My big boss is not on Twitter, in their own words they ‘don’t get it’.
The rather disturbing implications of that statement for my career as the social media person aside, they are not the only one. I’ve heard it all from ‘I don’t get it’ to ‘it’s stupid’ and ‘what of value can be said in 140 characters or less?’ (they obviously don’t follow the Oscar Wilde of our times, the delectable and verbose champion of prose Stephen Fry).
But not everyone is such a social media scaredy cat, according to recent stats from Nielsen, sites like Facebook and Twitter now account for 22.7% of time spent on the web*
For tweet virgins here are my thoughts on the Twits:
• Why do you want to play in this space in the first place? Is it for business or pleasure? If it’s for work is it the most suitable space for your brand, how will it increase traffic to your existing website? Too often people cry out for a social media strategy before they have the basics of the marketing mix sorted (remember you 4 Ps, or 7 or 8 or whatever it’s up to these days).
• Don’t forget your phrasebook. You should always master ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘where is the toilet?’ whenever you enter a foreign land: the same applies to Twitter. Basic Twitter commands are:
1) Reply: by adding @username + your message you will answer any of the tweets (Twitter messages) one of your friends was recently posting. Remember this is for the whole wide webby world to see, so play nice.
2) Direct Message (DM): by adding D+username+message you will be sending direct messages (private ‘for your eyes only 007’ posts) to any of the users who follow your account, and no one else other than the recipient will see the message.
3) Re-tweet: by adding RT+username+message you will be sending a message which indicates that part of your tweet includes something you’re re-posting from another person’s tweet. With the 140 characters limitation, if you want to be RTed with your wonderful wordsmithery and have a bit of ownership of said fantasmagorical quote keep your username short and your quotes around 120 characters.
• Birds of a feather tweet together: Just like high school, the cool kids hang out with other cool kids, nerds with other nerds etc etc. Find your clan and tap into their networks by following their ‘lists’. Instant posse.
I can understand why it’s a little daunting at first, but dive right in, follow me, the water is fine.
*these are Yankie Doodle stats, but Aussies are same same.