Tips for Using Twitter for your Business

Twitter

If you are wanting to start using social media to promote your business and are not sure how to start, here are some do’s and dont’s for using Twitter.

The most important thing to remember is that this is social media… you have to be sociable!

DO…

1. Work your account... You need to be prepared to invest some time in your Twitter account. Twitter works in real time, so you have to be posting information and comments regularly. It is no good checking your account every few days If a follower makes a comment, they expect a response when they make it, not  a week later. The best way to use Twitter is to install a program such a Hootsuite which will inform you when a follower has posted on their timeline, or mentioned you.

2. Make your posts interesting! Why should anyone want to follow you if all you do is broadcast a string of adverts for your goods or services? Twitter should entertain, inspire and educate. Make sure you offer useful information, share things of local interest and respond to other people’s comments. Of course you can also promote special offers for your own business from time to time, but one long string of adverts simply won’t cut the mustard!
Including links to posts you’ve made on your blog is a great use of your Twitter account because it greatly extends the information you can share.

3. Choose who you connect with. You can organise the people you follow into lists to help you manage the tweets, so plan why you choose to follow people. You might follow other local businesses, your existing customers, your competitors, your suppliers, others who are in the same line of business as you are. Remember that you can use Twitter to gain inspiration for yourself, not just as a marketing tool to promote your business to potential customers.

4. Relax… be yourself! On Twitter, people generally follow people rather than businesses, so you should be professional but friendly too. Tweets which are colourful and chatty can work well. As Phil Libin, CEO at Evernote commented: “…social media users can smell inauthenticity in much less than 140 characters. Enjoy yourself, have fun with the conversation, be yourself. You can’t fake it.”

5. Start  conversations… Twitter is all about making connections and you cannot do that if you don’t chat to people. Ask questions, seek help to solve problems and respond to comments by others. If you are planning to promote your business through Twitter, don’t expect speedy results. It takes time to make connections and it will be those connections that help to spread your business name.

DON’T…

1. Leave the default avatar… Yes you can use a company logo; ideally you’d use a photo of yourself, but if you leave the default egg logo, no-one will take you seriously. In fact it suggests you are likely to be a spammer whose just going to post lots of links to products.

2. Leave the standard background… You should make your profile page stand out by personalising the background too. At the very least change the colours to reflect your company brand.

3. Forget to complete in the biography… Completing this is another way to show you are serious about using Twitter. Let people know a bit about you, your likes and dislikes. It makes you human! Of course you should also remember to link to your website where people can see much more about you and your business. That’s a sensible use of advertising.

4. Be boring… or boorish! Think before you post. It is good to be active regularly but who wants to know what you had for breakfast (unless it’s something really unusual).  It’s a must to respond to other people’s comments, but be careful how you phrase those responses, curt or rude replies will lose you followers and can harm your company’s online reputation.

5. Make it all about you… If your comments are only about you, why would others be encouraged to engage with you? If you ignore comments made by your followers, why would they be keen to respond to yours? If someone mentions you and you don’t respond, why would they be in a hurry to mention you again?  Twitter is not a one-way broadcast, it’s about interaction.

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