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‘The Revolution will be Tweeted’. A convert’s guide to Twitter for small business

July 30, 2014


 “And it all started with that one little Tweet” Roberta Dyer, Broadway Books


So, who am I to speak about this? Me? A complete Twitter sceptic for my purpose at the outset. To me, it was too confused, too many bits and pieces to try understand – ‘ah to heck with that, I’ll spend my time productively by finding customers’! Thankfully, I’m a persistent beggar!

Twitter can seem daunting for any Twitterville virgin however, once you put on your breathing apparatus and enter the abyss, if you have the bottle, you’ll emerge a hero – even if only to yourself and your business!

With over 645,750,000 twitter accounts with 9,100 tweets every second of every day, how do you make sense of all this mayhem? How do you make it work for you? Should you bother?


Here’s the story from the inside out! And, in keeping with my normal style and way of doing things – it’s not written for a PhD or to garner ‘brownies’ from anywhere so rest easy!


‘Making your Twitter Bed’

On clicking into the (in)famous twitter.com site, you sign up – ok, that’s handy enough, no bother there apart from ‘what will I call myself’. Take time here; give yourself an identity that will see you into the future, one that reflects your business. Don’t try to be all swish and clever here, remember, your ‘handle’ will be picked up on searches – so let your Brand be Seen! Enter your details as the message you want to portray and start the engine.


‘Going to the Twitter Gym’ – build your muscle!

Well done, you’ve set out your stall and here you are, like Robinson Crusoe but without Man Friday on your own Twitter Island. Set about following accounts that reflect who may fulfil some of the following;

  • Sources of information

  • Sources of inspiration

  • Others from your own industry (keep an eye on what they’re up and don’t be too afraid that they’ll be doing the same with you!)

  • Potential future clients from within your industry. 

Brilliant! Now you’re ready to have a listen to what’s going on at the party. Careful now, in the early stages, you will feel like that uncomfortable guest at a party standing alone with your glass hoping someone will say hello and bring you into the fold! This WILL happen – BUT… will it be that annoying nuisance that you always see at these parties, or, a bevy of gorgeous blondes (or hunks!). Use your time wisely, be selective (enough) on who you follow and who you elicit ‘follows’ from. Build a powerhouse of worthwhile followers (your audience). Whilst you may have set goals for Twitter, that ‘follower count’ is not like you might use your visa card – it does not need to be maxed out just for the sake of it! It really is quality over quantity here – in my humble opinion!


Divide and Conquer.

So now you may have reached the stage of what I call the ‘white noise’. This being a twitter feed which as you view it is getting quite difficult to keep up with. It updates with new tweets every few seconds with some useful, some nonsense tweets. Where’s my paracetemol? Well, it comes in the form of ‘Lists’. Divide who you follow into lists. This will allow you see those tweets in a feed that is specific to only them. For example, add your prospects into a ‘List’. In this way, you can see only the tweets from only those in that list and not feel like you’re trying to stab a fly with a toothpick on the main feed.


Building a meaningful audience.

You now have a useable tool from which to build. Now add your protein shake. By this, I mean see who your followers from your lists are following. If they follow others who you think will add value to you – follow them! No, you are not breaking any commandment that ‘thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s wife’! They are waiting for you to follow them!


Twitter Karma

Now, you’ve made your bed, slept in it, now get lucky and get somebody to join you there! Start tweeting, don’t be afraid. Use a mix of tweet types as in the diagram below. What you will see is that you start getting these strange flirtatious ‘favourites’ and loudhailer Retweets (if your tweet is worthy enough, or someone really fancies you!).

(image courtesy www.abetteruserexperience.com)


This is what I see as Twitter Karma as now you are having an input, giving something back but also, and most surprisingly for me at the start – you start getting new followers you didn’t even know of from your previous searches. Repeat the ‘Divide and Conquer and ‘Building a meaningful Process’ stages for these new followers. Trust me; if you keep at it, this happens.


The Self fulfilling Prophecy

If you are persistent with the ‘routine’ you WILL arrive at that stage where ‘it just starts to happen’. People come out of the woodwork to follow you, you start getting Direct Messages (DMs) from followers with enquiries, you get involved in ‘Twitter Villages’ such as #tags. Things start to flow, the network cranks into life for you.


Finally – provide great content, engage, reply, follow, don’t be shy and DON’T protect your tweets! Simples!!


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