Claire Bradford: navigating the Twitter arena

I HAVE been a regular and enthusiastic Facebook user for years, now, and I feel very much at home both socialising and marketing my business on there.

I also signed up for a Twitter account at about the same time, and have flirted with using it on and off but, until recently, found Twitter bewildering.

If Facebook is a large house party with your friends and interesting friends of friends, Twitter is more like being in the middle of a crowded arena, trying to have a conversation amidst a roar of people shouting.

However, Hannah Martin of talentedladiesclub.com has recently taken me by the hand through that Twitter arena and shown me just how I can find the people I want to connect with and have fruitful conversations with them – without being overwhelmed by the sheer din of the timeline.

Hannah has thoroughly researched social media techniques and applied them to her own accounts, building her twitter following to more than 4,000 in just a few months, and generating a steady stream of unique visitors to her website.

Here are three of Hannah’s top tips:

n Be smart with your time. As we all know, social media has a way of eating the hours. Use a tool like HootSuite to schedule tweets for times that you know your audience will be tuned in. Also, identify your key followers and make sure you engage with them.

n Be polite! Just like in offline life, manners matter on Twitter. Thank people for retweeting your posts or mentioning you. And, if someone retweets you regularly, then return the favour and retweet some of their posts, too.

n Use hashtags and chat hours. These will help you find followers in your niche and other areas of interest. Do a little research and find out which ones would suit you and your business best, then use them!

Hannah will be leading a workshop entitled ‘Master Social Media and Become a Twitter Expert’, on December 5, at Worthing Museum, where she will be sharing lots of instantly usable tips and tricks to get your business seen and engaged with on social media. For tickets, go to twitterexpert.eventbrite.co.uk

Got any hot social media tips or embarrassing gaffes you have made that you want to share? Come over to facebook.com/womaninbusiness or tweet me @coachbythecoast