So I have asked myself “What Is Twitter” and set up an account about a year ago. I am a facebook girl and have not completely engaged in Twitter so I asked a fellow MOMpreneur friend of mine, Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei if she would write me a brief description for my readers to get started. One thing I do know about business is, much like parenting, you just sort of have to jump in and get your feet wet. You will learn as you go. Even if you already “know everything”, trust me you will learn as you go! If you have not heard of Shannon you should check her out. She has a business called Sweet Stella’s and her wonderful works of art are going to be in this year’s Emmy Swag Bags! I am so proud of her and honored to call her a friend. Funny note, we have never met but connected on Social Media! Soooo, can Twitter (and other Social Media) bring you connections and clients? You bet!
If you are already on Twitter… don’t forget to “Tweet This” to all the newbies and share it on your Facebook Wall to encourage your friends to join you! Leave comments below your favorite twitter tip!
What Is Twitter by Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei of Sweet Stella’s
The bigger your community, the further your product, business and brand will reach. It’s a no brainer, right? But, how do you get there? How can Twitter help?
For some, it is incredibly overwhelming to get a handle on, and for others it is an amazing social networking platform that one can use to promote their business and their brand. I am one of the latter types of people and have found Twitter to be an amazing resource for connecting with others in my field, and networking in an out-of-the-box way.
Tweeting is the term used for posting messages publicly on Twitter. In 140 characters or less, you are able to express whatever you’d like! In my case, I post new listings to Etsy (the two platforms are linked, but more on that later), blog posts, YouTube video’s, and photo’s of my life. For me, I am my brand and I want people who I connect with to know me as a person, a mom and an artist…so that is how I tweet! If you were to tweet, what would you say to promote your company and brand?
Following individuals and companies on Twitter is an essential way to connect with them. The more you follow, the more followers you will have, and the more individuals your messages will reach. Think outside of the box on this one; what are your favourite products and companies? What is your target market? Seek and ye shall find a tonne of tweeps that you can follow, and they more than likely will follow you back!
Once you have some followers, and are following some tweeps, look at who is following them! For every tweep that you follow, there is a never ending list of people that you can reach out to. Social networking is all about making those connections, so don’t stop at just the people that you know. Search for people in your field, branch into other markets and find some of the top tweeps.
For example, I am a paper and paint artist. I make sweet little goodies for parties, events and children. Therefore, I branch into the artist community, wedding vendors and big names (think The Knot, Martha Stewart, Engaged and Inspired). And, since I’m a mom, I also branch out and network with other MOMpreneurs like the lovely GingerMommy, SavvyMOMpreneur and companies that are mom-baby centred like Dimpleskins, Rockabye Baby and MomNation.
In doing that, I have 220 followers on twitter and have been able to connect and be recognized by some really amazing individuals, such as Amy Atlas, What To Expect, and Kindermusik.
Responding to people (in Twitter terms mentioning them) is a quick and easy way to get your brand and message out there. When someone tweets, and you have something to say (positivity goes a long way when you’re putting your brand out there!)…say it! Opening those lines of communication is key to establishing relationships, and heightening your profile in the Twitter community. For every reply, you entire list of followers sees the message, as does the list of the person that you’re replying to. That’s pretty huge!
Another essential twitter term is ReTweet. Basically, it’s forwarded someone else’s tweet to your list of followers. Now…this might seem pretty redundant, but as the book UNMarketing points out, retweeting is crucial in supporting other tweeps, and gaining their support in return. It’ also important to note, that ReTweeting tweets where you and your business are mentioned is slightly frowned upon. It is seen as a pretty lame self-promotion, and it is not supportive of others at all. However, retweeting things that are notable, newsworthy, blog posts of interest and even silly quotes give your tweeps a view into the things that interest you as a person. Remember, you are your brand!
Twitter is such a massive community, and thankfully it’s right at your fingertips with platforms for our ever mobile world on iPhone and Blackberry. HootSuite, Uber Social, Twitter for Blackberry…they are all amazing resources for entrepreneurs who are on the go all the time. For me, when I’m out and about and find some inspiration, I can snap a quick picture and post it to Twitter with a little caption about an upcoming product. Create the buzz, and others will catch on.
A book that is so incredibly worth reading is UNMarketing by Scott Stratten. If you haven’t heard of it, well…now you have and you should make your way to Chapters, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy. Scott lays out a social media networking strategy like no other, and by following it…paying attention to it…living it, I have found that my business has grown by leaps and bounds. What started out as a part time hobby when my son was 5 months old, is now a booming business that is allowing me to not have to go back to work when he turns one in a couple of months.
There is so much to Twitter, but in the end it’s all very simple. Get an account, follow people who interest you, send out messages/tweets, retweet for others and engage with people. Social media marketing is about relationships, and Twitter makes fostering those relationships easy!
Shannon, Thank You! I hope this helps everyone a bit on What is Twitter and encourages you to jump in. You have nothing to lose and clients to gain!