Thursday, 19 March 2009


I am still on my quest to discover how social media and so called 'organic' marketing can help me. I dived into twitter with both feet, and now I am starting to learn the ground rules. I read a whole heap of guides and blogs to help get me to first base. Some of the information is so blindlingly obvious it escaped me when faced with the prospect of writing my first tweets.

When I first set up I just used the Twitter set up to create my page, but recently updated my page with twitback but twitback took quite a while for limited benefit.

Talking of obvious, the tweets must be 140 characters or less. This can be helped by shortening any weblinks via tinyurl, but if you get 'Tweetdeck' (software to make twittering easier) you can shorten url's really easily at the click of the mouse. The only benefit of going to tinycc is that you can get statistics about how often people click on your link - this is of interest to me as I have shortened the link to my facebook fan page and I can see when people take a look.

They are starting to write a Dummies Guide to Twitter, they are asking for contributions at the moment, but it is still quite a good read. The etiquette section is worth a look. The one thing that comes across is that Tweet as if you are communicating with one person who you want to give great advice to - don't get delusions of grandeur and try talking to your crowd of admirers - and write something worth listening to with humour and warmth.

Another funny bit of advice is don't be arrogant. It looks unimpressive if you follow one person and expect to have a flock of followers. I read this and immediately un-followed a celebrity Mum who crowed about her life and followed no one and contributed nothing. If you are not listening on twitter, I think you are missing out on the fun if not the point.

Work out what your identity is and stay true to it - so if I am trying to have a Mumpreneur following I should stick to a parenting and business start up theme with loads of good advice. That is not to say that the tweets should be devoid of character, far from it. They should be fun to read but not just what has been delightfully termed as 'twitteroeha'.

As a mumpreneur I try and follow like minded tweets, webmum is great and she has a site with some great starting tips on acornpad. It is great to hear what she and others say - I follow Mums (potential customers) and marketeers which really helps, reading all the links that they post.

You can interact in a few ways. You can give direct replies which is seen only by the recipient or you can reply in public by starting with the @ sign, for example to reply to a comment of mine someone could write '@moixx do you know what you are twittering on about?' You can engage in conversations and hopefully generate more interest while being friendly. It is also good manners to Retweet something that you have read, starting with an 'RT @moixx' for example if you are forwarding on a pearl of wisdom that I offered (I live in hope!). Also you can also send a direct message or DM to your followers (and only those who have chosen to be your followers), the benefit of this is you can continue a thread in private that may bore the rest of your followers.

Twitter has a search capacity and directories just like the rest of the web. So you can search for keywords, register yourself on directories such as Twello, you can also join a group or Twibe. You can work out how you are doing with Twittergrader or check your stats.

What is a hashtag? It took me a long while to sort it out! Physically it looks like this # but it is far more loaded. It is a way that posts can be collated and followed. You can search for hashtag themes, there is a inimitable video that will explain it all if you can face listening to it - but it will give you the low down. (maybe I am just too British to appreciate the accent). A great example of one is #followfriday - when you recommend to your followers who is worth following., a tweet could look like: #followfriday @moixx as she tweets inanely

Here are 47 great tips by successful tweeters.

Finally if you really want help and you think there is business potential why not get a Tweetmentor? Nikki Pilkington has a check list of information to help and she has a mentoring programme if you are serious about it - it takes time and before you sign up to it make sure that you are serious about it. As Nikki would say, it is important to market your tweets, so if having read this you want to see if I live up (or down) to expectations find out for yourself!

It is strange to think about being serious about Twitter - a social networking site fronted by a cartoon bird!

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