Social media guide : How to drive your Business with Twitter and engage customers for positive results

Social media guide : How to drive your Business with Twitter  and engage customers  for positive results

Is your business social enough?
This is an important question, every business owner must answer. 

In this post, you will Discover: 
. The social 5- pack
. Twitter
. Twitter phenomenon
. Twitter Lingo
. Getting started
. Twitter bad practices

 Today, social media platforms have invaded and taken over public consciousness. It has become a big part of day to day routines and an indispensable communication tool for people to connect and stay in touch. Consumers have used social media presence as one of the integral basis of a company’s legitimacy, reliability and viability. Businesses today are judged based on their Facebook ,Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, and consumers expect companies to respond to the concerns and queries they have tweeted within the day or within the hour.

Suffice it to say, social media has managed to steal the thunder away from traditional marketing methods. Modern marketing strategies today have a mix of social media tactics as its integral component for reaching business goals.
 
Discover the Social 5-Pack
Highly competitive companies have taken the aggressive path and actively pursued the “Social 5-Pack,” made up of: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube. This is in line with the aim to engage their target market and existing client base to fill the top of the
sales funnel as well as understand the prevailing consumer preferences and behaviors to ensure brand loyalty.
 However, signing up and maintaining multiple accounts on all social networking sites is not as easy as it seems. Jumping right in without any in-depth understanding of the social media process can be potentially detrimental for a company, which can lead to exposing its online presence at serious risk and leading it towards an unproductive direction.
 
Our case study will be on Twitter
Given the power of social media, it is critically important for businesses to work through their strategies and develop processes to lead to scalability, efficiency, and successful social engagement. This training is to provide you all the necessary information to understand the full potential of social media, as well as how your business can harness its latent power so you can make smarter decisions on how your organization can effectively incorporate it into your company’s marketing and communications mix. If you want to drive your business forward, you need to make sure it stays social, current and relevant in consumers’ consciousness. Discover how social media can become your most effective and influential marketing workhorse. This training will equip you with all the important information on how to get started and how you can use social media to your full advantage and rake its long-term rewards.
 
SOCIAL MEDIA
 The term social media has been carelessly tossed around and used too often in online marketing. But what is it really about? In essence, social media incorporates the use of online technologies and methods that allow people to share personal opinions, content as well as swap insights and perspectives with the rest of the world.
Social media content can take different shapes and forms:
 Text – often used to write or put across personal opinions or posts
 Images – photos are used to display anything of interest
 Audio – podcasts can be created to other users to download
 Video – video content can be shared to engage, entertain or educate
Among the most popular social media sites at the moment include:
 
  Social Networking: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+
 Wikis: Wikipedia
 Video Sharing: YouTube
 Photo Sharing: Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr
 News Aggregation: Digg, Reddit
 Online Gaming: World of Warcraft
 
First, here is a quick glimpse on some revealing social media statistics:
 
Twitter :  According to Edison Research, 40% of the total time people are on Twitter are spent on learning about certain products and services or reading/getting feedback from what others have to say about them as well as share personal opinions and experiences.
 
What is Twitter all about?
     Twitter is a platform wherein users share their thoughts, news, information and jokes in 140 characters of text or less. Twitter makes global communication cheap and measurable. Profiles are (usually) public — anyone in the world can see what you write, unless you select to make your profile private. Users "follow" each other in order to keep tabs on and converse with specific people   or 
Twitter  is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with messages, "tweets", restricted to 140 characters. Registered users can post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, SMS or a mobile device app .
 
Remember we have just 140 characters to pitch whatever we want to talk about.
 
Facts about Twitter

 URL: https://twitter.com/
 CEO: Jack Dorsey
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Employees: 4100
 Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams and launched in July. 
Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, United States, and has more than 25 offices around the world.
 
Understanding the Twitter Phenomenon
 What is Twitter?:  This is another popular social networking and micro blogging service that allows its users to send and read text-based posts or “tweets” of up to 140 characters.
Twitter was created by Jack Dorsey back in March 2006 and was officially launches in July of the same year. Since then, the service has gained worldwide popularity and currently has 300 million users, generating more than 300 million tweets as well as handling more than 1.6 billion search queries every single day. 
Twitter has been described as the “SMS of Internet.”
Twitter offers a combination of different forms of communication -- text, photos, music, videos –evolving from everyday life experiences to interesting contents, newsworthy events and crisis. Conversations can revolve on hot topics using hashtags and users can post and view updates, follow other users as well as send public replies or private messages to connect and communicate with other users. Over the years, the Twitter ecosystem has
grown dramatically, enabling users to search for people, news or subjects.
 
I personally get my news via twitter
Before talking about how to create a profile let talks about understanding Twitter lingos.
 
TWITTER LINGOS 
   The first step is to understand and master the vernacular. There are certain words and jargon native to Twitter that you may already have heard in passing. These terms and their abbreviations (in parentheses) are essential for understanding the network.
1. Tweet: A 140-character message.
2. Retweet (RT): Re-sharing or giving credit to someone else's tweet.
3. Feed: The stream of tweets you see on your homepage. It's comprised of updates from users you follow.
4.  Handle: Your username.
5.  Mention (@): A way to reference another user by his username in a tweet (e.g. @mashable). Users are notified when @mentioned. It's a way to conduct discussions with other users in a public realm.
 
Please note..... That  understanding the lingos help us to flow along.
 
6. Direct Message (DM): A private, 140-character message between two people. You can decide whether to accept a Direct Message from any Twitter user, or only from users you are following.
You may only DM a user who follows you.
 
7. BFN  If you're having a Twitter conversation, one polite way to sign off is to say this, which stands for “bye for now.” It lets the other person know you're signing off and that any further tweets may go unanswered for a period of time.
 
8. Period before @mention
This is the one mistake almost everyone makes on Twitter. If you tweet @username without a period, only your mutual followers (in other words, people who follow both you and @username) and the person your tweeting to will see it in their streams. Add a period before @username, though, and all of your followers will see your tweet in their streams.
Please take note of this .....it necessary especially for forth coming events. 
 
9. Follower : A “follower” is someone who follows you on Twitter and sees your updates on their home feed. Just because someone follows you doesn't mean you have to follow them back, the way some other social networks work. But if you want to find some insightful marketers to follow, here’s a helpful list to get you going.
 
10. HAND : You should smile if you see this tweeted at you. Why? Because someone on Twitter if telling you to "have a nice day!"
 
11. HT : A “hat tip” is usually followed by someone’s Twitter username. Using HT means you aren’t quoting or retweeting them directly, but instead acknowledging that the user gave you the idea for the content you’re tweeting.
 
12. ICYMI:  This acronym for “in case you missed it” can be used when someone is tweeting about big news or a trending topic a few days after the fact, or they’ve already tweeted about it. Searching “ICYMI” on Twitter is a great way to catch up on what you’ve missed if you’ve been off the Twitter radar for a few days.
 
For example:       
“How would you feel having your shopping cart filled up with just 3k ? Details on flyer .@Gidi_Traffic .@trafficbutter .@AdesuaEtomi .@toyinsays .@typearls
 
Does twitter needs hashtags
So that period means what exactly?
If I am to send this  “.....”  The tweet will be visible to everyone but if I just send a tweet with no period “....” it will be visible to my followers and the followers of those I tweet at.
 
How do you get people to follow you especially potential clients?
 
Not all the time but if you have a special event or may you tweets on Quotes every Monday or Tuesday. It is advisable you coin a hashtag for it. 
If I am to send this “.....”  The tweet will be visible to everyone but if I just send a tweet with no period “....” it will be visible to my followers and the followers of those I tweet at.
 
I want to change my username, how do I do that
Go to settings on your page and change it. 
 
