Inspired by another fantastic #vintagehour, and in response to questions from other business owners, I thought I’d write about my love for Twitter and how it’s helped me grow my businesses in the last year or so.
I don’t get it
I hear this a lot from other professionals and totally DO get what they mean. At first, tweeting into the wilderness and “following” other people can seem like the crazy behaviour of a real Billy no-mates. Lots of people sign up, tweet a few tentative messages and then scurry back into the darkness never to be seen again. It can be a daunting place, especially when you see others with THOUSANDS of followers who seem to be chatting to everyone other than you. But the biggest piece of advice I can give with regard to Twitter is “Keep going”. Yes, you will feel like no-one’s listening at first but Twitter isn’t like Facebook – it’s not about snapshots to capture attention, it’s about conversation & building relationships. This is the key.
How do I get people to follow me?
Well, you could just tweet them into submission, but I’m guessing if you’re a little nervous about Twitter in the first place, this won’t be the route you take. A great way to break the ice and get chatting to other people is through the various timetabled chats set up by Twitter users. My favourites are “#weddinghour” (Wednesday 9pm-10pm), “#vintagewedhour (Monday 8pm-9pm” and “#vintagehour” (Thursdays 7pm-8pm) (primarily because this is the industry I work in the most and also because I set up the latter!) Some “hours” are themed, some aren’t but they ARE a fantastic place to chat and get more followers (because you’ve established some common ground). Remember, you need to use the appropriate hashtag for everyone to see your tweets. A good tip is to have two windows open at once so you can see all tweets in the feed as well as your own interactions.
When should I tweet?
There are peak hours on Twitter, which is when you are most likely to reach the greatest audience. Obviously, when you’re running a business, you won’t have time to sit on Twitter every morning, lunchtime and evening so using a dashboard such as Hootsuite to schedule your tweets is the perfect solution. I always find that evenings are the time when people are actually sitting behind their computer screens tweeting so a great time to build those relationships again.
What should I tweet?
Anything you want to (within reason!) Remember, if you won’t say it in real life, don’t say it on Twitter! Think carefully about whether you need a personal account to do the moaning about your mother in law or expressing political views you might not want your customers to see. Your Twitter account can primarily be used to get your important news out – any offers, competitions, events you want people to know about but remember you can link to blog posts, pinterest & instagram too. Keep your content fresh, and if you are using scheduled tweets, try not to make them too repetitive or boring as this soon gets annoying.
Why do I love Twitter?
Because it’s introduced me to some amazing people who I can now call my friends, because it gives me a platform to really build great relationships with other professionals and because it’s provided me with lots of work! And that’s what it comes down to! There’s no point tweeting all day long & getting nothing back. Time is precious when you’re self-employed & every minute counts so that time spent on social media must be worthwhile.
If you’d like to follow me, I am @vintagewedguide and @retrobirds – look forward to tweeting you x