Definition: twit·ter, twit-tered, twit·ter·ing, twit·ters
To utter a succession of light chirping or tremulous sounds; chirrup.
To speak rapidly and in a tremulous manner
To giggle nervously; titter.
To tremble with nervous agitation or excitement.
I was minded to write a blog about “Tweet Power” when I went onto Twitter and saw that Crown Paints had made me their #artistoftheweek. Tremendous PR from the support of a national paint brand. However, on reading the Crown tweet, I soon uttered a succession of light chirping sounds and spoke rapidly in a tremulous manner… I realised it had been tweeted 2 weeks earlier hence the #artistoftheweek moniker had now passed on to someone else!
The experience was a useful reminder for me of some key twitter rules;
i) keep at it – your first few tweets may feel like they are just talking into the ether but it gathers pace over time,
ii) keep up-to-date – Twitter is very much an of-the-moment tool and that is one of the charms of it,
iii) respond to tweets promptly – otherwise they lose their value. D’oh!
iv) thank the people who are supporting you, and give your support in return.
Twitter does have tremendous power to spread information, build contacts and initiate action. I first became an advocate in 2012 when I answered a tweet from a journalist asking for people running their own business to contact her. The journalist was pulling together an article for the small business section of The Times and she quoted me in her article about entrepreneurs the following day. There is no way, without social media, that I would have been on the radar of a business journalist from The Times and I couldn’t have paid for the reputation building and publicity that it engendered.
I wouldn’t wish to pretend I am a social media expert, I’m yet to try Pinterest in earnest, Tumbl’r, Flick’r or Tinder for that matter. Personally, I prefer Twitter to Facebook because the brevity of the post forces the user to be more creative and only post items of relevance; fewer photographs of people’s food and pets therefore. And with all of these sites, it is evidently important for a small business to be on them but it is equally important to know when to get off them and join the real world, making phone calls, talking face-to-face and getting on with the day job.
If at this point the whole “tweet” and “hashtag” concept is lost on you then you probably need more Twitter-training, a service offered by numerous “Twits”. Look them up.