Which is better?  For everyone to see tweets or just your followers for targeting purpose
Both is advisable because it is not everyone who follow you are your potential customers but their followers
Yes but it is more than the characters and as such I advice you break it down .Always add images to your tweets because research shows it get more retweet and attention.
 
Setting Up Your Twitter Profile
 
1. Choose the right Twitter handle
The first step in getting started on Twitter is creating your account. When creating your account, it’s important to remember that your username—or as it’s called on Twitter: your “handle,” is outward facing and will be what the public uses to identify your business, brand(Individual or cooperate) fully, your business name will be available (Constant Contact’s handle for example is @ConstantContact,) but if not, you’ll want
to come up with something that will still make sense to your followers (for example: “In a Pickle Restaurant” in Waltham had to use @InAPickleRest).
You want your handle to be around 10 – 15 characters so your customers can “mention” your business ,brand without using too many of the 140 characters they have to use.
 
2. Create a bio that captures your business, brand (Individual or cooperate) 
Twitter is widely recognized as one of the most open social networks, because most of the communication on the site takes place in  front of people in the timeline (rather than on individual pages or groups). Keep in mind when creating your bio, more people will find you on Twitter that have no previous knowledge of who you are or what you do.
The anxiety of not knowing how to get set up on Twitter plays a big part in why many Individuals or businesses decide to put off getting started.
What’s most important when setting up your Twitter profile is that you want to make it easy for people to recognize your business and connect with you right away. You can do that with your Twitter handle, your profile picture, and the information you decide to offer.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting set up. 
If you had just a few seconds (or in this case 160 characters) to explain your business to a complete stranger, what would you say?
 
Write an awesome bio
Include one or two select keywords or hashtags
 
Add your URL and location
URL is great for adding context, location is great for getting found via search and geographic tools.
 
3. Upload a photo or image that makes you stand out
 
Don’t underestimate the importance of picking the right picture or image for your profile (and please, please, please don’t send a tweet until you have one uploaded.) For businesses, the perfect profile image will be one that your customers already know and associate with your business. For many, this will be your company logo. For individuals, you’ll want to use a close-up head shot and make sure you are the only person in the photo. (You do have the
option to change your profile picture in the future, but we don’t recommend it, at least until you’ve established yourself.)
 
Please remember your profile is you USP (Unique Selling Point) it speaks louder than voice.
If you can get this right.  It will attract you to the right people
 
Please kindly follow the size for both profile and cover pictures.
 
4. Introduce yourself by sending your first tweet
Now is the perfect time to send your first tweet! It’s not going to be anything earth shattering, and you won’t
have any followers (yet) to see it, but it will let people know you are a real person or business and not a robot or
spammer. Make the tweet something simple;
 
5. Find the right people to follow
Who you follow on Twitter will dictate the type of content you have access to and the quality of the relationships
you’re able to establish. For this reason, you’ll want to set up some criteria based on your experience, your industry, and what you’re trying to accomplish. People you may want to follow could include: friends, professionals in your industry, other local businesses, colleagues, and even current or potential customers.
When you’re starting out, the key is to follow businesses similar to yours that are doing it well. Don’t mimic
everything they tweet, but pay attention to how they are engaging and the type of content they share.
Keep your eye on Twitter’s “Who to Follow” feature (in the left column) for recommendations of people and businesses that fit your interests.
 
This is very important.... Follow people in your niche and build followers along that line . I personally follow great people in social media marketing  eg @jeffbulas @kessbutter
 
To buy or not to buy Twitter followers? 
 
Please don't buy followers. It will do you no good .kindly build your followers organically
 
 How are people using Twitter?
Twitter has become a tool for everything from facilitating the collapse of governments to showing off your newborn. Through Twitter, athletes have added sideline commentary and Hollywood has dialed up the drama. Consumers use the service to share and find content. For many, Twitter has replaced their RSS subscriptions and traditional news media.
Due to its mostly public nature, Twitter's most powerful use is connecting people. The platform allows complete strangers to come together over common interests and ideas and to participate in conversations that range from the relatively mundane to the incredibly important.
 
