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Be prepared when you start telling your colleagues or friends or family that you have set up a Twitter account and you're going to start promoting your business on Twitter for them to laugh and roll their eyes, because in my experience, there are a huge number of people who think Twitter is the most ridiculous thing they've ever heard of. They are not on Twitter and they don't follow Twitter feeds, so they don't really know what they're talking about. But what they hear is what the comedian talked about on the television about how you can tweet what you had for lunch or what color your socks were, and they're going to say, "What a waste of time.
I can't believe you're going to do that." Or maybe you have some kind of feeling that way as well, and you're just frozen about what it is that you should be tweeting about. If it's not a personal account, what could you possibly post messages for? Like look at poor Anne Smith here on the screen. She has written two tweets in the month or so that she has had the Twitter account set up. So what should you be tweeting about? Well, a great way to figure out you should be tweeting about as a business is to follow other businesses and see what they're tweeting about. So if I go to Anne's Home screen where it shows me the Twitter feed of everybody that Anne is following, you can see she is following some actual companies, like InDesign Magazine or Forget Computers, and if you click here on the left, you'll see a little summary on the right of what this company has tweeted about recently.
So you can see this security company is mainly posting links to things that they find interesting. Perhaps one of these links leads directly to their own web site where they post something. We would have to follow it to find out, which we're not going to do. What I want to do is give you a quick rundown of some great ideas for what to tweet about, in my experience of consulting with other business twitterers, and also looking at what other people are tweeting that are very successful. Now there are no hard-and-fast rules, but here is a guideline to help you.
You should divvy up your tweets into three general categories: sales and marketing, meaning tweeting about things having to do with your own products and trying to drive sales; company info, meaning it's not specifically about a product or a sale or a new service you're offering, but about the company in general, maybe about your staff, about your location, about that you're going to be awarded something in the industry, something like that; and then general info, mainly having to do with your industry.
So if you are like Anne Smith who runs Bliss No.5 she is interested in the gourmet food industry, in the chocolate industry. If you are me, you are interested in software training or graphic design, and so like I might post something about when a new version of Adobe InDesign comes out. So it's not something, I don't sell Adobe InDesign, but I know that my followers, the people who are following me on Twitter, are interested in that. So assumably most people who will be following you on Twitter are interested in your industry, as well as your own company.
So you can tweet about those kinds of things. Let's look at these in a little bit more detail. In the sales and marketing section, a wonderful thing to tweet about are when you have events to post about them and to have a link pointing to where people can sign up for events. Anything that has like a time deadline is really good to post on Twitter. If you have a sale that's going to end at some point, if you're putting on a show that has an early-bird deadline for discounted admission, put that up. If you only have ten tickets left to your concert, or your book signing, put that up--especially if you have any coupon codes.
Those are wonderful to tweet about, because they increase the likelihood that your tweet will be retweeted. Remember, that's the viral nature of Twitter, and I have a whole video talking about how to increase the chances that your tweets are retweeted, break out of the limits of your own following into other Twitter users' followers. So post the coupon code in the tweet that especially if it's Twitter only, you can mention that. Here is a coupon code just for my Twitter followers, and that will often get retweeted. Any specials that you are having on your web site or in your brick-and-mortar store, tweet that kind of stuff.
If you are coming out with a new products, if you have a two-for-one sale, if you are giving away a whole bunch of cupcakes because you are a cupcake baker, if you are dry cleaning two shirts for the price of one, those kind of things you can tweet about. Now, let's talk about your company in general. You know what's a really cool thing to tweet about is a picture of your product. A lot of Twitter clients, especially let's say like on your iPhone or your Android, if you write a tweet, there is a button there that shows the camera, and you can take a picture of your product and include it in the tweet really simply that way.
Then your tweet might say, "Check it out. We're offering this cool new gadget," and then there will be a link to the picture that the service is uploaded to a web site. It doesn't have to be your own web site. So something like Twitpic or something like that. I believe I've covered them in a couple of other videos, or you'll just see it; it's bundled with your Twitter application. Or of course, if you have a picture of yourself that you uploaded to Flickr or someplace like that, or your own video on YouTube, make a link to that. You can talk about staff, if somebody gets married, if you hired somebody, if you brought in a new intern.
A great way to use Twitter is to provide customer support. If your customers are on Twitter, there are ways that you can find out what it is they're talking about, about your company, questions they are asking you. Even if you are not following them and they're not following you, you can find mentions of your company, and you can bunk a reply immediately to them, and everybody will see what you're tweeting and that you're supporting your clients. We'll be talking about how to track mentions of your company in a different video. But doing customer support is a pretty famous way of using Twitter to promote your business.
You might find out from your customers, your clients, that somebody is doubling their capacity, that they're moving, that they won an award; tweet about that. And any kind of tips, of course, having to do with how to use your product, that's what a lot of people will be expecting you to tweet about. So you know your product better than anybody; why not tweet a tip or ask your customer service people, "What are people constantly asking about?" and then post one of those frequently asked questions, with the answer of course? If you're ever mentioned in the press, if you ever interviewed on television, and they have the video available, if you ever send out a press release, you should always tweet that kind of stuff.
In general info, anything having to do with your industry is always a good thing to tweet about. A new article came out that you think your followers would be interested in; tweet that. If you're going to be following people and probably some of what they tweet you think your followers would like, retweet that stuff. Ask questions. A lot of people forget that you don't have to always be the provider of information; a really cool way to engage with your followers is to ask them something. What should our next product be? What should we charge for X, Y, Z, or even what is the best way to get from here to there, or what is the best hotel to stay in in Los Angeles, that kind of thing.
You'd be surprised how many people jump right in and give you some advice. Same thing for requesting help if you're stuck with something. Ask for help in doing something right there on Twitter. And I always like just a little bit of personal tweets, something not having to do with your industry, or your company, or your staff, or your products, but every once in a while, why not post something like, "Airplane is delayed. I am stuck at O'Hare," or "Getting excited about Thanksgiving. I am going to deep fry the turkey"? Once in a while, not like five times a day, but maybe once a day, once a week, something like that, it's really nice to post something personal and people can see hey, there is an actual human behind this Twitter feed; even though it might be the company name, there is an actual human writing this.
It really adds a nice feeling among your followers that you feel okay sharing a little bit of personal information. You know what? Why don't you follow me on Twitter? See what I tweet about. Now I am not the most perfect twitterer at all, but I'd love to see you added to my Twitter following, and then you and I can speak on Twitter. My nickname is HerGeekness! My Twitter name is Anne-Marie Concepcion, and my Twitter account is amarie. So that's how you write Twitter accounts, by the way, is with the @ symbol and then the Twitter account name. If you go to twitter.com/amarie, you'll be there.
Another great company to follow is this one, lynda.com, and lynda.com has a wonderful Twitter account name. Look at that, lyndadotcom. Not everything that we tweet about will be to your liking, but I think that you'll get an idea of how a business can combine personal and business-related stuff, sales-related stuff, and industry-related stuff in one Twitter feed. Just keep in mind all those other bullet points that we just went through, and I think that'll give you a rich source of ideas that you can pull from when you're trying to figure out, what should I tweet about?
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