April 5, 2010

A Twitter Journey: Getting Started the Right Way

I have been on Twitter since August 2009 and have a learned a few things about using it as a business communication tool. Twitter is often referred to as micro-blogging by business users; however others use it more like a friendly chat room for reporting everywhere they go and everything they do. The key thing to think about before getting on Twitter is to figure out which type of user you want to be in order to attract the friends and fans you want, which are called followers on Twitter.

Twitter Power 2.0: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time
Twitter Power book
When I started I put an account out there and waited for the followers to come. I got a few good followers but I also got some spammers, scammers and downright nasty ones as well. So I read a few articles on targeting people I want as followers as well as reviewing the book “Twitter Power” to help me use this tool more effectively for marketing my services and my blog. I decided to share a few key things I learned in my next few blog posts.

First decide what type of information you want to communicate to your desired audience, then sign-up with an appropriate name on Twitter.
  1. I wanted to promote my leadership and productivity blog in order to increase the number of readers. So I set up a separate account “2bproductive” for the blog that is used to communicate when a new post is added to the blog so people can go read it. I also communicate when any of the bloggers have a public speaking engagement or when I find out about free webinars.
  2. I offer keynote topics, have written a book on meeting management, and promote free productivity articles on my website. That is separate from the blog so it should have a separate account. I called that account “meetingwizard” after the title of my book.
Next - before looking for followers, you need to:
  1. Add a profile and design background to your account using the Settings tab. This is where you get the opportunity to tell a little about yourself or your mission as well as add your personal photo, corporate logo, or a fun avatar. 
  2. Post a few Tweets related to subjects you think potential followers would be interested in. These Tweets can include hyperlinks to webpages outside Twitter or they can be quotations you find inspiring.  Why should you start with a few tweets? Accounts without posts or with only a single post are often set-up by computer bots for the purpose of spamming followers. So most experienced Tweeple (another term for Twitter followers a.k.a. Tweeps) tend not to follow those accounts.
  3. When you set up your account, you may also want to go ahead and set-up Notifications. On this Settings tab you can decide what type of emails you want to get from Twitter. Do not use the Mobile tab unless you want text messages sent to your phone as you may have to pay your phone service for getting them. Getting emails may be helpful in monitoring your account when you start-up. However, if you get tired of seeing the emails in your inbox, you can always go back to this tab and turn them off.
Items 1 and 2 will appear on your profile page when others go check you out to see if you are someone they may want to follow.

In my next post I will talk about following and getting followers on Twitter. I will also be including links to related articles in my Twitter posts. Many of these articles will also contain additional resource links for those of you wishing to do more research on a particular idea. Here’s some to get you started:

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