•Participate in Twitter chats relevant to the interests of your brand's customers. You'll find like-minded people to help expand your network.
•Save searches for common interests or popular hashtags to find people talking about those topics.
•Use tools like Followerwonk or Twellow to find like-minded users. Also look at who they interact with and get engaged with those communities.
 
Some users may choose to essentially live-tweet their day, while others limit their contributions primarily to content sharing. Your goal is to identify what types of users you'll be looking for and engaging with and gain an understanding of how and why they're using the tool. By understanding their motivations behind using the site, you'll be better able to target your efforts and content in meaningful ways.
 
First impression 
Also, ensuring your account name and profile are filled out according to your brand guidelines is critical. Think of these fields as your "first impression." Many people will visit a Twitter profile only once to decide whether or not they want to follow you. Your bio should be on-point, and your handle branded and appropriate. Your location should accurately reflect where you are. Your follower count may come into play here as well. 
Controlling your follower: following ratio can help you further establish credibility, showing that you care enough to follow your community members back.
 
 Utilize tracking and variables in all of your shared links. This will help you to better evaluate the success that individual content pieces have. Look at the day and time your audience is most active, the types of content they engage with most frequently, and the style and tone of your language. From there you can better understand how to share and engage with your community.
 
Be interesting: There's nothing worse than boring tweets. "Boring" is understandably subjective, but you should strive to be interesting to your target audience. Streams that constantly push promotional messaging get old very fast.    How do you establish brand loyalty when the only thing you say is, "Here's 50% off [something]?" There must be more than that you can say about your business, and if there's not, you may need a new lens with which to view your organization.
 
 Add value: It's important to be consistently present, but not so loquacious that you tweet simply to hear yourself speak. Every tweet you send should add value in some way. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself why you would want to see this information if you were a follower.
 
Most of us have challenges here. We talk more on our products, instead dishing out attractive contents. I also noticed that on facebook page. Please lets stop it. It kills our relationship with people
 
Responsiveness: Due to the condensed format and quick pace of  Twitter, it's essential to respond to your community as swiftly as possible. The platform makes it easy for people to find your brand, and you're sure to get many customer service requests that need your immediate attention. If you ignore a critical tweet for too long, you may find that one person's voice is soon amplified by their followers.
 
Why Use it?
 Connect with your customers. This is the primary reason why you should make use of twitter for your business. Twitter has become so much a part of everyone’s daily
routine, it’s the perfect venue to connect, interact, and study your target marker.
Branding. In Twitter, you don’t have to be in the league of Nike, Dell or Starbucks to brand and generate interest. In fact, it presents the best platform for small businesses and startups to reach their target niche.
 
 Customer feedback. If any customer is dissatisfied with a certain product or service, he/she will no doubt tweet about it. In this sense, Twitter is a reliable resource to
derive feedbacks and opinions, as well as study consumer behaviors and preferences.
 Marketing. With its wide reach, you can use Twitter to market products and/or
services to a wider market and the best part is, it’s free.
 News. Twitter is the best and fastest way to publish latest updates about your
company – without the need to compose long, elaborate content.
 Marketing schemes and promotions. If you have existing promos and exclusive deals, let your network know about it. Everyone loves a good deal. In fact, a lot of
companies have conducted contests and promos exclusively for their Twitter followers to engage their market.
 
 
Twitter is viral. Once you have managed to gain a degree of popularity, you will discover how viral it can be. This can become a strategic edge for your marketing
Campaigns.
Spy on the competition. You don’t just gain insights on customers and target market,
you can also read and study what the competition is doing, what are their weaknesses based on complaints and work on positioning yourself to provide a better alternative.
 
Increase sales. Yes, Twitter can significantly help in increasing sales. According to a report published by Mashable, Dell has raked in a whopping $6.5 in sales through Twitter.
 
