Get your Twitter business strategy right: Part 2 of 7

Tweet Tweet!

In part 2 of this tutorial we are going to focus on the need to tweet your own content several times a day, the importance of doing this, and how to do it without even having to login to Twitter or think about it. In a meeting/asleep/conference/interview/telephone? No worries, you’ll be happily tweeting away promoting your business.

This tutorial consists of seven parts, and it’s quite important you read them in order, so if you haven’t read part 1 yet, it’s probably best to do that now.

  1. Why Use Twitter?
  2. Tweet Your own content several times a day
  3. What is the purpose of Direct Messages?
  4. Auto-tweeting others’ content
  5. Maximise your followers
  6. Avoid the ‘twitter ratio’
  7. Summary

Any parts not linked haven’t been written yet, but will be coming soon.

Quick Disclaimer: I wouldn’t describe myself as a social media strategist, I’m just telling you what works for me and how to make it work for you. If you use an external Social Media “Expert” and they tell you not to do any of the things I suggest, you can listen to them or ignore them, but why not give it a try?

You need to be talking about you on Twitter, that might sound a little egocentric, but no-one else is going to do it for you, not yet anyway. It’s going to look like all you tweet about is you, which isn’t a big issue, but will be resolved once we get to part four. For now though do the odd retweet and enter into conversations so it’s not blatantly about you, you, you!

The first thing you need to do is put aside an hour or two to create a spreadsheet. You will only need to do this once, and if you are not comfortable with spreadsheets, then use Word, or whatever text editor you are most comfortable with. It’s important that you use something that will count how many characters you are typing so that we can create some Twitter content and not worry about going over the 140 character limit.

Okay, we are now going to create a list of a minimum of 30 tweets. You will want to create three different types of tweet:

  1. Blatant promotion – tweets that say something like “Our widgets will save you £50/week, why wouldn’t you use them?”, followed by a link to your website or a specific page within your website. This is as direct and sales-like you are going to get and its sole purpose is to drive traffic directly to your website. This sort of stuff probably won’t get much in the way of retweets, but it will create you traffic.
  2. Informative tweets – unlike blatant promotions, these are designed to raise interest and awareness in your twitter account rather than drive traffic to your website. Your tweets will be interesting, thought provoking, maybe controversial, but should be relevant to your business. For example “Did you know that 50,000 widgets were consumed every hour last last year, increasing to 65,000 this year already?”. These sorts of tweets will get you retweets and gain you new followers.
  3. Read my blog tweets – What? You don’t have a blog? Go stand in the corner and think about what you did (or what you didn’t do!). Okay, now you have a blog. Create a list of tweets of your blog articles that look something like this: “From our blog: How widgets prevented 12,000 serious workplace injuries last year”, followed with a link to the blog article. If any of your blog articles are transient, and only relevant around the time they were written, add them to the list if they are still relevant, but decide at which point you should remove them. These types of tweets will drive the most traffic to your website, will gain retweets increasing your exposure, and help demonstrate your expertise in your field.

You’ve now created a useful list. Spend 10 minutes each week reviewing it, adding to it, and delete anything that has expired or doesn’t seem to be working. This list cannot get too big, the more you add, the more useful it will be.

Next step is to sign up with Hootsuite, which we will use to automate our tweets. If you’ve used a package like this before, as there are many available, then stick with what you know, I just happen to prefer Hootsuite. I don’t intend to take you through how to use Hootsuite, you’ll have to do that yourself but it’s fairly simple. It has a lot of functionality but all we are going to use it for is queuing tweets.

Once a week, maybe at the weekend, put 10 minutes aside to takes tweets from your list and queue them in Hootsuite to be tweeted over then next week. How many you send out, on which days and at what times of day is entirely up to you. You may want to experiment for a while to see what works best. I would recommend queuing 5-10 tweets a day Monday through to Friday during office hours if you are B2B. If you operate B2C, then you may have more success queing tweets for the evening and weekends.

As your list expands you won’t be queueing everything on your list to go out every week. Jiggle it around a bit and try to avoid obvious patterns. Unless you ‘mix it up’ you will never find out what works most effectively.

That’s it for part 2. You have a couple of hours of ‘one off’ work to do, and roughly 20 minutes of work every week. This will be the largest single chunk of time you have to put into your Twitter strategy.

Are you enjoying this series? Are you putting these principles into practice? Let me know how it is working for you.

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