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Top-ten tips for using Twitter for business

You want to use Twitter for your business and think it’s a piece of cake because you already have your personal account and have been using it for a while? Wrong! You cannot tweet random things like you do from your personal account. Moreover, you must have solid plans and strategies to reach your target.

Here’s the top-ten tips for using Twitter for business.

1. Choose a username which best describes your business

If you get an account for your company, it’s the best to choose your company’s name as your username. If you create an account for your company’s product, service, brand line or community, use its name. If the name is long, make it short. If the username you’d like to get is not available, choose a similar name. Do not create a username which is very long or does not describe what your account will be focusing on at all. The important thing is choose a simple name so that people can easily type it, remember it and recognize it as your business.

2. Engage with your audience

Push marketing won’t work on Twitter. Start a conversation with your audience and ask them questions. Retweet, favorite and reply to tweets from your audience and even those outside of your circle. Interacting with your audience is crucial to build a strong relationship between you and your audience. If someone says a good thing about you, thank them. If someone complains about you, ask them what their problem is and what you can do for them.

3. Use hashtags

Tweet with hashtags relevant to your tweets to reach wider audience. For example, if your company attends an event, use the hashtag(s) for the event. By doing so, people interested in the event or attending it can see a whole conversation regarding the event when they search for the hashtag(s). You can even create a unique hashtag for your business so that your audience can find the conversations about specific topics they’re interested in. Yet do some research before using it. Make sure your hashtag is unique. Don’t use those already used for another topic, which may confuse your audience.

4. Utilize useful Twitter tools

There’re tons of Twitter tools out there. Some of my recommendations for account management are HootSuite, TweetDeck, Buffer and Echofon. When I was in charge of a Twitter account for one of my clients, I used HootSuite. With HootSuite, you can schedule your tweets, analyze your activity, customize your stream with your timeline, @ tweets, lists, etc., and do many more. If you have multiple Twitter accounts or other social media accounts including Facebook and Google+, you can manage up to 5 accounts with HootSuite.

For URL shortening services, Bitly is the best in my opinion. Not only can you shorten links, but  you can also customize a short domain if you’re a Pro user. If you’re not a Pro user, you can still customize the ending of links (e.g. bit.ly/cancustomizehere). Bitly also offers the stats for all of your bit.ly links. And even if you’re a HootSuite user and use ow.ly links, you can also check the stats for any ow.ly links you share through your account(s) by connecting your Twitter account to your Bitly.

If you’d like to know more about other awesome Twitter tools, read 10 Twitter Tools Used by Social Media Experts at KISSmetrics.

5. Analyze your tweets

Analyzing your activity is important. Check how many times your links are clicked and shared, from where and through what channel they are clicked, what the peak traffic time is and so on. Rebuild your strategies and evaluate your activity based on the analysis in order to improve your social media marketing.

6. Tweet updates on your website and other social media accounts

Never think your Twitter account and your website or other social accounts are separated things. Keep your audience updated with your online activities besides Twitter. Lead them to your website or blog. Twitter is limited in space to talk deeply about your business. Get your audience know more about you by driving traffic to your website and other social media accounts.

7. Connect your social media presence on your website

Like I said in #6, promote all of your online activities! Add a link to your Twitter account on your home page, blog, Facebook, etc. It’s also a good idea to display your timeline on your website.

8. Share photos and videos

Don’t just text tweets. Post photos and videos too. According to Track Social Blog, tweets with photos outperform text tweets by 91% for Twitter engagement. Similar data can be found for Facebook engagement at HubSpot as well.

9. Talk about non-business topics too

Show your personality! Post humorous tweets sometimes. Let your audience know who you are to make them feel close to you and want to follow your account.

10. Use effectively your profile photo, cover image, background and profile

Make sure you upload your profile photo, cover image and background to show the audience your brand story. Also, tell who you are in your user profile. It’d be nice to tell your audience when your active time is so they know when they can receive a reply from you. If you don’t plan to respond to every @ tweet, let your audience know that in advance. For example, write “Unfortunately we cannot reply to everyone, but we appreciate all of your replies.” in your profile.

I could go on and on forever but I’ll stop here. I’m sure you have other tips you want to add to this list. Please feel free to share your insights!

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Filed under MKTG 1552, Social Media, Twitter