 Brand loyalty. In any business, you want to aim for long-term use of your products and/or services instead of one-time purchases. By engaging your clients and providing prompt value-added service, you will be able to retain customers and enjoy loyal patronage.
 
 Networker’s paradise. Connect with industry leaders, the movers and shakers and influential personalities relevant to the industry you operate in. If you have attended networking events in the past and have enjoyed decent results for your company, just imagine what Twitter can do for you.
 Generate website traffic. When done perfectly, Twitter can be a great and effective tool to generate more interest and attract targeted market to visit your website or
blog which can translate to sales leads, and ultimately convert to sales.
 
 Though Leadership. Twitter is a perfect venue to showcase your skills and expertise and provide sound advice, opinions and help resolve problems to gain more credibility as a thought leader.
 
How to Build and Attract Followers
As you might have already guessed, Twitter has become an indispensable social media tool to drive your business forward. It is not your typical fly by night trend that will eventually disappear into oblivion. Since its launch, it is this in its upswing. To be able to take full
advantage of the full potential of Twitter, you need to carefully plan out your strategies.
1. Generate interest. Post interesting things that relate to your industry, and not just about your company, products or services. This can include latest news, policies, and
developments, among others.
2. Entertain to engage. Share interesting and fascinating links that will entertain and
spur interest.
3. Use a proactive approach. When handling complaints, don’t get stuck on the vicious cycle of apologizing. Instead be helpful and offer immediate resolution, tips and
guidelines. (@jetblue is does this quite well by providing travel tips and advisories)
 
Become more human. Promote interesting outside of work stories of your employees and major stakeholders. 
 
What to Tweet About
 Instead of answering Twitters question, “What are you doing?” you can choose to answer the question, “What has caught your attention?”
 Aside from a business Twitter account, have other Twitter users in your company.
People can quit, take vacations, etc.
 When promoting a particular blog post, don’t just dump the link. You can either ask a question or explains what’s coming up next.
 Ask questions and encourage your followers to share their opinions.
 Follow interesting and popular people. If you come across users who tweets
Interesting things, check out who he/she follows and follow them as well.
 Tweet about other people instead of simply focusing on you, your company, your brands or products. Twitter is not for selling and it has a more intrinsic impact on your business. Work on giving a face or personality behind a brand to engage your followers.
 When you happen to talk about your company, products or services, make sure it’s useful. You can deliver it in a form, of advice, pictures, blog posts that offer insightful
content.
 Don’t flood timelines and tweet too much. It may easily annoy followers. As a general rule of the thumb, tweet at least 8 times in a day and no more than 15 times.
 
Things that Make You Look Dumb on Twitter
  IT is normal to feel at least a little anxious when getting started on Twitter.
don’t worry. A majority of Twitter users are learning something new about the platform every single day.
Rather than having to go through the heartache of learning from your mistakes, we decided we’d give you a helping hand.
Here are 25 common Twitter mistakes you’ll want to avoid when getting started on Twitter:
"
1.Not leaving enough space to retweet  
The frst lesson every Twitter newbie should learn: just because you have 140 characters, doesn’t mean you need to use them all. It’s usually a good idea to keep posts to about 120 characters to allow people who retweet with the RT format the ability to do so without having to edit your tweet for length.
 
2. Not shortening links in your tweets
This is one of the most common mistakes and it doesn’t need
to be. Check out link shorteners like bit.ly or ow.ly. You’ll also be able to track the number of clicks the links you share get with these tools.
 
3. Looooong Twitter handles
Are you noticing a pattern? If your handle is longer than the first half of your tweet, you’re losing valuable space. Keep handles as short as possible so you have enough room to actually write something.
 
