Twitter Tips for Business
WHY to use it
Twitter can be a great tool to keep in constant contact with your customers, shareholders and employees. You can share information about products and services, respond to industry news or educate your readers about your area of expertise. It’s also invaluable for communicating when things go wrong – many companies respond directly to customer complaints on Twitter or use it to blast instant information to smooth over problems, as was the case for hosting company Rackspace after several power outages knocked customer services offline.
WHAT to say or do there
The first thing to remember is it’s not just about what you say; it’s about what you can learn. The ability to follow influential people in your specific discipline and industry is absolutely invaluable. Search for your friends, past and present colleagues, competitors and industry influencers, and follow them. Bonus: If you follow people – chances are they will follow you. Sit back and watch the dialogue unfold; you’ll quickly see who is adding value and who is just talking to hear themselves.
Listen first. Scan Twitter for your company and product names. Listen to what people are saying about your brand and your competitors. Get comfortable with twitter-speak; people use @someone to reference another user and #something is called a “hashtag” which effectively “tags” the tweet with that term for future searching.
Of course, the ability to push out content that positions you as an expert in your field makes Twitter a PR and marketing team’s dream. Yet it has to be done carefully. If you only plan to use Twitter to broadcast headlines or announce product deals, you’re missing the point. It has to be a dialogue.
WHO should manage it
Twitter is one thing it’s best not to outsource. Brand responses should come directly from the brand. A PR firm or ghost blogger would have to come to you anyhow for the correct responses, so why not do the job yourself?
Social Media blogger Andy Sernovitz suggests the following:
When you’re first dipping your toes into Twitter, you’re immediately presented with a problem: Whose name should you tweet from? The company’s brand name? The CMO? And while there’s no right or wrong answer, there are some factors to consider when making your decision. Things to think about:
- The one-man show:This is the least ideal option, because nobody works anywhere forever. If you lose your Twitter star, you’re likely to lose the relationships as well.
- The corporate account: It’s perfectly fine to Tweet from a corporate branded account, and the companies that do this the best are great at identifying the individual(s) behind the tweets.
- The team of tweeters:Because Twitter is best when it’s a lively conversation, a great way to engage is to have a team using individual company accounts.
WHEN to take action
Simply put, you need a Tweet Plan. With a Tweet Plan you can pre-organize and categorize your tweets for future use… keeping you more on track during your work day.
Frequency: The short answer is tweet as often as possible. The reason? The more people your followers follow, the more new tweets they have to read every time they log on. So there is a good chance your tweet will be a second or third page of their tweets-to-read if you don’t post frequently.
Timing: The best time to tweet is when the majority of your readers are online, so aim for before lunch, after lunch, or after 6 pm (when most people pop in to check their social networking sites). However, keep in mind that many people are restricted from using Twitter and other social networking applications at work – so you may want to retweet your message at night or over the weekend for those that have more time to relax and catch up with the twittersphere then. If you have a widely dispersed audience, it might be worth tweeting the same message several times over the day and night to cover all time zones.
HOW to make it happen
If it sounds like managing your Twitter account can be a full-time job, don’t worry – Don’t forget to follow OpenMoves on Twitter for more great eMarketing tips!