/ Social Media, Twitter.

Getting started

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I started twitter as a consequence of starting to focus on social media, I read a post in the Guy Kawasaki’s blog talking about twitter and it immediately grabbed my attention, suddenly I found myself surfing The Internet in the search of more information about twitter and its world…Then I signed up, had an account and began to follow people,  as days went through I began to understand it better and better…

Working on twitter all this time has led me to think in it as a marketing tool and I like to use it when is possible. As I’m among friends I feel more confident to discuss what I really think twitter is and how you become an efficient twitter professional:

Twitter, the popular micro-blogging site, publishes messages with a most of 140 characters, whatever you want to say you must say it in this amount of characters, It is hard sometimes, but it’s one of the reasons I love twitter, no matter the message, statement, advice, offer or opinion, you must struggle to do it with just a handful of words, which really compel us being more creative and imaginative than ever. Consequently, most of the time we’ll have a very effective communication with prospect, providers or whoever is following us. Currently, twitter has an estimated 4.1 million visits to the site and is growing very each day faster than other social networking in the U.S. alone. It’s one of the most viral social media tools freely available in the market. Many brands and professionals attempt to use the tool to sell their services and products, but the successful brands and professionals use twitter to listen and engage with their stakeholders, as an earlier conclusion we can talk about twitter as an approach to create conversation between prospects and businesses or we can use it as an engagement tool, too.

Getting deeper…

Interact with other twitter seems easy, but if you don’t know how it works don’t. Each message you post is known as a “Tweet.” In social media and social networking industry, Twitter facilitates a process known as micro-blogging or micro-sharing. Every user identifies himself/herself by putting a “@” sign in front of their name (for instance: @Israel_Garcia, here is mine). It’s the common way of communicating on twitter. Joining Twitter has value for many people and businesses, but as I said before it can also be a waste of time if you don’t understand how the medium works and how best to use it. Instead of approaching Twitter as a place to broadcast information about your company, think of it as a place to build relationships. It’s also a good idea to include additional contact info, like email addresses or your blogs.

Listen regularly for comments about your company, brand and products and be ready to discuss concerns, offer customer service or thank people for praise.

In addition to keeping an eye on your @messages, you can use the Saved Searches feature to easily track mentions of your product, brand, company, etc. From your Twitter home page, simply run a search, and then at the top of your result’s page, click “Save this search.” A link with your search term will appear on the right side of your page, and when you click it, you’ll get real-time results for that query. To drop a search, just head to the top of your results and click “Remove this search.”

My twitter strategy

Let’s talk openly about how you could be an efficient Twitter professional…

1. Set a target or purpose for your twitter.

It could be:

Promote your blog

Gain more affluence and traffic in your social networking

Establish a networking between your customers and your business

Increase your website traffic

Increase brand recognition

Built a reputation as an expert in the field you work on

But (and this is a great but…) I strongly suggest you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What approach should I take to be more appealing to the rest of users? What makes me different from rest of users?
  • What kind of content I’m delivering? links, advice, opinion, quotations, RT,feedback…
  • How often I’m going to tweet Once a day, twice, every 5 minutes, when something interesting comes up…
  • Are my twits aligned with my twitter strategy (step 1)? Develop, establish and follow a clear but simple strategy
  • Did I choose appropriately the best twitter strategy (step 1)? Occasionally check your strategy and implement corrective measures to re-align your strategy in case of changes.
  • Is twitter really meeting my needs? Am I in twitter for a purpose or just because it is trendy? If you are here, certainly you have a purpose. On the contrary, you’d better go shopping in Milan, undoubtedly more trendy…

2. Twitter could be stressing and addictive.

At the beginning is easy to manage twitter, nevertheless as the number of your followers and follows grow, you’ll realise that you cannot deal with such amount of tweets, tweeps, connections, information, links, advices, opinions and so on. Take a breath and be aware of… It is the first step for being successful (at the same time you’ll be honest with yourself). Also, make sure you don’t fall in what I like to call the “dark side of twitter” which is the one used by hundred of thousands of people who are also in, but don’t use it for business. LET’S BE CLEAR, YOU ARE READING THIS BECAUSE YOUR TIME IS PRICELESS AND YOU WANT TO BECOME A TWITTER PROFESSIONAL, I don’t care if my neighbour is getting up a 10 am. for preparing herself/himself a bowl of cereals with orange juice before going shopping…

3. Follow the people who best meet your needs.

For example, If you are a musician and you want promote your website, MySpace or blog, you should look for people interested in Music, producers, record labels, music agencies, clubs or even musicians for instance. As you give them value you’ll have a tribe ready to follow you. The question is…are you ready to lead? It’s the same principle as growing a blog – if you help enhance people’s lives in some way they are more likely to want to track with you and read more of what you have to say. As a result your conversations should ‘matter’ on some level. Sure you can throw in personal tweets and have some fun with it – but unless you’re providing something useful to people (information, discounts, entertainment, news, education etc) they probably won’t follow you for long.

