I want my Sales/Service Team to Use Twitter…Now What? Part 3: 8 steps to managing twitter

Now that you’re comfortable with twitter, its time you learn to navigate and manage it…

In two previous posts I listed 8 simple steps to get your sales/service team to dip their toe in the water per twitter (click HERE for Part 1), as well as 8 simple steps to go a little deeper and engage with others via twitter (click HERE for Part 2).

Now that your team has a basic understanding of twitter, and has even began to participate in the medium, it is time to teach them how to manage this tool to maximize its value.  Here you will find eight well vetted steps (I’ve sited others where I have stolen their tips) to manage twitter.

1. Create Lists: As the list of people you follow continues to grow, your twitter feed (the non-stop pile of tweets pouring into your computer) can become difficult to navigate.  If nothing else, you may be missing those you want to follow most.

click on Lists, click on Create List, name the list

go to “Following,” find the icon of a person with an arrow, click on this icon, pick “add to list,” then check the box from the pop-up window, now this person is in a list.

They will still show up in your main twitter feed, but you can also click on a list and chose to only see that tweets from that list’s members.

2. Tweet a Pic: take a photo with your phone, open the photo and “share” the photo via twitter.  These photos will be available via link to anyone checking out your tweet.  More importantly, this photo will be visible on your twitter profile page under the heading “recent images.”  Pick photos from professional events, pictures of awards, etc and let those photos speak for you when someone visits your page.

3. Abbreviations: You will encounter a lot of shorthand on twitter, plus you will want to use it to save character spaces. Here is a list of shorthand that is common on twitter to maximize the 140 character limit.

FWIW – For What Its Worth  IMHO/IMO – In My (Humble) Opinion  FF – Follow Friday

HTH – Hope That Helps  HT – Hat Tip  TY – Thank You  SoMe – Social Media

For a rather long (and at times absurd) list of abbreviations, click HERE to see SocialMediaToday’s list.

4. Participate in a Chat: a Chat Group is twitter users that get together, usually for an hour once a week, and discuss topics pertinent to their interests.  For instance, lets say that I host a twitter chat called #HelpWithTwitter every Monday at 8pm EST.  At 8pm EST, jump on to twitter, search for the hash-tag #HelpWithTwitter and the conversation stream will show up.

Click HERE to check out an article from Forbes if you want more help on chat-groups

My recommendation would be to attend a tweetchat and observe, read and learn for the first time.  Then, the second time you attend feel free to participate.  You will gain great followers, and find valuable people to follow, related to your interests.

Click HERE for a list of 20 Great Twitter Chats from SocialMediaToday.

5. Schedule Tweets: It is very difficult to tweet all day, especially if you are in sales/service.  You should be spending all day interacting with clients and prospects. (Although twitter is a great form of research on a company.) Rather than sending a blast of tweets and RT all at once, you may want to schedule your tweets to go out in a metered fashion throughout the day.  See #6 for tools to schedule tweets.

6. Get Help: There are a number of websites that can help you manage your account.  You should have already created Lists, and have an understanding of hashtags, to successfully use these tools.  Here is a list of Great Tools (there are dozens of good ones) that I use:

HootSuite – this site allows you to aggregate multiple social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) into one easy to use page.  Click HERE to access HootSuite, click HERE for a great 5min tutorial via youtube on how to set up HootSuite.

BufferApp – this is similar to HootSuite in that you can schedule tweets.  What I really like is that this app gets downloaded to your computer, so while browsing the internet, you can click on the buffer-icon to tweet the article you are reading without leaving the site.  Plus, it has a simple analytics page to see how many people click, RT, Reply, etc. to your tweets.  Click HERE to access BufferApp, click HERE for a 2min tutorial.

Tweepi – this site is a must have when you start having hundreds or thousands of followers.  At a quick glance tweepi allows you to see how many followers you follow back, and you can see how long it has been since they last tweeted.  A great way to clean up dead accounts, fake accounts, spammers, etc. Click HERE to access Tweepi, if you need Tweepi you don’t need a tutorial video :-).

TweetChat – I recommend this site to help you participate in a tweetchat group, click HERE to access TweetChat, and click HERE to watch a 45second video via youtube on how to use it.

7. Tweets Last Forever: Genuine Accurate Positive

I have always believed in trying to communicate honestly and accurately on twitter.  And then I read this blog about the GAP method, it speaks to being Genuine, Accurate and Positive.  I thought it was great advise, click HERE to read more about the GAP Method from Scott Williams at his blog/website.

8. Etiquette: Here are some helpful tips about twitter etiquette to guide your experience:

  • Before jumping on to a Twitter Chat, announce to your followers that you will be doing so, this tells them you will be tweeting a lot in a short amount of time
  • Don’t Follow People, then Unfollow, once they Follow You
  • Thank People (via Reply) for RT your post
  • Do not have long conversations on twitter, after a few comments take it off line
  • Do not ask others to RT your post (exception: corporate tweet in which many of your followers are clients, employees, the press, etc and you are getting the word out)
  • If someone compliments you, don’t RT it, it looks like bragging

For more twitter etiquette check out Heidi Cohen’s blog HERE, and @gothamist HERE

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