Using Twitter for business

Tips of Using Twitter for Business

Twitter has been around for a while now and has established itself as a major part of the lives of citizens the developed world, in everything from communicating with each other to disseminating news to promoting products and services.
But there are still plenty of sole traders and small businesses who are unsure of how to use Twitter for their business, or even if they should be on it at all. In this article, we'll try to explore some of the issues, and give some hints and tips about how Twitter can become an asset for your business.

Decide if you can afford it

Some people say Twitter is free, so it’s a no brainer to use it. However, it’s only free if your time is worthless, and anybody in business should know that that’s not the case. So decide whether you have the resources available to dedicate some time to your Twitter profile, because if you don’t, a bad or outdated profile could do more harm than good.

Brand your Twitter feed

You can take advantage of the customisation options on Twitter to brand the page and add your logo. This will solidify your brand impression with visitors.

Keep a professional tone

For individuals using Twitter for fun, they can put whatever they like about what they ate, or the most mundane thoughts that occur to them. As a business you need to be a bit more discerning. This means making sure any tweets you put don’t undermine the professionalism of your business – for example, no bitching, swearing or commenting on how ditzy you are.

Offer useful information in your tweets

If you can offer useful information in your tweets, that gives people a reason to follow you and keep following you, and possible even recommend you to their followers. Useful information could be tips, or links to interesting articles, instructions or other resources.

Don't spam

Spamming is bad, whatever form it takes. Sure, you want to promote your business and let people know if the benefits of working with you, but if you’re flooding their feeds with promotions they’re likely to be turned off and unfollow. Keep promotional, advertising tweets to a limited number and make sure far more of your tweets are giving to the community, rather than expecting to be given something.

Use a scheduling service

Constant interruptions from email, colleagues and the phone are a huge obstacle to productivity (turning off Outlook auto-receive and only checking your email once a day is probably the most effective single change you can make to your working day), and Twitter just adds to the fray. However, you can use scheduling services such as Tweetdeck to set up a bunch of tweets in advance, and then get on with other work. 

If you found this article useful, you may want to check out the Sentiva resource bank, for advice on web design, SEO, domain names and common scams.

How to set up a POP3 Account in Outlook 2010

Setting up email accounts in various mail clients is probably the thing we get called about for support more than anything else.

Quick lowdown: A mail client is a programme that runs on your computer or mobile phone that handles your email and allows you to do fancy things with it. This is opposed to a webmail service, which you access directly in the Internet, and is usually more limited in functionality. For example, Outlook, MacMail and Thunderbird are mail clients, whereas Yahoo Mail, Gmail and Hotmail are webmail services.

There are many different mail clients, and nobody can guarantee being able to succesfully set up email in all of them (because you can't gurantee that the mail client itself isn't flawed), however, over the years we've become familiar with the major ones, and because we've already encountered most of the possible problems, we can isolate and eliminate the issue swiftly.

Because of the dominance of Microsoft in the PC market, Outlook is one of the most common mail clients, and Outlook 2010 probably the most common version in use at the time of writing.

Therefore we've written instructions on how to set up POP3 email accounts in Outlook 2010, and you can find the full instructions on our website here.

These instructions should be similar for other versions of Outlook, including Outlook 2007 and Outlook Express, but there may be slight differences.

We welcome any feedback or corrections to these instructions, and if you're having problems setting up your email drop us an email, and if we can - we'll try to help.

We intend to add instructons for other major web clients as well as articles explaining the difference between POP3 and IMAP, so if you have a specific question you'd like answered, then drop us a line.

Sentiva provide email addresses and support as part of our standard web design and hosting service, and we are experienced in helping our clients get everything set up with the minimum of headache. If you'd like to have a chat about your website project, then please get in contact.

We also offer advice and guidance on a range of web design, SEO and related issues, you can find out more by browsing our resource bank.

The web design process - sexy infographic!

