Overwhelmed by the prospect of getting started on Twitter? It’s not as time-consuming as you might imagine. Susan Gunelius, social media expert and author of “30 Minute Social Media Marketing” (McGraw Hill, 2010), says all you need is 15 minutes a day.
She recommends setting aside five minutes in the morning to read through your followers' tweets and send @replies and retweets. Set another five minutes aside in the middle of the day to search for new people to follow. Finally, set aside five more minutes at the end of the day to tweet your own great content and perhaps send a few more @replies and retweets.
Here are some other pointers from Gunelius that seem like common sense but bear repeating now and then.
- Don't overpromote: No one wants to listen to you talk about yourself all day. Stick to an “80-20” rule. Eighty percent of your tweets should be non-promotional, while the other 20 percent can be promotional material.
- Do integrate your efforts with other marketing initiatives: Include your Twitter address everywhere: your business card, your e-mail signature, your invoices, and so on. Make sure your Twitter is branded to match your overall business brand (logos , images and language should be consistent with other marketing materials).
- Don't get too personal or too negative: If you wouldn't share information with a customer in person, you definitely shouldn't share that information via Twitter . And don't be tempted to be negative or publish overly critical tweets. This will come back to haunt you, either via media or your customers.
- Do engage and interact: Make an effort to engage other Twitter users by retweeting their updates and sending @replies and direct messages to them. If your Twitter stream isn't interactive, odds are it's probably boring and possibly too self-promotional.
- Don't use corporate jargon or rhetoric: No one wants to build a relationship with a scripted brochure. Be human!