Using Twitter for Business outline: Twitter is a “real time” communications platform that enables users with accounts to provide updated information in a mini-post format of up to 140 characters that can link to sites, blogs, videos, etc.
Twitter has its own ecosystem of add on application that expand the functionality. It’s certainly not like more static traditional media or content - it’s a “monster” that requires constant feeding if you want to be successful, requiring frequent Tweets (updates).
Setting Up a Twitter Business Account
Log on to Twitter and set up an account name. Select e a name that is consistent with your company’s brand and that makes sense - your Twitter Account Name may be as valuable as your Domain Name.
Use keywords in your Bio (description) that may generate traffic for you. Your bio is typically indexed by top tier search engines and can give you a good s/engine ranking for a keyword as a result.
Upload your company logo or a picture of some type - this ads some personality and pick a design from Twitter or hire a third party to do a custom design.
Users are called “Followers” on Twitter and one of your keys to success is generating a large number of Followers who are in your targeted community. You don’t want a large number of people who have no interest in your company, Tweets or business model. Yes, it’s a numbers game to a certain extent, but you want qualified Followers who have some interest in your Tweets (posts) that you can engage.
You can elect to receive all Direct Messages (people you are Following) via email or not and also turn on an “auto responder” type of message that is sent out when Users Follow you, thanking them typically. This is something you will have to experience initially and adjust later, depending on the volume of messages that you receive.
Creating A Twitter Business Account
- Sign up and download some power tools, we use TweetDeck for multiple accounts for ourselves and our clients and also Bit.Ly for URL shortening (more on this later). If you want to work with images TwitPic is one of the market leaders.
- Twitter is like buying a new sexy sports car that you fall in love with; but it can be a time sink. Establish ground rules for time you want to spend on it and be disciplined like a Bonsai Gardner - you have to feed and water your Twitter Business account frequently.
- Don’t just Tweet into space about your daily life, most people don’t care. Yes, add some personality, but the key to success is Tweets (posts) that Inform, Engage, Build Brand and Provide Value or Information (see next post).
- Engage with the Twitter community - this means ReTweeting or “RT” as it is know (resending other people’s Tweets) and commenting back to them, called Direct Message if they are following you. Send out questions and volunteer to help people and answer other’s questions - it’s truly a virtual community and engaging is a wonderful thing.
- Speaking of A List Celebs, forget about following or attracting them; your focus needs to be on building a community of people who like what you do and value it. Think about making partners, finding customers or boosters of your brand who will like what you Tweet (post) about.
- 6. Broaden your message as much as possible to build a viable Twitter for Business account - you want to reach out of your comfort zone and build a big community. It is a numbers game, but “quality” needs to be part of the equation.
- Be provocative with your messages at times - remember the old PR slogan, all publicity is good publicity - this holds true for Twitter Business Accounts, but don’t libel anyone, as people have been sued for nasty Tweets.
- Two key ways to measure your success on Twitter - your number of Followers and the volume of RTs (ReTweets), the latter are the highest form of flattery in the Twitter community and give you good feedback loop (or not) on what you are doing. Be sure to thank people immediately for ReTweeting your Tweets - essential etiquette in this community.
- To grow a Twitter Business Account follow your Competitors and their Followers - they’ve done some homework for you and I will wager many of their Followers may be interested in what you Tweet about as well.
- Look at top tier brands in your industry/business that are on Twitter and see what and how they Tweet; i.e. Product Promotions, Coupons, Offers, Insights, Entertainment, Images, RTs (ReTweets) and most importantly, how they Engage with the broad Twitter Community.
- Use Direct Messaging (or DMs in Twitter Speak) to your benefit; you can only Direct Message people who Follow you do want to use this power carefully but consistently when/where it makes sense. Try to be helpful and build a relationship (just like you would offline) with people.
- Use the @ Sign in front of a User who is in your Twitter Stream (you are Following ) to send a message that goes to them; but, be careful, as this message is “seen” by everyone that is Following you.
- Follow your Followers aggressively - Twitter has some limitations on how many and how fast, general rule of thumb is stay under adding 50-200 Followers per day. There are several schools of thought on this - some Twitter types get their egos involved and try to have huge numbers of Followers but don’t Follow anyone or hardly anyone in return. This is counter intuitive to a certain extent, as the more people you Follow the more people can Direct Message (DM), which builds community and engagement.
- Use Twitter Search as a way to find keywords that relate to your business or brand, to find new clients “need content developer,” to find out what is being said about your Company or Products (Customer Relationship Marketing or CRM) and to stay on top of your competitors.
- No guts, no glory - don’t be afraid to be proactive, throw some humor into your Tweets, be provocative, stir things up. Don’t worry if you misspelled something or make a mistake with a Tweet - it’s not as glaring an error as you might think. As Ross used to say “much better to have arrows in your chest than back” - take some risks.
- Did we mention spam and junk? Yes, Twitter is starting to pick up all the assorted riff raff that live on/off the web and just like other Online Marketing Services - comes with the territory. But, not to be too negative, it’s also a wonderful supportive Social Community like any other.
Okay, your ready to use Twitter for Business - to follow us please go to Twitter.com/LinkedMedia - see you at our next TweetUp!