Don’t be a Twit on Twitter

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I have to admit I created a Twitter account begrudgingly. I was extremely curious as my colleagues had jumped on the bandwagon months ago and had been telling me stories of strange and wonderful connections that take place on this exotic communication landscape.

The reason for my procrastination was that I am time poor and between checking my BlackBerry constantly for emails that needed actioning, logging onto Facebook daily, running my business and looking after my young children I couldn’t see how I would possibly fit Twitter into the equation.

Well, I finally did it.  I am glad I did and I have learnt a few lessons about how to use Twitter productively and not waste too much time on it:

1.    When you join Twitter it is very tempting to follow all kinds of celebrities because you feel like you have a direct line to someone who previously seemed completely out of reach.  My recommendation is not to bother. At first it was extremely exciting to read Ben Stiller’s tweets and feel like we were long lost friends but how long can you fool yourself? The novelty wears off very quickly and you are left with lots of meaningless tweets that serve no purpose at all.

2.    It is worth following people that you’d like to create a relationship with. If you own or work for a fashion brand, it is a good idea to follow fashion journalists who have a Twitter account.

3.    Do not bombard Twitter with sales messages or you will be blocked by all and sundry. It is possible to promote your brand using Twitter but you have to be clever about it. For example Levi Jeans have been giving away jeans on various days in the last few weeks. They simply send tweets and a link to an image of where they are located and announce that you if come to this location and mention that you saw the Levi tweet you will receive a free pair of jeans.  In the lead up to the giveaway Levi sends multiple tweets with picture clues as to where they are heading.  Levi’s tweet is only a few weeks old and they’ve already got over 300 followers.

4.    The main thing to keep in mind is to have a firm idea about what you’d like to achieve from your Twitter account, and keep that objective in mind when you write tweets or opt to follow people.

5.  There are many applications such as Tweetdeck.com which can be downloaded to help you organise your Tweets and not waste precious time refreshing your page.

As a PR company we are following a range of journalists and other PR companies and from this valuable PR opportunities for our clients have reared their heads each week.

Have you had amazing opportunities appear from being active on Twitter or are you finding it’s wasting too much of your time?

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After an extensive career in TV journalism including Channel 9’s Getaway and A Current Affair, Monica Rosenfeld established WordStorm PR in 2000. Monica’s experience at Channel 9 was invaluable as it allowed her to set up a PR agency that clearly understood the day-to-day workings of a busy media office. WordStorm PR represents a range of consumer, lifestyle, food, health, hospitality and B2B clients. With her extensive experience in public relations, Monica’s blog will focus on helping business owners to effectively communicate to the media and consumers to get their brand noticed.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Monica,

    Great article … I found it on twitter when I was looking at another guys profile who had Retweeted my blog article (which is a similar article). There is the power of twitter right there. How else would I have found your article?

    Twitter is about relationship building and its certaintly been that for me. I’m taking the slow and steady approach at this stage because being an analyst, I wanted to get a very deep insight into the workings of it. I’ve achieved this and am seeing really great results.

    I’m working on a number of socia media strategies that will tie twitter in for small business, community groups and individuals. Used correctly, this is really up there in terms of importance moving forward.

  2. Hi Ho Monica
    Great advice. I think it can become very tempting to spend (and waste) too much time on twitter. As you said, if you keep in mind your objective and tweet accordingly, it will become a great relationship building tool. It is also a great idea to use twitter to ‘listen’ to the market and see what is being discussed and how this might relate to your business.

  3. All good points … especially about following only those you feel add benefit to your business … and in return, ensuring your own twitters offer value (it is quality rather than quantity that is the key).

    For businesses, it is a marketing tool, so I don’t think there is any issue about presenting your product or service to those that have chosen to follow you ….. as long as the information is presented in a way that offers ideas about including or using (through links to case studies, tips etc).

  4. Hi Monica. Really sound advice. I find the whole twitter thing quite intriguing – can it really work for a small business?
    I also find it daunting in terms of when to start, what to say and who to say it to. But you’ve got to give it a go I guess.

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