Even though it doesn’t quite carry the same weight this side of the pond, the Superbowl is still by far the biggest (and most expensive) event in the marketing calendar. Huge companies fight for the prime position advert spots in the hopes of pushing their products to the 110 million people watching.
Twitter is renowned for the light-hearted attitude of it’s 500+M strong userbase, and as we all know, humour can be a brilliant way to win over your customers.
Presenting your company in this jaunty, fun fashion can be challenging, but here’s an example from the local Solihull Police force on how to do it right:
Courtesy of @SolihullPolice
The Solihull Police twitter account is a great example of how you can make a potential grey and serious topic a little more cheery quite easily by just injecting a little fun – We highly recommend giving them a follow!
In other slightly less jolly news, disgruntled staff of failing music and DVD giant HMV took to Twitter in a guerilla-style hijacking of the retailer’s account. The peeved employees managed to broadcast several tweets to HMV’s 68,000+ fans, including:
“We’re tweeting live from HR where we’re all being fired. Exciting!! #hmvXFactorFiring”.
The prank didn’t seem to go down too well with those in charge, however, as the renegade tweeter posted:
“Just overheard our Marketing Director (he’s staying, folks) ask “How do I shut down Twitter?”
The higher powers at HMV finally managed to regain control of the account and all of the tweets were removed, but not before the rogue poster managed to squeeze in a final tweet:
“So really, what have we to lose? It’s been a pleasure folks! Best wishes to you all!”
Nearly 190 jobs were axed at HMV yesterday, as the company begins the step toward restructuring. All is not lost, however – restructuring company Hilco have bought the company’s debt, in hopes of reopening half the chain’s stores across the nation. Something makes us think they might not be offering the Twitter troublemakers their jobs back though!
In my last post about Twitter for business, I talked you through the layout of Twitter and how to construct your first Tweet. Hopefully you have already had a look around Twitter to see how this works in practice, and the next thing you’ll want to know is how to gain Twitter followers.
You can see the number of followers you have on the right hand side of your Twitter homepage. Next to this you will also see how many people you are following. If you are familiar with using Facebook, it might be helpful to think of other Twitter users as ‘friends’ – but remember everything you broadcast on Twitter is public and should be professional!
So how do you gain followers?
- Start by following Twitter users that interest you or work in the same sector as your company. Some of these users will return the favour and follow you back. You can search for users using the ‘Who to Follow’ tab and over time Twitter will recommend accounts based on who you follow.
TIP: Don’t forget to ask your friends and family if they are on Twitter – this is an easy way to get some followers!
- Once you’ve picked up a few followers, start to follow people you want to follow you. Interact with these influential people by replying to, or re-tweeting their Tweets. They might then start to follow you.
- Make sure your own Tweets are interesting and provide relevant, useful and interesting content. Link to your own blog or product pages to encourage people to visit your site – but make sure you don’t overwhelm your followers with constant promotion.
TIP: Humour works well on Twitter – don’t be afraid to be funny!
- Provide your followers with insider information about offers and discounts and give out coupon codes or discounts to your Twitter followers. Competitions work brilliantly on Twitter – try asking your followers to re-tweet one of your tweets to be entered into a prize draw.
- Pay attention to trending topics. These are shown to the right of the Twitter homepage and reflect what Twitter users are talking about. If a trending topic is relevant to your business, you could include a link to your website in your tweet about that topic. Use the hashtag (e.g #Birmingham) to convert the trending phrase into a link.
- You can also use the hashtag to Tweet about a live event. On a Saturday night, you could Tweet about the #xfactor, for example.
- Take part in Follow Friday with the hashtag #ff. Using #ff you can recommend other Twitter users to your followers. Always tell your followers why they should follow the user you are recommending – e.f ‘#ff @eSterling group because they did a great job on my website’. The people that you recommend for Follow Friday will be likely to start following you, or re-tweet your recommendation to their own followers.
The more you put into your Twitter account, the more you will get out of it. Don’t be put off if it takes a while to gain followers. Just concentrate on Tweeting about interesting, relevant, humorous and valuable topics as well as interacting with the users around you. Your Twitter account will soon get off the ground.
Twitter is a social media platform that is growing in popularity, with over 300 million users ‘tweeting’ on a regular basis. Our customers often ask me about Twitter, and with this series of blog posts I hope to explain how you can use this social networking tool to your advantage.
Firstly, you need to get familiar with Twitter and understand the way it functions. Twitter is known as a ‘micro-blogging’ website because users post updates, known as ‘tweets’ in 140 characters or less. This doesn’t give you much room to get across what you need to say – so you need to be savvy with the Twitter techniques that you will find below…
You type your tweets in this box.
*Top Twitter Tip – If you use Facebook for personal use, it’s helpful to think of Twitter as being similar to the Facebook newsfeed, with a tweet being comparable to a Facebook status update. Your followers on Twitter can be compared to your friends on Facebook.
- # – this symbol is called a hashtag and converts text into a link.
e.g ‘eSterling provide web design and SEO services in #Birmingham’
Twitter users can then click on #Birminghamto see other tweets related to this topic.
- @ – use this symbol to reply to another user, or mention them in your tweet.
e.g ‘@eSterlingGroup Thanks for helping me with my website today.’
or ‘Just ordered my new website from @eSterlingGroup – can’t wait to see the results.’
The user you mention will be notified of your tweet.
- Re-tweet – forward another user’s tweet to your own followers. You can do this by hovering over the tweet and the selecting ‘re-tweet’. This will then appear in your followers’ timeline.
- Links – use your tweets to link to your products and services, which is the ultimate goal for using Twitter for business.
e.g ‘Take a look at our blog post about web design and SEO: https://blog.esterling.co.uk/2011/11/15/web-design-and-seo-go-hand-in-hand/’
Twitter will automatically shorten any links you include in your tweets.
Once you’ve mastered these basics, you will be able to construct tweets that your followers will find interesting and helpful. And this will in turn gain you followers and spread the word about your business. In the next Twitter blog post, I will be discussing how to gain followers and keep them – so don’t forget to check the eSterling blog next week to find out more.
Many of you know that when it comes to new technologies I like to figure them out before I believe in them fully. Twitter is one of the things that I’m beginning to see the benefits of for use in the commercial realm.
For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter, it is a social networking site that is often referred to as a ‘micro-blogging’ platform. This is because Twitter users issue tiny updates to their followers that are no more than 140 characters – this is called a ‘tweet’. Other users can reply to a tweet, or forward it to their followers by re-tweeting it. In other words, a single tweet can be interacted with and passed on to others – and this is where Twitter has value for your business.
Once you have set up your Twitter account and you have gained a few followers you will be amazed at the snowball effect. More people will begin to follow you – especially if you can offer something of worth. This is especially evident for companies that use Twitter to offer exclusive discounts, promotions or competitions, as your followers will be more likely to re-tweet your messages.
Twitter has 200 million users so it makes sense to promote your business using this medium. It doesn’t take long to set up a Twitter profile and eSterling can help you to customise it so that it really stands out to your followers. All you have to do is get tweeting!
I have long way to go until I’m fully Twiterate (Twitter literate that is!) but I believe that if something might benefit your business then you should go for it!