We've designed a sexy new infographic to visually describe the process of web design we go through, from conulsultation and planning to concept design, development, launch and of course our ongoing maintenance and promotion.

Visit our site to see the web design process infographic at full size and find out more about us and what we do.

20% off websites for Halloween!

We've got vampire teeth coming through the post, a skeleton trophy for best costume and bat wings for the dog - are you ready for halloween?

Take a break from carving pumpkins to think about getting a website for your business.

Whether you're taking your first steps onto the Internet or if you have an old website which is in need of refreshing and upgrading, now is a great time to get a new website - especially if you are a business owner in Leeds, because we're offering 20% off all website packages until the 31st of October.

Visit our website to find out more about our web design services, more about our team and see exmaples of the wesbites we've made in the past.

New website launched for Dr Joe Armstrong - CBT Counsellor Scotland

We are proud to present our latest website, for CBT counselling therapist Dr Joe Armstrong.

The site has been designed to be simple and easy on the eye, containing lots of great content about cognitive behavioural therapy and traditional counselling, and shows off Dr Armstrong's great experience, qualifications and skills.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Dr Armstrong, and now that the website is live, we will continue to work towards helping it climb the rankings and build a trusted reputation with clients in the area.

We built the site for Dr Armstrong (who is based in Dundee, Scotland) from our Leeds based central office, where we do web design, software and database development and mobile apps and websites.

Check out the CBT counselling Scotland website here.

Or visit our leeds web design website to find out more about us and our services.

DIY website Versus Professional Web Designer

Many sole traders consider creating their own DIY website as a way to save money, avoiding the potentially high fees of a professional web designer.

However, in the majority of cases, trying to build a website when you don't have the experience, can end up doing more damage than good.

To put it simply, I am a professional web designer, and I can ssure you that if I decided to try to save save money by doing my own plumbing or electrics (those professionals are very expensive, after all), or even cutting my own hair (God forbid!), I would end up with a flooded house, electrocuted and wearing a hat.

If the website is only for a hobby, then it's not a big deal if it puts people off, but if the website is intended as a business marketing tool, then having something bothced could be a very expeneive mistake resulting in countless lost business.

DIY websites are usually not as easy to put together as the programme promises, they won't get to the top of Google, and when people do find them, they'll be put off by the unprofessional appearance.

On the other hand, a professionally designed website can get in front of the right people at the right time, can impress people into giving a call and can build trust with the local customer base, giving an edge above the competitors and paying for itself, before greatly contributing to the bottom line.

So if you think getting a professional website might be expensive, consider how much it could cost you to not get one.

You can read more about web design, and the full length article on this subject in our web design resource bank.

Sentiva are a leeds web design company. We also make web apps and mobile apps, for both iPhone and Android. We offer very competitive web design packages for sole traders and small businesses.

Google and Exact Match Domain Names

In the past, it has been evident that the words in your domain name had a huge effect on your Google rankings for those words. Therefore it made sense to try to include your keywords in your domain name where possible – although as with everything, balance is important. You also had to take into account your company name / brand and how big a presence and draw that was. Of course, it’s also no good making a nonsensical keywords stuffed domain name.

However, recently Google have been making a big deal about the fact they’re going to be adjusting their algorithm to change all that.

On Twitter, Matt Cutts announced: ‘Minor Weather Report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.’

What that suggests, is that where people have bought a domain name solely for the keywords in includes, in order to rank highly for that search term, but not put a decent website up there (just leaving a single page or very sparse or duplicated content), the keywords in the domain name will no longer be enough to keep it afloat.

Of course, if as well as having keywords in the domain name, a website has a wealth of great content, then it shouldn’t be affected by the EMD (each match domain) change to the algorithm.

As is always the case, the way to achieve and maintain good quality listings is by having the best website, with the best quality, unique content. Every time Google makes a change like this, it benefits those of us who play by the rules and makes life a little harder for those gaming the system.

We offer web design in Leeds. If you found this post useful, you might want to check out our web design and SEO resource bank.