Twitter Basics on Internet Advisors WJR 760AM by Hay There Social Media

Hay There, Friends!  Whether you are wearing your “small business owner cap” or are a personal social media user, if you are feeling a bit lost when it comes to Twitter, no need to stress!  As you know, Twitter is a platform that is all around us today.  When Twitter is leveraged as part of an strategic social media marketing effort, it can be a very effective way to reach your target audience.  Twitter is one of the components of an online presence that Hay There Social Media (@haythereSM) helps its small business clients with.

I was recently privileged to join the hosts of the Internet Advisor Show on WJR 760AM in Detroit: Gary Baker, Foster Braun, Cal Carson and Ed Rudel & Erik Anderson to “talk Twitter.”  We covered the basics and talked through some examples of how companies are using Twitter in particular to enhance business communication.  The outline below gives you a basic framework to wrap your arms around this particular social network.

As you can imagine, there are countless elements to talk about with regards to Twitter, so I’d love community input!  What Twitter tips and best practices do YOU swear by?

I. Basics

  • What it is
    • Created in 2006; 300M+ users today
    • 140 characters, microblogging service
    • Short snippets breeds quick to the point messaging
  • How it works
    • Set-up an account
    • People, sports teams, companies, media publications
    • Some people have multiple twitter personas or may tweet for other organizations
    • Username = your twitter handle
    • You follow people & people follow you
    • In your stream you see tweets from those you follow & people who follow you see your tweets
  • Terms & Definitions
    • #hashtags –
      • Categorize content
      • Like a subject line in an email
      • Follow a conversation in “search”
      • Some common hashtag examples
        • #FF = follow Friday (recommending people to follow)
        • #quote
      • No formal directory but sites that can show activity (,
      • #hashtag topic is really popular, some people will put that in their tweet for greater visibility
      • #charliesheen example – against twitter rules, can’t be irrelevant or repetitive or self-imposed
    • @mentions = “at mentions”
      • Publicly referring to someone / pulling them into the conversation
    • RT’s = Retweets
      • Like forwarding content along –
      • When influential people RT your tweet, it can help a brand
        • (Klout – the gold standard for measuring your influence on twitter)
    • Verified – blue check mark badge
      • Established authenticity among well known user accounts
      • Not open to the public
      • Twitter advertisers, partners, etc.
    • “Trending”
      • What is most relevant at that moment vs. something that has been popular overtime
      • What’s occupying people’s attention on twitter at that moment
      • Globally & Locally

II. Enhancing Business Communication

  • Industry Research
    • – No twitter account needed to go see what people are saying about your business & industry today
  • To employees from company
    • Faster than email
    • People feel part of the online company culture & community
    • Companies can have policies in place to say whether or not you can mention the company in your twitter profile description, (common to see “TITLE at___, tweets are my own” as a “disclaimer”)
  • Customer Service
    • In-house teams for larger companies
    • Example: #comcast – or @comcastcares
    • It can take some issues “offline” (ones that need a resolution in more than 140 characters)
    • Saves $ – answering questions via Twitter may satisfy 10 phone calls that come in with that same question
    • Out in the open?  Yes, but good to have transparency and other people can see tweets being answered by a company
  • Conferences / Events
    • Enhance offline events –  spread the reach (Hay There Social Media tweeted live from Alzheimer’s Association Event)
    • Enhances /reinforces other mediums (TV, Radio)
      • See it at the bottom of Anderson Cooper and at the bottom of the TV screen during American Idol
      • Before commercial breaks the pose twitter questions
      • Detroit example: #backchannel, #earlyrisers
    • Deepen the engagement off and online –example: Mackinac Policy Conference.
    • Tweet-ups – gatherings in-person by people you’ve only known via Twitter.  Extension of virtual connections.
  • Twitter Parties
    • Created by Amy Bair, Resourceful Mommy Media
    • Completely online; 1-2 hours
    • Set time/ dates and all hop online and talk about a topic
    • Can be great for product launches
    • You can participate or just “listen in” to learn
  • Marketing / Sponsorship
    • Product give-a-ways at a Twitter Party
    • Brand Campaigns –example: “Random acts of Shaqness” to grow Shaquille O’Neal’s brand
    • When leveraged effectively, Tweeting can be incredibly powerful way to spread awareness virally
    • For certain calls to action through Twitter, you can get charities involved to benefit for example

III. Not Just Limited to Large Corporations

  • Small businesses / personalities
    • Cost-effective marketing
    • Can run specials–physically convene people to your location
    • Hyper-targeted customers
  • Quality vs. quantity
    • Depends on the type of business – might want national followers, or perhaps just local
    • Targeted followers that want to hear from you, they feel they are part of an exclusive club
  • All about value!
    • What followers want
    • Delivered in the way they want it
    • Entertaining
    • Unique – never before had this kind of platform! 🙂

Please feel free to elaborate on any of the points above…social media is continually changing so the more contributions from more “Tweeters” the better!

Thanks for reading!

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