I did it.
And it is how I ended up with a new career this summer.
I still subscribe to a newsletter from the Radio Advertising Bureau, (my former profession), and these tips from John Potter apply to anyone who is looking to join the online world for business as well as pleasure:
Daily Sales Tip: Build Your Personal Brand Using Social Media
I recently read an article with tips on successful Tweeting. Do you have a professional Twitter account or Facebook page you promote to your advertisers? Use these social media tips to best communicate marketing information to your advertisers and prospects:
1. Be Original
When most people find an article they want to share with their followers, they copy the title of the article and paste it into the tweet. While this gives your followers an idea of what the article is, it's bland and will mix in with all of the other tweets in their timeline. Try coming up with your own creative title for the article. This way, if the article is popular, your tweet won't be the same as everyone else who has also tweeted the same article.
2. Be Short
Twitter limits the length of tweets so you can provide useful information in a way that is easy to read. While 140 characters may already seem short, make your tweets around 120 characters if you can. This ensures that there is enough room for others to retweet (the classic way) and include any opinions or thoughts they have on the subject.
3. Tweet Like You Are Writing A Headline
Along with being short, your tweets should be straight to the point. Imagine your tweet is a newspaper headline and your goal is to get a person to read the story. You need to make the headline catchy and easy to read, while still grabbing the reader's attention and hopefully luring them into the article. Treat tweets the same way, grabbing a follower's attention and getting them to either reply or click on an included link.
4. Offer Interesting Statistics
People like to be shocked with interesting facts and statistics. If a follower reads something they can't believe, they'll be inclined to click the link and look into it more. Going back to the very first tip of being original, use an interesting statistic instead of the title of an article as the body of your tweet.
5. Be Real
Twitter, and social media in general, is about connecting people and sharing interesting things. Nobody wants to talk to a robot because it has no real thoughts or emotions. Use your own voice to tweet and make it personal. If you feel you must schedule tweets ahead of time, be sure to check and respond to any replies you get. In addition, show your followers you appreciate them by replying and retweeting them as well.
6. Time Your Tweets
Timing your tweets doesn't mean you should time them to publish every half-hour. It means you should know when your followers are most active and when you should be most active as well. If you get the most replies, retweets, and updates in the middle of the day, then you should be on Twitter interacting and tweeting during those times as well. The eastern time zone is the most populated time zone in the U.S., therefore it would also be wise to time your tweets when those people are most likely to see them.
7. Focus and Provide Value
People use Twitter for various reasons, whether it's to learn about marketing or to learn about teddy bears doesn't really matter. Find your reason for using Twitter, and stick to tweeting mostly about that subject. By focusing on one or two subjects, people will see you as being a valuable contributor who they can learn from.
8. Be Engaging
You shouldn't focus on just growing the number of followers you have, you should rather focus on getting your followers to interact and discuss what you tweet. Ask your followers questions to get them taking and giving ideas, but also remember to respond to their questions, too. If you do have a large following, asking for a good restaurant recommendation in a foreign city is always a bonus!
9. Include Links
Unless it's the score of a game or an update to something ongoing, 140 characters isn't usually enough to provide much information. You should use the space to attract people and lead them to your site or to an article that expands the brief information displayed in the tweet. Twitter is a gateway to limitless information, not so much a place to learn directly from.
10. Provoke Thought
Going along with being original and offering interesting statistics, your tweets should leave your followers questioning and wanting to learn more. A tweet that creates no ideas is going to be read and passed along without further thought. A tweet that makes a follower think will have a better chance of being retweeted or replied to, exposing you to a greater pool of potential followers.
Source: John Potter, VP/Training, RAB -- with content from Jay Vasse, Social Media Strategist, NowSourcing, Inc.
ScLoHo is Scott Howard, a Solutions Consultant with Cirrus ABS.
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