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Twitter for Scaredy Cats and Busy Bees

By Leah Mackey, ACS Advertising Social Media Manager

Many business owners know that social media is all the rage right now but are not necessarily convinced that it is for them. It is widely accepted that the first step is to create and maintain a Facebook page. But the thought of creating a Twitter account, and what to do with it once it is created, can be a daunting task for many. Others say that they don’t have time to “mess with” Twitter or that it won’t benefit them.

However, I don’t care who you are, what industry you are in, what product or service your business sells… Twitter can, and will, benefit your business… and you can get started without ever having to generate a single tweet of your own. Yes, you read that correctly. And all you B2B companies… it will even work for you too!

  • Lurk – The best way to start out on Twitter is to follow other users and read their posts. You do not have to post a single tweet to do this! I call this “lurking.” But really, what you are doing is strategically listening. Follow your competitors, your customers, industry organizations and news sources. For example, if you are a trucking company you may want to follow other trucking companies to see who they are engaging with and what they are saying. You also would probably want to follow industry publications and regulatory organizations.
  • Use Twitter’s “Who To Follow” feature – Twitter uses a special algorithm to recommend users that you are not presently following but that you may find relevant and interesting. These suggestions populate right below the grid of users you follow.

    Social Media Services - Twitter
  • Utilize Twitter’s real-time search – There is a quick search box located at the top of every Twitter page. Use this to search for names, places, companies, etc. If you want to get really fancy, you can cruise over to Twitter’s Advanced Search. It is great for identifying specific content. Where else can you get FREE real-time market research? Again, you don’t even have to post a single tweet to benefit from this one!

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Share industry news and articles – Read a newsworthy blog post or article this morning? Share the wealth! Sharing encourages engagement by serving as a conversation starter. Tweeting out an article or link that is of interest to your followers will likely cause them to do one of the following:

  • Re-tweet your post, thus getting you additional exposure;
  • Respond back with a comment, thus increasing engagement;
  • Continue to check your Twitter feed in the future for interesting content.

    All of these help to build your brand and position you as a resource of useful information.
  • Let Google do the work for you. Search engines previously only populated hits from websites. Fortunately that is not the case anymore. Advanced algorithms can now crawl and produce results for many social sites including Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and of course, Twitter! With no additional effort from you, your visibility has now been increased!

Note that I do not suggest ONLY following these tips. But, they are a good place to start for those of you who are just dipping your toe into the Twitter water. You will reap the most benefit from your Twitter experience by engaging with as many people as possible, as often as possible. So, once you are comfortable with these beginner steps, start posting your own original content. Always remember Twitter’s golden rule: You get out of it what you put into it.

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