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?