If you want to promote your business or establish your expertise, Twitter can play a key role in helping to get your business recognized and assist with building relationships. To get the most out of this fashionable social networking platform to promote your business it is important not to ignore “Twitter protocol”
1. Mind Your Manners
Politeness and good manners is just common sense. Twitter may be a new marketing tool, but the old rules still apply. For example if someone mentions you or
retweets you, you should thank them. People like to be recognised for their efforts so ignoring them by not thanking them is simply rude. This can also open the lines of communication between you and a potential customer or business partner and is a great way to begin building a relationship. They are then more likely to retweet your offerings to all of their followers, so if they do this, return the favour and retweet one of their posts.
2. Use #Hashtags Appropriately
Hashtags are a good way to encourage participation not to mention help others track and find information, but don’t overuse them as this could annoy your followers.
3. Don’t Tweet Too Much
Research shows that there is a fine line between enough sharing and too much. If you are new to Twitter it is important to understand this basic principle. Don’t post spammy Tweets, but rather post relevant, interesting, helpful and original content. Before you post ask yourself the question: “Would this interest me if I were a follower?”
Tip: If you have a lot of ideas, space them out or use a programme like Hootsuite (http://hootsuite.com) to schedule your tweets.
4. Let Your Followers Know If You're Going To Tweet A Lot
This may be the case if you are going to live-tweet an event at a business event or charity occasion. While this type of promotion can be a great idea, you don’t want to lose followers who feel overwhelmed by a bombardment of tweets. Give a little warming and those that aren’t interested can then give you a pass for the day.
Tip: Advise your followers to use Twittblocker (http://twitblock.org/#options).
5. Be Careful What You Tweet
There have been some notorious and embarrassing foul ups on social media that have caused major dilemmas for individuals and companies alike. NEVER use your business Twitter account to discuss controversial topics, send inappropriate images or use unacceptable language. Different if you are on a personal account, but remember that your business account relates directly to your product or service, so keep “politics and religion” out of the equation.
6. Avoid Getting Overly Personal
One of the principal goals of Twitter is to develop relationships with potential or existing customers, so try to keep your posts relevant and interesting – your business followers don’t need to know “what you had for breakfast”. In saying this though there is benefit in adding a personal touch or a little humour from time to time – for example if you are a small business and you are getting married or an employee has a baby, you may want to share this information, or you may come across an amusing image or video that relates to your product or service that your customers or followers would enjoy. Always give thought to what is suitable to share though.
7. Tweet Professionally Using Good English (if you’re English of course)
Your presence on social media is an extension of the “face of your business”, so always use correct grammar and spelling which will ensure that you maintain a professional image. How would you feel if an accountant posted the following tweet “OMG! Still not 2 late 4u to file ur taxes!” – Not a good look!
Tip: Get your weather and whether right as well as there, their and they’re.
8. Know Your Audience
Keeping in mind rule #6 – adapt your tweets to fit your followers. If your brand is focusing on teenagers, speak in a language that will attract their attention. If you are a Business to Business organisation, you should use industry terminology. Always tweet information that you think is relevant and interesting to your followers
Tip: Choose applicable ways to engage your followers for example they may be interested in shows, seminars or sporting events that you attend.
9. Communicate Promptly
If you start a conversation with someone on Twitter, make sure you respond to them in a timely manner. The same applies if someone asks you a question – always answer them promptly. One of the advantages of social media is that you can engage immediately and directly with you customer or potential customer base.
10. Always Deal With Customer Service Issues Privately
A customer who tweets you with a complaint or concern on Twitter wants to be heard, but don’t necessarily want to engage in public dialogue, which could also potentially harm your business. Directly address customers with concerns through Direct Message, not viewable by your other followers.
Tip: By using DM you can even request a phone number and speak to them personally to show them you care about resolving the issue.
BONUS: This ensures that you don’t get embroiled in personal attacks.
Twitter could become one of the most effective ways to promote your business, so follow these guidelines, tweet away and reap the rewards.
See also - Advice and Tools on How To Grow Your Twitter Account - Marketing your business using Twitter
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