As their motto says, “Twitter is without a doubt the best way to share and discover what is happening right now.” Increasingly, this not only applies to private life, but also to the business world, where Twitter dominates a large portion of the social networking market. It’s important to remember, however, that there are a number of differences between tweeting for yourself and tweeting for your business. Here are a few things to consider which will help you perform effectively and achieve a high level of professionalism.
1) Stay with your flock
The first pillar of Twitter marketing is connecting with people in your industry. There is no reason for your company to follow someone whose tweets aren’t at least somewhat relevant to your business. That means, don’t follow Charlie Sheen, Kim Kardashian, or Chad Ochocinco, at least not on your business account. Remember, your fellow tweeters can see who you are following by viewing your profile, and you want to look at least somewhat business-like. If you’re personally interested in their tweets, then use your personal account to follow them.
2) Good profile
The first impression of your company through Twitter will often be the profile. Because of this, it is important to complete your profile. Write a professional bio, upload an eye-catching photo, let them know where you do business (your location), and when setting up the account, come up with an easy to remember Twitter handle.
3) A big no-no
It’s important to know friend from foe in social networking. Twitter networks can link you to possible contacts, but be wary of “get followers fast” networks. They aren’t genuinely interested in your products; they’ll only spam you and are therefore worthless contacts. You may get 2,000 followers, but they’re 2,000 people who are all interested in getting 2,000 more followers. No one pays attention to anyone, and your message is lost.
4) Get comfortable
Twitter marketing is unique from other social media marketing channels, and this should be taken into account. In this often semi-informal environment, you have a chance to promote your blog posts and directly answer questions. Plain commercial tweets don’t fit the Twitter culture and will turn off some prospective followers who want to see some other aspects of your firm. Have conversations with people, don’t blast commercials.
An obstacle Twitter marketers face is the limited number of characters in a tweet. Twitter users can only type 140 characters. And posting long URLs in a tweet can chew up that time. Shorten your long URLs with bit.ly, which shortens ultra-long URLs to about 12 – 14 characters in length, saving you some valuable Twitter real estate. Plus, you can track your bit.ly clicks and see what kind or response you get from your network.
With the right tools, Twitter marketing can be a great part of your marketing mix. Set up a profile, start adding to your network, and tweet valuable information out to them. Then measure the results with bit.ly, and repeat what works, discard what doesn’t.