Tuesday, September 21, 2010

5 Tips for Running A Business Twitter Account

It’s no secret that Twitter can be used as a great marketing tool. Every major business, whether tech related or not, probably has a Twitter account. It has become as mainstream and essential as having a website. But as with anything, there’s a good way and a bad way to use it. Little mistakes on Twitter are a very fast way to alienate your consumer base.
This is a list of basic Dos and Don’ts to consider when using Twitter for business. The key to most of these tips is finding the right balance and of course, keeping a professional air, while you’re at it.

Getting Started

It may seem like its straightforward, but the first thing you should be sure to do is add a profile picture, biography, a relevant background, and a link to your website before publicising your Twitter account.
When you create your Twitter account, don’t follow hundreds of people to attempt to get followers. If your content is good, you’ll get noticed and people will follow you. If you’re following hundreds of people, versus having only a few followers, you’re more likely to be mistaken for a spammer. Either that, or they’ll take it as a sign of desperation to get more followers.
twitter for business

Don’t Be a Bot

Don’t flood your followers. Space out your tweets, just like you would your blog posts, so that they don’t quickly get bored with your tweets. If you’re streaming your blog posts into your Twitter account, and use a service like Twitterfeed, make sure you have it set to post in realtime rather than in bulk. Several tweets blasted out consecutively are more likely to be ignored.
Auto-anything doesn’t go down well on Twitter. Don’t auto-DM when you get new followers. People don’t expect you to thank them for following, so don’t do it.

Behind the Scenes

Use Twitter to keep your customers aware of upcoming maintenance on your site, especially if you run a community site. Don’t wait for them to ask you what’s going on.
how to write a business tweet

Acknowledge your Consumer

Retweeting positive mentions of your service or company is often appreciated, as is replying to all tweets addressed to your account in a timely manner. But like with any other tweet, space them out. Don’t fill your latest tweets with retweets alone.
how to write a business tweet
Having a Twitter account opens your company up to dealing with customer service issues in a public forum. Make sure you have the time to handle any inquiries or complaints that are addressed to your account. It’s also preferable to take the discussion into a more private space like email or online chat.
how to write a business tweet


Be personal and engaging. Don’t make people feel like your Twitter account is a bot. The more they feel like there’s a real person behind the account, the more interactive they are likely to be. Don’t turn your Twitter account into a stream for your blog posts. People can subscribe to your blog posts if that’s what they want.
Share interesting industry news about your field. Showing that you’re interested in more than just your own company will make people more likely to follow you because there getting more than they can get from your website. Twitter offers a unique medium of interaction with your consumer base so take full advantage of it.
twitter for business
And if you are running a Twitter-related service, don’t force people to auto-follow your account, and definitely don’t force them to tweet about it without their consent during the authentication process. That is the fastest way to get unfollowed and to stop people from using your service. Give them the choice. If they want to follow you, or tweet about your service, they will.
Do you have any tips or tricks for starting your own Twitter business account? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: Rosaura Ochoa
(By) Nancy lives in Cairo, works at a publishing house, is half poet, half geek, and suffers from a heavy dose of techno-joy. You can find her on Twitter at diptychal


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