The phenomenal social media tool that has become Twitter started life as a way for cash strapped college students to communicate.
Instead of paying per text (as we did in the ‘old’ days) Twitter provided an alternative messaging service that was absolutely free. Cleverly the innovators of Twitter kept the character limits to 140 the same as a text, thereby making conversations quick, concise and relevant. Twitter was fun and the added ability to make new friends soon made it enormously popular.
However a shift emerged when marketers, limited by the effectiveness of spam filters, gatekeepers and banner blindness etc., turned to Twitter to find a new customers and blatantly sell.
Before long people who used it to communicate with followers, engage and market effectively, had to find tools to filter out the relentless ‘get rich quick’ schemes, money off coupons and myriads of other messages totally unrelated tweets. Shame. (I just recently came across #ponzi here’s what Wikipedia says about it: A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors).
If using Twitter for business, one of the surest ways to lose followers is to spam out messages selling your products and services. Twitter is a soft sell to those who want to listen – potential customers who want to learn more about you, your company and what makes you special. It is not an opportunity to do a sales pitch.
Here are 5 basic tips:
- Consider who your target market is and what platforms they might use.
- Create a persona – how old are they/gender/what is their need
- Devise a strategy – what are your objectives, by when, (think SMART)
- Diarise what and when you’ll be posting
- Listen, engage and be consistent.
Twitter can be used by anyone for (almost) anything; from people like me and you to superstars, the Queen and even the Pope, so stop posting sales rubbish and lets make Twitter a litter free zone.