All social-media sites are the same. Really. It’s your info, messages, and updates just wrapped in a different format. And, in that way, social-media is a lot like Mexican food. After all, most of the dishes on a typical Mexican menu are identical. The only thing that changes is the tortilla. The difference between a chimichanga and a burrito? One tortilla is fried, the other isn’t. A taco and a tostada? One’s folded, the other isn’t.
And so, when trying to determine how to properly use Facebook as opposed to Twitter or LinkedIn, don’t get overwhelmed trying to extract the unique purpose of each site. You’re using them all for the same thing: To connect, communicate, and create a larger audience for you, your business, and your services. It’s all a technologically advanced way of spreading word-of-mouth. The differences, like a Mexican menu, are only in the presentation.
Here are some tips on properly presenting yourself on Twitter …
Keep it Short: Obviously, the main difference between Twitter and any other social-media site is that you’re limited to 140 characters per tweet. That means, you have to have something quick, interesting, and understandable to share and you have to do it in very few words. This, while appearing easy, can be difficult. Start by linking up your blog or Facebook page to Twitter. Most sites offer the ability to automatically have your updates, posts, and messages sent to your other pages and profiles. This will make it easier to keep your sites updated without having to login to each. You can also update your Twitter account with relevant industry stats or quotes, re-tweet something interesting you’ve found, or call attention to others in your industry or region whose account you follow. In short, the more you mention others, re-tweet their messages, and follow their feeds, the more attention your account will receive in return. And, after all, attention is the idea in the first place.
Use The Hashtag: If you’ve heard the term but haven’t yet understood the concept, here you go … Hashtags identify the topic or subject of your tweet and make it easier for people to find through searches. For example, if you’re tweeting about real estate, follow your tweet with #realestate. That way, it’s more likely your tweet will be found by people searching for real estate on Twitter. But think it through, as a hashtag for something as general as real estate will likely be among thousands of others. The more specific your tag, however, the more unlikely it is to be someone’s search term. In other words, it takes some balance but incorporating hashtags into some of your tweets is a good way to gain more attention for your message.
Interact With The Twitterverse: Twitter is about communication. It’s meant to be conversational, which explains the character limitations. Ideally, you’d encourage a back-and-forth with your followers and those you follow, using your tweets to respond and reply to questions, concerns, and messages. Twitter allows for direct messages, which operate a lot like email. Respond to the messages you receive and to people who tweet about you or your business. A simple thank you may be enough. It may sound like a lot of work but, if done correctly, the benefit to your business will outweigh the time you invested building a following. Keep your expectations reasonable.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com