Using twitter for business part 267:
Okay, I know that sounds ridiculous but unless your potential customers are locally based it could be the wrong type of greeting when you arrive on twitter, blinking, at the start of a fresh day. If you want to appeal to an international audience you’ve psychologically alerted them to the fact that they are ‘foreigners’ to you with your breezy ‘Good morning’ when its 3pm/evening/middle of the night for them.
I ran a successful business in the virtual world of Second Life for more than 4 years, the ultimate global community and it always surprised me that my colleagues weren’t more aware of the various time zones around the world and missed out on opportunities, both to sell more and to avoid marginalising potential customers.
In my experience it was generally Americans that were the worst culprits. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not US bashing at all, there are many reasons – geographic, social and educational why this should be the case but there appears to be a general lack of awareness amongst even the ‘social media gurus’ of how the parochial references to the time of day might grate on someone living in another country. Just sayin’
It’s likely that you’ve seen these square bar code style images displayed in all sorts of places. I noticed even the Sky TV magazine that dropped through the door last week has started using them. If you’re still confused about what they are here’s a quick QR 101.
Quick Response (QR) codes are barcodes that are readable by special bar code readers and smart phones. If you have an iphone/android or the like just search the apps for QR reader and you’ll almost certainly find several.
Follow the instructions, scan the image with the camera in your phone et voila – you’ll be presented with more information in the form of contact details, display text, audio or video or most commonly the QR code will open up a web page in the phone’s browser.
There are so many innovative ways to use this technology from hooking up with the more traditional forms of social media, eg Lady GaGa using them on her Facebook page to enable fans to download a ringtone to accessing a live bus timetable while you’re waiting at the bus stop or paying for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So far I haven’t noticed any businesses in Hinckley using them but I’m sure it won’t be long! At its simplest it enables customers to view web pages without having to type a url into their phone, but it will also enable walking tours of museums and things that are so cool we haven’t thought of them yet! I’ve started using them on business cards and fliers. What will you use them for?
Posted on 07. Apr, 2011 by paula.
Twitter is a powerful means of connecting and engaging with your customers or the demographic that are your potential customers but with such an open platform its easy to make mistakes when starting out.
This is not Field of Dreams. If you build a twitter account people won’t automatically come to read your 140 characters of wisdom – you need to provide some value. Content is king!
Don’t over promote. Twitter is not about broadcasting (unless you’re incredibly famous) – if you’re only ‘spamming’ with links to your blog and products you’re doing it all wrong.
To follow back or not to follow back? This is a much debated issue but my view is, in most cases, its rude not to follow back if someone has chosen to click that little green button on my profile. It’s like snubbing someone who says hello in the street. Of course if they’re an obvious spammer or have completely different interests then it’s always possible to unfollow at a later date.
Twitter is all about engagement and building relationships if you genuinely want to use it as an effective marketing tool. Spend more time listening, sharing and acknowledging your customers than talking about yourself.
Make up your mind. If this is your business twitter account why are you following movie stars and not your customers/potential customers?
Give value and share information. Be generous and share links on subjects related to your business. Think about your customers, what else might they be interested in besides you?
Ask yourself this before you tweet – would I care about this if this wasn’t my business?