twitterIf used correctly, Twitter can be a great communication tool for your company to get its message out to clients and customers.  It can also have a negative effect if not used correctly, especially if you don’t check your profile regularly and post frequent tweets. In this article I will give you a simple guide on how to set up and successfully manage a Twitter account for your business.

Give your followers value

Before you even set up a Twitter account, you must plan a campaign and set goals for what you want to achieve. What is the purpose of your profile and what will your customers gain? If you were a customer what would benefit you? If you wouldn’t want to follow the updates then most probably neither would your customers.

Keep your profile updated with regular tweets, but only if they are useful to your followers. You don’t want to tweet useless updates like “I am hungry” which nobody is interested in. Tweet links to blog posts, discounts, news stories and anything else your customers may find interesting. Once you find a topic that brings in a lot of followers or sparks discussion you can expand on this and even write a follow-up blog post.

Don’t over-tweet and clog up your followers’ profiles because they will most probably be following other companies too. There’s a danger that your tweets may get in the way of other updates and people will just stop following you.

Etiquette

Twitter is not an instant messenger. It is designed to communicate to thousands of users at once. Try to make your tweets appeal to all followers and don’t get stuck in two way conversations. Re-tweet (RT) other relevant tweets which your followers will find valuable. Reply to your followers and find related queries other users might have that you can answer.

Promotion

Use your corporate branding to style your profile so users trust you and don’t think it’s a fake profile. Find other users which are related to your industry and follow them. They might return the favour and in turn pass on their followers.

Research what other people are saying before posting a tweet. Use Twitter Search to see what key phrases are being used and try to include them in your tweets. Use hash tags before and after your key phrases. Tweet at peak times so your tweets don’t get lost. Peak times can vary depending on your industry and country but the majority of users go on just before and after work.

If you have a company blog or website, add a link or feed so that people can see your latest Tweets. Add a link in your email signature.

Tweets

When it comes to writing a tweet, don’t just write “Here is a great article http://bit.ly/crDzc.” Spark conversation by asking a question e.g. “None, sharp, crisp, strong or smooth? Which photoshop anti-aliasing works best? You decide… #photoshop #design http://bit.ly/crDzc.”

Here I have asked a question which will entice followers and hopefully get a response and create even more exposure. I have also added key phrases so it will be picked up in Twitter Search.

Getting the most out of Twitter is a matter of trial and error.  You can only find out what works for your company by trying different approaches.

Guides

Newbie’s guide to Twitter
Twitter Glossary
Hash Tags

Tools

http://bit.ly/ – Use this website to shorten your URLs/Links so you can fit more characters in your tweets.
http://twitpic.com/ – Upload and share photos on Twitter.
http://refollow.com/ – Manage your friends and followers on Twitter.

Google+

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