I usually write blog posts about Facebook, email marketing and blogging. So this week, let’s jump platforms and talk Twitter. That’s the social network, along with Facebook, credited with helping launch the Arab Spring of protests in Africa and the Middle East last year. If Tweets can topple long-standing dictatorships in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, imagine what they can do for you!
On Twitter, people share their thoughts, observations, calls to action, complaints, photos – anything that can be passed along in messages, called Tweets, of 140 characters or less, including web links. By best estimates, Twitter has about 500 million users. And, like Facebook and other social networks, users don’t build followings by “advertising” themselves and pitching their products, services or books. Rather, they gain and keep followers by sharing interesting, useful and otherwise engaging content.
So how do you get launched?
It’s easy to get up and running on Twitter. Just go to Twitter.com, enter your real name, email address, create a password and click “sign up for Twitter.” On the next page, you’ll be asked for a user name. Give some thought to this so that it rightfully reflects your wedding business brand.. For instance, you might choose the name of your company.
Next, fill out your profile page. Make sure to use your real name here and upload a photo of yourself, so people can put a face to your user name. Businesses may choose to use a company logo. Take care when filling out your bio: The information should share your passion and expertise in conversational fashion and, of course, it should relate to the brand you’re trying to build within the wedding industry.
Your bio must be 160 characters, including spaces, or less, so feel free to use Internet shorthand, such as ampersands for “and.”
Next, look for people to follow – people whose Tweets will show up on your home page. This is important; you won’t get followers without taking this step. You can look for people you know by searching for them by name in the “people search.” Better yet, click #Discover – “hashtag Discover” – at the top of your home page.
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It’s a way to categorize messages. Users include hashtag terms in their Tweets, like #weddings or #honeymoons, to help people searching for this specific information.
Once you’re following people, check your home page a few times a day to read their Tweets. If you find one useful or entertaining, click “Retweet” to pass it along. The person who originally posted it will probably thank you – and follow you! And start composing your own Tweets. Always share helpful tips; news of upcoming events; links to helpful articles; even personal insights like, “Great day for a wedding!”
What you shouldn’t share are pleas to buy, or overt pitches of, your product, book or services. Twitter and other networks are social media – not on-line billboards. You wouldn’t go to a party with a stack of books or business cards and set up a sales booth by the door, right? Instead, you’d circulate, try to be friendly and engaging and, when people ask what you do, you can say, “Funny you should ask! A wedding I did was just published in Martha Stewart Weddings.”
Don’t be afraid to get started – Tweeting might just change your world!
Now that you’ve had a crash course in Twitter, I hope you’ll feel more comfortable about giving it a whirl. If it still feels overwhelming and you’d rather just hand it over to a wedding marketing company then give us a shout! 1-800-431-4628 or check out more details of how we can help grow your social media footprint by clicking here.
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