Twitter is the micro-blogging social media site that is probably second in the world only to the mighty Facebook. Unlike Facebook users can only post messages of up to 140 characters know as ‘Tweets’.
When it was founded in San Francisco 7 years ago nobody really paid any attention to it, dismissing it as the latest internet start-up that would disappear after a few years. Within two years of operation twitter had over 1 Million active users (still not much in the grand scale of the Internet) but certainly enough for people to take note.
As of today Twitter has 500 Million registered users sending over 300 million tweets a day. It’s when you look at these stats that website owners should take note.
Twitter account names are almost as valuable as domain names when it comes to online marketing and brand identity. You should check the availability of your brand name as a user name on Twitter ASAP and register it even if you are not planning to use it yet. Please note that twitter accounts are limited to 15 characters so choose wisely. You may also try to get a key word rich username like @webdesign (damn what a waste of a user name). A lot of these ‘premium’ usernames may also be gone so be creative. My twitter account is @d8lab notice the way I have used rich keywords as my name (Web Design Dublin) this is all part of the Search Engine Optimisation game which is basically what internet marketing is.
When setting up your account be sure to include your website url in your profile. You should also get your graphic designer to make a nice background (I recommend the following specs 800Kb, 1920 x 1200 pixels, png,jpeg or gif format). Twitter has recently introduced a header image (520 x 260 pixels) I would try to recreate the design and colour of your existing website.
The difference between Following and Followers.
You can follow anyone on Twitter and unlike Facebook they do not have to confirm you as a friend. The most important part of Twitter is to get as many people following you. It’s polite to follow users back who follow you (I will explain how to automate this process later on).
Who to Follow and how to get Followers on Twitter?
Try to follow people who have similar interests as your line of Business. For example I run @D8Lab on Twitter which is my web design business. So in the search bar I simply typed in ‘web design‘ and followed as many of the relevant accounts that came back in the search results. A lot of people use an ‘Auto Follow Back‘ service so you should get some followers. Try to interact with people who don’t follow you by sending public @somebody tweets or use the private ‘Direct Message‘ feature. You may also try re-tweeting some of their Tweets and they should start to follow you.
— Web Design, Dublin (@d8lab) March 20, 2013
What are #Hashtags?
Unique to Twitter, Hashtags are way of labelling the content of your tweets. I personally use #webdesign a lot. I also might try to localise my tweets by adding #dublin or #ireland. Hashtags usually go at the end of tweets. Click on the hashtag and you will see a list of tweets that use it, this is a good way to get similar followers to yourself. Check to see if the hashtag is being used by many people as its important to use active hashtags. There are many ways to check for ‘Trending Hashtags’ the obvious one is to just type it into Twitter and see what comes back. There are a number of website that list trending hashtag topics I use this one at the moment.
Add links to your Tweets but don’t Spam.
By all means you should promote your website address on Twitter but try not to look spammy by repeating it 20 times a day. Try to link deep with your website and comment on a certain page e.g. http://d8lab.com/web-design/ rather than just the top level domain (www.d8lab.com). Twitter will automatically use a url shortening service so links will look like http://t.co/ . I personally use Bit.ly as I can keep track with clicks more easily.
Automate your Twitter.
There are many tools and tricks to make using Twitter easier to use. Be careful using ones with Twitter in the website URL as Twitter has been known to takes these sites down due to copyright reasons. Here’s is a small selection I like use:
This is one of my favourite applications as it has the ability to ‘Auto Follow’ people who have followed you. This is very important as it helps to keep your followers. I also like the ability to send an automated direct message to everybody who follows you for example I use ‘Hey thanks for the follow, if your looking for Web Design @ Low Low Prices check out www.d8lab.com thanks‘
Twitter Tools is an essential tool for WordPress Web Developers, its send a tweet every time you update your Blog (I hate using that term for WordPress as it is so much more these days but I will return to that another day!). It can also create auto blog posts from Tweets which I recommend to clients who use Twitter a lot but do not update their blog.
This handy Twitter Apt Imports content from RSS feeds to supply text for your Twitter account. I use this to pull content from my Affiliate Marketing sponsors such as Mighty Deals.
— Web Design, Dublin (@d8lab) March 21, 2013
I Hope this article has been helpful for you, please comment below if you have any questions. Thanks D8Lab.com Admin