Here is the second in a four-part series of interviews I gave to Alan Coote of local digital radio station 5 Digital for his weekly business programme Let’s Talk Business (@ltbshow)
Alan: As I mentioned earlier, I also caught up with Social Media guru Katherine Hanson to ask her whether businesses are using their Twitter accounts properly?
Katherine: In some instances yes and in a lot of instances no. I think it’s all about the mind-set and the approach to Twitter. As with any Social Media profile you need to think about the people who are going to be reading what you’re writing – not necessarily what you want to say but what other people want to hear and what they’re likely to find interesting and share with other people. That’s what it’s all about – spreading the message and engaging.
Alan: It’s amazing how 140 characters can go so far. What sort of advice would you give to people? To put as much information in as possible or to reference other stuff? How’s best to use those 140 characters?
Katherine: One of my tips is always to take someone away from Twitter, so that whatever it is you write in Twitter encourage them to look somewhere else where you can expand on it and explain more about what it is you want to say. Basically, those 140 characters have to be as much of a call to action as anything so that that person is impelled to go and look at what you’ve written elsewhere – therefore you don’t need to worry about the word count.
Alan: A lot of people have said that Twitter and much of the Social Media is like you’re shouting in an empty room quite often. How do you get more Twitter followers, how does that work?
Katherine: A good thing to start with is to start following people, look at the sorts of people they’re following, who amongst those you would find interesting to follow yourself. It’s not just about attracting followers; it’s about looking at what else is out there. You may learn something from what someone else has written; it may inspire you to write something or to share what they’ve written. So, sharing what other people have done as well as trying to attract people is a good thing. But the more people you follow, the law of averages dictates that you’re going to get more people following you back. That would be my first tip.
Alan: One of the things I’ve noticed with some of the people I follow is that it’s sort of “good morning, the sun has risen and it’s nice and sunny here”. To meet that’s a pretty useless Tweet, am I right?
Katherine: I would say so. I think it’s good to have a balance – you don’t want it to be all business because then it can be quite staid and will turn people off quite quickly. But you do want a balance. You do want some personal stuff in there – I wouldn’t necessarily Tweet about what the weather’s like because we can all see that (!), but quotations, sharing funny stories, sharing jokes, sharing what other people have written those are all big winners. Quotations in particular are known to be one of the most shared pieces of content on Twitter, so I would recommend them.
Alan: So show that you have a personality behind the Twitter account?
Katherine: Exactly. If anybody wants to know about your business they can go on your website. Social Media should give an insight into the person behind your business.
26 August 2013