Log in

ISM Article

8 Must Knows on Twitter 4 Business

15 Jul, 2009 By: John Mancini imageSource

8 Must Knows on Twitter 4 Business

At the risk of pushing the edges of acceptable marketing too far, let me take
a chance and offer a thought – have you ever considered using Twitter for

My first reaction to Twitter was, “This is lunacy.  What a waste of time.” 
But after investigating, I think there is marketing value – granted, it’s edgy
but it’s there – in thinking about applying Twitter to your next marketing

So not to waste time, let me share with you what I learned along the way. 
Let me tell you the “Eight Things You Need to Know about Twitter and Business.”

  1. In many ways, Twitter is like instant messaging.  As
    in instant messaging, the emphasis is on short, punchy messages.  In fact,
    the very definition of Twitter is 140 character messages that describe “what
    are you doing?”  That’s not much real estate.  Longer than an IM, but
    shorter than an email message. 

  1. There’s a big difference between Twitter & IM -
    Twitter “tweets” go out to the world.  This is an aspect of “content”
    publishing that drives many above the age of 40 berserk.  It is the same
    objection that many initially had to blogging – who cares to hear your
    opinions about all the minutiae of your life? I’ve heard Clay Shirky talk
    about this (Here Comes Everybody) and he notes that earlier generations of
    (one-to-many) publishers had a built in filter – publishing mechanisms were
    expensive and thus the publisher became the filter and editor.  Social media
    throws all that out the window because anyone can publish anything,
    essentially for free.  But I diverge.  The point is that an instant message
    goes to exactly whom you specify.  Tweets can be viewed by anyone.

  1. Much of Twitter terminology will make you feel like an
    idiot.  It is hard for a grown professional person to even use the term
    Twitter without generating snickers.  Much less, terms like twitpeeps and
    tweeting and retweeting, and twit-this and twit-that, and Ashton Kutcher. 
    [Note: There is a very off-color joke that Steve Colbert told on the Today
    show about Twitter one morning that I will tell you if you buy me a beer.]

  1. The key to understanding Twitter and marketing is not
    followers.  It’s folders.  Many I know who have not become twitpeeps ask me,
    “Why on earth would you ever want to ‘follow’ anyone.  It’s like being a
    stalker.”  Or even more likelier, “Who are those people following YOU?  Some
    of them are just plain creepy.” I think the key to understanding all this is
    to forget about the following and followers.  Educate yourself about hash
    tags. Hash tags are denoted by the pound (#) sign and are essentially
    folders of tweets that relate to a particular topic.  Hey, folders are
    something that those of us in document management know something about. You
    can also search on particular terms.  I find the biggest value I get out of
    Twitter is through following a set of tags and terms that relate to our
    industry.  For example, one search I regularly run reports on the following:
    #ecm, #aiim, #erm, “content management”, “document management”, and “records
    management.” You get the idea. 

  1. Twitter itself as an interface is not very good.  You
    can enter your searches and twits right on Twitter itself (http://www.twitter.com)
    but it is not very satisfying. There are a number of clients out there, but
    the one I like is Tweetdeck.  Very simple and satisfying to use.  There are
    a gazillion (large number) of Twit apps and clients out there.  Fun to
    browse, but many are goofy.

  1. Speaking of goofy, do not expect Twitter to provide
    moments of classic literature.  There is much weirdness out there.  I don’t
    really get the point of tweets sent out to the void like this: “Moving home
    facts: eating out vs. cooking 80/20 vs. 5/95, no cheddar, smoked short-back
    bacon or Cumberland sausages.”  There is an option to direct tweet someone -
    just put a D in front of their name - but too often these kind of weird and
    bizarre personal messages are just sent out into the world rather than to a
    particular person.

  1. Do not activate the text message delivery option. I
    know a lot of people like this. It delivers twits from your  followers
    directly to your phone.  I tried it and it drove me nuts.

  2. Lastly & most important, if you are using Twitter for
    business or organizational means, tweet with that purpose in mind.

My advice:

• Decide where you want to have a presence. 

• Find the hashtags associated with those topics. 

• Use the relevant hashtags in your tweets. 

• Don’t just tweet junk. Tweet information that means something. Try to be
somewhat educational.

• Be generous in retweeting the tweets of others who are saying something
meaningful about the topics you care about.  Follow these people.

• Use links. Shorten them (Tweetdeck does this automatically) before sending.
Drive people to your website.

• Don’t use up the full 140 characters.  Leave 20 or so to make it easy for
people to retweet you.

• Set some time limits for yourself or all this can be pretty addicting. Like
15 min at the beginning and end of the day.  Or on your cell phone when you’re
just standing in a line or waiting for an airplane. Don’t get carried away. It’s
a tool, remember?

There you go. Eight  things you need to know about twitter and marketing your
business.  Give it a try.

John Mancini is President of AIIM. He can be followed on Twitter at
jmancini77.   For AIIM information visit

WebinarCase Studies and White PapersSand Exchange Blog

imageSource Magazine Quick Links
Upcoming Events
ITEX Expo & Conference
©2015 Questex, LLC. All rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited
Please send any technical comments or questions to our webmaster