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Twitter for Business Best Practices

Getting Started:

  • Pick a Twitter name and username that matches your company name or alternatively a name that includes your company name.  I recommend making these names identical.  Avoid underscores, use capitalization to differentiate words (eg. @LoneStarInternet).
     
  • Fill out your Twitter profile completely including a URL.  The Twitter profile should help people verify your legitimacy.  Dozens of purported celebrities and companies on Twitter have turned out to be bogus.
     
  • Let consumers know who they are talking to
     
  • Explain why you are on Twitter and who is responsible for your company’s presence there. Consumers want to talk to a “real person,” and not a bot. Here's an example for Harpers Magazine.
    Name: harpers
    Location: New York, NY
    Web: http://harpers.org
    Bio: America's oldest continuously published general interest magazine. (Assoc. Editor/Web geek Paul Ford is the one doing the twittering.)
     
  • Profiles are searchable so use keywords in your bio.
     
  • Create a customized Twitter homepage (that matches your corporate brand as much as possible) to provide additional information about your company and products.  Use your company logo in the background for your homepage.
     
  • Build up some tweets before promoting your twitter account so other users will see you as credible and relevant.  You should "seed" your twitter account with at least 20 tweets.


Twitter Writing Tips:

  • Use conversational language
     
  • Be polite
     
  • Try to stay under 100 characters so your tweet doesn't get cut off if a follower retweets your message.
     
  • Try to use short urls for your links.  This uses less characters and long urls look like spam.
     
  • Avoid overusing abbreviations, they will make your tweets difficult to understand.
     
  • DO NOT USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!  It is the equivalent of screaming.
     
  • Say thank you when someone retweets one of your messages or sends a tweets that links to your account.
     
  • If you tweet links to content you found on Twitter, acknowledge them as the source using the @Account in your tweet.


Managing your Twitter Account:

  • Expect to have conversations.  Followers will respond to tweets with questions and comments.  The person responsible for managing the Twitter account will need clear direction on what they can respond to, how to respond, when to direct a follower to utilize a secure communication method (when transmitting personal information, phone numbers, etc… use private Twitter messaging so their information is not exposed to the public), and when not to respond.  Not responding to any followers is a bad practice.  Reach out to handle complaints, give thanks and praise for compliments in real time (or as close as possible).
     
  • Ask questions of your followers to glean valuable insights and show you are listening.
     
  • Be human, and have a sense of humor.
     
  • Most of your tweets should contain a link to your website, blog post, article, etc…
     
  • You could use one or more of the Twitter directories (WeFollow.com or Twellow.com) to locate potential users to follow based on their interests or geography.  If you follow them, they will be notified and may decide to follow you.
     
  • Follow anyone that mentions your company.  If you find an account you are following is a spam account or tweets information you may not wish to be associated with you need to end the relationship.
     
  • Periodically do a Twitter search on your company name to see who is re-tweeting you or mentioning your name.
     
  • @reply people to thank or just reach out to them.
     
  • Consider Twitter/Social Media interface platforms such as HootSuite, TweetDeck, and Sprout Social.
     
  • Consider Twitter follower-vetting tools that enable you to block or remove spam followers such as Twit Cleaner, Tweepi, or TrueTwit.

Marketing your Twitter Account:

  • Put links to your twitter page on your website.
     
  • Add hyperlinks to your twitter account (e.g.: Follow @FowerLawFirm on Twitter) in emails and newsletters.
     
  • Solicit tweets about your company and publish them on your site.
     
  • Reach out to other firms you are connected with on Twitter and exchange tweets

Thu, 26 Jan 2012 15:37

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