As a child, I would read the Sunday papers together with my father, dreaming of my own by-line. When I went to university, I gladly opted for journalism. But my degree didn’t prepare me for Twitter - and neither did the business degree I got later on. The problem is that I seem to think Twitter requires some kind of business etiquette, and I’ve been programmed to think that business etiquette requires lots of syllables, Shakespearean grammar and Oxford English. By now, I know it doesn’t, but I still take ages crafting and re-crafting those 140 characters. Pffft... It’s high time I de-programmed myself and embraced the truncated penmanship of a five-year-old! Twitter is an extremely useful business tool – if you master its lingo.
This is what Twitter has taught me so far:
- Be concise. Why waste time crafting a long message to a colleague or a customer when they’re much happier with a response that’s less than 140 characters long? Time saved!
- Be realistic. Eager to please as we are, we’ve all done it: waffling on and overpromising. Don’t risk it. Just hit the nail on the head and stick to the task at hand. Risk diverted!
- Be traceable. Put an appropriate hashtag on your tweet - #custserv is our favourite – and voil, anyone interested in that field will see your message. You’ve reached your target audience without having to purchase segmented email lists. Money saved!
- Be a tease. Twitter is all about bite-sized chunks of information, which is great for building suspense and creating a little buzz for further news. Why spend lots of dollars on promotions? Ka-ching!
- Be loveable. The shorter and less complex a message is, the more likely it is to be shared. Plus, the message stands a greater chance of being accurately relayed. No Chinese Whispers here. Love it? Share it! As the 140 character limit proves, constraints are never easy. Follow Casengo to see how (or whether!) my Twitter skills grow up. And if you’re not yet using Twitter for business, get started now and grow up with me. Let’s be five years old together!