An Intro to Twitter and the Big #blyDEA

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Haven’t made it to the twitter train yet?  Don’t worry, you’re still among millions.  A lot of people are reluctant to join the micro-blogging website and many have been quoted as not understanding the point of typing something that’s limited to 140 characters.  Nevertheless, hundreds of millions of people and businesses have chosen Twitter as an extension of their marketing strategy.  If you’ve thought about Twitter (or have been wondering what the heck a tweet is) but have been hesitant to join, hopefully this will help shine some light on what you need to do to sign up and how you should use #hashtags to further your marketing efforts.

How Do I Sign Up to Twitter?

Go to www.twitter.com and click “Sign Up For Twitter”.  And you’re done!  Now that was easy!!  After you’ve signed up, you’ll have the option to fill out your profile and decorate your new Twitter page any way you choose.  Your URL will be www.twitter.com/ (The handle you selected).  Now you can tweet away!

Why Would I Want to Sign Up to Twitter?

Even if you’re personally not a fan of Twitter, it might be a good idea to create a Twitter profile, particularly if you have a business and want to promote it.  The fact of the matter is close to 300 million people are a part of the Twitter community and over 30 million are unique monthly visitors.  What that adds up to is the potential for a lot of exposure at no price at all.  Would you rather pay for an ad on TV and get limited exposure for a lot of money, or sign up to Twitter and get access to 300 million people around the world for free?  The answer is generally a no-brainer for companies that want the most cost-effective way to market their products.

Hashtags as a Marketing Tool

When Twitter first came to be, it used to be that hashtags (#s) were solely used to annotate the post’s topic. While this is still very much the case, hashtags are now also used as a marketing tactic.  That is to say that many people come up with hashtags in order to develop a catchy phrase with the hopes that it will go viral.  For instance, you might be reading this at one of our Idea Forums.  One of Blytheco’s tweets with a hashtag might read ‘Got a business idea or query? Use #blyDEA and let your thoughts be heard,’ where #blyDEA is the chosen hashtag.  Now, every time someone wants to reference this topic (i.e. has a business idea) they can use #blyDEA where the hashtag is also searchable for all the world to find.

Twitter to Go!

The twitter app for mobile devices is probably one of the most helpful tools we’ve ever seen.  It allows you to share on-the-go which can be helpful especially if you’re not by a computer.  Newer mobile platforms (the latest version of iPhone iOS for example) allow you to tweet whatever content you’re looking at without ever leaving the screen.  Reading an interesting article on CNN.com? Just press a button and BAM! You’ve just informed your entire audience.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Hashtag Use

  • Keep them short. #IlovetheweekendandcantwaituntilIamoffofwork will be much less effective than #weekendlove
  • Search for and use hashtags that are popularly trending or commonly used when trying to reach a large unspecified audience
  • When promoting a campaign or event, try to use a catchy phrase or term as a hashtag.#itgetsbetter resonates a bit more than #bestrongfortomorrow
  • It’s an unspoken rule in the Twitterverse to not use more than 3 hashtags per tweet.  While many do not follow this suggestion, the thing to take away is your message should not be distracting.  ”The #Green #Lantern like most #superhero #movieslooks like a #good #time at the #theater” is a no-no.
  • Be sure to only use hashtags that are relevant to your tweet.  Placing #ladygaga in a tweet about the latest ERP software is not effective marketing and will probably anger your audience and others searching the Twitterverse.
  • Do not add spaces or punctuation to your Twitter hashtag.  If you want to discuss world famous actor Will Smith, using hashtag ‘#Will Smith’ will only index your tweet as referencing “will”, similarly to how using hashtag ‘#gov‘t’, will index that tweet as referencing “gov”. #willsmith and #govt should be used respectively.

For a laugh, check out KRAFT Mac ‘n’ Cheese’s new twitter campaign using the hashtag #OldBirdsNewTweets.  KRAFT has ingeniously used two octogenarians to run their social media accounts while also filming a series of commercials.  One of the commercials is below.

 

Got a Business idea or suggestion that you want to share?  Share with us on Twitter.  Use #blyDEA to search for and share your thoughts!

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