A Quick & Basic Twitter Tutorial

This tutorial offered by Michelle Armstrong, LFA Tucson Steering Committee Member & Community Relations Manager for Bookmans

Many businesses underestimate the importance of social media either out of fear of technology or lack of interest, but social media helps businesses directly connect with their customers in a casual and cost effective way. The first thing to remember when starting to use social media is there are many platforms which are as different as are their users. Consumers that visit your website might not “Follow” you on Twitter and might not “Friend” you on Facebook or vice versa. Each platform has a style and demographic as well as particular etiquette. Remember we are in a day and age of fickle fans and anything perceived as spammy need not apply.

The basics of Twitter:

  • You only have 140 characters to get your point across. That includes letters, spaces and punctuation. The benefit of the brevity keeps logorrheics from over taking the conversation.
  • Twitter has “Followers”. If you want long lasting followers you need to earn them the hard way through interaction, giveaways and patience.
  • Do follow backs, which means if someone follows you then you need to follow them.
  • The rule of thirds. A third of your tweets should be native links (links to your website and it’s content), a third of should be interaction (conversations with people- always a plus when with community partners, retweets and @mentions) and a third should be outside content (websites or articles you think your followers would be interested in).
  • Don’t just inundate your followers with promotional sales pitches, trite content or constantly repeat the same tweet. It’s important to have a personality and a sense of humor. People want to know they are conversing with a human not a machine.
  • If all else fails check out another local business’ Twitter page that has a significant amount of followers to get a sense of how it’s done. Don’t copy them, but use it as a guide to get where you want to go.
  • Keep your tweets consistent. A good average to strive for would be 3-8 daily. Using certain Twitter programs allow you to schedule tweets in advance, gain metrics and see how often you are being @mentioned.
  • Be careful of you link your Facebook page to your Twitter account. Simply auto-tweeting Facebook posts can be counter-productive.

Be fearless. You’re bound to make mistakes, but own up to them and be faithful to your followers.