By Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk
My client base consists primarily of attorneys and accountants. This is not an early adopter group of most new technology, and for good reason. They are saddled with all sorts of regulations that most businesses are not, and have to worry about anything they say being construed as advice.
Also, in their defense, Twitter was not marketed very well as a business tool in its early stages. Twitter is still seen by many as an egocentric medium where people are always posting about what they had for lunch or how great (or horrible) their date was last night.
With that said, it’s time for my lovely professional service providers to quit rolling their eyes every time I mention Twitter in a presentation or meeting. Social media is here to stay, and Twitter is rapidly becoming (or has already become) an important marketing tactic that everyone should have in his or her toolbox.
When I read this article https://bit.ly/aewjUg, I wasn’t sure whether to gape in surprise or be impressed. Either way, when the Pope is on Twitter, and encouraging his priests to reach out to parishioners with tweets, it has definitely hit mainstream.
So, you say, “I just don’t have the time to learn it or to ‘tweet’ all the time.” The beauty is that you don’t have to. First of all, it’s incredibly easy to set up a page and join the Twitter universe. As Geico says, “Even a caveman can do it.”
Just click on “Join the Conversation,” enter your name and password, and you are up and running. Look up people and companies that you are interested in and follow them. Post a “Follow me on Twitter” link on your Website so visitors can easily follow you. Add your Twitter link to your outgoing email signature. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can build a following with little effort.
So now you are up and running, but don’t know what to say. I’m sure you read particular trade publications or Websites that contain information of interest to you and your industry. Post a link to the articles you think your followers would be interested in reading. Post links to your own articles (you are writing articles, right?) to reach an entirely different audience. Re-tweet interesting content from those you are following. You’ll find it’s rather easy to find things to post, and you won’t be stuck with “not sure what 2 say, but going 2 post this anyway” sort of babble.
TIP: Go to www.bitly.com to shorten URLs for posting. It will take up less of your 140-word count, and also show you which articles are the most popular and getting the most readership and re-tweets.
So, now for the main objection, “I don’t have the time!” Admittedly, Twitter can be a serious time-sucker, but if you do it right, you can get the benefits from creating your own online community without it taking hours of your day. To misquote Apple, “There’s a Website for that.” There are many sites – both paid and free – that allow you to schedule your Twitter posts, so you don’t have to be on there all the time. www.hootsuite.com and www.SocialOomph.com are both good ones, and they are free. By using one of these tweet aggregators, you can dedicate an hour or so a week and get all the benefits of Twitter without spending massive amounts of time on the sites.
So what are you waiting for? Dip your toe into the Twitter water and see how you like it. You’ll soon be an expert with hundreds of followers, people that you would have never met in any other way. Come on in, the water’s fine!
Oh, and follow me on www.twitter.com/bbrmarketing, and let me know how you like it.