Do I Need Twitter?

Using Twitter to Promote Your Site

You may already be on Twitter, but are you using it for promoting your website – and to get targeted visitors to your site? Twitter is a real powerhouse of traffic if you take a little time to learn how to do it.

How Does Twitter Work?

Twitter now allows users to post messages up to a total of 280 characters, which includes punctuation and spaces. Not only can you tweet via your computer but also through your mobile telephone networks as well. And given that most telephone services limits texting on your cell phones to 160 characters, Twitter opted to limit it to 140 leaving you with 20 characters for your username. The messages that you post are public and can be read by anyone who signs up to “follow” your twits. Read Twitter Basics For Websites to learn all about setting up and using a Twitter business account.

Getting Started

Create your company profile ?

Go to twitter.com and click sign up now. Enter your company name just as you want it to appear in the “Full Name” field. This is your user name or “handle” by which you will be known on Twitter. Use the shortest name that describes your company. Preferably your company or website name (without the .com) if its available and not over 20 characters.

Learn the Twitter lingo ?

Although Twitter seems easy enough, understanding the special terms used to communicate will make using this social network much more effective.

Personalize your profile – Go into Settings and give your company or website a face. Upload a picture, such as your logo or homepage screenshot. Then add the names of those who will be tweeting on the account. Its especially important to pay attention to to bio section. It is limited to 160 characters so you need to determine the best way to describe your website and/or what you do. Use some of your most important keywords. Space is limited to one line in the bio section, but you can go to the design tab and utilize the background image on your profile to post additional information.

Begin tweeting – Remember Twitter allows you to post messages only up to 280 characters long, including punctuation and spaces. Its also best to use a casual, friendly tone, or even some humor to keep your tweets from being too dry or boring. A good idea is to make your followers feel like insiders with behind the scenes looks at your company. Write tweets about breaking business news, post links to your website, as well as to other sites or articles you think your followers may be interested in.

Retweet Posts – especially tweets by others that you feel will be of interest to your followers. Always make sure your retweets provide value to your followers. This will eventually make you more visible to others who may not have found you otherwise.

Make Connections – Twitter isn’t just an advertising medium, its a Social Medium. Get out and communicate. Use the search box on your Twitter homepage to search for other professionals in your field. Use key terms, specific to your website such to search for mentions of these keywords by other websites, your visitors and potential visitors. When you find interesting tweets you can choose to follow those individuals who posted the tweets. Say hello to be personable. Twitter also has a Find People section to search for specific people, companies or websites by name.

Find out what people are saying about you -Type your company name, website name or products into the search box on your Twitter home page and discover where your company and products are mentioned.

Building Relationships ? Respond immediately to any complaints posted and send thank you notes to those who give praise. Offer helpful hints and quickly answer any questions or issues about your site or services.

Promote your Twitter account ? Promote your twitter account wherever you can. Post a Twitter badge on your website, connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Add your Twitter URL to your signature line for your email.

Tips to help you get the most out of Twitter:

Be sure your posts are interesting! – Its just as easy to choose to un-follow you as to follow you.

Follow others – The more people you follow, the more people will follow you.

Know your goals – Knowing your goals helps you determine what to post and when to post it.

Use shortened URLs – You only have 280 characters, and can often use more than the allotted space for the URL alone. Use the Bit.ly (http://bit.ly) to shorten the links you post.

Use DMs (Direct Messages) to send private messages to other Twitterers who are following you to personally address concerns.

Retweet Often, but make it good stuff! Retweeting is a common form of communicating on Twitter.

Pay attention to the Trending Topics on your Twitter search page. These most mentioned terms show you what most people are paying attention to right now and can be used for topics on your own Tweets.

Don’t spam people – by sending unsolicited @messages or DM’s.

Don’t post the same messages to a multitude of accounts, or tweet the same things over and over, or to a multitude of accounts.

Do not “follow churn” or follow and unfollow the same people over and over.

Ask for feedback – ask friends and followers to give you feedback on your website or products/services.

Finally – Put a Twitter icon on your homepage.

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