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11 Things You Need to Know About Using Twitter for Business

Social Media Is Bullshit author B.J. Mendelson is the owner of a verified Twitter account with three-quarters of a million followers and a stint on Twitter’s suggested follower list. “I am essentially the Forrest Gump of Twitter,” said Mendelson, who spoke at the AllTwitter Marketing Conference in San Francisco today. He shared 11 tips for social media success:

1. In America, less than 16% of the population actually uses Twitter. Of that 16%, 40% don’t actually do anything. Of the remaining 60%, only 25% are creating the majority of the Tweets that you see. This includes celebrities and brands.

2. If you can’t answer the question, “why am I here using Twitter?”, you should not be using it.

3. American journalists love Twitter. It’s like crack to them. If you want to pitch a story to the media, there are two things you should have: one is a Wikipedia page, the other is a Twitter account. If you have a Twitter account for no other reason, it’s because reporters will be looking at it.

4. If you have a Twitter profile, go and register on as many other social platforms as you can, even if you never use them. They call it a “link wheel,” or a “grid.” For SEO purposes, the more in-bound links you have to your site, the more Google likes it.

5. You have to have some kind of plan. Sports teams or big brands can get away with doing things on the fly. But for everyone else, resources are limited, time is limited, and you will need an overarching social media strategy.

6. Have an optimized landing page listed on your Twitter account. Include contact information and background information on how you use Twitter, if you use it at all.

7. There is no universally correct number of Tweets to send per day. That number is based on customer data. By doing the customer research you will learn when to send Tweets, how many to send, and what kind. If you don’t know who your customers are, stop right now, go figure that out, and then come up with a plan.

8. If you have something to push, you have to push it at least 3 times. Your Twitter followers will not look through historical Tweets to see what they missed. Sending the same Tweet three times in different time zones ensures that more of your followers will see the message.

9. If you find yourself in the middle of a non-troversy, which are social media crises that blow up on Twitter, then immediately blow over, take these 4 steps to correct them: 1. “Ask yourself: Did I fuck up?” Mendelson said. “If the answer is no, then don’t worry about it.”  2. If you do “fuck up,” apologize immediately. 3. You should also fix the problem transparently, in public, on the platforms where the negative feedback appears. 4. Follow up with an update when the problem has been solved.

10. If you don’t have the email, phone number, and name of your followers, you are messing up. People will give you information with the right incentive.

11. The bigger you get, the more likely people are to try and take you down. If you’re big enough that the media might be looking to play “gotcha,” it is worth having at least one person who is trained to use Twitter.  And it’s worth equipping everyone else at the company with at least a Twitter account so they can respond appropriately to a problem.


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