The social media platform with the little bird logo has been in the news rather a lot since its inception back in 2006. Recently though things reached a new level with the Twittersphere almost exploding over the false allegations regarding Lord McAlpine and the catastrophic case of mistaken identity.
I am well aware that a blog about Twitter is not a difficult thing to find but given that what with one thing and another it is fast becoming the most talked about social media platform ever, I felt that the time was right to add one more to the list.
Here We Go
Within the world of web design, search engine optimisation (SEO) and graphic design the collective domain of Teapot Creative – pretty much everyone tweets. It is a perfectly normal activity and it is therefore easy to forget that although probably everyone reading this blog will have heard of Twitter that does not meant theyre on it or necessarily have even considered using it. If you are now thinking, Yup, thats me then dont stop reading unless you are going off to make a cuppa and are planning on settling back down again in front of this. I promise you that it wont be too painful.
Come On Felix!
I feel well qualified to write about getting into Twitter as a Johnny Come Lately for the blue bird passed me by until not all that long ago. In my previous job in another sector entirely, Twitter was something people simply didnt use. Like everyone I came across references to it on the radio, TV, magazines and the papers of course and was used to it being talked about by celebrities and the odd journalist but I failed to see what I had to offer it or it me.
If only I had a crystal ball¦. I am not saying that I have morphed into a Twitter addict in fact far from it, but I now have a Twitter account for work use only and this is what this blog is all about. Twitter for business. I realise that the boundaries between recreational use and business use blur but as of yet I am not a social tweeter. Maybe next year.
The turning point for me was when I attended my first Brighton SEO conference back in the Spring of last year. I need to make it clear that I was probably the only person out of the thousand or so attending this event that didnt really understand what the fuss about Twitter was all about. Whilst they happily tweeted away on tablets, lap-tops and mobiles I merely sat there in the audience and enjoyed listening to the speakers in the old fashioned (and in a setting like this, deeply unfashionable) way.
If this wasnt enough of a clue then my conference name badge was. Underneath the bit where my name and company were written there was a slot for my twitter handle (username). Where it now says @Teapot_Felix it simply had N/A meaning Not Applicable of course. A couple of people actually thought that this was a very witty handle to have chosen and for some reason quickly disappeared when I said that alas it wasnt. To them (and me) it merely summed up my lack of coolness and detachment from the world of social media in business. Needless to say that the first thing I did on returning to Somerset with my first Brighton SEO hangover was to set myself up a Twitter account. I dont know why but I forgot to mention this in my conference blog I posted a few days later¦
Join The Club
Since that day in April last year I have been happily tweeting away. OK, not as often as perhaps I should but tweeting nonetheless. I have discovered the re-tweet, the # or hash-tag as it is known & the @ symbol. I now know what trending means. I can say what I want in 140 characters with out running over (most of the time). I am starting to get my head round Twitter etiquette. I tweet the odd photo from time-to-time. I dont have a huge throng of followers nor do I follow a massive number of people and I have even stopped following some people as they were tweeting so much it was clogging up my Tweet Deck. I know how to spot a new follower that comes on-board simply so that I follow them and I have been spammed a few times and even had to change my password and login details due to a nasty little scam tweet. I believe this is called phishing. Not fun. Most geeky of all but still quite cool is that I was one of the hundreds of thousands of people that re-tweeted that photo of the newly re-elected President Obama hugging his wife, Michelle. This became the most re-tweeted photo in the shortest amount of time in Twitters history.
For businesses Twitter is yet another option or means to promote your company, make new connections, promote events, products & deals, learn about what other people and companies are doing and generally strengthen your presence both in the on-line world and real world.
Your Name Is Not Down…
The trouble with Social Media and particularly Twitter is that if youre not in then your out. Even if like me and you havent got hundreds let alone thousands of followers (cue – mocking laugh¦) then it isnt the end of the world because if your business has its own account and all of your colleagues are busy tweeting then it is the combined force that matters. Besides Twitter is a great way of listening to the experts and not actually saying that much in comparison. For someone like me who is a tiny fish in the world of SEO this is no bad thing. I can sit patiently waiting for the wisdom and experience to roll out of the minds of the gurus in the form of tweets and never make contact apart from the occasional fawning re-tweet. Learning from them directly simply by following them.
Want To Know More?
I hope you found this introduction to Twitter useful. But if your hungry for more then I recommend you have a read of this short e-book produced by Hubspot which provides a very comprehensive guide to using Twitter for business purposes. A skyscraper to my bungalow. See you on Twitter.