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New to Twitter? Don't analyse, don't strategise

Please only whisper it, but I am not 100 per cent sure what I am doing when it comes to social media.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t say that. I should have defined goals of what I want it to achieve and should have someone in the office working out the return on investment I get from each tweet.

But, to me, that’s not the point of social media.

I was a bit of cynic when I was first introduced to Twitter (that’s the only platform I tend to use as it just feels right for me) because I had preconceived ideas about it. How was it going to help my business to hear what people were having for their lunch and, indeed, who would be interested in what I was having for mine?

However, I took the plunge and I am delighted I did because I have found it to be a fantastic way to get to know people and other businesses and also gauge views on topics relating to my industry.

I’m not an expert and, actually, I don’t want to be because I’m not looking to social media as a direct route to new work but, of course, won’t complain if it leads to it.

In terms of advice to others who are just getting started, I would say don’t get bogged down in strategising and trying to second-guess what will interest people.

If it’s a business or personal account it should show the human side to your company as well as the corporate, therefore you should mix up your posts.

Occasionally, I will tweet something and expect a flurry of responses or retweets and get nothing. On other occasions, I say something off the cuff that I don’t except to grab anyone’s attention and suddenly I’ll have dozens of messages back.

I’ve grown to realise over the couple of years that I have been doing it is that there are no real right answers when it comes to Twitter (I don’t really do LinkedIn or Facebook) and it is a medium that you certainly have to experiment with.

That said, there are certainly a few wrong answers so it’s important that whoever has control of the company feed thinks before they tweet.

So my advice to fellow construction firms would be to use it, find out how it benefits you, but don’t – especially in the early stages – over-analyse. It really shouldn’t take up that much of your time anyway.

I’ve made new contacts, have ‘spoken’ to politicians and have discovered things about people I would never have known without it.

And all with no reference to what I might be having for lunch (cheese salad if you really want to know).

Julie White (@JulieDDrill) is managing director of D-Drill

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