Here is the first of series of posts describing how to use Twitter for your business.
Listen, then speak
One of the fundamental mistakes that a lot of business’ commit is by jumping in feet first and spamming out links or promotions to the world. It’s very tempting to do this as Twitter is such an easy medium to uptake. However, to get the best out of Twitter you must listen before you speak.
When you first enter the world of Twitter take some time to read the updates of competitors, customers and the general public who may be talking about your industry, company or products. Use search.twitter.com to find these people and learn how to best correspond with them.
Learn the etiquette of Twitter
Take the time to learn the etiquette of Twitter. Not everyone will be interested in you or want to engage with you. Its not always appropriate to DM people or push yourself into their conversation. Learn how to spark conversation, respond to questions and how to instigate business leads organically. Look at how successful corporate Twitter users are using the platform, what kind of subjects and tweets they use and what kind of response to they gain. Remember it takes time to build a high quality following. Begin mimicking the style of other influential users.
Search for people who are asking questions about you industry or where you might be able to offer guidance or information. Never approach someone trying to push a sale as this will be seen as spam. Also remember that not everyone will want to engage with you, don’t be pushy, @reply them but if they don’t respond do not hound them.
Post links to your blog and industry blogs
Post a mixture of links to your own company site or blog as well as other latest news in your industry on other websites. You will gain a following that is interested in your industry and trusts you to supply them with the latest information and knowledge. Don’t always tweet out a link or people will stop acknowledging your tweets.
Use creative links
When you do link to your blog post website try and be creative. Don’t just tweet, “New blog post [link]” or ‘Title [Link]” write something like “Need information with your iPhone Micro-sim? [Link]” or “Latest updates from Steve Jobs key note [Link]”. Always use a URL shortening service like bit.ly. Tracking statistics are included in a service such as this, but chose one provider and stick with it, don’t use 5 different ones. Even better use a personal one, such as Youtubes youtu.be short link.
However you use Twitter, Never, ever automate tweets or DMs. When someone follows you never automate a DM saying something like “Thanks for the follow, check out our website [Link]” as this is obviously spam. Also never repeat tweets with links to your site or promoting your product. People will soon realise what you are doing and either unfollow you or ignore your updates. Feel free to post the same links or promotions more than once and a different times of the day or days or the week to ensure maximum exposure, but ensure you re-write the tweet and acknowledge that you are tweeting it again.