Primer for Business Use of Twitter

The social media tool Twitter can be a great marketing tool for businesses. It can be used to reinforce a brand, share news, get feedback , share a promotion and more.  Like other social media tools, Twitter helps businesses to have a dialogue with customers and prospects.

Twitter itself is free to use, as are most of the related tools that help you make the most out of Twitter. The cost to a business is the staff that it takes to manage the effort. Most businesses should be able to achieve results with a couple of hours per week focused on research, planning, implementation and evaluation.

First Steps

  • Pick a Twitter name that matches your company name or a name that includes your company name such as @companyteam — use a search tool such as x or y to find available names that you can use for Twitter and your other social media efforts
  • Create an account — fill out your profile completely including a URL as most people will not follow anyone with an incomplete profile
  • Create a customized Twitter home page that matches your corporate brand as much as possible  to provide additional information about your company and products
  • Begin to research your customers on twitter – find and “follow” known customers and other businesses and agencies related to your business

Tweet

  • Start posting messages (“tweets”) — make your messages timely, interesting and relevant to the audience you want to reach
  • Try to tweet 3-5 times per day — space them out throughout the day if possible
  • Pay attention to the pattern of follows that you get – is there a correlation with your tweets? Tweet more on topics that seem to get attention.
  • Have an editorial plan for tweets — parse out the things you have to say over days and weeks to keep the information flowing
  • Whenever possible, include a link to a website, blog post, article, etc. in your posts — you want to be a hub of information
  • Use HootSuite to schedule your tweets and to track your tweet clickthrus and the Hootlet app to easily tweet the URLs of content at the source

Build Followers

  • Follow others to create a following for yourself –use one or more of the Twitter directories (WeFollow or Twellow) to locate potential users to follow based on their interests and geography
  • Follow anyone who mentions your company or keywords that important for your business
  • Periodically do a Twitter search on your company name or click on @yourname from right panel to see who is re-tweeting you or mentioning your name
  • Re-tweet posts that you think are worthy