Running your business
Introduction to Twitter
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social network made up of messages called 'tweets'.
In a 'tweet' the user can share their thoughts, news, information and so on, with each tweet limited to 140 characters in length.
Twitter provides a concise, real time way in which to communicate or obtain news and information relevant to yourself or other users.This makes Twitter useful to be part of for pharmacy as nearly all large businesses like Numark, PSNC, GPhC for example, have Twitter but importantly it also gives you a voice.
When compared to other social media platforms it is clear that Twitter helps users network ideas and topics more effectively, making it ideal for business. The likes of Facebook focus more on making contact with specific people and do not insist upon concise messaging.
The vast majority of Twitter profiles are public and therefore anyone in the world can see what is written. To keep up with particular content, users can 'follow' each other, which ensures any tweets from the followed user are collated into your own personalised list or 'feed'.
How do I start using Twitter?
1. Create an account
Username - choose something that people will recognise, that those who know you will be able to easily identify you by and therefore make you easy to find and be followed.
Profile - give an idea of who you are by adding a biography and a profile picture. This will help other users to decide whether they would like to follow you.
- Your bio should tell people who you or your pharmacy are and what you do but it doesn't have to be all business - be creative and add some of your personality eg, what interests you.
- When it comes to your profile picture choose a photo that visually captures you/your pharmacy and fits well in a small space. Maybe use an image of your pharmacy fascia? Also avoid blurry, dark or low res images and stick to a size of 400x400 pixels.
2. Compose and post your first tweet
When you start out it is a good idea to have a few tweets on your homepage for visitors to read.
These, along with your profile information will give people a reason to follow you. Start by posting a few tweets to tell people who you are and what your pharmacy is all about. Try and communicate what you can offer potential customers.
As before try to be creative and portray your personality where possible.
3. Building your network
You can use the 'find people' function and search or, once you have started to build up a network, take a look at 'who to follow' from the suggestions Twitter generates for you. Another way to find users which may interest you is to take a look through your current list of followed contacts and see who your followers are following!
Once you find someone you are interested in following, click on their name to see their full profile and then the 'follow' button to be kept up to date with their goings on.
Along with commenting and liking other user's tweets, following people is the most effective way of making other Twitter users aware of your presence and often they will start following you in return.
Remember; tweet consistently to keep your network growing. Try following successful twitter accounts in the pharmacy industry and take ideas from their twitter feeds to create your own.
So, why not start off by following/liking us to see all our posts and get some ideas! NumarkNet and NumarkOwnBrand to to see all our tweets and get some ideas.
Take a look through our followers list to find users that may interest you.
To understand Twitter you will need to familiarise yourself with various terms and abbreviations. This can be quite daunting which is why we have pulled together a list of all the need to know terminology.
- Tweet: A 140-character or less message.
- Retweet (RT): Re-sharing someone else's tweet.
- Feed or timeline: Located on your homepage this is a collation of all tweets from those you are following.
- Handle: Your username.
- Hashtag (#): Allows you to find tweets, based on the subject matter. Enables users to participate in a larger linked discussion (e.g. #NumarkConference). Hashtags collate tweets from all users not just those you follow.
- Direct Message (DM): A private message between two users that cannot be viewed by others. Settings can be tailored so that you only receive Direct Messages from users you are following or from any Twitter user.
- Mention (@): A way to refer to another user by their username in a tweet (e.g. @NumarkNet). Users are notified when they are mentioned. This tool essentially enables discussions with other users in a public domain.
For more on how to use Twitter take a look at the Twitter help centre.
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