Twitter is an incredibly powerful social media platform which enables people worldwide to engage with each other and share information in less than 140 characters. 5 years ago, Twitter was considered by many to be an inferior alternative to the popular Facebook, but not anymore! Due to its simplicity, Twitter has in many ways a greater potential to bring people together than Facebook because even the busiest of users can and do use the site daily. With a limited number of characters, Twitter users must ensure that their messages are both concise and succinct.
The first time that the true might and power of Twitter can to light was following the Mumbai terror attacks of 2009 in India. Mere moments after the first shots were fired, Twitter users throughout India, and especially in Mumbai, were posting instant updates on the dramas that were unfolding before their eyes. Messages, which on Twitter’s platform are called “tweets” were posted at an astounding rate of around 75 every 5 seconds during the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
Whether you are a large corporation or a small Personal Training consultancy, you should be using Twitter to engage with your customers and prospects. Newbie’s to the site can often be overwhelmed with the technology; if this is you then the following 8 step Guide to Using Twitter has been written just for you. Even if you are an accomplished veteran, you may still benefit from reviewing those all important rules of engagement on the Twitter platform. By applying these fundamentals consistently, you can ensure that you and your fitness business can reap the full potential of this powerful social networking tool.
First of all, make sure you read the Twitter Glossary so that you are up to speed with the lingo. With a limited numbers of characters, abbreviations are common and so the glossary will help to make sure that you can clearly articulate yourself and your business messages.
Provide a detailed profile so that visitors to your Twitter page know who you are and what you are about; this is crucial if you want to get people to follow you. Remember that your Tweets will only be broadcast across your network so unless people are following you, they won’t be visible. Make your profile catchy and interesting, make people want to follow you. You could even give something away, like a FREE e-book or an introductory discount for following you.
Use a clear icon or image that your followers will associate with you and your brand. Make sure that this is not a grainy photo or an image that might cause you to infringe somebody else’s copyright. While this could simply be a photo of you, for business pages research suggests that an icon or part of a logo is much more likely to help reinforce the strength of your brand than a photo.
Link back to your own website so that your followers know where to find information about your product and services. If you don’t have a website, don’t worry about it because there are lots of places where you can get a FREE web presence. Google’s Blogspot is a good place to start, but a quick search will help you identify other sources that might better suit your needs.
Find interesting people or businesses who you can follow and ensure that the purpose of their business aligns with yours. If you are a Personal Trainer, there is little point following Ken’s Kebabs because clearly there is a conflict of professional interest. Look for people and businesses who you might work with, or who have similar values and follow them, the likelihood is they will follow you also.
Make sure it’s not all about you. Share information about other business, products and ideas, and ask for people’s advice and opinions on yours. Twitter can be a great place to conduct some ‘stealth’ market research but this should be done discretely, and in the guise of helping others and sharing best practice.
Avoid the hard sell- Twitter is a social network and not a market place so you should wherever possible refrain from tying to sell or over promote your products and services. Look upon your followers as friends, would you really try to push personal training sessions on them while visiting their home?
Finally, Tweet frequently and with integrity- while you don’t need to Tweet daily, you should engage with your audience on a regular basis to ensure that they remain interested. You don’t always need to start a conversation; you can join in existing threads to further demonstrate your interest and commitment to other Twitter users. Be sure to add meaningful value and avoid being sarcastic or flippant.