A toe dip into Twitter, then a full on dive
[tweetmeme]One slow day in the office just over a year ago I heard a discussion about Twitter on the radio and decided to have a look. It looked an interesting and very simple application but given I already used Facebook and as there was not integration between the two I soon dismissed it. I didn’t need another way of letting friends know I was going to the cinema, having a swim or having another cup of coffee.
Then I wondered if it could be a useful tool for my business. In the interiors climate over the past 18 months we have been constantly seeking new ways to reach out to our clients, help them on their daily quest for a superior interior and maybe Twitter could offer me the way to do this? I quickly established that there were very few interior designers on Twitter, especially in the UK, so I could steal a march and become a twitter legend!
Having created my account, who should I follow first? Well obviously a few celebrities like Ashton Kutcher Stephen Fry, but as they don’t follow back, what’s the point? And if Ashton has a cup of coffee, do I care? Probably not. I needed to get my tweets read by people with an interest in interiors, maybe also people in property, anyone who would help me build my business and also help raise my profile. So I followed a lot of interesting people and they then followed me back. That was great for my ego and made me realise that there may be something in this Twitter thing.
Next job was to get a custom background done by my graphic designer that includes a few images from my portfolio, a quick task but it helps with the online presence and gave me an identity.
The next question was what to tweet and when? As a newbie I didn’t know you could schedule messages and found myself asking how did these people find the time to constantly tweet all day long? Then I discovered Hootsuite and life became easier. I can do research for my tweets over breakfast and schedule them throughout the day. I have devised my own twitter strategy and try to post a few product recommendations every day and always finish with a couple of interior tips. Then throughout the day I use TweetDeck to dip in and out of twitter to comment on other posts and communicate with people.
I quickly learnt some do’s and don’ts: always tweet as yourself – unless you’re famous no-one wants to know if you are drinking a cup of coffee – and don’t use it to sell sell sell yourself. Engage with others and also try to make sure your tweet of just 140 characters can be understood.
Now a year on it I have over 1000 followers and twitter has become a very valuable and useful tool to my business and really helped me to make new contacts and raise my profile. I have found a great PR and marketing firm through Twitter and have made good contacts with other property professionals, interior designers and other creatives all over the world.