Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Top Tip Twitter Tuesday

You may have noticed that in the past few months Vital Hike have been tweeting away like there’s no tomorrow (which of course there is and we know it better as “#WarningWednesday”). This Tuesday (one of my personal favourite twitter days) is our ‘Top Tip Tuesday’ – which means Vital Hike try and share some interesting online marketing tips with their followers. Over the past few months Tuesday tweets have ranged from tips such as, ‘Use keywords in GoogleAd content & Google highlights them when they appear!’ to ‘Marketing your brand with strong family values can increase business - especially in the current climate ( http://t.co/hUaXoj4L )’. As the months have flown by, tips have been mounting up and it’s starting to look as though there’s just not enough Tuesday’s in the year!
With that in mind, this Tuesday, we would like to give you not one, but (drumroll, please)…
An example of an incredibly
interesting and valuable tweet
 …SIX of our top tweeting tips!

1.       Tweet often
( – but only when you have something interesting to share!)

Many online tips and hints to tweeting may give you advice to turn into some sort of twitter maniac and tweet excessively about everything that happens to you in your daily life from, ‘Popping out to get some milk’ to ‘On my way back – got the milk’. Although tweeting frequently gives people a reason to follow you (as there aren’t many people who want to follow someone who never tweets – unless they’re Beyonce), you have to bear in mind that if your tweets take over their twitter feed and they don’t find them interesting – you’re likely to be ‘unfollowed’ faster than I can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (and I was a SERIOUS Poppins fan).

2.       Share interesting or useful tweets
(and don’t keep tips to yourself ;) )

Online social networking is essentially like an extremely large conversation – with millions participating at once. In order to grab the attention of people who are interested in what your business is about, it is important to leave behind the ‘sell, sell, sell!’ marketing mentality. Currently, the results of social networking are incredibly hard to measure as far as marketing tools go – someone may have over 1000 ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ but if 99% of these people are not a business’s target audience, it’s probably not that useful.

One way of reaching your target audience is to bear in mind what they will be searching for – put yourselves in their shoes! If, like us, your audience is searching for information in online marketingshare some information on online marketing! It doesn't have to be the secret ingredient to a family recipe – just something that they would find worth reading.

Think of why you follow others on twitter – usually you either find someone’s tweets useful, entertaining or interesting. If you try and apply these factors to your own tweets, you should be getting the right audience following you – and what’s more, they will be actively engaged in what you tweet about.

3.       When your tweet includes a ‘Trending’ hashtag 
       – make sure it doesn’t begin with it!

When a reader scrolls through tweets that are currently trending, some will have the trending hashtag at the beginning of the tweet. The main issue with putting a hashtag at the beginning of a tweet, is that it can sometimes make the tweet harder to read than one that starts with what you want people to read. So unless the hashtag is part of the sentence, it’s better to leave it till the end!

4.       Follow or Create a ‘list’

I wonder who twitter follow...
‘Lists’ on twitter are a fairly new concept and not everyone has got involved in them yet. However, they are a great tool to use, especially for people wanting to follow many various categories of tweeters (e.g. Vital Hike have a B2B Scotland list – where they follow many Scottish businesses).

You might only have your friends in your personal twitter feed, but with ‘lists’ you can also follow a group of celebrities you like or some companies you work with, so that you don’t have to be constantly inundated with what Lady Gaga’s latest dancing venture is, but you can check the ‘list feed’ when the mood strikes you. If you don’t have time to create your own list, you can also follow other people’s lists! So if you know your mother has the same taste in celebrities that you do, and she’s created a list, you can save yourself time and just follow hers (just go onto her profile and click the ‘lists’ tab above her twitter feed.

5.       Get your audience involved

The more you can offer your audience, the more they’ll want to get involved with your brand and business. Whether it’s information, a free gift or a competition – getting people talking about your business and your tweets should be your goal!

6.       Don’t use social networking as a sales tool

The main marketing purpose of social networking for businesses (although it is still in an experimental stage) is branding. This does not mean that platforms such as twitter and Facebook are only useful for the huge brand names – quite the opposite actually. As twitter and Facebook have very few advertising opportunities and everyone has the same limits and reach (the service is the same across the board) it means that everyone has a very level playing field – whether you’re Coca cola’s personal twitter PR team or a homeless man with an internet connection - you only have 140 characters per tweet to let the world know what's going on!

Every time you use twitter purely for sales..
...a little blue twitter bird dies :(
Why cruel world? WHY!?
From personal experience, I don’t tend to use twitter to buy anything. Maybe that’s just me, but I think that if you want more people going to your website to buy things then SEO and Google Ads (among other things) might be a better investment. However, I do think it’s important for your business to have a voice and be involved in the online ‘conversation’, because, once people who are interested in your business either start following you or become interested, it will mean that A) hopefully they will have a good impression of your business and may spread the word and B) when they or someone they know asks for a service or product such as yours they may be more likely to go to you or refer you to someone else.

Overall, the best advice I could give you would be to get involved in the conversation and don’t be scared to make a mistake – everyone does and it’s always the best way to learn (well, other than just getting it right first time)! It’s absolutely free to tweet and it might just be the best thing you ever did for your business - and if not, at least you've found a new way to see what Stephen Fry’s up to.

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