A lot of hosts are starting to use Twitter now to promote their quizzes which is a great sign indeed but Twitter is not as straight forward as it may seem at first glance. Whilst Facebook is fairly straight forward with how it works, there are a few things you should know about Twitter before you start using it that are really useful to bear in mind. In the following article I will explain how Twitter works best and how to use it to promote your events more.
What is Twitter?
So it’s probably best to start at the beginning for anyone that doesn’t even know the slightest thing about it. What is Twitter? Well, it’s short description is that it regards itself as a micro blogging site. It’s short bursts of information within a a strict 140 character parameter.
Blogging is way for internet enthusiasts to diarise their movements, thoughts and feelings online, usually within a certain field or subject and often can be a full time career when done correctly. Micro blogging takes that concept and condenses it into small bite size chunks. As with Blogging people will follow a ‘Bloggers Blog‘ to be kept up to date with their movements and the same concept applies with Twitter except the ‘Blogger‘ cannot exceed 140 characters. Thus creating a feed of people you are interested in knowing more about without having to read pages and pages of information.
How does Twitter work?
At first glance, Twitter might look like a load of nonsense. Hashtags, ‘at’ symbols, links and disjointed conversations. These things all help the construct of people networking within the Twitter community.
- @ is put before a Twitter handle to indicate that the post is directed at someone
- # is used to create a topic or discussion on a certain subject
- Links are self explanatory and will take you to a website which will most likely be the subject of the discussion
When you sign up to Twitter you will be given a handle like ours which is @SpeedQuizzing. Using this notifies the user that a tweet is directed at them. One thing to note here is that in Tweet when you Reply to someone, it will automatically place the @ tag at the start of the tweet. When you send this ONLY that person will get notified of that tweet AND it won’t show up on any of your followers feeds. As its regarded as a reply, Twitter assumes that people don’t want to spammed with bits and pieces of your conversation (as generally it wont make sense to them). With this, if you start ANY tweet with an @ tag, Twitter will think that you are replying to that person and again, none of you followers will see it. To avoid this happening start your tweet with a . or another word entirely and everyone will get to see it.
If you are discussing a certain topic you can keep track of this topic between multiple users by introducing a hashtag such as #GreatBritishBakeOff or #GBBO as the BBC might use it. Instantly these highlight blue as they are clickable. Once clicked on it will then show you a feed full of people who have mentioned the same hashtag. Meaning that you can potentially see everyone in the world who is talking about that subject. Some hashtags are used for humorous effect without ever having the intention of being a conversation piece, things like; #WhyAmINotAMillionaireAlready. Obviously this wasn’t intended to be a conversation topic, the person just wanted to make an amusing statement. This is often the point that people get confused, when there are too many hashtags in one tweet.
How are Facebook and Twitter different?
The reason why Facebook and Twitter work well together is because they are tools for 2 different types of people to you. With Facebook you have a register full of your friends and people that you know. Whenever you post, you are reaching out to the people you know personally or are affiliated with the brand (unless you are paying for advertising but this is different altogether).
With Twitter you are appealing to people you don’t know (mostly), these are untapped potential clients that need to be educated about what you do.
So the best way I think about it is, Facebook is full of people you do know and Twitter is full of people you don’t. Running a business should not be about trying to get your friends to engage with your product, a successful business is run when you’re engaging with people who aren’t your friends.
How can I use Twitter to promote my quizzes?
The main thing to focus on when using Twitter is, how do I get noticed? If you don’t ‘Tweet‘ no-one knows you’re there. What you need to do is start to interact with people and get them interested in what you do.
The best way to do this is to start interacting with local businesses, see if there is any local twitter groups that have discussions online. For example, in the Birmingham area there is a group called #BrumHour. What happens here is that for one hour on a Sunday evening, local businesses log onto Twitter all using the #BrumHour and chat about what they have been up to and what they do. Already there, you have got potential clients learning about your business and most of the time will recommend you on to further companies. This is basically like attending a networking event but just online. Most of the discussion will probably not even be business orientated but it doesn’t need to be, as long as your brand is present your name is getting out there.
As an example of what @SpeedQuizzing does, we try to see if people who watch gameshows in the afternoon might be interested to learn more on SpeedQuizzing by using the #TheChase or #Pointless. This wouldn’t be of much use to a local business, mainly due to the conversation being nation wide but for us, its the perfect audience. Maybe try looking for local discussions in your area to try and attract some attention.
What do I say in my Tweets?
The best advice is to not make it all about you and what you are selling. Try to make your account / feed interesting to read to make sure people want to follow you. People are more reluctant to follow you if you constantly talk about yourself and your business and all the great things you do. Would you listen to someone talk about themselves all the time down the pub? No, you would probably make your excuses and not bother to attend anymore. The same applies to Twitter, people will unfollow you without giving any reason as well.
What about my followers? Do I not need loads?
No, in short. It seems to be a common misconception that to do well on Twitter you need to have thousands of people following you. Whilst this is great, its more about quality over quantity. Following celebrities on Twitter should not be confused with how you conduct business.
People will follow celebs just to find out what they are doing and that in itself is a different sort of world to how businesses operate. It’s better to have 500 people who genuinely want to know more about what you do than to have 30,000 people who are only following you because you are following them. Even then, if you are following 30,000 people, how would you even read that feed? You should only follow people yourself if you think you would be interested in what they have to say.
I hope that they above is useful to everyone and gives them a nice simple crash course on what Twitter is all about, and how to use it to benefit you. Unlike Facebook, Twitter does take a lot of time and effort to get right but when you do get it right it works absolute wonders for you, keep at it and watch the results.