4. Too much self promotion
A little self promotion is good for any business but, if your timeline is riddled with “I’s or We’s” and your only retweets are about you, then you’re doing too much. Follow the 80/20 rule.
Post 80% helpful or entertaining content and save 20% for the self-promotional stuff.
It is talking about 80/20 % rules which says one should provide contents that we help followers than promoting their business
 
5. #HashtagAbuse
Hashtags are without a doubt the most interesting part of
Twitter. But, in addition to sometimes being hilarious, they are extremely helpful for organization purposes. Don’t abuse the hashtag, save it for when you need it.
 
6. Too much negativity
No one wants to follow a depressing tweeter. Keep your
tweets positive and your followers will act accordingly.
 
7. Not responding to Tweets
If you’re not being social, why are you on social media? You might not be able to respond to everything, but do your best to answer questions and address any negative feedback. And don’t forget to say thanks when it’s positive.
 
8. Automatic direct messages
Too many people send automatic direct messages to new
followers. Don’t do this. You don’t want the frst impression that you make with your customers to be from a robot.
 
Many of us abuse Hashtag alot ....experts recommended that two hashtag if we have to used hashtag
 
More Practical Tips
 1, You don’t have to read every single tweet.
 2, You don’t have to reply to every single @ tweet that has been directed to you.
 3, Choose direct messaging options if exchanges with other people do not have value
to other Twitter followers.
 4, Regularly check out Twitter search function to find out if there are people talking
about you, your brand, company, products and services.
 5, One great way to build community in Twitter is to respond to tweets as well as retweet other user’s posts. 
 
Power Tips
 1.Post some good, intelligent tweets before following anyone.
 2. Complete your profile information.
 3.  Add Twitter feed to other social media profiles and blogs.
 4. Reply to people who are following you, and most especially to those who don’t.
  Creating your Twitter account is just the start of your journey. To get the best results, Twitter, along with other social media platform should be an ongoing thing.
 
"The grey aim of education is not knowledge but action" ~ Herber Spencer  . The essence of this class is not just to acquired knowledge but more importantly to take action. 
 
Sample of a tweet: 
WEF20173KSHOPPING 17 days to go! Shop till you drop with little as 3k . see flyer for details .@sidney_alexis https://t.co/EjK8djQAa6.
 
 I tweeted using the “period” (.) symbol 
The period before the @username is used so that not only our followers will see the tweet but also the followers of the @username
 
 
Why does twitter seem so difficult to get used to among all the social media?
Twitter is a course on its own
 
Why do people on twitter find it difficult to follow back unlike other social media? 
It is also like talking about self ,which is business. People will run 🏃 away if you keep doing that . So I advice you dish out content that will help people then in between talk about what you do
I understand now. They tend to get bored when u talk about yourself 100%
They will follow you back if you dishes out great contents or tweets that will help them out in their variou endeavor
6Yes... Just imagine after my introduction.... I started talking about my services. I guess many of us in the classroom will run 🏃 away.
 
How to make an event trend endlessly: 
 
Try to  host a tweet chat often. 
Talk about your forthcoming event using the hashtag created purposefully for the event.  If you can get quite a number of people (friends, colleagues, workers ) to tweet continuously for about 20- 30 minutes  each day tagging and mentioning great people. Trust ypur event will garner the ultimate attention. 
 
You can download Twitter app on mobile phones via Google store ( For Android devices) or IOS  Store (For Ipad and Apple devices) 
 
About the author:
Elijah U Otor is a sought-after of professional Virtual assistant with more than two years experience, he is energetic, highly multifaceted, success and result drove individual who currently works as a freelancer in Upwork.com ,guru.com etc.
He is a certified Google Digital skills trainer and Social media manager .
He had a degree in Microbiology ,  Digital skills (Fundamental of Online marketing by Google) and Google ads words.
He loves surfing the web and impacting knowledge.

Twitter handle is @elijahuwas

Assignment for everyone: 
Kindly create an account if you don't have one before and if you do, kindly rebrand it, tweet @elijahuwas   or send a link for assessment.
Remember to follow +Typearls Lifestyle  and @typearlshttps://twitter.com/typearls for event planning and business tips .

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