Also be wary of always trying to sell your product or service. Your followers don’t like to follow people, who are always trying to sell them something. Try adding links that make people laugh or something really curious or odd, but use good taste. This way they can’t wait for your next tweet.

4. Be Strict and censor with your ‘anti-prospect’.

There are millions of people using twitter for different purposes, some of them are here for professionals matters, others don’t…If you aren’t interested in someone who isn’t decided between cooking boiled eggs or smashed potatoes… avoid them!

5. Take advantage of the twitter apps to manage twitter efficiently.

I highly recommend use apps to manage your time in twitter efficiently, here you can find which I use the most:

With tweetbeep, you can set up alerts that will help you keep track of keywords on Twitter

Twitscoop shares what’s hot on Twitter at any given moment.

Set up tweetscan to make sure you don’t miss any @replies, and to get alerted of your search queries.

Twitterlocal With this service, you can see tweets from Twitter users in a specific location

Use tweepler to organize your tweeps based on whether you’re following them or not.

Twubble will expand your Twitter bubble, picking out people you may like to follow.

Twitdir, you’ll be able to search for people, and exploring categories including top followers and updaters.

Who should I follow Using this site, you can get good recommendations for Tweeps to follow.

Twellow find Twitter users in a specific industry using this service

Mr. Tweet is a personal networking assistant for Twitter, helping you find relevant followers

Moreover, you can go to this site, which offers more than 100 twitters apps 100 Twitter tools to help you achieve all your goals

I want to give you a piece of advice, some of the apps could be very helpful, but some of them are useless and a completely waste of time. It depends on your twitter strategy, I recommend study them before the installation is being made.

6. Don’t stress if your number of followers doesn’t rise.

It takes sometime people get interested in what you’re doing or saying. Take twitter as a refined flower you recently bought and it needs to be treated with meticulous care to develop all its beauty within its cocoon. If times goes through and your number of followers doesn’t grow you don’t need being afraid anyway, why? Because twitter is not about the follower count, it’s about conversions. A carefully cultivated list of 1000 followers can beat a list of 10,000 twitter followers anytime when it comes to spreading content or getting traffic/sales. A social mediafollowersstrategy that only involves mass following all sorts of people and shooting out links to hook buyers or readers is quite inadequate. Forget about the people who follow you without a reason these are auto-follows or just  low-value followers. Not because they are dumb or socially inferior but because a good amount of these followers are not ultra-targeted, active or responsive. Many of them are self-promoters, spammers or automated feed accounts. These people aren’t interested in you. They don’t care about you. They didn’t REALLY opt-in. They even followed you automatically, didn’t they? So play the Twitter game of mass adding and dropping users for a few months. You may even meet some cool people but don’t assume that you have 50,000 users who actually read your tweets or pay attention in you. They aren’t. And you’re irrelevant to them. I have to recognize that is hard to find productive twitters, people interested in you, in what you do, in what you say, in what they get from you (ie RT links) they follow you because they have reasons to. You’ll know when you find them, they’re very active and in most of  the cases will share common things with you.

7. Key points

At a glance I would recommend:

  • Ensure you want to set up and support relationships
  • Be authentic
  • Be consistent, reliable and friendly – don’t take anything personally
  • Listen before you speak
  • And while numbers are seductive, remember the opportunity is in establishing quality relationships and providing quality tweets for your followers, whatever your message
  • Forget direct messages, they’re impersonal, unconvincing and it seems that don’t like to twitters.
  • Carefully choose the people you follow. Do NOT automatically follow everyone who follows you.
  • Selectively choose and search for TOPICS that interest you, then join in those conversations.
  • Support worthy and compelling conversation by selectively RETWEETING those messages that you think are interesting/informative to your followers.

Your take

You? Whats is your strategy?