April 2013 Advanced Tutorial
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Twitter is one of those things I just can’t get into.
To me, Twitter is just a big, random stream of consciousness on the Internet. It’s definitely not pretty, and it’s impossible to completely catch up on the global conversation going on about any particular topic.
As with all social media sites, I view Twitter as nothing but another web site. The idea of posting your random thoughts online has been around long before Twitter. Heck, remember BBS systems you dialed into via 2400 baud modems? It’s basically the same idea.
So what makes Twitter, along with all the other social media sites, so powerful from a marketing perspective? It’s the fact that they have so many users.
This concept of users interacting with each other online is not new. Methods for doing this existed for decades before “social media” came along. Online sharing, collaboration, and other things that are labelled as being a result of the social media phenomenon aren’t new, either, despite what everybody says.
Rather, what makes social media so powerful, and why this component of Web 2.0 is driving real life social change on such a massive scale, is because the popular social media sites simply have so many users.
Before, this sharing, collaboration, exchange of ideas, and ability to self-publish your message was relatively confined. Natural constraints existed, primarily a limited user base. Early BBS systems when I was a kid often only had 4 to 8 dial in lines, meaning only that many users could be online at any given time. Even AOL chat rooms had limited numbers of users at any given time.
Twitter in particular doesn’t have that problem.
In fact, there are more than 500 million Twitter accounts, and Twitter itself reports that 200 million users are active monthly. Those users send over 400 million tweets per day, and each Twitter user averages 170 minutes per month logged into the service.
Starting to make sense yet why Twitter is such a big deal, and needs to be part of your marketing arsenal?
It’s because of the shear number of people using the service. It’s a 24/7 conversation going on, one that you can participate in, offer your assistance to those with tax questions, network with other professionals, and simply contribute to the greater good.
With so many eyeballs on Twitter, it’s important to have some sort of presence on the service. Like I mentioned earlier, I have a really hard time getting into it, but I’m still there.
Here’s my #1 Twitter tip:
Connect your blog (you do have a blog, right???) to your Twitter feed, and make sure your blog posts occasionally get tweeted.
If you’re using WordPress, the most common blogging platform, then I recommend installing the Tweet Old Post plugin. It allows you to create a schedule to automatically send out blog posts as tweets. Despite the name, it’ll do new blog posts, also.
This is my primary method of using Twitter, which is readily apparent if you visit my Twitter account. It sends out tweets without me having to do a thing. Those tweets occasionally get seen by somebody that is interested in the topic matter at that moment, and voila, they click the link and visit one of my web sites.
Here’s my #2 Twitter tip:
Occasionally, when you have free time and feel like it, login to Twitter itself and just engage some folks in coversation. Reply to somebody else’s tweet, or pick an interesting trending topic and participate in that conversation.
Twitter is, after all, a community, and a conversation. So, you should jump in and converse once in a while. Ideally, do this for five or 10 minutes daily. But in reality, do it whenever you feel like it. For me, it’s every couple weeks, sometimes even monthly.
Here’s my #3 and final big Twitter tip:
On top of automating the posting of links to your blog posts, also automate the tweeting of tax info, jokes, quotes, and other “tweetable” short content. The single best tool for doing this that I have found is HootSuite.
HootSuite is basically the bee’s knees when it comes to social media automation. You can insert and schedule weeks or months worth of tweets and status upates that get “dripped” out to your social media network.
Premium subscribers receive access to our social media content collection, which is updated regularly. Each file contains 30 short tidbits that are applicable to a tax professional to use as tweets. They are usually tax, personal finance, and business tips, plus some good quotes and the occasional G-rated joke.
If you’re already a premium subscriber, you can find your Done For You Social Media Content in the Premium Members Area. For your convenience, I’ve also included a direct link to the current updated package below (you must already be logged in for it to appear).
April 2013 Social Media Content
Note: For additional Twitter tips, see the August 2012 newsletter.