of a tweet, on a certain day of the week (we’ll leave you to guess which one!).

Tips & Tricks

If you’re not a fan of the web interface, try out of one the many third party Twitter applications such as Seesmic or TweetDeck. They can make managing your account much easier and also allow you to update other social networks at the same time. As well as desktop clients, try updating from a mobile application to break the latest news.

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TalkWeb Twitter Guide  
TalkWeb Twitter Guide  

A simple guide to Twitter