The tweet. These days, it seems that when you hear about Twitter it’s usually because a celebrity, politician, or even virtual nobody has posted an online faux-pas, resulting in a swift backlash that causes a public apology at best and career suicide at worst. Knowing the destructive powers of the little blue bird, why do so many people continue to engage with it? Numbers. Today, over 330 million users are active on Twitter. That’s a number that deserves attention! So let’s take a look at just how Twitter works for the uninitiated.
How Does Twitter Work?
Getting in tune with Twitter is easy. It’s free to join, and requires nothing more than a Twitter handle. From there, you can simply find someone or something interesting in order to begin following their tweets. Then, to avoid being a mere lurker, it’s time to start sending out your own 280-character count posts (of course, until you’ve developed a following, your tweets may fall upon deaf ears; followings develop by following others).
Why Do People Tweet?
No two Tweeters are the same. There are celebrities looking to connect with fans, brands looking to self-promote, and individuals just looking to let their thoughts be heard. Twitter also shows you how many people have engaged with your tweet, which is exciting for those who revel in knowing their thoughts have been read. But Twitter is also becoming a more valuable business tool. Savvy companies have turned to Twitter to send out some really useful content, providing a quick stream of information to customers, potential customers, investors, news outlets, and experts.
Why the Character Count?
Studies show that Americans’ attention spans are getting shorter, so Twitter limits posts to just 280 characters to make messages purposeful and scannable (it used to be a mere 140, but that seemed to be just a little bit too limiting even if Forbes says our attention spans are now less than 8 seconds). Much of this is due to overstimulation; we have tech devices vying for our attention all the time. The 280 character cap promotes the focused and clever use of language, which makes tweets very easy to scan (this can also make them challenging to write, so the task to handling tweeting shouldn’t be pawned off to just anyone but instead given to an individual with good writing skills).
Twitter for Manufacturers
Manufacturers can create a profile for their company to follow other users and create a news feed that captures the tweets of all followers. Likewise, other followers can do the same.
A few other useful tips for manufacturers.
- Get connected. Not everyone is going to come to you. Actively research your clients and prospects and follow them on Twitter, and then use their content to help grow your knowledge of their wants and tailor posts to meet them.
- Be engaging. When you follow profiles on Twitter, you have the ability to tweet messages at them (unless their privacy settings are adjusted otherwise). Tweet targeted, specific messages at your prospects to make a connection. When you’re on someone’s Twitter profile, there is a ‘Tweet to person x’ section in the left-hand toolbar. Enter your message there.
- Utilize #Hashtags. What many of us used to call the “number symbol” or the “pound sign” is now known as the hashtag. Hashtags are designed to capture trends and popular topics on Twitter, allowing users to easily search and discover topics. But, be aware that a hashtag can be hijacked. We discussed this in a situation involving McDonald’s in a recent story.
- Connect with other manufacturers. There’s no better way to grow your network. You can find a list of manufacturers and industry experts you may want to connect with here. Another great feed to follow is @MfgDay, which has nearly 14,000 members in the industry supporting the growth of manufacturing.
- Connect with legislators. Legislators and their staffers are very active on social networking. Manufacturing is also a very hot topic in the political and news cycle, providing a good opportunity for you to connect. First, look up the names of your representatives for your district on both a state and federal level. Then, log on to Twitter and enter the names of your representatives in the search bar at the top. When you’re on their profiles, click the follow button. Finally, tweet important news at them through the ‘Tweet to x’ function on the left-hand toolbar. Who knows, you might even be able to secure a plant tour from representatives through Twitter!
Ready to Get Tweeting?
Don’t miss out on reaching millions. You can create an account now on the Twitter site, and once you do be sure to follow us @CMTCSolutions. You can read about the industry’s latest news, our most popular blogs, and more. Plus, we’ll follow you back in order to give your Twitter profile a boost.