#Twitter: A quick guide

Following our recent discussion on Linkedin (which can be found here) about your thoughts on Social Media communities, this blog is dedicated to the wonderful world of Twitter!

With a large proportion of people preferring to use Facebook and YouTube, it seems that Twitter has been left in the dark due to users feeling less confident with using this platform and wondering how they can use it for business and/or personal use.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online social network and micro-blogging service, enabling users to send real-time ‘tweets’ to one another, which can only be 140 characters long – so you have to keep the messages short and snappy!

Unregistered users can read anyone’s tweets as long as they haven’t set their profile to private, and registered users can send tweets via a computer, tablet device or mobile phone.

What do I tweet about?

We found this great quote that pretty much sums up the value of using Twitter and what you should be tweeting:

‘Twitter becomes more beneficial to you, when you give value to others.’

Basically, the more you put in, the more you get out, as with anything we do in life. This may be information, advice or entertainment; it’s 100% up to you and what you decide you want to communicate.

Although Twitter is a fairly playful and casual social networking site, you should always keep in mind your objectives for sending tweets and the content you are putting out there. When you first set up your Twitter account, you might decide that you want to tweet about a specific topic, for instance exercise and the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle; therefore all tweets should keep this original objective in mind to increase your Twitter following.

Top Ten Twitter Tips

1)       Set up your profile (Settings > Edit Profile): Create a simple and succinct bio that describes you and what you do. You could even include a link to your blog or website here. Additionally you’ll need to upload an image of you or your business with your objectives in mind. Differentiate yourself from the millions of Twitter users.

2)       Follow, follow, follow: Once your profile is set up, start following people with similar interests, motives, topical tweets. Following similar ‘tweeters’ will make it easier for you to build up your social community.

3)       Start a conversation: Go ahead and tweet, ask questions; anything related to your business and/or key topics. Respond to many of the queries that you’ll find people tweeting about and ‘re-tweet’ other people’s comments.

4)        Don’t SPAM: The Twitter news feed moves quite rapidly in real-time, however it could be seen as spamming if you send many Tweets all in one go. Remember to keep your tweets relevant and timed to ensure you don’t annoy other users with constant tweeting – they may un-follow you!

5)       Share tips related to your business and work-life balance

6)       Link to useful articles: Simply copy and paste the URL (Twitter will automatically shorten it for you) and include a brief summary of why it’s valuable to your followers.

7)       Refer other people and they will refer you back!

8)       Share your Twitter ID: Publish it on other websites (Facebook, your blog and Linkedin etc), maybe on business cards and your email signature.

9)       Make those 140 characters count! 140 characters isn’t a lot; keep it simple – use keywords and hashtags.

10)   Be real: Be authentic and be yourself. It’s a digital platform, but meaningful relationships can still be created from here as a fantastic starting point!

What is the hashtag used for in tweets? (#)

Often people don’t use hashtags because they’re not entirely sure what they should be using them for.

Put simply, it’s a (‘#’) symbol, followed by the topic you’re discussing. This is so that other users can easily search for that term to find the conversations related to it. If a topic (with the hashtag attached) is discussed regularly by many people, then it will appear in the trending topics section.

If you want to create a new hashtag that you’d like others to start using when they discuss your topic, create a short tweet explaining what it is and what you’re using it for. For example we created a hashtag for the March Launch Events 2012 – #NikkenLaunches2012 for any tweets we sent relating to the launches. Using hashtags is a conversation organisation tool.

Twilert is a good website for setting up Twitter search terms, that can be sent straight to your inbox whenever you would like them to (a bit like Google alerts), keeping you on top of the latest information related to that search term.

There are many useful resources on the internet about using Twitter for various purposes, we like Mashable’s Twitter Guide book, particularly chapter 3 ‘Twitter for Business’. Take a look here.

Want to know more about Social Media?

Please let us know if there are any Social Media topics you’d like us to cover in our blog and we’d be more than happy to provide some tips and advice on how to use it for your business.

Follow us and our tweets @NikkenEurope

Happy Tweeting!

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Social Media

As you may have seen from our recent eNews and MyNikken article ‘Bringing you all together’, our web-based community is growing. Therefore, we’re devoting this (rather lengthy) blog post to social media and sharing Nikken online.

Social media is a viral communications platform in which users can share images, information, videos, podcasts and more with anyone and everyone. It comes in many forms including; Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace), Blogs (WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr), Forums (MyForum on MyNikken!), Content Communities (YouTube) and virtual gaming worlds.  So all in all, a pretty vast web-based environment!

Advantages

Social Media…

  • Puts a face and personality to your brand (What would Nikken be like if it was a person?) 
  • Helps to promote and build businesses 
  • Allows you to communicate on a one-to-many basis  
  • Gives you the opportunity to share ideas, thoughts, interesting articles, news (the social world’s your oyster!) 
  • Is a form of word of mouth and gets people talking about brands and products – 78% of consumers trust peer recommendation 
  • Gets the word out fast!
  • Provides useful resources for everyone to utilise in their own personal way – personalise your platforms

Disadvantages

It seems that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages but we mustn’t forget the value of traditional communications and face-to-face social interactions! Sometimes it is hard to get across what you’re really trying to say via social media.

Also, consistently updating your social networks is quite time consuming, so it’s important to create a schedule before you start and allow yourself time aside for it.

Some handy tips…

Relevance– Keep your content relevant to your audience and to the Nikken brand.

Frequency If you post too often, you’ll be ignored… post too little and you’ll become invisible. Leave suitable gaps in between your social activity, enough to give people a chance to respond.

Measurability – Keep track of activity and responses from your audience. Are you getting much feedback and engagement?

Likability – Are you communicating with your audience on their level? Be conversational and friendly, leave a positive impression and they’ll return again…and again.

Versatility Mix your social media communications up a little. Try a video, a testimonial, audio or download-able content. This is much more appealing!

Presence – It’s important not to leave your audience in the dark. Respond as soon as possible to enquiries; let them know you’re on the other side of the screen. Build up trust with your prospect.

Not forgetting Social Media Etiquette – The same rules apply as if you are speaking in person; listen, show respect and think about what you’re saying before you speak. Don’t bombard everyone with requests and posts. Don’t talk TOO much about yourself and brand.

For further reading, take a look at the double page spread, ‘Getting the best from online tools’ in our Spring Nikken Family Magazine here – http://www.issuu.com/nikkeneurope/docs/uk_magspring_2011. There are lots of user-friendly online resources and reports on the web about social media and strategies.

Did you know?

  • Social media is the No.1 activity on the web – a great source of information
  • 1 out of 8 married couples in the US met via social media!
  • Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears have more Twitter followers than the entire population of Sweden
  • Facebook has more than 500 million active users AND if Facebook was a country, it would be the 3rd largest on the planet! (Mobious Social Media Revolution, 2011)
  • Facebook’s mission is: ‘To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected’ (You’ve got the power!)
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world and the 4th most visited site on the www. Why not take a look at our YouTube channel if you haven’t already – http://www.youtube.com/nikkeneurope
  • 3 new Twitter accounts open every second…1…2…3

And finally…This Digital Team blog that you are reading is just 1 out of 200,000,000 live blogs on the web today.

Thanks for reading!