How to Use Twitter for Business

Twitter is the king of concise messages (tweets), limiting users to 140 characters. Not only are the messages short in length, but they can also be short lived. Creating an impactful Twitter presence takes some thought and planning for any business looking to use this platform.

As with all forms of social media, many people join Twitter just to connect with their friends, follow celebrities, and be social. However, Twitter is becoming increasingly useful for businesses and professionals. Information sharing can take center stage for many circles on Twitter, and millions of business people have taken to Twitter as a way to promote their business without spending thousands of dollars and countless hours on a marketing campaign.

Individuals can brand themselves as industry thought leaders thanks to Twitter. Sending out tweets with articles pertinent to their field may attract the attention of people with similar interests. Writing about industry-specific topics on a blog and then pushing it out with a shortened link on Twitter can invite people to read the post where you can dazzle them with your brilliance. Attracting new followers will let you find more people you can share your knowledge with, which will boost your reputation as a thought leader.

Businesses can create an open line of communication with their customers on Twitter. Allowing customers to ask questions and provide feedback is great way to build trust. Improving customer service should always be a focus for a business and Twitter provides a great outlet for this.

Building a plan for Twitter is a must. A simple formula that works for most individuals and businesses is the Rule of Fourths. One fourth of tweets should be individual/business news. For example, “Acme Coffee Mugs was just named Best Graphics.” The next fourth should focus on industry related news, like “Coffee mugs sales are up 23% this year” with a link to the article that states that. Another fourth should be retweets of other businesses, leaders, or influencers. Retweeting lets followers know that a business values what else is going on in the community. The last fourth should be conversing and engaging with others on Twitter. This is the social part that must not be missed. It is a great way to build useful connections and gain new followers.

While the messages may be short lived, it is important to keep it professional. Twitterers (people who use Twitter) should assume that each and every one of their followers and their followers will see the message…even though most of them won’t.

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