Twitter for Raleigh Small Business- How to get started!
Are you tweeting? Set aside the fear of the unknown and the overwhelming thoughts of “not one more task” to consider Twitter as a valuable and far reaching social network for growing your business. Dream that entrepreneurial dream for just a moment as I tell you that Dell reported that it can attribute $7 million in sales to its interactions on Twitter. Best Buy has answered 20,000 customer questions though Twitter within 6 months of last year* $7 million in sales and 20,000 customer inquiries sounds dreamy doesn’t it?
In this 2 part Twitter blog post series, I’m going to help you start down that dreamy path by opening another channel for your business and giving you a mini course in tweeting. If you are already tweeting, I’m going to share with you some ideas on how to grow your business through Twitter in a follow up blog post.
Ready…Open the Channel
Go to www.twitter.com from your laptop/desktop and complete the sign up page by choosing a profile name that relates directly to your business.
Set…Setting up your Twitter profile
When setting up your Twitter profile, describe your business in 160 characters or less. Include a link to your web site, store, or blog as well as your location. All this information you complete in this profile form becomes searchable information that will assist you in gaining new followers.
Choose an avatar
Choose a picture that relates to your business to represent you on twitter. I would recommend your logo or a product picture. You also have the opportunity to upload background photos and headers to decorate your Twitter page
Find the tweet box below, and we’ll go through a couple of useful features when tweeting.
I’ve formed a tweet here in this pop up box. If you are at a loss in the beginning, start reading and interacting with other tweeters and you will begin to think the form of a “tweet”. The #Raleigh and #VendRaleigh are hashtag keywords. These hashtags are randomly used around Twitter and allow for someone to search on a topic of conversation. If a particular hashtag is repeatedly used, Twitter calls this a “trend”. If you type #VendRaleigh into your search bar, you’ll see other fellow Mompreneurs tweets that have tweeted using the #VendRaleigh hashtag. Click on those tweets to learn more about the tweeter and jump into the conversation!
The camera button allows you to upload a picture and the bubble button is the symbol for location, which can be included in your tweet. Your number of character count is next along the bottom row. I can use 46 more characters in this tweet of 140 total characters. Links to your Facebook page, web site, Etsy product can all be linked in this tweet. Google “bit.ly” to educate yourself on posting links on Twitter.
Basic Twitter Functions
To do anything more on Twitter you will need to follow fellow tweeters. This builds a timeline for you to respond to and engage with. Much like facebook where you need to be friends with someone in order to see what they are doing on your newsfeed, you’ll need to follow fellow tweeters to have their tweets post in your timeline.
Click on a tweeter’s name to get more information, view their profile as well as see previous tweets. Within their profile you click the follow button to follow their tweets and their tweets will display in your timeline.
Direct Messages are useful if you are sending an email address or other information you don’t want the world to see. Direct messages are typically between two tweeters to send information or comments. Click on the “cog” next to the tweet button to see your direct messages. To send a direct message, start with the tweeter’s username @CarolinaClover and write your message.
Mentions are when someone has formed a tweet and mentioned you in the tweet. Either they want to reply to one of your tweets directly to you or they are having a conversation and want to include you in it or they have retweeted your original tweet to their timeline so everyone who follows them will see your tweet and their reply. You may see “RT” in the tweet or just quotation marks around the tweet. Click on the @connect button on the task bar within Twitter to see your interactions.
Clicking on the “Me” icon on the task bar will give you an opportunity to view your tweets and delete them if you need to, who you are following, your followers, your favorites and your lists.
After you’ve become familiar with Twitter on your computer, find a mobile app to download to tweet on the go. I use Echofon Free version on my iPhone. It allows me to see my timeline, mentions, messages, tweets and search a lot easier than using the twitter user interface at Twitter.com
Get started and follow @VendRaleigh so we can all connect and promote each other on twitter! Look for the more advanced “how to promote your business on Twitter” follow up to this blog post.