This is part 2 of my article aimed at helping businesses and wineries specifically get a handle on the little blue bird that is Twitter.
Part 1 can be found here.
Please not that I don’t claim to be any type of “social media guru”, (there are already far too many of them coming out of the woodwork right now), but what follows is what I have learnt from my own personal experiences throughout the Twitterverse.
5. Get to know the lingo!
Here are some of the words you’ll see around a little:
mistweet: a tweet in which one later regrets
tweeple: Twitter people, Twitter members, Twitter users.
tweeps: Twitter people that follow each other from one social media/network to another.
tweetup: when twitterers meet in person – a Twitter meet up.
twitosphere: the community of twepple.
twitterer: a user of Twitter (compare: tweeter).
twittering: to send a Twitter message.
It’s also worth getting to some of the hashtags ( # ) which you’ll occasionally see, such as:
#ww – Wine Wednesday is a weekly shout-out to fellow wine “tweeple”.
#ff – Follow Friday helps everyone find interesting Twitter users. You just list the users you recommend following, and add “#followfriday” (or just “#ff”) anywhere in the Tweet so others can find it.
So for example, a Follow Friday tweet would look something like this:
Great people! #followfriday @zombiewine @billybuttock @1winedude @lhammock @CharityCaseWine @SunnyGlobalDiva
It’s also worth noting that a lot of conferences create hashtags specifically for the event, to make it easier to find fellow attendees, and categorize their tweets accordingly. For example, South By South West uses #SXSW
4. Follows and Unfollows
There are a number of different schools of thought when it comes to following and/or following back. Some people think that you should follow everyone who follows you. Others are very selective over whom they follow, no matter how many people follow them.
Here are a few reasons why I personally follow people:
– They provide interesting and engaging content.
– They follow me and we have similar interests.
– They directly engage me in meaningful conversation.
– They give me a Re-Tweet or two.
– They are influential leaders in their field, and I know that engaging with them will benefit me in some way. (I know this one sounds a little cold-hearted, but it is what it is.)
However I will unfollow people if:
– I follow them and I immediately receive an automated direct message.
– They spam me in any way.
– They don’t Tweet at a minimum of once every two weeks (there are applications to do this for you, I personally use ManageFlitter).
At the time of me writing this article, Kanye West had 3,117,593 followers, and that number was slowly increasing each time I did a browser refresh. However, can you guess how many people Kanye is following? If you know much about him, you probably can! Zero!
Kanye has all those followers and is not following a single person back! What that is basically saying is that he wants to be heard, but has no interest in what you have to say. Does he care? No, definitely not, but it just solidifies my opinion that I think the guy is a douche.
A Re-Tweet (or RT if you want to use the lingo) is just a way of saying, “I saw what you wrote, I thought it was cool / interesting / funny, and I want to tell my followers about it”.
So for example, someone on Twitter says:
“I love #wine so much I pour it on my cereal in the morning!”
You see that quote, and maybe you crack a little smile and decide to do a Re-Tweet.
Your options are to either; Re-Tweet it exactly as it reads, or add your own comment and then Re-Tweet it, for example:
“I can relate! RT @krischislett I love #wine so much I pour it on my cereal in the morning!”
RT’s serve a couple of purposes:
– It’s just one more way to engage people.
– It shows the person whom you Re-Tweeted that you think their content is relevant enough for it to be distributed to your fans.
– It provides a very quick way to show that you are an “expert” on a certain subject, or at a minimum have a very strong interest in it.
One very important last thing about RT’s; if the Tweet you are about to reciprocate contains a link, make sure you click that link to make sure it is both valid and also relevant. This happened to me once when I Re-Tweeted a wine link, which when I checked into it was a totally bogus and poorly written “SEO” post.
Last but not least, always make sure you thank other for re-tweeting your tweets. It’s just good karma.
2. Understand the difference between a tweet and a direct message.
There is a big difference between the two, and you should make sure you have a firm handle on what that difference is before you start using Twitter.
The easiest way to think of direct messaging (“DM”) is that it’s just like a mini-email. There is no social component to it, as the message is not able to be viewed by other people. You can only DM someone who is following you, but it’s perfectly ok to ask for that follow, for example:
“Hi @krischislett Please follow me so I can DM you a question about the wine competition”.
Try to make sure that you only DM people whom you are also following. The reason being that, when it comes time for them to direct message you back, they will see that you are not following them, and be unable to DM you without first requesting you follow. Bad Twitter karma!
1. Searches for your brand name and things that are relevant to you
This is my #1 point, as this is where Twitter gets the MOST interesting, as far as I’m concerned at least! You could write a book on this single point alone!
As mentioned in the first part of the article, I personally use Tweetdeck for the majority of my social searches, but I also use Search.Twitter.com a decent amount. To me, social searches (as they relate to businesses) are the most under-exploited facet of social media.
In the below example, we can see an example of a search on Search.Twitter.com for people with wine questions.
Let’s get a little more specific. Let’s say you run a winery. Let’s say the name of that winery is Caymus. In Search.Twitter.com you would simply enter the word “Caymus” and perform a simple global search for mentions of your winery on Twitter.
Your results would look something like this:
Some of the above are Re-Tweets, and some of these are just general comments, not even specifically directed toward anyone in particular. Just simply people talking about a brand.
With the comment above stating, “My fav wine is 2007 Caymus cab”. If you were a winery such as Caymus, your next move should now be to thank that user for his kind words, and maybe even extend an invitation to the winery next time he is in Napa. If he is deemed as an extremely influential twitter user (taking into account his Klout score), you might even want to send him a bottle of your new release of Zinfandel.
Caymus are actually very aware of people talking about their brand on online, so I have no doubt in my mind that this user was responded to appropriately'; but what about the other wineries or businesses? How many businesses are missing opportunities of people talking about their product / brand / relevant related issues, with that message going completely unanswered?
Most businesses see the relevance in being on Facebook, but searches for mention of your product / brand is the one thing that Facebook cannot compete with, at least currently!
The possibilities in using social searches and engaging with your customers is endless!
If you are a business that isn’t using social media searches (not just on Twitter, but throughout the greater social media universe) now is the time to jump on it! Mark my words, over the next few years it’s going to become a major part of most company’s (both large and small) Internet marketing strategy.