Despite the fact Twitter has now been around for over 5 years, there are still many businesses who have not grasped that Twitter is one of the essential tools for your Internet Marketing. Whilst it may seem less intuitive than, say, Chrome or Facebook, there is plenty of software which makes Twitter simple to use, and effective in promoting your company.

However, there are also a number of myths which continue to do the rounds, so let’s put a few to rest.

1) Twitter is not for businesses.

Rumours abound that Twitter is full of drivel – what someone had for breakfast, celebrity news and so on. However, this is not the case at all, and whilst some companies have managed to get it wrong on Twitter over the years, the vast majority of companies using Twitter are seeing the benefits by adopting a social strategy where the emphasis is on “social”.

We have previously considered how to use Twitter for customer support, for research and for internet marketing, as well as B2B use of Twitter. There are a growing number of success stories from businesses using Twitter both to find and then engage with customers, suppliers and potential partners, and a social media marketing strategy within your business is now more essential than ever.

2. I can’t say anything in 140 characters

The length of tweets came originally on the back of SMS (Short Message Service) or texts, and it is surprising how quickly one adapts to crafting short, snappy, compelling content. The huge growth of URL shorteners has meant that you can squeeze in a link to your blog, content, news item, landing page, store, or image, thereby leading people directly to your own website and content.

3. Twitter is full of jargon I don’t understand

As with any community, Twitter has developed its own language and terms, such as RT (retweet), hashtags #, MT (Modified Tweet), HT (hat tip to the source of information), failwhale, and so on. At the outset, each tweet may appear to be a very short group of acronyms and incomprehensible Twitter lingo with some words and a link thrown in, but it will not take long to be accustomed to the terminology.

4. No-one is following our Twitter account

As with all things, gathering followers will take time. However, the process can be accelerated by engaging with others who are in the same sphere or industry, those who tweet content of interest to you and your consumers/customers which you can then share, and by producing your own valuable content. Many events are now held online and becoming involved through the relevant Twitter hashtag for that event, you will undoubtedly find other virtual and real attendees which whom to connect.

This leads neatly into….

5. Our competitor has a zillion followers

Twitter is much more about quality than quantity. There are plenty of dodgy services available to buy and pay for followers (it really is not wise to do so) but the reality is that whilst your competitor may well be able to point to numbers, what level of engagement can you have with a zillion followers that will help to increase sales or raise brand awareness?

What are your top Twitter myths? We will cover some more shortly.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology